Submitted by Susan Andreatta

Securing the ability of the Society to fulfill its mission is increasingly challenging in today’s world of social, political, and academic change and financial flux. Specific funds to support the participation of targeted groups, such as students and international scholars, have been developed, but are not sufficient to insure the long-term survival of the Society in the event of an unanticipated event or process beyond the control of the Board and membership.

Several years ago, I had a conversation with the late Tom May, the former Executive Director, about donating a will bequest to the Society for Applied Anthropology. As this conversation unfolded, I asked if there was a way to leave a legacy gift to the Society that would help with general operations. I suspect that, following our conversation, he had similar conversations with a number of individuals, for not long after my original conversation, Tom brought a small group of long-time SfAA members together. The group was comprised of Susan Andreatta, Allan Burns, Erve Chambers, Merrill Eisenberg, Stan Hyland, Peter Kundstadter, Kathleen Musante, Robert Rubinstein, Will Sibley, Don Stull, and Shelby Tisdale—they then formed the “Founders of the Endowment,” and committed to supporting the unique mission of the Society by assuring the long-term financial stability of the Society.

Today, the Founders Endowment is a critical tool to ensure that the Society for Applied Anthropology will have the financial footing to fully realize its core mission to be a leading force to promote the goals of our founders and to withstand changing circumstances.

The Founders Endowment will be a permanent fund administered by the SfAA Board of Directors and under their discretion. The Board will access the yield (interest accrued) from the assets of the Endowment only under circumstances of extreme financial emergency that originate outside of the purview or control of the Board and the membership. The continuing growth of the Endowment will provide clear evidence of the financial security and stability of the SfAA. The Endowment currently exceeds $65,000 with a goal of reaching $100,000 by 2020.

The SfAA Founders Endowment is an essential element in the development of a financial foundation that will assure that the Society can respond to future change and continue to be a leader in promoting the goals of the founders of SfAA: to promote the scientific investigation of the principles controlling the relations of human beings to one another and the wide application of those principles to practical problems. You may support the Founders Endowment by contributing securely online at:

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