The American Institute of Floral Designers Foundation, Inc. was established in 1979 as an independent, non-profit, 501c3 organization, that is an umbrella organization for numerous endowed and established funds, with a Board of Trustees to govern. The endowed funds provide scholarships to floral design students and aspiring floral designers. Education that impacts the future success of floral design is supported through grants from the AIFD Foundation. Funds established within the AIFD Foundation may honor those who have contributed to the floral industry, be a collective gathering from a state or region, or established to address a specific need within the industry. For an established fund to be endowed, the amount of the fund must reach a threshold of giving within five years from the time the fund is established. Once the threshold is reached and the fund is endowed, the interest and dividends are awarded, according to the purpose of the fund. The corpus, which is made up of the total donations, remains in perpetuity, ensuring that those honored will forever be remembered.
AIFD® Members Joined Together to Achieve these Accomplishments.
By definition, purpose is the reason something exists.
Purpose can guide life decisions, influence behavior, shape goals,
offer a sense of direction and create meaning.
May we continue to work together, with purpose, to expand possibilities.
- The purpose of our existence continues to experience expanded relevance offering a number of educational opportunities to both the professional floral designer and the student of floral design.
- The AIFD Foundation has awarded well over a quarter of a million dollars since our inception! Over $57,000 in Grants and Scholarships was awarded in 2022. Additionally, over $19,000 was paid in 2022 to honor the 2020 and 2021 awards transferred to 2022. Funds totaling $16,800 remain in Trust to be paid in 2023 once scholarship recipients complete all that is required.
- PERSPECTIVES, an on-demand video series housed on our website, continues to archive work of distinguished designers. Award winning designer Charlie Groppetti AIFD was featured in PERSPECTIVE Three titled Cut from the Landscape. PHILosophy First Place Winner Reina Sumabat AIFD joins the ranks with PERSPECTIVE Four titled A Winning Philosophy.
- As we looked to AIFD Symposium in Las Vegas we were reminded of not only the current established funds that would be endowed but also of the funds that were endowed in 2020 and 2021 without a platform to make the official announcement. Las Vegas 2022 Awards Night provided that platform.
- These include the South West AIFD Endowed Fund, Frankie Shelton AIFD Endowed Fund and our first Corporate Fund - Floriology Endowed Fund powered by BloomNet. Highlights of each are recorded in the History of the AIFD Foundation.
- Project related fundraising, originated and led by Trustee Charlie Groppetti AIFD, continued with a visit to Hattiesburg, Mississippi where the very ROOTS of all that inspired Matt Wood AIFD were firmly planted. ROOTS that provided the very beginning of his growth and a place where he often returned to finesse his genius. This design contest and two holiday workshops, at the home of Charlie Groppetti AIFD and Todd Smith, completed the endowment of the Matt Wood AIFD Endowed Fund to forever honor the legacy of a designer who knew how to “Just Make It Pretty”. Matt Wood AIFD truly changed an industry, leading it forward from silk florals to permanent botanicals. He inspired. He never put himself first but instead reached out to help others know just how to twist the stem to face the flower to the light of day. He understood color and embraced texture. A heart felt thank you to Charlie Groppetti AIFD and Todd Smith for their dedicated work to endow this fund.
- Her path guided her to join a company named American Floral Services. It was said that Marie grew up in AFS. She always took the time to know what meant the most to you and what you hoped to accomplish. A former Chapter President, it is easy to see why the South Central Chapter contributed what was needed to establish the fund and significantly donated towards the endowment. A special thank you to 2021-2022 Chapter President Rhonda Lynn-Moeckel AIFD for her leadership of this project. A special thank you to Herman Meinders for his most generous gift so that the Marie Ackerman AIFD Endowed Fund may offer scholarships, in perpetuity, to those who may need a little help to “Go Out into the World and Shine!”
- Perhaps Rocky Pollitz AIFD said it best, “An award winner surpassing all others, he is revered as a true genius of the human spirit. He can turn a palm frond into a treasured sculpture. In turn, he can mold a student into a dedicated designer. His design style, philosophy of life and compassion for his art make him the finest creative wonder of our time.” Ken Senter AIFD, with the support of an industry that looks to Phil Rulloda AIFD with great respect and with the Arizona family of Phil Rulloda AIFD who made this possible, led the Phil Rulloda AIFD Scholarship Fund to endowment. A special thank you to AIFD Foundation Ambassador Ken Senter AIFD for his leadership and support of the AIFD Foundation.
- While design education is our core focus, we all know the importance of the business of flowers. Opening new opportunities, the Herman Meinders Endowed Fund will add to “A Lifetime of Learning” through state, regional and national institutions. This fund will not only increase knowledge in design but also provide the study of business. Herman Meinders is a visionary and thus the fund purpose also opens a new door and one that is most important to ensure the future of the industry. This endowment additionally provides an opportunity to research the interest and need of high school floral design education.
- What does it mean to endow seven funds? In this foundation, a first. In any foundation an opportunity for an increase in Grants and Scholarships. We recognized thirty eight Scholarship Recipients awarded since the time we last met at a Symposium. Prior to Awards Night in Las Vegas we gathered in the President’s Suite for time to get to know one another and celebrate the achievement of these recipients!
- The AIFD Foundation has long provided opportunities to add to “A Lifetime of Learning.” The AIFD Foundation Catastrophic Fund established “A Cornerstone of Care” to assist those experiencing property damage due to catastrophic events. The AIFD Foundation awarded $1,000 to a retail florist in Kentucky, to assist with the insurance deductible that provided resources to address property damage from the series of tornadoes that brought destruction to several states.
AIFD Foundation Mission Statement
“To provide financial support for educational purposes, scholarships, projects and programs that facilitate the advancement and dissemination of knowledge in the field of floral design and related fields.”