College Columns Dec 2015 Issue - Page 2

Officers

Michael L. Cook

Chair

G. Christopher Meyer

President

Hon. Mary Grace Diehl

Vice-President

Richard E. Mikels

Vice-President

R. Patrick Vance

Vice-President

Melissa Kibler Knoll

Treasurer

Susan M. Freeman

Secretary

Board of Directors

Francis X. Buckley, Jr.

Lawrence D. Coppel

Robert M. Fishman

Hon. Robert E. Gerber

Annette W. Jarvis

Eric W. Lam

Stephen D. Lerner

Thomas E. Lumsden

Patrick Thomas McCarthy

Prof. Charles W. Mooney, Jr.

Edwin E. Smith

Claudia Z. Springer

Grant T. Stein

Jane L. Vris

Howard J. Weg

Deborah D. Williamson

Ex Officio Directors

D.J. (Jan) Baker

Mark D. Bloom, Chair, ACB Foundation

Emeritus Director

Paul M. Singer

Board of Regents

Marc A. Levinson

Chair, Board of Regents

Mark N. Berman (1st Cir.)

Dennis F. Dunne (2nd Cir.)

Karen A. Giannelli (3rd Cir.)

Richard L. Wasserman (4th Cir.)

Berry D. Spears (5th Cir.)

Judy A. O'Neill (6th Cir.)

Kenneth J. Malek (7th Cir.)

David A. Warfield (8th Cir.)

Jeffrey H. Davidson (9th Cir.)

Carl A. Eklund (10th Cir.)

Sarah R. Borders (11th Cir.)

Timothy R. Coleman

At Large

Hon. Joan N. Feeney

At Large

Prof. Melissa B. Jacoby

At Large

Scholar-in-Residence

Prof. Bruce A. Markell

Counsel

William J. Perlstein

Executive Director

Shari A. Bedker

American College of Bankruptcy

P.O. Box 249

Stanardsville, VA 22973

434-939-6004

www.amercol.org

Email: sbedker@amercol.org

President's Column

G. Christopher Meyer, President

The Patrons and Sponsors Program and the Foundation-- How Should I Support the College?

As the year draws to a close, we are all inundated with requests from religious, educational, and charitable organizations of all varieties, seeking our support for the good works that they do. And the College is no exception. By now, you have been solicited both for support of the College’s Patrons and Sponsors Program, as well as for donations to the American College of Bankruptcy Foundation.

Each year, we receive questions from Fellows asking about the difference between these two College fundraising efforts. Hopefully, a bit of background will clarify the distinctions and allow you to make a more informed decision about the vehicles through which you can support the College.

The Patrons and Sponsors Program. The Program has existed almost from the inception of the College. It was designed primarily as a method by which Fellows can support the numerous activities and programs of the College through contributions from their law firms and other business organizations. The Program currently provides three separate gift levels to accommodate businesses of differing sizes. The Sponsor level is $1500 annually, the Patron

level is $2500 and the Sustaining Patron level, at $5000, was added a few years ago.

The Patrons and Sponsors Program has been a resounding success. Funds raised through the Program now exceed $300,000 annually and comprise approximately 40% of the College's annual revenues. However, the Patrons and Sponsors Program is not particularly well-adapted for contributions by individual Fellows, small firms, judges, academics or government employees. Given the organizational nature of the College, direct contributions, while deductible by firms and other organizations as a business expense, are not deductible by individuals on a charitable basis.

The American College of Bankruptcy Foundation. Into this structural gap stepped Ray Shapiro. In 2001, Ray led the effort to form the American College of Bankruptcy Foundation. The Foundation was organized as a 501(c)(3) charitable foundation. As such, contributions from individual Fellows are tax-deductible. The structure has allowed academics and judges as well as small-firm professionals to maximize the benefit from their support for the College.

The Foundation has become the vehicle through which the College conducts its Pro Bono Grant program, which is the College’s signature outreach effort. In 2015, the Foundation made grants totaling $320,000 to 36 organizations in 21 states. In making pro bono grants, the Foundation utilizes both the direct contributions that it receives from Fellows and significant financial

continued on page 4