Sigmund Freud once mused that "thought is action in rehearsal."
For the past few years we have been "rehearsing" about "needs" in geoscience, and the result is the action of developing a comprehensive fund raising plan for both the AAPG Foundation and the Association. The plan's purpose is to meet the Foundation's mission of serving the general public -- especially in the areas of geosciences and energy -- and to meet the Association's mission of advancing the science of geology.
Each year the Foundation receives income from its growing endowments plus an average of $695,000 annually from AAPG members and non-members. The Foundation Trustees designate approximately $800,000 annually to programs that benefit both members and the general public worldwide.
The new Fund Raising Program is designed to meet three areas of need:
- Increased funding for current projects, such as Grants-in-Aid for students and the Distinguished Lecturer Program.
There is a great need for increased student Grants-in-Aid, especially in relationship to manpower issues in the energy industry. Both the AAPG Association and Foundation are dedicated to assisting students and helping in the development of their careers.
Each year there also is great demand globally for AAPG Distinguished Lecturers (annual cost is $150,000-$180,000). We want to double the number of AAPG DLs in the next few years.
Also, the Foundation, through gifts from the Association, pays for the increasingly popular Visiting Geologists Program.
- Develop additional and/or original funding for "naming" opportunities of current and new projects.
Examples of "naming" opportunities include sponsorship of the BULLETIN. We also are planning the development of an "exploration workshop" -- similar to the Hedberg Research Conference -- that is looking for a name.
There also are "naming opportunities" for "bricks and mortar" projects like the AAPG Foundation Library, which we want to upgrade.
- Increased discretionary funding to meet unsolicited requests for funding new and innovative ideas.
Each year the Foundation receives many worthwhile unsolicited requests for funding. For example, the Foundation has provided partial funding for an "Interactive Geology Project" developed by Paul Weimer and others through the University of Colorado. The project is designed to develop a series of animations and Web deliverables for select museum and national parks' visitor centers.
More discretionary funding means more good ideas for advancing the science -- and appreciation -- for geology coming to fruition.
The AAPG Foundation Trustees met on Aug. 21-23 in Dallas to review and implement the fund-raising plan developed by the fund-raising steering committee and staff with recommendations from our fund-raising consultant, Kent Strohman.
They approved the budget for the Foundation Fund Raising Program, which includes the hiring of a full-time campaign manager and part-time fundraising consultant. This is a key milestone in the development of the program and will set the fund-raising plan into full gear.
The first step is to develop a survey to test the fund-raising plan, which will be executed by the fund-raising consultant as a third party. The survey is important because it will let us know if there is interest and if we are taking the best approach.
The next step is to compose the Campaign Committee. Of course, this committee will comprise people committed to the process. They will be responsible primarily for establishing the final goals and making key contacts to advance the program.
A parallel corporate fund-raising campaign also is under way. The Association is providing oversight for this program.
Each year the AAPG Foundation quietly fulfills its goals and provides important geoscience information and services around the world. We ask all AAPG members to help in this process with your ideas and generosity.
As I was writing this column the sad news came that AAPG Trustee and past AAPG President Bud Reid passed away unexpectedly on Oct. 2 at his home in Carpenteria, Calif.
Bud was one of those true givers in life. He had a passion for funding and serving AAPG, the Boy Scouts, the Dibblee "mapping" program and anything to do with our national parks.
Many times, when the Foundation did not have enough discretionary funds to meet a need, Bud would say, "Don't worry guys, I think we should do this and I will pay for it out of my own pocket."
He will be missed for his leadership, his kindness and his generosity.