Monday, May 14

More chapters disaffiliate from American Lung Association

The American Lung Association of Metropolitan Chicago is leaving its national association rather than be subsumed in a seven-state regional organization.

According to Charles Storch in the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago chapter will join five in California and one in New Hampshire that since 2006 have disaffiliated, or plan to, from the ALA, all in opposition to the national body's reorganization of its local affiliates into regional groups.

[A spokeswoman] said the chapter was concerned that it might not be able to continue certain neighborhood programs and that the money raised here for research and educational programs might not be locally reinvested.
The Chronicle of Philanthropy reports that Lung Association officials acknowledged the departure of the seven affiliates will cost the national organization about $1-million in direct annual fees and tens of millions of dollars in total annual gifts.

Overall, donations to the American Lung Association from individuals, foundations, and corporations have declined steadily in recent years, from $153-million in 1999 to about $104-million in 2005, according to figures provided by the charity.
But it's not just about contributions. When the five California chapters left the organization last year, they took their property and assets with them. As a result, the national organization began discussing how to prevent such an action in the future.

Last month, the national board voted unanimously to add to its annual contracts a clause that requires any organizations that cease their affiliation with the American Lung Association to turn over their buildings, land, and other assets and reserves to the national entity. The new contracts will take effect July 1, after the existing agreements expire.
The departures of the New Hampshire and Chicago organizations were precipitated by this contractual clause.

(Thanks to Paul Botts over at dot-org for the original post.)

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