February, 2003: "The Million Endowment Initiative"

by Mike Bourland
American Football Coaches Foundation

Courtesy: AFCA
Release: 02/01/2003

The vision of the American Football Coaches Association ("AFCA") is to provide education for American football coaches so that they can better serve the public, not only through the enhancement of their technical skills and coaching capabilities, but also through role modeling and character development for young men and young women. AFCA provides substantial benefits to its member coaches, at an extremely low cost, including the annual convention that we all recently attended and from which we all benefited. In order to provide these benefits, the AFCA must have available a large amount of revenue.

The American Football Coaches Foundation (the "Foundation") was created to raise funds to help promote and support AFCA's education vision and activities. The Foundation was created to provide financial resources for the AFCA through various fund development initiatives. This article is intended to introduce you to a new $20 million initiative of the Foundation, explain how it functions for the AFCA, and to demonstrate the strategic importance of your participation in this new initiative.

The AFCA is a tax-exempt trade organization; however, direct contributions to the AFCA do not qualify for an income tax charitable deduction to the donor. The Foundation is a publicly supported, tax-exempt charity. Donations to the Foundation do qualify for an income tax charitable deduction to the donor. In order to maintain this favorable tax status, the Foundation must meet certain guidelines in raising funds.

A big portion of these guidelines relate to the source of the financial support. A publicly supported charity like the Foundation maintains its favorable tax status by receiving a significant portion of its financial support from a lot of different donors. All coaches who are members of AFCA should be supporters of the Foundation. Permissible sources of this public support can come not only from contributions from coaches but also from people within the sphere of influence of the coaches. Donations from these sources are subject to specific rules and restrictions, which have been discussed in past articles.

The AFCA in the past has relied upon membership fees of its member coaches, two pre-season college football games, corporate sponsors and other sources to provide funds to accomplish its vision. Unfortunately, the revenue from the football games is no longer available resulting in a tremendous loss of revenue to AFCA. A significant AFCA need is to replace the revenue that has been lost from the two pre-season football games to support its programs. The Foundation must help replace this loss of financial support. Your participation is very important in order for the Foundation and AFCA to reach their goals.

Because the Foundation is a publicly supported charity and must receive a large portion of its support from a broad segment of the general public, the Foundation cannot rely solely on contributions from a few individuals who make large contributions if the Foundation is to maintain its favorable tax status. This rule was intended by the IRS to make sure that a publicly supported charity is responsive to a broad range of the public, benefits the public at large and is not controlled by a small group of wealthy individuals. Contributions build upon themselves; for every one dollar contributed by a coach or other individual, two dollars more can be raised from a wealthy contributor, or his or her family foundation, and the Foundation will maintain its favorable tax status.

To enhance the support to the AFCA, the Foundation is introducing, in this issue, a new initiative. It is the most ambitious fund development undertaking ever considered by the Foundation. The new program is a $20 million endowment initiative. The goal of the new initiative is to raise for the Foundation over the next 10 years a permanent fund in the amount of $20 million.

This endowment fund will provide $1 million a year of support for the AFCA vision, in perpetuity. This $20 million initiative is broken into 20 increments. Each increment is in the amount of $1 million. Each $1 million increment is further broken into 100 parts.

Each part is broken into 10 annual contribution pieces. Each annual contribution piece is in the amount of $1,000. The thrust of the new initiative is that 100 individuals will each agree to give $1,000 per year for 10 years, (i.e. total of $1 million) to honor their college football head coach in appreciation for all that person has meant to their lives. Honoring 20 college football head coaches by 2000 of their former players each committing to donate to the Foundation $1,000 per year for 10 years, will raise a $20 million endowment fund for the Foundation during the 10-year period.

Is this an ambitious undertaking? Sure! Is it strategic to the future success of AFCA? Certainly! Is it accomplishable? Absolutely! What do we do to get started? Begin thinking about the college football head coach you and others in your sphere of influence would want to honor. In future issues of The Extra Point we will discuss this new initiative further, will report on its progress and give ideas to help you present the new initiative to those with whom you have influence.

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“Coach George Smith is not only an influence on young people, but the influence is multiplied many times in the beliefs of the young people he helped mold into amazing human beings. George is an outstanding coach, but more importantly, he is an outstanding gentleman.” —Tina Jones, Principal of St. Thomas Aquinas High School