About Gift for Life
Gift for Life was founded in 1992 by a small group of gift industry professionals who felt compelled to respond to the tragic loss of talented friends and colleagues to AIDS. Since then, we’ve grown in numbers and gained significant visibility within the gift and home industries, while raising more than $5,000,000 for life-saving AIDS research and education.
In 2008, Gift For Life selected DIFFA: Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS, one of the largest funders of HIV/AIDS service and education programs in the United States, as our sole charity partner. Since its founding in 1984, DIFFA has mobilized the immense resources of the design communities to provide more than $40 million to hundreds of AIDS organizations nationwide. The two organizations not only share a mission to eradicate the AIDS pandemic in the U.S. and abroad, but also have many of the same partners, supporters, and friends.
Gift For Life is managed by a volunteer Board of Directors whose members donate their time, energy and resources to help unite the gift and home industries against AIDS. Makeup of the Board typically includes manufacturers; sales representatives; retailers; trade mart and trade show executives; editors, publisher and industry content providers; public relations and marketing professionals; and industry consultants. From within that group, standing sub-committees on Development, Marketing and Special Events exist to continue the group’s forward momentum in reaching their respective industries and goals throughout the calendar year.
A number of fundraising events are held across the country to support Gift for Life, during trade shows, conferences, and at markets. Each winter, however, efforts focus on our primary fundraising vehicle, an annual celebration held during the New York International Gift Fair (late January or early February). This vibrant, entertaining event is tailored specifically to engage today’s non-profit contributors.
In a word, we wanted to have a whole lot of fun while supporting a good cause.
Gift For Life activities also include cause-related marketing, promotions, and solicitation of corporate and individual donations. All proceeds from Gift For Life activities go directly to DIFFA and donations are tax deductible.
The Gift for Life Industry Achievement Award
Each year, Gift for Life selects an individual who has had significant, positive impact on the gift and home industries, then honors them with the prestigious GFL Industry Achievement Award. Honorees have included a number of industry luminaries, including Eugene Freedman, Andrea Grossman, Skip Ungrodt, Bert Tonkin, Will Little, Peer Baekgaard, Randy Eller, and John C. Portman, Jr. To see a complete list of honorees, click here.
In 2009, presentation of the award was moved from the annual January fundraiser to the Retailer Excellence Awards dinner, held during the summer trade show season, in conjunction with the New York International Gift Fair.