Dear ASP Members:
As most of you know, the American Society of Pharmacognosy Foundation is the philanthropic arm of the American Society of Pharmacognosy; it was formed as an independent entity that would develop and fund various awards and grants for ASP members and their students. While the Foundation manages the financing and administration of the awards, the evaluation of nominations and applications and the selections of awardees is conducted independent of the Foundation by several committees
within the ASP itself. This arrangement eliminates any bias or influence, or the appearance thereof, in the selection process.
An extraordinarily generous bequest from Professor Audrey S Bingel provided sufficient funds to endow the Norman R Farnsworth Research Achievement Award fully and to permit the foundation to establish
a special fellowship for female scientists. The recent announcement of the Audrey S Bingel Fellowship for Female Scientists immediately stimulated two applications, with more expected before the upcoming deadline for the first funding cycle.
This year, we are highlighting the John Daly Field Work Research Grant fund. This fund was started some time ago by ASP members Richard Fitch and Kirk Manfredi to honor John Daly, a Farnsworth Research
Award winner and renowned pharmacologist famous for his discoveries of numerous neurotoxic alkaloids from the skin of brightly colored tropical frogs. The fund has not gained much traction, perhaps because it has been listed simply as the Daly Fund on our contribution sheet. We wanted to call
attention to this fund, because it represents efforts by the Foundation Board to find new mechanisms to aid our members in obtaining adequate funding for field research.
We are writing to ask for your support of the ASP Foundation and its extensive grants and awards program. Despite our financial growth over the past decade and the Foundation growing closer to
reaching a level of holdings sufficient to fund all our awards solely from the interest and dividends earned on the funds in hand, circumstances do warrant our appeal for funds this year. The steadfast commitment of the ASP leadership to our younger members is exemplified by a growing portfolio of awards, having already pushed our annual funding outlay to $70,000-75,000 per year.
The 2020 annual meeting of the ASP will be the largest in the history of the society, a joint effort by the ASP and six scientific societies from Europe and Asia. San Francisco is the venue, an awesome city and area to visit, but one that comes with a higher cost than our last several meetings. This means that the ASP has to have more cash reserves than customary to cover the upfront expenses associated with the meeting site and the sites for special events. That financial pressure led the ASP treasurer to withhold the usual annual contribution of the society to the foundation. In turn, this puts pressure on our traditional increase in the number and size of travel awards for students, postdocs, and young members early in their careers.
Our first step in dealing with this financial squeeze was to look at two travel grant accounts that have never reached anything near a corpus sufficient to sustain the awards continuously. After consulting with individuals known to have made contributions to those funds, the ASPF Board of Directors has
decided to use the funds accrued to date to fund travel awards to the 2020 international meeting. These will be the Ken Rinehart and Bill Pelletier Travel Awards. We are still looking into whether we can raise the level of the travel awards for this meeting to help students offset the higher than normal costs without incurring tax burdens.
So, we ask that you please consider a tax-deductible contribution to the ASP Foundation. Gifts can be made through the ASP website, or the old fashioned way, by mailing a check to the ASP Foundation treasurer, Robert Krueger. All contributions, large to small, are welcome and will be greatly appreciated. We have an impressive list on reliable contributors to the Foundation, but it is small, compared to the overall membership. The ASPF Board would like to have as many members as possible take ‘ownership’ of the foundation and the ASP’s awards and grants effort.
A full list of our awards/grants and their descriptions is available on the ASP website, and a summary list accompanies this letter to aid you in directing contributions. If your employer matches such donations, please let us and them know!
Thank you for your support of the ASP, its Foundation and its activities.
John H Cardellina II Robert Krueger
Chair, ASP Foundation Treasurer, ASP Foundation