After his presidential address at the 2019 OAH Annual Meeting, Professor Earl Lewis announced a generous donation of $50,000 to build the OAH endowment fund. He also issued a challenge. He agreed to donate another $50,000 if the OAH raises $500,000 in the coming five years.
Earl Lewis announces $50,000 donation to Organization of American Historians
Why is an endowment important? Should there be a downturn in the economy or should the OAH face a major crisis, we will need to turn to our endowment. As important, income from the endowment’s investment returns helps to support our everyday operating expenses. Right now, the OAH has less than $400,000 in its endowment fund. Nonprofit experts advise that an organization’s endowment should equal twice its annual budget. According to that equation, the OAH should have $6 million in endowment. To secure the stability and the future of our organization, we urgently need to build our endowment funds.
In response to Earl Lewis’s challenge, we are asking for contributions to this campaign. This gift may be made in the form of a pledge and paid over a five-year term. In addition, if you meet the age requirements, you may be able to donate funds from an IRA directly to the OAH and thereby avoid taxes on the income.
As you might know, we are in the process of a leadership transition at the OAH. Our executive director Kathy Finley is slated to retire in the summer of 2020. Kathy has done a terrific job of stewarding the organization these last years. As we search for her successor, we hope to arm the new executive director with the resources needed to fulfill our ambitions of becoming the leading 21st-century scholarly society, one committed to excellence in pursuit of the common good.
Please donate online at https://secure.oah.org/pledge