Schaumburg, Ill. - The American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMF) expects to raise more than $1 million this year and promises to work toward changing its poor reputation as an aid organization.
SCHAUMBURG, ILL. — The American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMF) expects to raise more than $1 million this year and promises to work toward changing its poor reputation as an aid organization.
The foundation reports nearly $1.1 million in unrestricted income and net assets of $2.25 million — a big jump for a charity that flirted with bankruptcy in 2004. The 2006 audit was presented last month to AVMA delegates in Washington.
Director of Development Lisa Tommelein wants to adjust negative perceptions about AVMF that include financial mismanagement. As AVMA's charitable arm, the foundation's disaster-relief focus has expanded to include animal-health research and scholarships. Tommelein aims for major gifts and broadening the donor pool to include pet owners as well as DVMs.
"We are on target for raising in the range of what we did last year, if not more. Our strategies are much different than they used to be," she says.
That's not what Web site Charity Navigator reflects in its review of AVMF's 2005 data. Tommelein plans to supply the online watchdog of benevolent agencies with new figures that could change the group's two-star status. The "needs improvement" ranking charges the foundation with underperforming. Top-rated charities such as the North Carolina Veterinary Foundation earn four stars.
In 2005, AVMF leaders came under fire for allegedly overspending to gain small returns. Mounting pressure and calls for AVMA intervention resulted in a leadership shakeup. The tide turned when hurricanes Rita and Katrina swept in, funneling nearly $2 million in donations to AVMF for distribution to Veterinary Medical Assistance Teams (VMAT) and needy DVMs.
AVMF continues to ride that success. The 2006 audit shows VMATs received $420,000 for training and supplies. AVMF granted state disaster-preparedness programs totaling $105,000, and 13 students earned scholarships of $2,000 each.