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Investing in Our Future

In the November issue of Footnotes, the Executive Officer’s column encouraged annual giving contributions to the discipline as part of members’ charitable donations. ASA thanks all of our colleagues who have supported ASA’s work to advance sociology in 2000 (see article). These donations to our restricted funds have a significant impact on our profession.

Special contributions from ASA members allow us to go beyond “business as usual” activities and undertake initiatives that enrich our discipline in breadth and substance. Some of our key funds include:

  • The Minority Fellowship Program provides national training for predoctoral students of color. Major funding from NIMH permits training 26 Fellows each year in the sociology of mental health. Additional donations from members help support predoctoral fellows with other specialty interests.

  • The Fund for the Advancement of the Discipline makes small grant awards to nurture innovative research ideas. The recent awardees and their projects are profiled on page 4. Donations here are used to meet the dollar-for-dollar challenge grant with the National Science Foundation to fund these projects. Thus, these funds are essential.

  • The Teaching Enhancement Fund is a small grant program for innovative projects on teaching sociology. Three or four projects are funded each year and are selected based on their potential for a broad impact. Many more innovations could be supported if the restricted fund were not so limited.

  • The Congressional Fellowship Fund provides support for ASA Congressional Fellows to work for a member of Congress.
Fellows learn about the legislative process and share the relevance of their sociological expertise. This experience has more than individual payoff. The presence of sociologists on the Hill helps shape how legislators see sociology as a field of relevance.

As the year 2000 comes to a close, consider making a gift to benefit sociology. Make your check payable to ASA Annual Giving and return it to the ASA Executive Office, 1307 New York Avenue NW, #700, Washington, DC 20005. You may signify a special fund or contribute to the general “Annual Giving” restricted account. Gifts are retained in restricted accounts and will be acknowledged. Thank you.