ALEXANDRIA, VA – As the industry continues to adapt to the changing world and new ways of conducting business, the American Floral Endowment (AFE) took the opportunity to also take a deeper look at how they can better support industry members and businesses through their floriculture programs and funding. Through an eight-month Strategic Planning effort, new priorities, goals, and initiatives were identified to provide for continued growth in the industry.
As part of the Strategic Plan, the Board also approved a revised vision, mission, and logo update to better identify and promote AFE’s core initiatives. The new logo touts the overall goal of Funding for the Future of Floriculture.
After months of consultation and evaluating input from the broader floral community through interviews, a public survey, and several focus groups, AFE’s Board of Trustees consisting of experts and business leaders from all segments of the industry came together for multiple planning sessions. From these sessions, a new strategic plan was developed to better position the Endowment to address the ever-changing needs of the floriculture industry.
The three-year plan underscores and strengthens fundamental priorities vital to AFE’s future and mission: supporting innovative research and floral industry education; an irrefutable pledge to keeping young professional development at the center of our work; increased outreach and fundraising efforts to provide more dollars for floriculture-related programs; and, finally and importantly, a commitment to collaboration with like-minded organizations for these and other programs geared toward advancing the industry.
“The Trustees took a very intentional approach in identifying the Endowment’s critical priorities. Going forward we will focus on increasing our footprint in an effort to better support programs that strengthen research efforts, build connections between young professionals and industry members, and support continued education for all segments of the industry. Progress and growth are impossible without change, and AFE continues their commitment to serving the industry as it evolves through the years,” noted Laura Shinall, AFE Chairman and Managing Partner of FreshPath Marketing.
The strategic plan sets goals to expand core AFE programs, provide new and innovative research, develop more targeted and strategic communications, and increase fundraising to support these initiatives. Like the new Vision states, AFE pledges to do these things “to better connect people to flowers and plants in everyday life.”
A strong, unified floriculture community fostering industry innovation and growth to better connect people to flowers and plants in everyday life.
To be the trusted source and catalyst for floriculture advancement through funding of innovative research, scholarships, internships, and educational grants that best serve the dynamic needs and demographics of all industry sectors.
How does this impact YOU and your business?
AFE’s core programming supports better quality flowers and plants and provides best practices for increased longevity of products. Better quality and longer-lasting plants support profitability and happy consumers. Whether you are a grower, researcher, event planner, wholesaler, or retailer, AFE’s work has positively impacted your business. With expanded resources to reach and support the next generation of young professionals through our career center, recruitment resources, and Young Professionals Council, the Endowment is also educating and supporting a workforce for the future. All AFE’s resources are available to everyone in the industry FREE. Industry contributions are the key to providing these programs for all.
“AFE’s new goals show our ongoing commitment and dedication to the industry. These expansions will be extremely impactful both internally and externally. It is exciting to look ahead and see this clear path to success aiding the growth of our industry,” notes AFE’s Chairman-Elect Ken Young, owner of Phoenix Flower Shops.
The new Strategic Plan will serve as AFE’s benchmarks for success over the next three years. They will also help AFE continue to address the transforming needs of the industry and further expand their reach to keep up with industry growth.
This new plan continues AFE’s long history of being the leading non-profit charitable organization funding floriculture research, educational and floral design grants, and scholarships, along with administering internship programs to bring top talent to the industry. In its 60 years, AFE’s funding and programs have led to:
- Advances and best practices for better quality and longer-lasting flowers and plants
- Financial aid and hands-on experiences to support the next generation
- Educational funding to assist with continued education and learning opportunities for all industry members.
The Endowment represents an all-industry community organization where everyone can collaboratively support programs that benefit all.
“The Endowment wouldn’t be here 60 years later without the support of past visionaries who recognized the importance and the need for industry research and support programs. We are grateful for past support and for the industry champions that continue to support our programs and efforts to keep the floral industry relevant,” notes AFE’s Executive Director, Debi Chedester. “Now more than ever, we need to expand our fundraising to invest even more into these programs to support Funding for the Future of Floriculture.”
AFE’s 2022 annual fundraising campaign “Funding the Future of Floriculture” will kick off in May. Every donation – small or large – makes a difference to further support floral industry programs. Watch for more information on this campaign and how you can contribute.
Learn more about AFE’s research, internships, scholarships, educational grants, and other industry resources at www.endowment.org. Donations to AFE are fully tax-deductible and combine with other contributions to grow AFE’s Corpus that supports these important industry programs.
The American Floral Endowment is a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the floriculture and horticulture industry through funding research, educational grants and scholarships. Since 1961, more than $16 million has been funded in research and educational projects, and more than $3 million has been funded in scholarships and internships designed to attract and retain the future leaders of the industry. To learn more about AFE or how you can support floriculture programs, visit www.endowment.org.