Support for the Center's daily operations would not be possible without the loyal contributions of caring individuals from across the nation. Because of their consistent generosity, the Center has enjoyed great success in funding Teaching Tolerance, the Intelligence Project and its legal work.
But the Center has long been convinced that the day will come when nonprofit groups will no longer be able to rely on support through the mail because of rising postage and printing costs. That's why, in 1974, the Center began setting aside a certain amount each year to build an endowment. At press time, the endowment stood at $111 million.
The Center was one of the first social action organizations to recognize the importance of saving for the future. While colleges have long understood the wisdom behind building endowments, most organizations like the Center groups that often touch many more lives than the typical college have not. As a result, some groups have not been able to sustain themselves and continue their valuable work.
In recent years, many public interest organizations have come to recognize the importance of building endowments to sustain their critical work over the long term. Such groups include the ACLU, the Anti-Defamation League and the Sierra Club. They understand that programming commitments made today will create future financial obligations.
In this new century America remains a nation of great promise. In communities across the country, thousands of people are seeking to tear down social, economic and racial barriers that still sometimes separate us. But there are others who try to use those divisions to sow seeds of hatred. And there are many more whose apathy in the face of intolerance allows this hatred to grow.
As the nation's diversity increases in the coming years, so will the challenges to promote tolerance and acceptance. To help ensure that the Center is ready to meet those challenges, its board of directors has restricted the principal and income from the Center's endowment to cover the costs of future programs and operations.
The caring individuals who help the Center continue its crucial daily work are also helping to establish the Center as an organization ready to carry on the struggle for tolerance and justice for as long as it is needed. The Center's educational and legal efforts have positively affected the lives of millions of people. With the help of the Center's endowment, millions more will benefit in the future.