CONTRIBUTIONS TO IRE IN MEMORY OR IN HONOR OF SOMEONE SPECIAL
IRE accepts contributions made in memory or in honor of someone, typically, but not always, a journalist or educator who was an IRE member or someone who advanced and/or supported the field of investigative reporting.
How are the contributions made?
Securely online at bit.ly/donateire. There is a place on the form to indicate that the donation is in memory or in honor of someone special.
Mail a check to IRE with a note in the memo field: “In memory/honor of (name).” Mail checks to: Investigative Reporters & Editors, Attn: Heather Feldmann Henry, 141 Neff Annex, Missouri School of Journalism, Columbia, MO 65211
What are the options with memorial/honor donations:
For contributions totaling less than $2,500:
- Donate to IRE General Operating Support: Contributions can be directed to the general operating budget to support IRE’s programs and services to members.
- Donate to the IRE Endowment Fund: Contributions can go to the IRE Endowment to help ensure IRE’s longevity for years to come.
- Donate to existing fellowship fund(s): Contributions can be made to existing fellowship programs that support the passions and areas of interest of the person being honored. A list of existing programs is located here.
For contributions totaling between $2,500 and $5,000:
A named fellowship can be offered for a set period of time and when the funds are depleted, the scholarship would cease to exist. This option is exercised when next of kin or the key contact person requests this approach. IRE applies an administrative fee of 5% to the donation in order to cover the staff time necessary to administer the scholarship.
For contributions totaling between $5,000 and $25,000:
The donations would be endowed, through the IRE Endowment Fund, into the IRE Legacy Fellowship Fund. Because the fund is endowed, the fellowships will exist in perpetuity. Fellowships will not be named for the individual(s) as the donations will be part of the larger Legacy Fellowship program. The deceased’s name, photo and brief bio would appear on the IRE Legacy Fellowship Fund tribute page.
For contributions totaling $25,000 and more:
A named, endowed fellowship fund would be established (this is the same level used by the University of Missouri). With $25,000, one fellowship can be awarded each year from the earnings on the principal. Earnings vary year to year based on the performance of stocks, bonds and other investments. The principal can grow, through additional donations, but will not be tapped for fellowship awards. Only investment earnings will be awarded. The first fellowship would not be awarded for at least one year after the fund reaches the minimum level of $25,000, in order for earnings to accumulate.
Other options: IRE is open to discussing other ideas and suggestions as they arise.
Can smaller gifts be held over time to see if they advance to the next level?
Absolutely. For instance, in memoriam gift(s) for the Legacy Fellowship could eventually become a named, endowed fellowship. In this example, donations total $3,000 in memory of someone, so that person is listed on the Legacy Fellowship page. A year later, donations pushed the total over $25,000 and a named, endowed fellowship is established.
How is the information promoted regarding in memoriam contributions?
Family and friends are primarily responsible for the promotion of fundraising efforts. IRE will publicize that efforts are underway to collect gifts in memory of someone and provide clear directions on how to contribute in that person’s memory.
Because the total contribution amount is unknown at the onset, the promotion of the fundraising cannot indicate that contributions will be for a specific, named fellowship fund. Instead, to allow flexibility based on any level of fundraising, the message should be that contributions can be made to IRE in memory of a particular person.
For more information, please contact Chris Vachon, IRE’s Director of Partnerships, at 317-371-6780 or firstname.lastname@example.org.