GAMA Foundation Follows Sister Into AALU Deal

BY ALLISON BELL – 08/14/2019


The board of the GAMA Foundation for Education and Research says the foundation will team up with the new organization that the foundation’s sister, GAMA  International, is forming with the Association for Advanced Life Underwriting (AALU).

The GAMA Foundation sponsors research and produced educational resources aimed at managers in life and annuity distribution organizations.

AALU and GAMA International announced plans in July to merge their organizations by June 2020.

The GAMA Foundation will continue to be an independent organization, but it “will be aligning its brand and messaging with the new organization,” according to an announcement sent out by the GAMA Foundation, GAMA International and AALU.

Debra Grommons, the GAMA Foundation’s chief executive officer, said in a statement that she believes the foundation’s mission is perfectly aligned with the founding principles of the new GAMA International-AALU organization.

“We’re thrilled for the opportunity to expand our research and provide solutions to all financial security professionals, from field leaders to advisors,” Grommons said.

The Players

The GAMA Foundation is a Falls Church, Virginia-based nonprofit organization with a 501(c)(3) charter. Supporters can deduct contributions to the foundation from their taxable income.

The foundation files its tax returns under the name “General Agents and Managers Conference.”

The most recent foundation Form 990 return available on the Candid website, for calendar year 2016, shows that the foundation reported a $52,570 operating loss for 2016 on $1.1 million in revenue and $4.5 million in total assets. The GAMA Foundation said it had no employees of its own and 140 volunteers.

GAMA International is separate Falls Church-based nonprofit group with a 501(c)(6) charter. It can operate without paying taxes on its income, but supporters can’t treat payments they make to the group as tax-deductible contributions.

The most recent GAMA International Form 990 return available, for 2017, shows that GAMA International reported an $80,966 operating loss for 2017 on $5.2 million in revenue and $4.3 million in total assets. GAMA International said it had 21 employees and no volunteers.

GAMA International and GAMA Foundation work closely together, but the organizations are separate organizations, and each has its own board of directors.

AALU is a Washington-based nonprofit group, organized with a 501(c)(6) charter, that, historically, has represented financial professionals with an interest in more complicated life- and annuity-based planning arrangements, such as estate planning. AALU is now seeking to represent all financial professionals who offer life insurance and retirement planning services.

AALU’s most recent available Form 990 return, for 2017, shows that AALU reported a $435,669 operating gain for 2017 on $13 million in revenue and $7.3 million in assets. AALU said it had 36 employees and 2,177 volunteers.

The GAMA Foundation’s Future

The GAMA Foundation, GAMA International and AALU said that the GAMA Foundation will continue to have its own board of trustees and bylaws.

The foundation will act as a philanthropic arm of the new, combined GAMA International-AALU organization, the groups said.


This article was originally posted on ThinkAdvisor. Click here to view.