“When you give birth to something,
you want to take care of it.”
Brooks Gunsul, one of three founding partners of what is now ZGF Architects, was also one of five founders of Architecture Foundation of Oregon. After retirement, Brooks moved to Redmond and kind of lost touch with afo until he attended the 2014 Honored Citizen Dinner with other founding members being recognized that evening. He looked around the room of nearly 700 gathered to honor Art Johnson and exclaimed, “When we started the Foundation, I had no idea it would grow to something like this!”
That started him thinking about the quote above – one he shared recently with current and former afo Board members as he announced a provision in his will to leave up to $300,000 for the afo Endowment Fund at The Oregon Community Foundation. Brooks’ gift provides an outright bequest of $200,000 and a challenge to others to match an additional $100,000 by December 31, 2017.
This gift is a game changer for afo and the Architects in Schools program. Growing the endowment fund is the only way to truly sustain afo’s mission of connecting Oregonians with their designed environment. A percentage of endowment earnings can be realized to support AiS and other programs each year, but the fund will continue to grow under OCF’s stewardship.
We invite you to help afo realize the full extent of Brooks’ generous gift by providing a matching gift in an amount that is meaningful to you.
afo’s Endowment Fund at The Oregon Community Foundation will provide long-term stability for our high-impact, collaborative programs. Current efforts will provide the revenue needed to cushion critical programs against year-to-year economic uncertainties and allow us to serve students, teachers, grantees and communities throughout Oregon without disruption.
During Oregon’s most recent economic downturn, annual income from afo fundraisers and individual and corporate memberships fell by $70,000. It was no longer financially possible to fund every program from operating revenues. Your contribution to the afo Endowment Fund can help provide the future stability for these programs:
1. Small Grants: Suspended in 2010. A national survey of architecture foundations showed that most awarded grants from endowment earnings. afo’s grants typically range from $1,000-$5,000, are often pivotal despite their modest size, and often help organizations secure larger grants from major funders. Examples of grants that have provided essential funding include: restoring Uncle Toby’s Story House, designed by Pietro Belluschi for Camp Namanu in Sandy; re-roofing of the Alvar Aalto library at Mt. Angel; and enabling numerous restoration projects at Frank Lloyd Wright’s Gordon House in Silverton. Grants were set aside in the most recent economic downturn, and can be restored with Endowment Fund growth.
2. Architects in Schools (AiS): This six-week residency program at elementary schools statewide is afo’s longest-running, signature program. Practicing architects and other design professionals volunteer with classroom teachers. The program has grown from 800 students, when it came under afo’s wing, to more than 3,800 students today. Updated curriculum supports Oregon’s learning goals and includes environmental sustainability content. Requests for AiS programming exceed afo’s capacity to deliver. Maintaining quality as the program expands to meet the demand, particularly outside the Portland metro area, is our top priority.
3. Scholarships: The Hatfield Architectural Award is available to architecture students at Portland State University and University of Oregon. It supports students who show great promise both as architecture professionals and as contributors to the community. Low revenues forced afo to reduce the scholarship from $7,000 to $2,000, and dedicated funds are expected to be fully depleted in 2016.
4. Civic engagement: afo is building connections with citizens and leaders statewide so we can help inform various decisions arising from Oregon’s growing population, major development opportunities and economic constraints. As a trusted media source, afo will also increase public awareness of design.
CONTRIBUTE NOW, or contact afo Executive Director Jane Jarrett at firstname.lastname@example.org or (503) 542-3825 to inquire about ways to give to the Architecture Foundation of Oregon Endowment Fund at The Oregon Community Foundation.