AFSA Gift Acceptance Policy
The American Foreign Service Association (AFSA) encourages gifts to the AFSA Scholarship Fund to meet its objective of helping Foreign Service employees, who are AFSA members, fund the high cost of college education by offering merit awards and financial aid scholarships to their children. In general, AFSA encourages gifts to be given without restriction in order to enable AFSA to distribute these funds in the most equitable manner possible. AFSA welcomes gifts both small and large. The management of the AFSA Scholarship Fund is as such: the AFSA Governing Board approves the AFSA Scholarship Fund operations and over-arching policies, and the AFSA Scholarship Committee oversees the AFSA Scholarship Program’s administration.
As of February 2015, AFSA has a scholarship endowment of $7.3 million dollars. In accordance with endowment industry standards, AFSA annually withdraws 5% of its value, based on a five-year average, to fund its program. This has enabled the AFSA Scholarship Fund to provide annual merit awards and financial aid scholarships averaging $250,000 dollars to approximately 82 recipients in the 2014/15 school year, rewarding high school seniors for their academic and art accomplishments and community service along with providing need-based aid for undergraduate college study.
- AFSA has established this Gift Acceptance Policy to assure consistent treatment of AFSA Scholarship Fund gifts and to establish fund management guidelines for AFSA and donors. AFSA is committed to developing and implementing fundraising activities in a manner consistent with the highest moral and ethical standards of philanthropy.
- The AFSA Scholarship Fund only accepts gifts that further its mission and purpose. Gifts accepted by AFSA shall be governed by the laws of the District of Columbia, terms of the AFSA Scholarship Fund Articles of Incorporation, terms of the AFSA Scholarship Fund Bylaws, terms of AFSA Scholarship Fund Gift Acceptance Policy, and terms of individual gift agreements. In the event of a conflict, the terms contained in the individual gift agreements shall govern.
- All restricted gifts that are donated shall be made in the form of individual gift agreements between the donor and the AFSA Scholarship Fund. Such agreements shall be in writing and contain this agreement and any other agreed upon terms in the individual gift agreement.
- The types of gifts accepted are: (A) Cash; (B) Securities; and (C) Other (real estate, property, etc.)
- The AFSA Scholarship Fund accepts gifts for projects and activities.
- Gifts are classified in three ways:
- Unrestricted (for gifts of any amount). The donor authorizes AFSA to use the gift at their own discretion, where it is needed most. This type of gift is encouraged as it enables AFSA to distribute funds in the most equitable manner. No more than a 5% administrative fee will be assessed on gifts in this category. No gift agreement is required.
- Temporarily Restricted (for gifts $1,000-$39,999). Typically, this is a gift that provides a specific amount for a specified period to support a particular activity. For example, a donor might give $10,000 to provide a financial aid scholarship of $2,500 per year for four years to be bestowed to only children of Foreign Service retirees. The gift may be named. When the gift is depleted, the scholarship ceases. No more than a 5% administrative fee will be assessed on gifts in this category. A gift agreement is required. AFSA has the discretion of depositing such gifts (those in the higher dollar ranges) into the AFSA Scholarship Fund’s endowment and to award such gifts in perpetuity.
- Permanently Restricted (for gifts over $40,000). Typically, this is a gift which will be bestowed in perpetuity, where the gift is named and is bestowed as a fixed amount per year in perpetuity. The gift is deposited into the AFSA Scholarship Fund’s endowment. No more than a 5% administrative fee will be assessed on gifts in this category. A gift agreement is required. Such individual gift agreements will identify which portion(s) (appreciation, interest, etc.) AFSA may access and identify purposes for which AFSA may use such portions of the gift. In the absence of any such specifications, all earnings thereon and appreciation thereon may be used for AFSA Scholarship Fund’s general purposes.
- Donors may not unilaterally alter gift restrictions once a gift is accepted by the AFSA Scholarship Fund.
- In the event that the original intended purpose becomes impossible or impractical to carry out, AFSA reserves the right, upon consultation with the donor where possible, to alter the purpose of the gift within general charitable giving guidelines.
- Gifts are classified in three ways:
- Management of Gifts: The AFSA Scholarship Fund shall have the right to invest all or any part of a gift accepted in accordance with AFSA’s Investment Policy.
- The AFSA Scholarship Fund shall have the right to include all or any part of a gift in any pooled or common charitable fund maintained by AFSA.
- The AFSA Scholarship Fund may use any appreciation, income, dividend or interest on gifts for any approved charitable purpose.
- The AFSA Scholarship Fund shall provide the donor with a written acknowledgement of the gift(s) accepted within 15 business days of said gift(s). Upon acceptance, the gift becomes the property of the AFSA Scholarship Fund and is final and irrevocable.
- Confidentiality of the Gift: All information about donors or prospective donors including names of beneficiaries, gift amounts, estate sites, etc. are confidential unless permission is obtained from the donor or donor contact to release this information. In absence of such release by donor, the AFSA has discretion to release such details.
- Lori Dec, Scholarship Director, (202) 944-5504