Each year the proceeds from the Make the Connection event benefit a local 501(c)(3) nonprofit in the Architecture, Engineering or Construction industry.

2018 Beneficiary

Homes for Sonoma

One week after the fires disrupted and destroyed parts of our community a small group of designers, architects, builders and community leaders called a meeting to discuss how to help our friends, families and neighbors. With so many displaced residents in the aftermath of the fires, we felt an urgent need— really a duty—to provide a clear, practical, responsible way to rebuild our community in a way that not only served the immediate needs of those who lost their homes, but would also help address the long-term affordable housing situation in Sonoma County.

Our goal in coming together is to provide leadership and direction in our collective journey to rebuild our homes, our communities, and our lives. By putting our plan into action we can provide affordable, high-quality homes to our neighbors who need housing and build a strategy for longterm needs.

2017 Beneficiary

Rooms of Hope

Make the Connection raised nearly $13,000 for Rooms of Hope in 2017!

Rooms of Hope is a local Bay Area non-profit whose mission is to provide dream room makeovers for children with life-threatening illnesses. Our purpose is to surround these children with love and create the space of their dreams, may it be their bedroom, playroom or other refuge away from all the medical tests and treatments they must endure at the hospital. Daily routines go from being “normal” to being all about hospital visits or being at home while the rest of world moves forward.  Rooms of Hope brings something wonderful to look forward to and gives each child their voice.  This gift goes on well beyond the amazing reveal of their dream space.  We are about bringing hope and joy to seriously ill children as they fight for their lives. These spaces are very personal and are built to represent the child’s unique personality, filled with everything that is meaningful.  Each child is paired up with an interior designer and project manager who listen to that child’s dreams for their room, and together, design a space that meets not only the immediate functional, storage, and medical needs, but also allows that child to begin healing and dreaming about tomorrow….  Along with the Interior Designer and Project Manager comes construction specialists including licensed contractors and electricians, as well as muralists, artisans, painters, seamstresses and dedicated volunteers with one focus:  Bringing hope and joy while creating spaces that matter!


2016 Beneficiary

Construction Industry Workforce Initiative (CIWI)

Make the Connection raised $14,000 for CIWI in 2016!

In 2012, CIWI was created to develop internship opportunities for low-income, first generation college students with an interest in Construction/Development/ Architecture (Professional Services). These young adults have been largely unrepresented in our industry at the professional level and CIWl's mission is to provide direct opportunities and promote a path to long term employment within the Construction/Development/ Architecture field (horizontal and/or vertical construction). Our three educational/community-based partners include College Track, Juma Ventures and East Bay College Fund and we work closely with them to recruit for these internship positions.

We have developed a fantastic, innovative and grass roots program to be considered. In addition, we were recently awarded funding from SF PUC, through their Project Learning Grants program. As such we are committed to leveraging funding secured through MTC with funding from SF PUC to implementing CIWl's LEED+Sustainable Infrastructure Program (L +SIP).

The L+SIP program provides an innovative format to learn about the LEED program (history, mission and goals, applications and strategies) as it relates to both vertical and horizontal construction, as well as how it ties into San Francisco's existing utility system and SF PUC's Sewer System Improvement Program (SSIP) in the near future. We are thrilled to incorporate a focused LEED and Sustainable Infrastructure Program (L +SIP), including its workshop series, technical training, guest speakers, presentations, and SFPUC and SF D10 (Bayview/Hunters Point} site tours, including HOPE Vi's Hunters View community and other development sites.

Check Presentation to CIWI

2015 Beneficiary

The Cypress Mandela Training Center

Make the Connection raised $15,735 for Cypress Mandela, Inc.

The Cypress Mandela Training Center in Oakland, CA, offers a free 16-week pre-apprenticeship program for Bay Area men and women over 18 years old. Training is both hands-on and in the classroom, and prepares students for skilled trade jobs that are relevant to today's construction industry. Students have the opportunity to earn college credits from UC Berkeley, UC Davis, or Laney College. In the past two years, over 85% of the graduates were placed in jobs.

PHOTO 2015

2014 Beneficiary

ACE Mentor Program

Make the Connection raised $7,145 for ACE Mentor Program.

Founded in 1994, the ACE name stands for Architecture, Construction and Engineering. The ACE program helps to mentor high school students and inspires them to pursue careers in design and construction. It’s now the construction industry's fastest-growing high school mentoring program, reaching over 8,000 students nationwide every year.


Here in the Bay Area, the ACE Mentor Program Affiliate was formed in 2002 and we started with 40 students and 25 volunteer mentors from the San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose regions. Today, we are a growing organization with 300 students and 150 mentors. Students come from high schools all over the Bay Area –San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose, the Peninsula, Contra Costa County, Marin and Vallejo.


Our mission is to engage, excite and enlighten high school students to pursue careers in architecture, engineering, and construction through mentoring and to support their continued advancement in the industry.
The ACE Mentor Program of America, Inc. not only engages sponsors and volunteer mentors to expose students to real-world opportunities, it financially supports each student's continued success through scholarships and grants. Since 1994, ACE has awarded over $14 million in scholarships to promising participants nationwide.


2013 Beneficiary

Architectural Foundation of San Francisco (AFSF)

Make the Connection raised $9,204 for the Architectural Foundation of San Francisco

AFSF seeks systemic change in K-12 public education by invoking the creative power of the design process to engender a culture of curiosity and personal initiative in our students.

AFSF involves elementary and secondary students in a mentored appreciation of architecture, engineering, construction and the design process. Our programs are unique, combining architects, engineers, designers and business leaders with expertise in the practical world of design and development with teachers’ knowledge of their academic discipline and their skills in pedagogy. This combination of professionals allows students to become the artists and creators they were meant to be. It brings meaning and context to their education.

2013 photo
1 percent

2011 Beneficiary

Public Architecture's "The 1%"

Make the Connection raised $3,700 for Public Architecture's "The 1%"

The 1%, a program of Public Architecture, asks design firms across the country to commit one percent of their billable hours to pro bono service, and provides any nonprofit access to those services through our online matching platform. Launched by Public Architecture in 2005 with the support of a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, The 1% has grown to more than 1,000 firms pledging more than 38 million dollars in pro bono design to more than 500 nonprofits across the country. The 1%’s online platform and partnerships with leading professional associations and national nonprofits make The 1% the leading national resource for nonprofits seeking to improve the built environment.

Public Architecture is a national nonprofit organization established in 2002. We engage architecture firms, nonprofits, and manufacturers to commit to design for the public good through The 1% program; we act to bring about positive community change through public-interest design initiatives; and we share the potential of design to change the world through advocacy and outreach.

2012 photo

2011 Beneficiary

LEAP: Arts in Education

Make the Connection raised $8,200 for LEAP: Arts in Education

Leap's residency programs place professional teaching artists into Bay Area elementary and middle schools to enhance the classroom curriculum through creative projects. Dynamic educators who are professional painters, sculptors, performers, musicians, dancers and architects represent Leap in these schools.

2011 photo

2009 & 2010 Beneficiary

Philanthropy By Design

Make the Connection raised $7,000 for Philanthropy by Design, and in 2009 the event raised $1,200.

Our mission is to transform nonprofit environments through design.
PBD is a volunteer network of design industry professionals. We renovate the interior environments of community service organizations and save tons of furniture from the landfill through creative reuse. Our work benefits thousands of under served Bay Area residents; at-risk youth, abused women, seniors, AIDS patients and homeless people, bringing them hope, inspiration and comfort.

2009 photo