TOPIC: WHY BSUF?

What is our purpose?

BSUF supports British Commonwealth educational, scientific and literary institutions. Our primary mission is to promote active support of the fundraising efforts of British Commonwealth schools and universities by their U.S. alumni/ae and friends.  We also underwrite the cost of one or more British Marshall and Fulbright Scholarships annually, fulfilling our founders’ commitment to support the work of U.K. Scholars studying in the U.S. and U.S. scholars studying in the U.K.

This statement of purpose does not imply that the British Schools and Universities Foundation will become a conduit for gifts from donors in the United States to designated British educational institutions of their choice. IRS regulations require that the Foundation exercise its discretion to determine what British educational programs best serve the purposes of the Foundation.

What benefits does BSUF offer?

  1. BSUF can pay institutions' grants in Sterling at 100% of the amounts contributed by donors.
  2. Donors qualify for U.S. tax deductions.
  3. There are no fees or other charges to the institution or the donor. 

Why can't I donate to the foreign institution directly?

Generally speaking, to claim income tax deductibility, contributions must be made to an American charity approved by the United States Treasury. Donors are not permitted to take tax-deductions on gifts made directly to British educational institutions or, indeed, to any foreign charity. Neither is it permissible for American foundations to accept any funds earmarked for a beneficiary abroad.

However, there is no objection to an American foundation assisting selected overseas projects, nor to donors expressing a preference for a specific, approved off-shore institution. Thus, persons wishing to support British educational institutions may do so by contributing to the general funds of the British Schools and Universities Foundation.

Does BSUF charge a fee or commission for its services?

No. BSUF’s officers and Board of Directors are volunteers. The Foundation has no full-time staff or office overhead. Its minimal operating expenses (including a modest honorarium for the Executive Director) and scholarship awards are supported by income from investment of its own funds, by member dues, and by contributions from friends.”

What is BSUF's federal tax ID?

BSUF's Federal Tax Identification Number is 13-6161189. Download BSUF's Tax Exemption Certificate. This Foundation was approved on April 27, 1964 by the United States Treasury Department as a 501 (c) (3) charitable organization and subsequently as a public charity as defined in Section 509 (a).   

Why must donors express a preference for a supported institution? Why can’t they instruct BSUF where to send it?

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 formal charity within the meaning of the U.S. Code and hence no deduction would be allowed. If you would like to express a preference, please do so in a donor transmittal form or in the memo of your check.


TOPIC: DONATIONS

How will BSUF acknowledge a donation?

BSUF acknowledges every donation over $250 with a personal letter from the President of BSUF and an official receipt for tax purposes. The BSUF will also send a copy of the letter of acknowledgment (but not of the receipt) to the U.S. representative of the institution for which the donor expressed a preference. The BSUF will acknowledge every donation under $250 with a receipt.

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

If the donor expresses a preference for an institution we support, BSUF will notify that institution of the donation amount and the donor's contact information by e-mail the same day we receive the donation. 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.


TOPIC: APPROVING INSTITUTIONS & GRANT REQUESTS

What are the criteria used for approving institutions?

  1. Although there is no fixed minimum, it is desirable that an institution have a U.S. constituency of 25 or more individuals. 
  2. Institutions should designate one member of their U.S.-based constituency as its U.S. Representative in America. (The person chosen to represent an institution in the U.S. can make a big difference in the amount of support you receive.  You can download suggested guidelines for choosing a US representative for your institution.
  3. Please consult our Statement of Purposes and Policies for additional information. 

Must every approved institution have a designated U.S. Representative?  What are the duties of this Representative?

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, and based on the size and geographic dispersion of their constituencies.

How does BSUF approve grants for institutions? How frequently does it happen?

BSUF's Board of Directors meets once each Quarter - check our meeting schedule to see upcoming dates - to consider and vote upon grant recommendations for approval from the general fund. 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. We can accept checks in GBP but banks charge a large fee to convert to US $ which results in a smaller grant to an institution