Apr 15, 2024 By Jessica Jones
2023 Catalyst Grant: Moving Chapters Forward
Chapters reach their goals and make lasting achievements with funding from our Catalyst Grant program
By Jessica Jones Apr 15, 2024
Published in Chapters

(Above Image: Presentation of IDEA winning project during South Dakota Chapter Design Awards. Image courtesy of IIDA Great Plains Chapter)

The IIDA Catalyst Grant helps our chapters achieve growth and expand their reach to the local design community. With the help of the Catalyst Grant, chapters are able to reach their yearly goals enhancing their membership and making an impact in their communities. The 2023 awardees all had varying goals, some to increase membership, educate their communities, and advocate for the interior design profession in their states. One common goal seen amongst all is to expand community outreach and create impactful events where members walk away with experience and knowledge. Read below to see what each of these amazing chapters accomplished in 2023 and the successfulness of those achievements.

IIDA Gateway Chapter

Community Impact: To expand community outreach and create more EDI and environmental impact events.


  • Launched a Community Impact Committee. This new committee focuses on bringing equity, diversity, and inclusion into each of the chapter programs and helps increase community outreach and environmental impact opportunities.
  • Created “Give Back Day,” where the chapter performs community outreach with volunteer opportunities in the St. Louis community, supporting several local organizations with up to 82 volunteers.
  • Developed “Environmental Week” to bring awareness to a specific aspect of sustainability and green building within design.

IIDA Great Plains Chapter

Add the South Dakota: To grow membership and awareness of IIDA in South Dakota while providing equal opportunities for members to further celebrate, advocate and elevate interior design in all four of the chapter’s city centers and its six campus centers.


  • Created a South Dakota City Center tour event giving members and potential members the opportunity to see an IDEA winning project presentation from the chapter awards.
  • Developed the Fall Coffee and Connects event offering both current and new members the opportunity to gather in community with one another and learn about the benefits of IIDA.

IIDA Indiana Chapter

Design Expo Speaker Symposium: To grow chapter membership by celebrating, advocating, and creating opportunities for members.


  • Hosted a speaker symposium during the 2023 Design Expo event featuring three speaker sessions focused on wellness, advocacy, and leadership.

IIDA Michigan Chapter

GOAL: Influencers in Design Breakfast series: To help further the advancement of the chapter’s advocacy initiatives by establishing a series where leaders in the Michigan interior design industry can discuss and learn how to advocate for the interior design profession.


  • Established an ongoing event series with the creation of the Influencers in Design Breakfast.
  • Developed an advocacy newsletter to be shared with chapter members to provide continued updates about advocacy efforts in Michigan.
  • Actively created spotlights from member testimonials to highlight Michigan’s interior designers and what advocacy means to them. Shared as part of the Michigan Consortium for Interior Design communication strategy.

IIDA Mid-America Chapter

Advocacy Through Awareness series: To introduce the importance of activism, education, and influencing policy making by developing a strategy that brings awareness and provides direction for a legislative solution that can span across Missouri.


  • Developed two webinars to discuss the current status of what the interior design profession is advocating for and what to expect when going to the State Capital for advocacy day.
  • Established the Influencers: Bowling for Change annual event where members discussed their why for advocacy and wrote letters to legislature while enjoying community amongst one another.
  • Developed an Advocacy Day where members met with legislatures to educate them on the current issues interior designers face.
  • Added an Advocacy page to the chapter website.

IIDA Mid-Atlantic Chapter

GOAL: IIDA Mid-Atlantic Chapter website: To update and rebrand the chapter website to be more user-friendly and increase engagement, transparency, and connection with members.


  • Filled all 13 board member positions.
  • Since launching the rebranded website, the chapter has hosted a CEU event, project tour, breast cancer awareness event, and a morning mixer event on storytelling. All events had a range of 25-45 attendees.
  • Engaged over 500 ticketed attendees during our showcase signature event, of which all attendees found information through the new website.

IIDA New England Chapter

Access Pass program: To provide chapter members with access to membership and events.


  • Developed a membership recruitment drive program.
  • Developed and launched the Access Pass Portal on the chapter website.
  • Awarded Access program sponsored IIDA memberships to 11 people, six of those included new members.

IIDA New York Chapter

Artists for Humanity (AFH): To aid AFH in providing a safe and supportive environment where teens are employed to explore their voice, be mentored by design professionals, and understand that a career path in design is a viable future.


  • Provided funds for paint, paint supplies, and art materials for a community mural to be completed by the teenaged participants for a beautification project for Kingsbridge Community Center.
  • Offered additional mentoring opportunities to students.

IIDA Ohio/Kentucky Chapter

Produce an “IIDA is Better for Business” booklet: This booklet will communicate the value of membership in IIDA—from member benefits and the value of joining a professional organization for individuals and firms—and function as a tool for professionals and students to negotiate membership dues with their employer.


  • Developed programming for firm leaders in five city centers.
  • Hosted the first chapter-wide Design Awards celebration in 2022.
  • Expanded chapter member perks to include NCIDQ study opportunities and EDI coaching.
  • Developed Enrich, a fund supporting lifelong learning for chapter members.

IIDA Oregon Chapter

Resource kit: To expand chapter reach and increase professional and student membership by attending at least one tradeshow, one university career day, and two K-12 career days in the Portland metro area.

We attended the:

  • University of Oregon Career Fair
  • NorthWest Youth Career Expo
  • “Good OL’ Fashioned Trade Show”
  • And created an internal committee on our board of directors to develop display content for resource kit

IIDA Rocky Mountain Chapter

Empower Through EDI: To implement supportive promotional efforts through social media, the chapter website, and our weekly chapter newsletter “Lowdown.”


  • Increased our annual sponsorship by 21% since 2023
  • Increased follower count to a total of 4,133 across all social media platforms (Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.)
  • Sold over 1,823 tickets to chapter events

IIDA Southern California Chapter

Rebranding campaign: To transform our chapter’s vision, mission, and core values leading to increased engagement with membership, industry partners, and the design community at large.


  • Increased sponsorship by 70%
  • Reached the 900+ chapter membership goal by December 2023
  • Developed a new vision and mission statement
  • Developed five new core values
  • Developed a new chapter brand playbook

IIDA Southwest Chapter

New Mexico lobbyist: To fund lobbyist expenses for both New Mexico and Arizona to defend interior design rights.


  • Developed funding for New Mexico lobbying
  • Our chapter lobbying efforts and support from local practitioners helped us to pass legislation that counteracted a bill that would have sunsetted and ultimately, dissolved the New Mexico Interior Design Board and removed the protected title of “Licensed Interior Designers” for those licensed professionals in New Mexico.

Learn more about the Catalyst Grant and how your chapter can apply

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