Words: Mike Sutter
The Masonry Foundation is the future of our industry! When we started just a few years ago in a meeting room in Dallas, Texas, we agreed to an initial goal of $5 Million. Leaving the room that day, many of us, myself included, questioned if this was even possible- that is a lot of money to raise in an industry that was just coming out of the worst recession in our lifetimes. Several of us had not purchased equipment or given raises in quite a while, and we believed that asking contractors and suppliers to pledge dollars was going to be a difficult task.
We were quite surprised to learn that it was not as tough as we thought. You see, contractors can see the value of investing in our future. We do it all the time while making equipment purchases and conducting apprenticeship and safety training for all our employees. This was just another way to make an investment for the entire industry.
This year at our Midyear meeting in New Hampshire, we were excited to announce that our first grants had been awarded from the Masonry Foundation! This is the announcement we had been waiting for, and we are finally seeing the results of our efforts. We no longer have to sit back and react to things that are happening, and we no longer have to go out and ask contractors and suppliers to help fund an initiative that was important to our industry.
We now have the funds to provide help for some very worthwhile causes. This year, we provided funds for grants from workforce development to structural engineer training in masonry. MCAA Chairman Paul Odom highlighted the grants that were funded in the November issue. With the success of this first year of grants, I would expect many more requests next year.
In the January issue we are going to list all of those that pledged dollars for our Foundation, along with the amounts pledged. Please do not let this be published without your name on the list! The amount you pledge is usually paid over a five- year timespan. However, it is not always five years, as some have paid it in one lump sum, others have stretched it out over a longer period of time, and some have pledged from their trusts after their passing.
Some pledges have been for less than $1,000, and others have been for over $200,000, while two major corporations have pledged $500,000 each. There is no typical pledge amount or time, so you can create the one that fits you and your company best.
Remember, this is a pledge and not a contract, so if we enter hard times you simply skip a year or extend the pledge time. Also keep in mind that the corpus of the Masonry Foundation will never be used, only the funds made from the investment of the corpus.
We are very close to meeting our original goal of $5 Million. At the time of writing this article, we are at $4,200,000 and we want to reach our goal by the convention in Las Vegas on February 2nd through the 6th, 2020. Please help us meet that goal!
For more information on how you can be a part of the Masonry Foundation please contact the MCAA or reach out to me.
Chairman, The Masonry Foundation