Important Message from the Associate Alumnae of Douglass College
AADC's Facts You Should Know!

About Us

 

  • The Associate Alumnae of Douglass College (AADC) is a self-supporting organization whose mission is to provide ongoing financial, programming and communications support to Douglass College, her students and her alumnae; we encourage and promote the unique educational experiences and leadership opportunities at Douglass College that are inherent in a women's college.
  • Contributions through the AADC funded 23% of the total operating budget for Douglass Residential College during the year ending June 30, 2014. This includes 43% of the funding for the programmatic operating budget for Douglass Residential College for the same year.  This number was not calculated by the AADC, but was provided by Douglass Residential College. The programmatic operating budget is the funding that makes possible many of the unique programs that contribute to the "Douglass Difference". The College's total operating budget includes salaries and fringe benefits, which are not the responsibility of the Associate Alumnae of Douglass College, which is why you would expect Rutgers to have a higher contribution as they are responsible for funding the Human Capital expenses and not the AADC.
  • Total alumni giving to Rutgers is 9%, which includes giving/participation of Douglass alumnae giving through the AADC.  Alumnae giving/participation for the AADC was 14.6% for the year ending June 30, 2014.

 

Transparent, Ethical Finances

 

  • A copy of the consolidated audited financial statements of the AADC and the Douglass Fund are provided to Rutgers University annually.
  • The AADC's operating budget is distributed to members of the AADC Board of Directors, including the Dean at every board meeting.
  • Form 990 (the information return the IRS requires of nonprofits) for the AADC and for the Douglass Fund is filed yearly and is available for public inspection.
  • The AADC publishes an annual report sent to alumnae and friends that includes graphs depicting revenue and expenditures for the Associate Alumnae of Douglass College and the Douglass Fund, as well as a summary of funding provided to Douglass and Rutgers.  This report is also available on the Association's website.
  • The Dean, another individual appointed by the Dean (currently a member of Rutgers administration), and three alumnae (including one mutually appointed by the Dean and the AADC President) comprise the Douglass Fund Trustee Committee.  This Committee meets regularly to review the Dean's requests for financial support for the upcoming fiscal year. In addition, the Trustee Committee reviews all expenditures from the previous year as compared to the plan the Dean provided for the use of these funds.  This is a critical process as this provides the backdrop for ensuring that the information reported in our annual report is accurate. The funding priorities are determined by the Dean, who is held accountable for properly using the money she is provided.  
  • The Dean, as a member of the AADC Board of Directors, has access to the audited financial statements and has an opportunity to ask questions of the independent auditor when the audit report is presented to the Board of Directors each year.
  • The AADC and the Douglass Fund (a separate trust established by the AADC to benefit Douglass College) undergo an annual audit by an independent audit firm and have received a consistent record of unqualified opinions.  This is the highest rating to be given to an organization for its financial controls.

 

A History of Donor Relationships

 

  • The AADC has always prided itself on being donor centric.  We encourage donors to support  priorities that are of interest to them.  Some alumnae choose to give to other units within Rutgers and some may give through the Rutgers University Foundation (RUF). Donors are not told by the AADC that gifts through RUF for Douglass "may be diverted to other parts of the university" as was recently stated.  The AADC can't be held accountable for messaging that others may have either by their own beliefs or by longstanding beliefs that have circulated within the university for many years.
  • Money contributed by donors is directed according to the donor's intent.  All donor specification agreements are signed by the donor, the AADC and the Dean.  The Dean has the opportunity to copy the specifications document for the College's files when it is sent to her office for her signature.  Specifications restricting a gift are restated to the College at the time the funds are provided to the College by the AADC.
  • Endowed contributions are placed in a Pooled Investment Fund that is managed by an outside, professional firm to maximize its growth and minimize its risk.  Oversight of this firm is provided by a committee of alumnae with professional investment expertise, the AADC President and the AADC Treasurer in accord with the Investment Policy Statement of the Associate Alumnae of Douglass College.  A small stewardship fee is taken for the management of endowed funds.  This is an industry standard and Rutgers University does the same with the funds they manage.

 

Transparent Operations

 

  • The AADC employs twelve full time employees, one part-time employee, and three temporary employees (one of which is filling in while one of the twelve full time staff is out on maternity leave, another is finishing up an assignment related to the capital campaign, and the third is a position that had previously been permanent).
  • The AADC is a unique organization.  An apples-to-apples comparison cannot be made between the AADC and other units within the Rutgers University community.  The AADC accepts responsibility for the following functions: 1) fundraising;  2) alumnae relations; 3) communications; and 4) endowment accounting/tracking.  By comparison, The Rutgers University Foundation is not responsible for all four of these functions, neither is Rutgers University or Rutgers University Alumni Association.  The AADC efficiently and effectively manages an organization that believes in building relations, and by keeping alumnae and friends informed and engaged, this will lead to long time giving. This is a model that has worked successfully for over 90 years.  
  • In the year ending June 30, 2014, the AADC and the Douglass Fund received $3.5 million in contributions, with $2.5 million of this in restricted and endowed gifts.  A portion of these funds came through the Douglass Annual Fund.  Gifts totaling $1 million in unrestricted funds allowed the AADC to remain a self-funded organization that provides financial support, programming and communications that keeps alumnae connected to each other, to Douglass and to today's students. Some of the student support is the award winning Extern Program, New Student Move-in, and Exam Study Break. Alumnae know that part of their contributions goes to support the AADC as an organization.  Unlike Rutgers University Foundation whose operating expenses are off set by a gift assessment, and support from Rutgers, the AADC does not levy  a gift assessment on funds received.
  • The AADC fundraises in support of its mission through various initiatives including capital campaigns, deferred giving and annual giving.  Each initiative is important, but the value of the AADC as a fundraiser can best be seen in the success of their deferred giving program and capital campaigns, to which have recently resulted in significant increases in restricted gifts to build a new residence hall at Douglass and to increase endowment, but not to increase unrestricted gifts.

    Unrestricted Gifts
    Restricted & 
    Endowed Gifts
    2014
    $1 million
    $2.5 million
    2013
    $1 million
    $4.5 million
    2012
    $1 million
    $4.5 million
    2011
    $1.1 million
    $5.6 million
    2010
    $1 million
    $2.2 million
    2009
    $1 million
    $4 million
     
  • The AADC participated in the recent Rutgers $1 billion capital campaign by raising gifts of $41.8 million (20% over the AADC's goal of $35 million) to help push Rutgers over their goal to $1.037 billion. The "Campaign for Douglass" was led by the AADC with two dynamic alumnae co-chairs.  Rutgers did not fund the expenses of our campaign yet they included our results in their total campaign achievement.  If they did not include our $41.8 million Rutgers would not have made their billion-dollar goal.   
  • For the year ending June 30, 2014, the cost to raise a dollar for the AADC and the Douglass Fund was .23.  This cost fluctuates from year to year not only due to the amount of contributions received but also the types of fundraising initiatives used.  As you are aware, the AADC just ended a Capital Campaign in December of 2014. We also use direct mail and planned giving fundraising strategies.  Funds received over the last five years increased and decreased at different times throughout the campaign.  For example, the year ending June 30, 2013, the cost to raise a dollar for the AADC and Douglass Fund was .13   Statements have been made recently characterizing AADC expenditures of funds raised as "spent from 24 percent to 52 percent of the money it raised on itself".   This statement unjustly tried to imply that the AADC is an organization that spends money on itself. Let's be clear: the AADC does not give a little to the college and spend a lot on ourselves.  The AADC has a mission that includes action and activity beyond fundraising, production of communications, organizing and administering events and programs, and these initiatives are a part of how we fulfill our mission.  We are an efficient and effective organization with strong financial controls. 
  • In the year ending June 30, 2014, this how each dollar spent by the AADC and Douglass Fund was allocated: .69 to mission (.52 to college and students; .17 for alumnae relations and communications), .23 for development/fundraising and .08 for administration.
  • The AADC has never failed to properly steward any bequest we have received. After being notified by the AADC of a bequest to the AADC for the "Margery Somers Foster Center at the Douglass Library," the Dean convened a meeting of representatives from the University libraries, the Rutgers University Foundation, the AADC and others to discuss how the funds might be used, given the $2.5 million needed for the project when it was conceived in 2001 was never raised and therefore the Margery Somers Foster Center had not developed into the 3,000 square foot facility that it was originally intended.  The Dean communicated to the AADC that she was not happy with the meeting.  The Dean and the AADC discussed communicating with the Executor of the estate about the feasibility of redirecting the funds for another project at Douglass.  The Dean communicated to the AADC that she had approval to go forward with this discussion. The Dean was involved in several discussions that occurred with the Executrix after receiving approval from her direct report to do so.   As a follow-up, the Dean and her staff wrote a proposal, which the Executor accepted.  It is only recently that Rutgers has begun to allege that the AADC is not following the request of the deceased alumna.  The AADC had nothing to gain whether these funds were used to support an initiative at Douglass or Rutgers University Libraries.  The AADC still has the fiduciary responsibility for the bequest.
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