2022 Milestones

By Mark Brunetz, National Spokesperson, DFAD

“I will not follow where the path may lead, but I will go where there is no path, and I will leave a trail.” – Muriel Strode

Upon the launch of Design For A Difference (DFAD), if you had asked me what the qualitative and quantitative measure of success behind DFAD would be, I could have never been able to come up the answer that I can today. With the new year upon us, this is when the team behind DFAD traditionally takes a detailed look at what has transpired with the program over the past year to generate a running total of our specific measurable results.

With that said, here are our DFAD 2022 milestones:

  • Over $8.2M and counting in goods and services have been contributed to non-profit organizations in the U.S. and Canada. This represents a $650,500 increase over 2019 milestones.
  • 287 spaces at local charities have been transformed showing an increase of over 40 spaces since 2019
  • 311 designers have directly contributed to DFAD projects with over 520 designers engaged in the program since its inception. This includes 214 designers who entered DFAD as a contest in 2013-2014 by submitting design concepts for charity of choice.
  • Over 39,000 professional interior design hours have been contributed pro bono to DFAD projects.
  • Over 1,370 local, regional, and national sponsors have donated to DFAD projects notably Shaw Floors, LinkedIn, and Hunter Douglas—to name a few.
  • Over 135 active students from various interior design schools have participated with DFAD. This includes approximately 20 students who competed in teams in 2020 for the winning design at Life Moves in Silicon Valley.
  • Over 13,500 members of the community have attended DFAD events in IDG showrooms with the most attendance at a single event surpassing 350 guests.
  • Ten IDG showroom members have received prestigious civic awards for their participation with DFAD among other initiatives.
  • DFAD is responsible for the largest pro bono makeover of a non-profit organization in U.S. history topping $600K in retail value.
  • DFAD projects have been conducted in 21 cities throughout the U.S. and Canada.
  • DFAD expanded with a virtual contest called Community Heroes: Home Is Where the Heart Is that included 39 nominations from people representing all regions of the U.S. Public voting generated over 1,100 votes.
  • DFAD has been featured in all forms of media including television, print, radio and on various digital and social platforms.
  • DFAD Ambassador program was established in 2015 and consists of 11 seasoned interior designers representing seven U.S. states. All have conducted multiple DFAD projects and eight have undergone extensive media training at CCA headquarters.
  • A library of over 40 broadcast quality videos focusing on city-based projects and designer interviews coast-to-coast. All content is available on the DFAD website and IDG YouTube channel.
  • DFAD opened its on-line shop in 2020 offering branded DFAD lifestyle products for consumers who wish to support the cause.
  • DFAD projects have impacted people from all walks of life; from infants to elders, neighbors to essential workers, interacting with nearly every ethnicity and culture in America including individuals across the vast socio-economic spectrum. A few four-legged friends have also been a part of our journey.

While these milestones tell an important story, it’s not the complete story. After participation in a DFAD, participants have reported increase in sales, change in careers, increased staff morale, and above all, a stronger connection to their families and their communities. And a few romantic relationships have been sparked along the way as well. To detail the true value of the experience with the program by every individual, organization and company that has participated would take more than one blog post, and surely, be one for the books.

In retrospect, what began as a simple idea eight years ago, has grown organically into a movement that has called upon so many of us. And more recently, during a time of civil division, DFAD had the ability to pierce the veil of our differences and unite people in unimaginable ways. Whether it was supporting the amazing grace at Dalton’s Food Pantry in Indianapolis, providing a stable and functioning safe harbor for our Latino community in Madison, or calling upon the gentle giants of our equine friends to rehabilitate those suffering with PTSD, DFAD left no stone unturned.

As the new year brings new endeavors, I want to be the first to say thank you to everyone who believed in the power of design to transform not only space, but people. This includes our IDG members, staff, our incredible pool of designers, the DFAD Ambassadors, local sponsors, and volunteers. Your generous hearts will forever be imprinted on the soul of humanity.

While we continue to be mindful of the energy we contribute and humbled by the benefits we receive, let DFAD be an unapologetic reminder of what life has to offer, for us and all of those around us.

Here’s to you in ’22.

About Mark Brunetz

Mark Brunetz is the National Spokesperson for Design for a Difference.

He is a well-known interior designer who is dedicated and passionate about not only creating stunning designs that suit his client’s needs, but also giving back to the community.