Two national architecture nonprofits, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS), both based in the same Washington, D.C., office building, have kicked off individual capital campaigns.
The AIA, which celebrates its 150th anniversary this year, hopes to raise a minimum of $15 million and to have most of the amount secured before National Architecture Week in April.
The funds will support a range of initiatives, such as bringing the AIA headquarters up to LEED standards; restoring the adjacent Octagon, the 1801 National Historic Landmark and house museum; and a nationwide community service program called Blueprint for America, in which AIA chapters partner with state and local governments to address issues including sprawl and affordable housing.
Nancy Van Gulick, senior director of corporate relations at the AIA, says she is confident that the campaign—called 333150—will meet its goal. “We get a lot of corporate support, and support from large architecture firms, small architecture firms, and a lot of individuals,” she says. “Everyone's just jumping in, and it's been great.”
The AIAS—a separate organization that turned 50 in 2006—has quietly launched a capital campaign to support its Freedom by Design program. Student participants in that program work one on one with people who are disabled and need small modifications made to their homes. The students do the construction work themselves, under the supervision of mentor architects and tradespeople.
“Right now [Freedom by Design] is at 25 campuses, growing to about 50 over the next year,” says the executive director of the AIAS, Michael Geary. “The purpose of our campaign is to build awareness of that program and ultimately to support it perpetually.”
Geary says the group aims to raise $2 million. “Our goal is achievable—and, we hope, in a shorter time period than might be typical,” he says. The AIAS plans to make a formal announcement of its campaign some time this spring.