By John Eads – DSC Foundation Treasurer
As a Certified Public Accountant, current Treasurer and member of the Board of Directors of DSC Foundation, I would like to provide an update on your Foundation. Other officers and members of the Board are President, Richard Cheatham, Secretary, Tori Nayfa, and Board members Karl Evans, Craig Nyhus, Jim Tolson, and Mark Little. All Board members are elected by the DSC Board.
The governance of DSC Foundation is on solid ground. Our leadership is a dedicated group of likeminded passionate hunters just like you that want our mission to succeed. We especially owe a debt of gratitude to our President, Richard Cheatham. Richard has worked tirelessly for the Foundation and a lot of our successes are due to his leadership efforts. He has virtually lived with this organization since its inception. We are indebted to him. If you get a chance, tell him thank you!
It has been three years now since the DSC Foundation was formed. What I want to focus on is the soundness of the operations, stewardship, fundraising and media outreach of your organization.
When the organization was formed in the summer 2015, your Foundation had sought the assistance of one of the most respected law firms in Washington, D.C. for non-profit organizations – Venable LLP. This has been the major law firm we have engaged, and their advice has been excellent. They assisted us in making application for and securing our exempt status with the IRS, setting up our by-laws, other tax advice, and organizational structure. We also sought legal assistance from Steve Grimmer involving our trademark application.
As you may already know, your Foundation is an IRS tax exempt approved 501(c)(3) charity. Your donations to your Foundation are tax deductible and we thank you for them.
So, one of the first questions in your mind may be: How do you take care of the money I donate to the Foundation? My immediate response is your Board and Officers take our fiduciary responsibility very seriously. We have put many controls in place to ensure the safety and stewardship of your dollars.
Here is some financial information and some of those controls among others that are utilized by the Board and Officers:
- Financially, your Foundation is in excellent shape. As of July 31, 2018, we had unaudited Total Assets of $1,337,570, Grants Payable of $773,725 and Total Net Assets of $530,137. From inception through December 31, 2017 we had received contributions, grants, fundraising, chapter revenue, and other revenues, gains and support of $3,418,630. We have awarded grants of $2,079,604. Our expenses are under control with most of the expense being for our contract video production and media services of $608,574, which has really paid off for us.
- Earlier this year, we voluntarily engaged an independent Certified Public Accounting firm to audit our financial statements from inception of the organization through December 31, 2017. We will continue to have our financial statements audited annually. I am happy to report we received a clean opinion on this recent audit and had no management issues. The report has been reviewed and accepted by your Board of Directors and is on file at our Foundation office.
- At every regular meeting of our Foundation’s Board of Directors, a written and oral report of Foundation activities and review of the previous months Statement of Financial Condition is given. This information is also provided to the DSC Board of Directors and Officers at their regular monthly meeting.
- Our daily accounting is independently handled by two contracted sources from receiving donations, which we track on a restricted/unrestricted basis, to depositing funds, from handling our grant applications received to documentation and maintenance of our approved grants, from receipt of vendor invoices to approval and payment, to keeping our financial records and preparing our monthly internal financial statements. All contractual expenditures are reviewed and approved by the Board of Directors and all vendor invoices to be paid are reviewed and approved by the President and the Treasurer and reported to the Board. Our bank accounts are reconciled monthly. Dual signatures are required on checks of $20,000 or more.
- We are current on all our Form 990, Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax Returns and are not under any examination by the IRS. Always good news!
- Comprehensive policies, procedures and documents for the Foundation grant process were created by your Foundation and subsequently copied and adopted for use by Dallas Safari Club. Safeguards were developed and implemented for the disbursement of grant funds. Reporting requirements for grantees were adopted and implemented. A policy of reporting every grant made in the calendar year on the DSC Foundation website is implemented. I hope you will visit our website at www.dscf.org to see more on grants your Board has approved. We review each grant request received. Those awarded are all outstanding grant recipients.
Now for some exciting information. Gifts to our Foundation are its life blood. Last fall, I approached your DSCF Board on the idea of a Donor Recognition Wall. Well, it is coming to fruition. Stay tuned, because it is being installed at our DSC offices and we will have a grand dedication in September where we will specifically invite donors who will be recognized at the event and all of you to attend. You will be able to see the We Hunt for Life Donor Wall for yourselves. This is a living customized display that will recognize donors to our Foundation toward our We Hunt for Life Campaign. Names of donors can be updated periodically. Donation recognition levels begin at $1,000+ up to $250,000+. There is a live digital TV screen that will show Foundation videos of efforts on your behalf to meet our mission, updated information on donors and Foundation efforts and in some cases, live streaming of activities of your grant recipients. This live source will be active and accessible worldwide through the web.
Speaking of gifts being the life blood of your Foundation, you can be a part of the Donor Wall and donate to your Foundation in many ways. See our Ways to Give brochure and our Gift Acceptance Policy. Your donations may be unrestricted or restricted (designated by you to an activity). The easiest way to give is a cash gift. You may make a life insurance gift by designating DSC Foundation as a beneficiary of a current policy or purchase a new policy with the Foundation as the beneficiary. We accept gifts of stock that have the advantage of your being able to deduct the fair market value of the stock at the time of the gift and pay no capital gains tax. How about a retirement plan gift where you can avoid twofold taxation on retirement plan assets? We also have testamentary and planned giving gifts that may be made through a codicil to your current will, outright beneficiary or through a trust. At DSC Foundation, we know “Giving Hearts Make a Difference.” When can we count on yours?
Lastly on gifting, we just completed one of the visionary goals by contracting with Buddy DuVall to lead us in our efforts to raise significant Endowment Funds and other gifts for our We Hunt for Life Campaign. Your Board is excited about the possibilities Buddy can generate. We are also on the hunt for an Executive Director. Stay tuned!
Finally, let’s talk about www.dscf.org, the Foundation’s website that was designed to provide information about your Foundation to the general public and information establishing the benefits of hunting. You need to visit the site to appreciate it. Did you know your Foundation produces an article about its activities in every issue of Camptalk and Game Trails? We also have created a Facebook page to further inform the hunting and non-hunting community of Foundation issues and information relevant to hunting. That Facebook page includes, to date, over a dozen videos created exclusively for the Foundation and countless single image posts. The Foundation is responsible for management and oversight of the We Hunt for Life campaign created by Ackerman McQueen to promote Dallas Safari Club as a leading voice in the international hunting community, to advance the sport of hunting and to educate both hunters and non-hunters alike on the undeniable benefits of hunting.
Your Foundation has also participated in several international panel discussions and forums and conducts ongoing discussions with ambassadors, ministers and governmental officials in key hunting countries. We have cultivated relationships with the various professional hunting associations, the National Rifle Association, CIC, Wild Sheep Foundation and other organizations and have partnered with many of these organization on projects to promote and discuss hunting. Over the past 18 months the Foundation has given at least eight interviews promoting the benefits of hunting and other issues important to the Foundation and DSC. Most of these relationships and partnerships have been the results of our hard-working President. Are we making progress and meeting the goals of our mission? We think so!
In closing, the sole mission of your Foundation is to serve the mission and vision of your Dallas Safari Club and I invite you personally to visit our web site at dscf.org, and the DSC Foundation Facebook to learn more about your Foundation and more detailed explanations of our mission, grants we have made on your behalf, conservation initiatives, education and hunter advocacy.
DSC Foundation is an entity organized under Section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 as amended (the Code). Donations to DSC Foundation may be deductible under Section 170 of the Code.