Work on creating an IFAJ Foundation is ongoing. The aim is to have a proposal ready for a decision at the Delegate Assembly at the congress in July.
The idea of an IFAJ Foundation was first presented to the Executive Committee two years ago, and a draft of statutes was reviewed at the Delegate Assembly in South Africa last year. Since then, the Presidium and Global Office have been investigating different possibilities and the issue has been further discussed at several Executive Committee meetings, most recently at the telemeeting in January.
Why A Foundation?
The overall objective to form a foundation is to find additional ways to finance IFAJ’s new and expanded initiatives mentioned in the updated constitution (2015) and the Vision 2020 strategic plan. Historically, IFAJ has relied on a relatively small group of commercial sponsors who identify with our objectives and understand the value in developing a long-term relationship. The creation of a charitable fund, commonly called a foundation, will provide an opportunity to engage with new partners, donors and sponsors.
Some donors require their contributions go to a registered charity (not just as a non-profit organization such as IFAJ). This provides them with regulatory oversight and tax benefits for their contributions as properly registered charities. IFAJ must respond to these new realities to be able to expand financial support for its global programs.
One Country or Two?
The Foundation (as a registered charity) will be established separate from IFAJ as a non-profit entity (which we call “IFAJ Inc.” in this article). One of the main decisions remaining in the process is to decide whether IFAJ Inc and the IFAJ Foundation will be registered in the same country, or two different countries.
The idea behind registering the two entities in different countries is for them to be arm’s length from each other—very distinctly separate—for tax purposes and in the transfer of funds from the Foundation to IFAJ.
It is also possible to have IFAJ and the Foundation registered in the same country. However, one of the questions still being examined for this option is whether that country’s regulatory authorities would view IFAJ and the Foundation as one and the same.
Who Is in Charge?
The IFAJ Delegate Assembly will approve the mission and bylaws of the Foundation and will nominate the board of trustees from amongst the IFAJ members. The Delegate Assembly will also be able to review the annual accounts of the Foundation. Once operational, the Foundation’s trustees will be responsible for making the decisions about how the Foundation’s funds will be managed and disbursed.
The Executive Committee will further discuss the proposal and statutes for the Foundation at the next telemeeting on April 25th. Next steps are to decide in which country the Foundation will be registered, as each country has slightly different requirements for setting up such an entity. The two main countries under consideration are UK and Ireland.
Once finalized by the Executive Committee, the mission and statutes will be submitted to the Delegate Assembly for approval. More detailed information and a complete proposal will be distributed before the Delegate Assembly to be held in The Netherlands this summer.