Form of donationsTo date, all gifts to the Foundation have been gifts of money. The Foundation Board is disinclined to accept gifts of real or personal property for conversion into money through subsequent sale, purchase, or transfer of ownership. Neither the Foundation nor the Center is equipped to handle such transactions.
Types of donationsThe Foundation typically receives gifts from three sources.
1. Eleemosynary institutions The Foundation has received donations from the Carnegie, Hewlett, Ford, and Kaiser foundations, which have designated their gifts to support specific programs or projects previously approved by the Board of the Center. For example, a gift from the Carnegie Foundation supported the Centers multi-year science and technology project, including its Reference Manual on Scientific Evidence, and a gift from the Hewlett Foundation supported a program to help federal judges and court administrators design alternative dispute resolution programs for their courts.
2. Left-over class action fundsIn class actions, after the disbursement of the damages or settlement, residual funds are often available that cannot be distributed to the class members for various reasons (e.g., some class members failed to submit a claim). Typically, the parties agree on the disposition of the unclaimed funds; if they cannot agree, it falls to the court to determine the disposition of the left-over funds. The court orders that disperse the funds typically name educational institutions and charitable organizations as recipients of such funds under the cy pres doctrine. District courts have issued orders providing grants to the Foundation ranging from just over a thousand dollars to several hundred thousand dollars.
The Center has used these funds primarily for seminars to assist federal judges in various types of complex litigation. The Center has also used funds so received for its Teaching the History of the Federal Courts project, which will provide high school and college level educators and students with accessible, web-based information and source materials about the history of the federal courts.
3. Individual giftsThe Foundation also receives gifts from individuals and diverse associations interested in supporting the work of the Center. Center staff members, for example, who are forbidden by law from accepting honoraria, frequently request organizations for which they lecture to consider a donation to the Foundation in lieu of the honorarium they would otherwise have received.
Individuals who wish to make a donation to the Foundation should contact the Foundations secretary