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Guidelines for Establishing MAA Prizes, Awards and Lectureships

Guidelines for Establishing MAA Prizes, Awards and Lectureships

These guidelines have been prepared by the MAA Development Committee at the request of the MAA Executive Committee. The charge from the Executive Committee states:

These guidelines are intended to assist donors, staff, and officers of the MAA in negotiating the dollar amounts needed to establish new MAA awards, prizes, and lectureships, and to ensure full understanding on how the MAA will manage the funds over time. Clarity on these matters is of the utmost importance in maintaining the highest level of confidence and trust and goodwill between the donor(s) and the MAA.

Minimum Gift Amounts

In the case of an endowed award, prize or lectureship, the requisite size of the endowment will be determined by calculating annual costs and multiplying by 20, subject to a minimum of $25,000. Annual costs include the amount of the award or honorarium, recipient/lecturer travel, administrative costs, and a hedge against inflation.

In the case of awards or lectureships that are not endowed, the requisite gift will be similarly calculated, but the hedge against inflation will not be included in the annual costs. Prize programs that are not endowed may be established without meeting the $25,000 minimum and will not be required to pay travel expenses for prize recipients. The dollar amounts of the prizes, number of prizes, duration of the prize program, and administrative costs will determine the donation needed to launch such programs.

Sunset Clause

Fundraising for endowments must be completed within three years. If the minimum amount is not raised within the three-year period, fund raising activities will be terminated and the amount raised will be used for a purpose consonant with the intent of the donors, as approved by the Board of Governors. Donors must be informed of this policy at the time their contributions are being solicited.

Annual Disbursements

For endowed funds, annual disbursements will be limited to the accumulated earnings on the fund (original corpus + additions for inflation). Should these earnings fail to cover expenses, the award, prize, or lectureship will suspended until an amount sufficient to cover costs has accumulated.

Donor Participation

Donors are welcome to take an active interest in the prizes, awards, or lectureships for which they have donated funds. However, they should not serve in a decision-making role about the selection of award/prize recipients or lecturers or about management of the donated funds.

Proposal Preparation

The donor should consult with the Executive Director in the preparation of a proposal for the establishment of a new award, prize, or lectureship. The proposal should lay out the details of the agreement between the donor(s) and the MAA. The terms of the proposal are subject to the conditions spelled out in these Guidelines.

Periodic Review

The Development Committee will review these guidelines every three years to determine if any changes in minimum gifts amounts or other adjustments are needed. Any proposed changes must be submitted to the Board of Governors for its consideration along with a rationale for the proposed changes.

Board of Governors

The Board of Governors has final authority with regard to the establishment of new awards, prizes, or lectureships. The Board may make any changes in the use of donated funds as needed to best serve the needs of the Association and carry out the intent of the donor when the conditions extent at the time the gift was made have substantively changed. The Board may make any changes in these Guidelines it deems desirable.

For more information on awards, contact the Secretary of the MAA:

Barbara T. Faires
Mathematical Association of America
Westminster College
New Wilmington, PA 16172

Telephone: 724 946 6268
Fax: 724 946 6857