What is the NANPA Foundation?

Story by Mary Jane Gibson, NANPA Foundation Vice President

February 21, 2015. San Diego, CA. NANPA's 19th Nature Photography Summit. The College Scholarship students, sponsored by the NANPA Foundation, gather on stage after presenting their multimedia production of the San Diego National Wildlife Refuge. The video was photographed and produced during the summit and donated to the refuge for educational purposes. © Mark A. Larson

February 21, 2015. San Diego, CA. NANPA’s 19th Nature Photography Summit. The College Scholarship students, sponsored by the NANPA Foundation, gather on stage after presenting their multimedia production of the San Diego National Wildlife Refuge. The video was photographed and produced during the summit and donated to the refuge for educational purposes. © Mark A. Larson

Whether new to NANPA or an original charter member, you probably have little understanding of the NANPA Foundation – what it does, why it exists, and why it is asking for money. A basic overview is in order. NANPA and the NANPA Foundation are sister non-profits. NANPA is a membership association, while the NANPA Foundation is a charitable 501(c)(3).  This means that money donated to the Foundation is a tax-deductible charitable donation, while money given to NANPA is not. NANPA itself cannot raise funds by tax-deductible donation, but provides free and fee-based services to its members such as membership benefits, summits, regional events, webinars, and other learning and networking opportunities.

As a charitable organization, the NANPA Foundation is able to raise funds through private, tax-deductible donations to provide funding to support NANPA’s projects as well as its own separate projects and grants. Currently, these are ways the two organizations directly relate to each other’s projects, but additional programs and projects are possible in the future:

  • NANPA runs the high school and college student programs, but the Foundation raises the funds to support them. Both organizations make decisions regarding the programs and their funding – these are the biggest projects that require NANPA Foundation fundraising in order to exist.
  • NANPA selects the Philip Hyde Grant winner (for conservation photography projects) through its Conservation Committee, but the Foundation provides the money awarded, which has varied in amount since its inception.

The Foundation also raises or receives funds for its own grants and sponsorship programs not run by NANPA:

  • Grants for the construction or repair of photo blinds in wildlife refuges, parks and preserves
  • The Janie Moore Greene Grant for a student specializing in photography in higher education

To raise money for NANPA’s programs as well as its own, the Foundation has engaged in the following:

  • Presenting live and silent auctions and the marketplace booth at the NANPA summits and soliciting donations from vendors for bidding or purchase by NANPA members
    March 1, 2013, Jacksonville, FL. NANPA's 18th Nature Photography Summit. Budd Titlow and Mark Lukes at the NANPA Foundation Marketplace booth. Mark was the Foundation's first president. © David Small

    March 1, 2013, Jacksonville, FL. NANPA’s 18th Nature Photography Summit. Budd Titlow and Mark Lukes at the NANPA Foundation Marketplace booth. Mark was the Foundation’s first president. © David Small

  • Asking for direct donations during summit general sessions, especially related to the student programs
  • Conducting online solicitations and crowdfunding campaigns
  • Soliciting add-on donations at NANPA membership renewal time
  • Offering photo tours designed for the NANPA photo community, partnering with a travel agency or tour leader with a built-in donation to the Foundation per attendee

While the two organizations have a symbiotic relationship, they have separate boards and bylaws. The president of each organization is a non-voting member on the board of the other, for open communication and exchange of viewpoints between the two organizations, and both separate and joint meetings are held with the two boards. The two organizations also have separate budget and support structures, but some staff are hired by both organizations, and the NANPA Communications/Marketing Committee also helps to publicize Foundation fundraising projects. A big thank you is also in order to all of our members and vendors for your support for many years. Your donations and participation in fundraising activities are crucial to offering these grants and programs through NANPA and the Foundation, and your support is gratefully appreciated. Without your support, many of these programs could not exist. Go learn more, go to- http://nanpafoundation.org/