One of the roofing industry's great success stories is the establishment of The Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress, which was created in 1996 with a goal of building a permanent endowment fund to pay for education, training and research for the good of the industry.
When the Alliance began, the goal was to raise $7 million, spend $1 million and leave $6 million to fund projects. With 148 members currently, the Alliance has raised more than $12 million, spent more than $4 million on important projects and is left with a permanent fund of more than $9 million.
That's good, but we can—and should—do better. With the issues the industry is facing (finding workers, developing training programs, countering the effects of government regulation and educating the design community, among many others), there is an endless need for new project funding. The Alliance has been considering a number of approaches to satisfy that need; obviously, they all involve generating more revenue. Certainly, the Alliance can add more members. Current members also may be asked for voluntary contributions to fund new projects.
And most recently, the Alliance, working with a consultant, established the framework for a new planned giving program for those who want to leave a legacy to the industry that has provided them with their livelihoods.