Foundation Celebrates Successful Fundraising Year

The Ammonia Refrigeration Foundation’s 2019 fundraising program was< extremely successful, raising more than one million dollars, according to Joe Mandato, ARF’s Trustee Chair who spearheaded the effort, which specifically focused on trustee-level pledges of $50,000 or more. “This was

The funds were generated by the renewed pledges of several trustees, including one in particular for $250,000, Mandato said, “It’s certainly inspiring to know there are companies and individuals out there who have identified the Foundation and what the Foundation does as having such an impact that they’re willing to make such a commitment,” he said.

For the current fiscal year – which started July 1, 2019, and will end June 30, 2020 — fundraising efforts look promising. Mandato said. He set a goal of $500,000, and by the time of publication, he had secured $245,000 in pledges. There have been four trusteelevel pledges, two of which were renewed from last year, and two of which are brand new, with one of them being an end user – United States Cold Storage.

“I’d like to specifically thank Mike Lynch for his efforts in educating the management of U.S. Cold Storage on the value of the Foundation and getting their commitment to join the trustees,” Mandato said, adding he also thanked the Kahlert Foundation for another generous donation.

Despite the global health crisis and the cancellation of the International Institute of Ammonia Refrigeration annual conference in Orlando, Mandato said fundraising efforts are moving along better than expected. Despite the situation, he said he’s confident that more trustee-level donors will make pledges before the summer deadline.

“One thing that’s struck me as being inspirational as I’m out doing this fundraising, is that one-third of the current trustees of the Foundation are organizations, companies or individuals who have provided more than one trustee-level pledge,” Mandato said. “To me, that is a clear indication that these companies and individuals have identified the importance of ARF’s work in terms of research, education, and community outreach programs, all of which benefit the industry… they want to see these efforts continue and expand in the future.”

Mike Lynch, ARF’s outgoing chair, echoed Mandato’s sentiments. “The Foundation itself and the individuals that work very diligently on the committees to help not only fundraise but also put together the research projects – it was pretty inspiring to see.”

it was pretty inspiring to see.” During his tenure, Lynch said he hoped to see more end user trustee level donations, and to lead by example, made the first. To keep the momentum going, he worked with the ARF staff and board to put together tools for end users to take to decision-makers in their organizations to make more trusteelevel donations. He said he hoped this push will continue.

Bruce Nelson, the incoming chair, said it will. “We’re continuing to build the assets of the Foundation to allow us to grow the number of scholarships we can offer and the number of research projects we can fund,” Nelson said. “Today, with the help of some key individuals, Joe [Mandato] and I are looking for new trustee-level donors. The work continues.”

Nelson said he particularly sees value in expanding the scholarship program – a program he feels is vital to the sustainability of the industry. There are currently nine university students, both national and international, involved in the program, many of which are already involved in internships with IIAR member companies. This is a partnership between the Foundation and the industry he hopes to expand during his tenure.

“We’re looking for companies to take on these scholarship students as summer interns,” Nelson said. “That’s something I definitely want to solicit.”

And the Foundation’s research program will continue to be prioritized. Nelson described research as “near and dear to my heart,” and he said he is especially pleased with the release of the revised ammonia piping handbook – the product of three different ARF research projects.

“I’m really happy to step into this role as the chair of ARF with all this momentum – we have tremendous momentum thanks to our past chairs,” Nelson said.