The Front Page Foundation has become a reality with the help of the ETSPJ Foundation Steering Committee and two law students who worked at the University of Tennessee Legal Clinic. In November, the Steering Committee was dissolved and the Front Page Foundation Board was elected, which then approved and signed the Charter establishing the Foundation and the Bylaws that define it.
Establishing the Foundation will aid tremendously in organizing and operating the Front Page Follies. The stated purpose of the Foundation is to conduct fundraising activities to benefit journalism in all media by funding scholarships, internships, professional development activities and educating the general public on issues in journalism – including, but not limited to, transparency, ethical reporting, First Amendment, privacy and open meetings/records matters – and to improve the profession of journalism generally.
Jean Ash was elected president, Dorothy Bowles treasurer and Mike Martinez secretary. Also elected to the foundation board were Georgiana Vines, David Lauver and Kristi Nelson. The Foundation Board needs to add three more members and is seeking candidates from among ETSPJ members.
Establishing a 501(c)3 foundation is two-step process. First, after bylaws are written, the incorporation paperwork must be filed with the state. In December, Dorothy Bowles received confirmation from the State of Tennessee recognizing the Front Page Foundation as an entity.
In the spring of 2014, two different law students at the UT Legal Clinic will assist the Foundation in filing the necessary paperwork to apply for tax-exempt status, first from the Internal Revenue Service and then from the State of Tennessee.
We are not completely there yet, but two major steps (writing bylaws and gaining state incorporation) have been accomplished, and there is only one (tax-exemption status) to go.