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Baldrige Foundation Celebrates 30th Anniversary of Its Founding

Foundation Funding Responsible for $32 Billion in Economic Benefit

Representative Doug Walgren of Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District introduced H.R.812, the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Improvement Act of 1987, on January 28, 1987. That bill, which was enacted as Public Law 100-107 on August 8, 1987, established the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.

The mechanism for granting these awards, established in the law, is a public-private partnership housed in the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) within the Department of Commerce. The legislation provides authority to seek and accept gifts from private sources to carry out the program. The Foundation for the Malcolm Baldrige Quality Award was created to raise funds to endow the partnership.

“Today, February 8, 2018, we celebrate the 30th anniversary of the incorporation of the Baldrige Foundation” said Foundation President and CEO Al Faber. “For thirty years, the Foundation has been the primary source of private funding in support of the National Quality Award and the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program (BPEP) within NIST.”

Board PhotoThe Baldrige Foundation Board of Directors and special guests recently celebrated the Foundation’s 30th birthday. Shown here are (from left) Board Secretary Paul Worstell, Vice Chair Dr. Kathryn Eggleston, E. David Spong, Todd McQueston, Sunil Sinha, Board Chair Dr. P. George Benson, Dr. Walter Copan, Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Foundation President and CEO Al Faber, Rulon Stacey, Debbie Collard, Lowell Kruse, Robert Fangmeyer, Director of the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program, Brian Lassiter, Board Chair of the Alliance for Performance Excellence, and Willian Troy, CEO of the American Society for Quality.

“The role of the Foundation,” Faber continued, “is to secure the future of the National Quality Award Program, and we do that by raising private funds and advocating for the program. Since 1988, the Foundation has transferred to the Department of Commerce over $40 million, with $19 million of that coming since federal funding ended in 2011.”

Baldrige is a leadership and management framework with a systems level, customer driven organizational assessment and design approach that has proven to enhance the performance of organizations across every sector of the economy compared to non-Baldrige peers. Baldrige generates an empirically-documented return on investment of $820 in cost savings and performance enhancements for each $1 spent supporting the Baldrige Enterprise. The relevant data can be found here:

“The math is easy,” said Faber. “That works out to about $32 billion in economic benefit resulting from Foundation transfers to the Department of Commerce. That supports the assessment of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross who said at the Quest for Excellence® conference last April that Baldrige generates about $1 billion in economic activity each year.”

In its 30th year, the Foundation’s efforts continue on two parallel tracks.

“First,” said Faber, “we are advocating for the restoration of federal appropriated funds to support the Baldrige program at NIST. That would give us the ability to seek private donations and rebuild the endowment with a goal of providing a source of private funds to permanently endow the National Quality Award, Baldrige Program, and to help strengthen state-based programs.”