February, 2004: "The Million Endowment and the United Way"

by Mike Bourland
American Football Coaches Foundation

Courtesy: AFCA
Release: 02/01/2004

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 from which all coaches benefit. 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. In recent installments of this column, we discussed the Foundation's new $20 Million Endowment Initiative ("Initiative"), explained how it functions for the AFCA, and demonstrated the strategic importance of your participation in the Foundation's new Initiative.

The AFCA is a tax-exempt trade organization; however, direct contributions to the AFCA do not qualify for an income or estate tax charitable deduction to the donor. The Foundation is a publicly supported, tax-exempt charity. Donations to the Foundation do qualify for an income and estate tax charitable deduction to the donor. In order to maintain the Foundation's 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. Each coach who is a member of AFCA, and those to whom the effect of his work is important, should be contributors to the Foundation. Donations from these sources are subject to specific rules and restrictions, which have been discussed in past articles. Your participation, and the participation of those you influence, 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 wealthy individuals, family foundations or corporations for the Foundation to maintain its favorable tax status. This rule is 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, foundations or corporations. 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, family foundation or corporation, and the Foundation still maintain its favorable tax status.

In addition to the ways described in prior articles for you and those within your sphere of influence to make a gift to the Foundation, you and others can make a gift to the Foundation through the United Way. Through this method of giving, the donor names the Foundation as his target charity on the United Way Pledge Card. In addition to specifying the "American Football Coaches Foundation" as the charity, the donor should insert the Foundation's federal tax number. That number is "EIN# 91-1932432". An attractive aspect of this method of giving is that it normally does not require an additional gift to be made to charity. It is simply a specification of the public charity to receive the benefit of a gift already determined to be made. Further it does not have to apply to the donor's entire United Way pledge. It can be a percentage, such as 50 percent, of the pledge. A coach might want to consider asking those within his sphere of influence, such as program supporters and the school with which he is associated, to encourage employees of their organizations to consider the Foundation as a designated public charity for all or part of their annual United Way gift. Finally, because United Way and the Foundation are publicly supported, tax exempt charities, the donor receives an income tax charitable deduction for the gift to the Foundation through the United Way giving program.

As stated before, the Initiative is an ambitious undertaking. It is strategic to the future success of AFCA. The accomplishment of the Foundation's Initiative will require contributions from many different sources, including the designation of the Foundation as your United Way target charity. Other estate, tax and financial planning techniques to support the Foundation's Initiative will be discussed in future installments of this column.

Return to Giving Opportunities

“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