IFTA creates foundation to fund research
Mo Tougas, IFTA president.
The International Fruit Tree Association is setting up a non-profit foundation to fund tree fruit research projects.
In the past, it has funded research through its research committee, but the amount has been limited to what was generated on an annual basis. For example, in 2010, it provided funding totaling $33,700 for seven research projects.
IFTA President Mo Tougas of Northborough, Massachusetts, said that the board saw a need for a longer-term funding mechanism, such as an endowment fund that would be managed by a foundation. Several entities have indicated over the years that they would make significant donations to such a fund. The board recommended that $10,000 be transferred from retained earnings to the foundation to cover start-up costs.
Although it can take up to year for the U.S. Internal Revenue Service to approve a tax-exempt organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, the foundation can begin accepting donations as soon as the paperwork is filed, Tougas said.
Initially, the foundation will not be able to provide large amounts of money, but the board hopes that it will serve as a catalyst and provide seed money for researchers who can receive grants from other sources also.
The IFTA will continue to manage the Research Committee’s Request for Proposals and review and fund projects in 2012, since it is unlikely that the foundation will have enough funding until 2013.
The board will soon appoint five trustees to direct the foundation until official terms are outlined in written bylaws. Members who are interested in serving as trustees should contact Tougas or Rick Dungey at the IFTA office.