Introducing the SAA Foundation

Did you know that SAA had a Foundation? We do and the Board had a lively and productive meeting in January.

Fynette Eaton, Foundation Board President provides information about the Foundation, its activities and goals. We hope you will consider contributing to the Foundation to help us continue the work to support the archival profession.

You’ve probably read it before:  The mission of the SAA Foundation is “To enrich the knowledge and enhance the contributions of current and future generations by championing efforts to preserve and make accessible evidence of human activity and records of enduring value.” To that end, the Foundation funds public and professional education initiatives through programs and scholarships. Other activities include research, publications, and awards.

You may know that the Foundation funds the SAA awards program, including such important scholarships as the F. Gerald and Elsie Ham Scholarship and the Mosaic Scholarship. That it has provided research and development funds that aided in the launch of SAA’s Digital Archives Specialist curriculum and certificate program and the Trends in Archives Practice module series.  And that it has continued to support archives recovering from disaster via the National Disaster Recovery Fund for Archives.

But you may not know that the SAA Foundation became a separate entity just a short time ago – in 2012.  (Previously the “Special Funds” were governed solely by the SAA Council.)  Since 2012 we’ve been focused on maintaining our previous activities and setting up our governance processes, including election of a full – and fully functioning – Board of Directors and creation of two key committees to help us in our work:  a Development Committee (chaired by Carla Summers) and a Finance Committee (chaired by Mark Duffy).

Now the real work begins!  We have an ambitious agenda for the coming year, including:

  • Drafting our funding priorities.  (In 2011 the SAA Council, functioning as the Foundation Board, adopted an excellent set of funding priorities that may well serve as the basis for our work.)
  • Developing policies and procedures for our grant making and disbursement of funds.
  • Consolidating the Foundation’s 17 funds into more manageable and understandable categories.
  • Preparing a development plan that includes a case statement and strategies for promoting planned giving, the annual appeal, and other fundraising efforts.
  • Creating a separate Foundation website.

We are very grateful to those individuals who donated a total of $42,434 to the Foundation between July 1 and December 31, 2013.   Thank you for your support!  We’ll make sure your gifts are put to good use on behalf of the archives profession.

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