You’re Invited to a Special Member Meeting with the FSAA Board

The board (and guests) at the April 2020 meeting.

The Ford Scholar Alumni Association (FSAA) board of directors invites all FSAA members to a discussion about transitioning the FSAA from an independent organization to an integrated program of The Ford Family Foundation that is informed by an alumni leadership board.

At our January 23 FSAA board meeting, we will discuss our options and fully consider this question. Read on for the official meeting notice and to learn more about why! RSVP here

Did you know?
Currently, The Ford Family Foundation and the Ford Scholars Alumni Association both maintain infrastructure and operations that are intended to support alumni connections with each other, with their communities, and with the Foundation. After reflecting on the mission, vision, and goals, and with the support of previous and founding FSAA Board Members, the current FSAA Board is considering the opportunity to consolidate under the umbrella of The Ford Family Foundation.

Since 1994, The Ford Family Foundation has given scholarships and other postsecondary support as one way of investing in achieving its mission of “successful citizens and vital rural communities.” In 1996, with the graduation of the first class of Ford Scholars, an informal group of alumni leadership coalesced and ultimately formed an independent 501(c)(3) when the Foundation was unable to take on alumni programming in the early years of the scholarships. 

In 2015, the Foundation added new staff  and funding to manage alumni programming and engagement. The Foundation and the FSAA board began conversations about more fully integrating the alumni board’s work into the Foundation. The shared goals are to engage the power of alumni to support one another, to continue personal and professional development, and to amplify the Foundation’s overall mission while eliminating the responsibilities of running a separate, all-volunteer, nonprofit organization.

To accomplish this vision, the Ford Scholar Alumni Association will have to cease operating as an Oregon 501(c)(3). The legal term for this is “dissolution.” After reviewing the bylaws and the articles of incorporation, and consulting a nonprofit expert at the law firm Stoel Rives, the FSAA board is calling a special meeting of the members and offering a Plan of Dissolution.

Official Meeting Notice
“Pursuant to Sections 65.214(1), 65.624(4) and 65.222 of the Oregon Nonprofit Corporation Act, notice is hereby given that the members of the Ford Scholar Alumni Association are invited to a meeting of the Board of Directors of the Ford Scholar Alumni Association on January 23, 2021 at 8:00 a.m. via Zoom. One of the purposes of the meeting is for the Board to consider the proposed dissolution of the Ford Scholar Alumni Association (the “Dissolution”). Attached is a proposed Plan of Dissolution for discussion at the meeting. Members are invited to this Board meeting as non-voting observers only. If the Board approves the Dissolution, then a resolution for Dissolution will be submitted to the members to vote on the Dissolution via ballot. A link to the electronic ballot will be distributed to members on January 30, and voting will be open until February 15.”


What will happen next? 

Members will have an opportunity for discussion with the FSAA board on January 23. If the FSAA board approves the resolution at that meeting, the resolution will then be sent to all members for approval. The voting by general members will be conducted via email and open for ten working days. 

If a majority of the members voting approve the dissolution in February, the FSAA board will take a series of steps required by the Oregon Attorney General, and in accordance with the FSAA’s bylaws, to dissolve the nonprofit corporation and to transfer its assets to The Ford Family Foundation. This will be substantially completed by April or May.

Does this mean the alumni work is going away?

No. The current FSAA board members will all transition into volunteer leadership roles for the Foundation’s alumni engagement group,which will continue operating in alignment with the alumni association’s original purpose and will adopt the vision, mission, and values that have guided the Ford Scholar Alumni Association. 

The group’s operations will be supported by The Ford Family Foundation’s Scholarship Office. The Manager of Scholar and Alumni Engagement already has a close association with the board, attends board and committee meetings, serves as FSAA’s liaison to the Foundation and will serve as a member of the new group. 

If members do not approve the dissolution, the FSAA board will continue its current operations and will initiate a conversation with the Foundation about its ongoing relationship with the Foundation.

How can I learn more?

Please attend the members’ meeting with the FSAA board of directors on January 23. You can RSVP here and you will receive a link to attend the meeting via Zoom. 

We look forward to seeing you soon!

Aimee Fritsch, FSAA President & the FSAA board