Questions & Answers
Here are some questions others have asked about The Columbia Trust:
Who’s in charge of The Columbia Trust?
Overall supervision of The Columbia Trust is provided by the Board of Directors of the DAV National Service Foundation, which is separate from the DAV’s National Organization. The Foundation’s Administrator provides day-to-day management. Furthermore, the DAV National Director of Voluntary Services participates in aspects that bear on Transportation Network and Hospital Service Coordinator Program activities.
How can I know the Board of Directors will view a program as “service?”
Service projects aimed at directly assisting disabled veterans and their families will be considered. Common sense prevails. Experienced DAV members should be able to recognize “service to disabled veterans” when they see it.
If my Chapter or Department made a proper determination of a service-oriented project, how can I anticipate whether it will be approved?
Two issues must be considered. First, the proposed program must be a needed service, and the Board of Directors must recognize it as such. Then, a determination is made as to the requesting Chapter or Department’s actual need for the funds, in whole or in part. In the case of a Chapter, the determination will depend on its finances as reported on the Annual Financial Report as well as the finances of its Department. In the case of a Department, it will depend on its reported financial circumstances. If a Chapter can afford to fund part of the service – or its Department can afford to do so – the Trust may grant less than what was requested. In instances where a Chapter or its Department is in the financial position to fund the service in full, the grant will be denied.
You say grants for Chapters and Departments that haven’t complied with National Bylaws Article 18, regarding expenditure of excess accumulated funds, are not approved. What does such expenditure involve, and what is “compliance?”
When a Chapter or Department’s liquid assets exceed three times the expenses of their last fiscal year, they are in violation of Article 18 of the National Bylaws. They are required to spend the excess for service, bringing their accumulated funds into compliance with Article 18. One way to use excess funds for service is a donation to The Columbia Trust.
If budget history shows an ongoing ability to meet proposed service obligations, you say a grant will not be forthcoming. What does this mean?
A Chapter or Department does not need a grant when it is consistently able to meet the costs of its budgeted service programs without calling on its accumulated liquid reserves. Such a Chapter or Department should participate in The Columbia Trust by making a contribution. When figuring costs for service, please remember that these costs do not include spending on fraternal costs, administrative expenses, or overhead.
If a Chapter or Department requests a grant but previously has made a contribution to The Columbia Trust, will it be considered?
Of course! The Chapter’s or Department’s current needs and current financial situation will be examined and taken into consideration. Grants are based solely on current need, without regard to past contributions to the Trust.
How can the membership be assured that The Columbia Trust fund will be administered fairly?
Full financial details of the Trust’s activities are included in the DAV National Service Foundation’s Interim Reports and audited Annual Report. Further, the Board of Directors of the National Service Foundation is required by law to act in good faith as fiduciaries to carry out the purposes of The Columbia Trust. Generally, the Trust accomplishes the transfer of funds for service projects from prosperous DAV Chapters and Departments to those Chapters and Departments in need. Here, granting Chapters and Departments are those who have surplus funds, in excess of those reasonably needed for its own service programs; on the other hand, the grantee Chapters and Department will not have such funds.
Will The Columbia Trust fund any programs of the DAV’s National Organization?
It is not the purpose of The Columbia Trust to fund programs of the National Organization. The National Service Program and all other national service activities continue to be financed through donations from the American public.
Are Auxiliary Units and Departments eligible for grants?
How can we help fellow disabled veterans throughout the nation?
Chapters and Departments who enjoy a surplus of excess funds can help underserved veterans across the country by channeling excess funds through The Columbia Trust to Chapters and Departments who need funds to maintain basic service programs. Checks can be made payable to:
The Columbia Trust
DAV National Service Foundation
860 Dolwick Drive
Erlanger, KY 41018