Endowments & Grants

History

The Endowment Board began as a vision in 1986 when several members of the Florida Council for the Social Studies board were discussing how service for the classroom teacher could be improved, particularly opportunities for teacher growth. Another initial consideration was to provide financing for attendance to a variety of recognized workshops, seminars and other teacher training institutes. The driving force behind this initiative was the desire to do something that would significantly help teachers.

Funds for teacher training have been available in varying degrees over the years depending in part on legislative action, special interest projects or privately sponsored initiatives. Yet, funding of the sort does not last, and as the eighties gave way to the nineties, professional development funds diminished. Thus, one way to stabilize resources and be in a position to routinely provide assistance to teachers was to create an endowment.

To be able to move beyond this initial talking and envisioning stage, some changes needed to occur within the FCSS organization. This was realized through restructuring of the FCSS and the creation of a mission statement and specific goals. This in turn laid the groundwork for how we would proceed to fulfill our mission and goals.

While the above process was under way, financial changes were necessary. The council went through the process necessary to achieve a Not-for-Profit status, which is a federal exemption from the IRS. We had to become NFP if we wanted to be able to solicit donations from outside sources, and allow those sources to receive a tax exemption.

Since an objective was to create a separate source of funding within the FCSS, there needed to be a separate entity within the board to manage those resources. What was initially a committee became a board when the council agreed to adopt by-law changes. The board was created in 1994, and the president appointed the first members of the board in 1995. In 1996, the board began to meet separately from the Florida Council to conduct the business of the Endowment.

The Endowment Board consists of three elected and three appointed members for terms of three years. Additionally, there are two automatic appointments for one year, which are the president and the Executive Director of the FCSS.