December 19, 2017

ACVIM Foundation: Mission Alignment the Main Factor in Funds Dispersal

The ACVIM Foundation has selected Morris Animal Foundation to receive its remaining funds to invest in future animal health research.
By Kerry Lengyel
The American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM) Foundation announced its decision earlier this year to dissolve the foundation. The group’s remaining funds have been delegated to Morris Animal Foundation to invest in animal health research.

“We are incredibly honored to have been selected by the ACVIM Foundation to be entrusted with these funds, and the charge of advancing animal health in their honor,” said John Reddington, DVM, PhD, president and CEO of Morris Animal Foundation. “We look forward to working collaboratively with ACVIM to use these funds in a manner that will best advance veterinary medicine and improve animal health and well-being. Together we are advancing the body of knowledge for animal health.”

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The decision to dissolve the ACVIM Foundation, according to a letter sent to its members, resulted from lack of funds: It would have taken 14 years to resolve the foundation’s financial debt and outstanding obligations. The foundation was also seeing a sharp decrease in the number of diplomates making donations to the organization (from 4% in 2015-2016 to 8% in 2010).

“While our membership has steadily increased, the percentage of donations fell over that period. I suspect there were many factors involved, not the least of which is the challenge of communication,” said Linda Fineman, DVM, DACVIM, president of the ACVIM Foundation.  “Also, as a small foundation, we did not have a large staff to dedicate to marketing internally to our membership.”

After considering several options, the ACVIM Foundation determined that dissolution wth continuation of its mission through other programs and funds was the most responsible decision.

The funds, totaling nearly $424,000, have been distributed to Morris Animal Foundation because of the similarities in the two foundations’ missions. The ACVIM Foundation strived to improve animal and human health by funding discovery and education, while Morris Animal Foundation continues its aim to improve the health of companion animals and wildlife by funding research, as well as develop the next generation of animal health researchers.

“Mission alignment was by far the most important factor in choosing Morris Animal Foundation,” Dr. Fineman said. “In addition to shared missions, Morris Animal Foundation has an outstanding reputation in the community, and many ACVIM diplomates have served on advisory panels and been grant recipients.”

As part of the partnership, Morris Animal Foundation has created a fund specifically for ACVIM. ACVIM members who wish to continue to support the foundation’s mission can still do so by donating here.

The ACVIM Foundation remains committed to its mission through college programs and initiatives. According to Susan White, DVM, MS, DACVIM, president of the ACVIM, funding will provide support for 4 types of awards over the next 3 years.

“The newly approved awards consist of $25,000 for either research training or for advanced clinical training fellowships—providing the funds are matched by the institution hosting the fellows—research grants for resident research up to $10,000 each, and travel awards for presentation of research completed under the above funding,” Dr. White said.

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