British Schools and Universities Foundation, Inc.
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    Frequently Asked Questions

Q.:  Does BSUF charge a fee or commission for its services?

A.:  No.  BSUF’s officers and Directors are volunteers and serve without compensation of any kind.  The Foundation’s minimal expenses are largely offset by member dues and investment income.


Q.: Why is it important that donors “express a preference” for the institution they wish to support with their donation – why can’t they just instruct BSUF where to send it?

A.: The IRS specifically permits donors to express a preference, and allows foundations to consider such expressions of preference in making grants.  However, foundations are required to exercise sole control and discretion over the use of contributed funds.  The IRS will not allow a deduction for a donation that is conditioned upon the funds being used as directed by the donor, because that leaves BSUF no discretion in using the funds and therefore does not represent a “gift”to BSUF within the meaning of the Code.  It would be a gift to the designated institution, but that institution is unlikely to be a  “charity” within the meaning of the U.S. Code and hence no deduction would be allowed.   


Q.: How are grants made, and how long does the process take?

A.: The Board of Directors meets once each Quarter to consider and vote upon grant recommendations.  Normally the Directors will approve grants equal to the sum of all donations with an expressed preference received since the previous Board Meeting.  No one has authority to make advance commitments on the Directors’ behalf with respect to size and timing of grants.  Once a grant is approved the institution will be notified by email and will be sent a check or wire transfer.  Notification of a grant includes a list of all the donors whose donations are included in the grant. 


Q.: How are grants acknowledged by BSUF?

A.: Every donation of more than $250 is acknowledged with a personal letter from the President of BSUF, accompanied by an official receipt for tax purposes.  A copy of the letter of acknowledgment (but not of the receipt) is sent to the U.S. Representative of the institution for which the donor expressed a preference.  Donations of $250 or less are acknowledged by sending a receipt.


Q.: Must every approved Institution have a designated U.S. Representative?  What are the duties of the person so designated?

A.: Yes, every Approved Institution must have a U.S. Representative to serve as a point of contact between that Institution, its U.S. alumni/ae and friends, and BSUF itself.  The duties of a U.S. Representative are left to the discretion of each Institution, owing to the lack of uniformity in the size and geographic dispersion of their constituencies.


Q.:  How does an institution learn that a donation has been made with an expression of preference for support of its programs or projects?

A.:   The Institution will receive an e-mailed report showing all such donations the same day that the donations are recorded in our database.  An institution may also request from BSUF (either directly, or through its U.S. Representative) a list of recent donors who expressed a preference for support of that institution. 


Q.: Why doesn’t BSUF include, with each grant check, a list of donors whose gifts were reflected in that grant?

A.: From the perspective of the Internal Revenue Service, BSUF is the “donor of record” for a grant.  BSUF may not disseminate information that is inconsistent with that presumption.


Q.: Can a donor’s expression of preference include not only the institution he or she wishes to have considered for a grant, but also a specific program, project or fund at that institution?

A.: Yes.  The Directors are not bound by the donor’s wishes, but they will give them due consideration.


Q.: If I mail a donation to BSUF this year, can I be sure that my preferred institution will be listed in this year’s Annual Report as having received a grant?

A.: Gifts mailed late in the year may not reach BSUF in time to be considered for a grant at the last Quarterly Meeting of the Board of Directors in early December.  Thus, the name of the institution receiving any grant relating to this gift would  be listed in next year’s Annual Report.


Q.: What is the advantage to be gained by donating securities to BSUF?

A.: If you donate securities that have appreciated in price since you acquired them, you are not liable for capital gains tax when BSUF sells them, but you nevertheless receive a tax deduction for the current market price of the securities.  One can use appreciated securities to fund a Charitable Remainder Trust that pays the donor an income for life and  names the donor’s preferred Institution as beneficiary at the donor’s death.


Q: Can I make a donation to BSUF and receive a tax deduction from the Canadian Revenue Service?

A:  No, but if you are a Canadian resident with US income you can make a donation to BSUF and claim a deduction from the US IRS against your US income.


Q.: How can I make a tax-deductible donation to benefit a British Commonwealth educational, scientific or literary organization that is not listed on your Website as an Approved Institution?

A.: You cannot use BSUF for such a purpose unless the institution of interest to you is on our Approved List.  You should encourage the institution to submit an application for approval of its programs and/or projects by BSUF’s Board of Directors.  To qualify for approval, an organization must be actively engaged in fundraising and have significant potential for attracting donations from people with U.S. tax liabilities (whether they reside in the U.S. or elsewhere).  Generally speaking, it should have 25 or more U.S. alumni/ae or friends who are prospective donors, or a realistic possibility for a few large donations.  The likelihood of approval is enhanced if the institution has a record of encouraging U.S. scholars and/or collaborating with like institutions based in the U.S.   Application forms for Approval of Institutions can be downloaded from this Website (see "Apply to BSUF”).  Completed forms must be signed by the head of the institution.  They should be mailed or scanned and e-mailed to BSUF’s Vice President for Institutions’ Approvals at:

              British Schools and Universities Foundation, Inc.
575 Madison Avenue, Suite 1006
              New York, NY 10022-2511


BSUF’s officers and Directors are volunteers and serve without compensation of any kind.  The Foundation’s minimal expenses are largely offset by member dues and investment income.





Postal address only: 575 Madison Avenue, Suite 1006, New York, NY 10022-2511

British Schools and Universities Foundation, Inc. is a non-profit educational, scientific and literary foundation.  This foundation is tax-exempt.  Contributions to it are deductible for Federal income tax purposes.  Bequests, legacies, devises, transfers, or gifts to it are deductible for Federal estate and gift tax purposes.