Chantal Thomas—Director, Office of Development & Alumni Relations
Université de Montréal—Montreal
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Institutionally Related Foundations

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24th Annual Conference for Institutionally Related Foundations
Conference This annual meeting of foundation CEOs, CFOs, COOs, counsels and other senior professionals provides a forum to learn about the critical and emerging issues affecting institutionally related foundations. In-depth presentations by senior professionals set the stage for smaller elective sessions.

Foundation FAQs
Find answers to questions about institutionally related foundations: what they are, why they are established, how they are governed, and more.

IRF Update - February 13, 2015
News and activities of interest to institutionally related foundations

IRF Data Book: A Benchmarking Tool for Foundations
The IRF Data Book is designed to be a one-stop shop for institutionally related foundation executives and professionals interested in comparing data related to their foundation's structure, staffing and operations with their peers. The data book also allows CASE staff to explore trends in IRF management on an annual basis. Participation is open to CASE members, who can take the survey and then benchmark with peers throughout the year.

2015 Higher Education Government Relations Conference
Conference The 2015 conference program will showcase messages, strategies and tactics for articulating public higher education’s leadership role in fostering positive change on issues transcending virtually every human endeavor that impacts citizens, communities and states; from local to global. Conference participants will strengthen their ability to persuasively convey to state lawmakers and other stakeholders the collective economic and social good generated by public colleges and universities. Attendees will be equipped with the financing strategies and policies requisite to ensuring public colleges remain affordable, publicly-funded and of high quality, enabling them to remain stewards of their communities and states.Conference participants will also hear the very latest developments in state higher education funding and policy as well as federal legislation and regulations emanating from Congress and the Obama administration impacting colleges and universities.

Survey Results Highlight Community College Foundation Operations
Article,  BriefCASE Article More than three-quarters of respondents to a recent survey of community college foundations were either planning a major fundraising campaign, had one in progress or had recently completed one.

Survey Results Highlight Foundation Operations
Article,  Community College News Article More than three-quarters of respondents to a recent survey of community college foundations were either planning a major fundraising campaign, had one in progress or had recently completed one.

Foundation Accountability and Donor Privacy
This article includes resources and a selection of court rulings regarding foundation independence and donor privacy.

Results of the FY2013 Institutionally Related Foundation Data Book Survey
White Paper This white paper, using results from the 2013 IRF Data Book Survey, examines the structure of institutionally related foundations, their funding sources, staff composition and breakdown by department, campaign status, and methods used to ensure compliance with federal, state and local laws and regulations.

Get Compliant with Charitable Solicitation Laws
Article,  Community College News Article Community college advancement leaders should ensure that their institutions are compliant with complex charitable solicitation laws before fundraising outside of their home state.

Illustrative Memorandum of Understanding Between a Public Institution or System and an Affiliated Foundation
Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges and CASE
Report In 2005, AGB and CASE, working with a national task force, developed an illustrative memorandum of understanding that was widely promulgated and served as a model for agreements at many institutions and systems. While the principles informing the 2005 illustrative MOU remain sound, the context in which foundations operate has changed significantly. In 2014, AGB, CASE and an advisory group of public higher education leaders worked together again to revise the illustrative MOU and develop new recommendations regarding best practices in the development and implementation of MOUs.

Results of the FY2012 IRF Data Book Survey
White Paper This white paper, using results from the 2012 IRF Data Book Survey, examines the structure of institutionally related foundations, their funding sources, staff composition and breakdown by department, and methods used to ensure compliance with federal, state and local laws and regulations. When possible, it compares 2011 and 2012 survey results.

Foundations Increase Fundraising Goals
Article,  BriefCASE Article A new CASE survey of institutionally related foundations suggests that institutions are increasing their campaign goals with the improving economy.

Institutionally Related Foundation Strategic Plans
Sample Collection This CASE InfoCenter maintains this collection of strategic plans from institutionally related foundations. The collection is available to all members.

Board Documents
Sample Collection The CASE InfoCenter maintains this collection of board materials from alumni associations and institutionally related foundations. Samples include bylaws, board roles and responsibilities, committee structures and responsibilities, nomination and orientation material, and assorted other documents. The collection is available to all CASE members.

Boards of Alumni Associations and Institutionally Related Foundations
Good Question Does CASE have information about alumni boards and foundation boards? We’re looking for roles and responsibilities of each type, expectations for individual board members, committee structures, nomination and orientation materials, etc.

Community Colleges
White Paper White papers and reports related to Community Colleges

Fundraising Fundamentals, Section 3.6
Article This section from Fundraising Fundamentals discusses institutionally related foundations.

Track Everything Posted on Social Media
Article,  Community College News Article A skilled social media maven from an institutionally related foundation in Texas says college officials should measure the impact of everything they post on Facebook, Twitter and other similar networks.

Results of the 2012 CASE Compensation Survey: Institutionally Related Foundation Respondents
Report The IRF Compensation Report summarizes the results of CASE's most recent compensation survey just for institutionally related foundations (IRFs). The 42-page report contains data from 323 individuals employed at North American IRFs. The 2012 results provide a comprehensive view of compensation practices to help identify patterns across the profession. IRF salary data is broken down by criteria such as discipline/primary function, institution type, enrollment size, geographic area, supervisory level and tenure.

How Presidents and Development Directors Work Together
Article,  Community College News Article Mutual respect and common understanding are essential to productive relationships between chief executives and chief advancement officers at community colleges, says one such duo from a two-year institution in New York.

Advancement Research Tools Available at Your Fingertips
Article,  Community College News Article Benchmarking data and research about community college advancement programs are plentiful—if you know where to look.

China Sees “Dynamic Growth” in University Foundations
Article,  BriefCASE Article A new report by the China Foundation Center reveals a “dynamic momentum of growth” in university foundations in China from 2008 to 2010.

Moving Out
CURRENTS Article Several public college and university development shops in recent years have moved fundraising operations to new or existing institutionally related foundations. The benefits of such a move include better engagement of donors and alumni in development work, but transitioning the staff can be challenging.

Foundation Leader Recognized for Contributions to Profession
Article,  Community College News Article Betheny Reid, president of the Dallas County Community College District Foundation, was recently named the recipient of a 2012 CASE Commonfund Institutionally Related Foundation Award for her work. She hopes her institution’s rise from humble beginnings to the seventh-largest two-year college foundation will inspire her colleagues in the sector to embrace advancement.

Survey Looks at Institutionally Related Foundation Funding
Article,  Community College News Article About 72 percent of community college foundations had endowments valued at less than $10 million last fiscal year. The mean amount of private support raised per community college foundation was around $1.8 million. These are among the findings of a 2010 CASE survey of institutionally related foundations affiliated with public institutions of higher education in the United States.

White Paper: Most IRFs Relying on Endowment Management Fees to Fund Operations
Article,  BriefCASE Article Management fees on endowed gifts are the most common and significant funding sources for institutionally related foundations, according to survey results outlined in a new CASE white paper.

IRS: 275,000 Organizations Lose Tax-Exempt Status
Article,  BriefCASE Article On June 8, the Internal Revenue Service announced that 275,000 tax-exempt organizations have automatically lost their tax-exempt status for failure to file required annual information returns for three consecutive years. The list includes some local alumni association chapters, institutionally related foundations and fraternities and sororities.

Hawaii Law Exempts IRFs, Alumni Associations from Charitable Solicitation Registration Requirements
Article,  BriefCASE Article Institutionally related foundations and alumni associations are now exempt from charitable solicitation registration and reporting requirements in Hawaii.

Emerging from the Recession: Results of the 2010 Institutionally Related Foundation Funding Survey
White Paper How are institutionally related foundations funding their operations? How many rely on gift fees? How do foundations of varying sizes compare with their peers? This white paper reports on the findings of a 2010 CASE survey of 184 institutionally related foundations affiliated with public institutions of higher education in the United States. It includes exploration of trends from previous surveys, including a 2009 survey conducted during the recession.

Community College Foundations: An Analysis of a Survey Conducted by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education
White Paper This white paper on the structure and staffing of community college foundations reports the results of a CASE survey conducted in 2010. The survey asked community college foundation leaders to respond to questions about board and governance, staffing, alumni relations, budget/funding, fundraising/private support, campaigns, major gifts, endowment and donor outreach.

Management and Governance Checklist for Institutionally Related Foundations
This Management and Governance Checklist, developed by CASE and reviewed and approved by members of the National Committee for Institutionally Related Foundations, is intended for use by foundation staff and board members in conducting internal self-assessments and in examining the foundation’s activities to assure compliance with laws, standards and best practices.

Memoranda of Understanding
Sample Collection The CASE InfoCenter maintains this collection of memoranda of understanding or agreement between an institutionally related foundation and its host institution.

More Foundations Relying on Endowment Management Fee to Fund Operations
Article,  BriefCASE Article More institutionally related foundations are using a management fee on endowed funds to fund their operations, according to the results of a CASE survey on foundation funding sources and budget restructuring.

Institutionally Related Foundations and the Economic Downturn: Results of the 2009 CASE Survey on Foundation Funding Sources and Budget Restructuring
White Paper Find out how institutionally related foundations fund operations and how funding sources have changed in response to the economic downturn. This CASE white paper, which looks at the results of a survey of 98 foundations affiliated with U.S. public colleges and universities, explores the roles of management and gift fees, institutional support, reserves and other foundation funding sources and looks at steps foundations have taken to reduce expenses in challenging economic times.

AGB-CASE Illustrative Memorandum of Understanding Between a Foundation and Host Institution or System
The Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB) and CASE jointly developed this illustrative Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for institutions and foundations. It was designed to enumerate the elements that "best practice" suggests need to be considered for inclusion in an MOU. Ultimately, history, campus culture, and legal dictates will affect the contents of an institution's document.

Risk Management for Foundations
This series of four articles on risk management for institutionally related foundations was written by Thomas Atkins, a principal at Albert Risk Management.

Foundation Accountability
This article discusses accountability for institutionally related foundations.

Keeping the Piece
CURRENTS Article GASB Statement No. 39 sets new requirements for public colleges and universities to include financial data of "component units"--including many institutionally related foundations--in annual reports. This article explains what the requirement means for institutions and their affiliated foundations and offers guidelines for reaching compliance by the June 2004 deadline.

Walking the Tightrope
In this article from 2004, John Clinton, CEO of the Shippensburg University Foundation, compares the role of a foundation CEO to that of a tightrope walker. Considering the changing nature of foundation roles, Clinton suggests that foundations are evolving into the "entrepreneurial arms" of the colleges and universities they serve.

Valuable Support
CURRENTS Article Affiliated foundations can be valuable tools for public institutions, enhancing fund-raising ability and providing, through their boards, a means of creating closer relationships with influential friends and alumni. The article provides development staff with advice on the establishment of an institutionally related foundation, including important steps such as building on-campus support for the idea, developing a mission statement and a long-range plan, and recruiting board members.

Talking Points: Foundations for Excellence
CURRENTS Article The outstanding performance of endowments at public institutions has attracted negative reaction and raised many questions from observers. Orcutt provides basic answers to common questions, including why state-assisted institutions need private funds, why they need independent foundations to manage these funds, what foundation do with the funds, who determines how to use the funds, how foundations are held accountable for their performance, and how they pay their operating expenses.


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Volunteer members of the National Committee for Institutionally Related Foundations provide leadership and guidance to CASE.

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Institutionally Related Foundations Community

Connect with CASE members at institutionally related foundations on CASE Communities.

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IRF Update reports news and activities of interest to institutionally related foundations.

Read the latest IRF Update