WHY THE AMERICAN SPANIEL CLUB FOUNDATION?
People often ask “why a foundation” since at first blush the American Spaniel Club Foundation may seem unnecessary or even in “competition” with ASC, but the answer is simple – ASCF is a critical component in the entities’ shared purpose of working for the health and welfare of spaniels. The ASCF is a non-profit corporation with the general-purpose to “engage in, advance, promote and administer charitable, scientific and educational activities and projects” on behalf of flushing spaniels and in particular cocker spaniels.
Both ASC and ASCF are non-profit or not-for-profit corporations, but because of their different, yet complementary purposes they have received different designations under section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code.
Founded in 1881, the American Spaniel Club, Inc., was first incorporated in 1948 as a non-profit corporation under the laws of the state of New York. For reasons that are unclear ASC was again incorporated under the laws of the state of New York in 1974 and the Certificate of Incorporation stated that ASC intended “at all times to qualify and remain qualified as exempt from income tax under Section 501(c)(3) of the United States Internal Revenue Code.” The stated purpose of ASC in the Certificate however was “to function as a dog club.” Interestingly, in minutes from a Board of Directors meeting in 1977, it was discussed that it was “more desirable” to be a 501(c)(3), because contributions would be tax-deductible. The IRS, however, gave ASC a 501(c)(7) designation, because as a dog club with dues-paying members it fell within the definition of a social club under the Internal Revenue Code. With the 501(c)(7) designation, ASC has tax-exempt status, but contributions to it are not tax-deductible.
In the early 90s, cocker spaniel health problems and rescue became pressing issues and concerns for ASC and its membership. At the urging of Board members Bill Cobb and Louise Milner, the Board of Directors of ASC voted to form a corporation to specifically address the health and rescue issues facing ASC and to meet the requirements for a 501(c)(3) designation in order to give donors a tax deduction for their monetary contributions. Thus, ASCF was formed in 1997 to maximize the ability to raise money for the challenges facing ASC, its members, and spaniels.
ASCF was not formed to be a competitor of ASC, but rather to be a cooperative partner working to promote the primary interests of ASC — our beloved spaniels. This partnership structure is very common in many non-profit organizations, including with other national parent clubs, and it provides an opportunity to have a club in which there are voting members while still allowing a vehicle for tax-deductible contributions.
SO WHY AMERICAN SPANIEL CLUB FOUNDATION?
To provide an opportunity for individuals to make tax-deductible contributions, an opportunity for corporations whose charitable giving programs call for education and research efforts to make tax deductible gifts, an opportunity for corporations to match donations through their matching gift programs, and most importantly, to support the efforts of ASC to raise funds to support educational programs, rescue and research for the welfare and betterment of the flushing spaniels that have given us so much love and joy.