Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the history of the Osage Nation Foundation?
A: The Osage Nation Foundation (ONF) charter and bylaws were created and ratified on July 20, 2005 by the Osage Tribal Council. The entity was organized as a not-for-profit corporation on October 18, 2005 by the Office of the Secretary of the Osage Nation under Osage sovereign law. In 2006, the Internal Revenue Service recognized the Osage Nation Foundation as a non-profit public charity organized under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service code. The charter of the Foundation was amended in April 2008 by the Osage Congress to bring the language in line with the new constitutional form of tribal government. The organization was generally inactive until 2009 when Principal Chief Jim Gray appointed a new Board of Trustees. In October 2011, the Board of Trustees amended its bylaws to agree with the previously-amended charter. In 2011, the Osage Congress appropriated funds to hire a professional firm to manage the affairs of the organization.
Q: How is the Osage Foundation governed?
A: Board of Trustees are appointed by the Principal Chief of the Osage Nation to staggered three-year terms. All appointments are subject to confirmation by the Osage Congress. The Board consists of five members. An executive director manages the day-to-day operations and the Board of Trustees as fiduciary and strategic oversight of the Executive Director and the organization. Officers are elected each year by the Board of Trustees to one-year terms. Officers include Chair, Vice-Chair and Secretary/Treasurer.
Q: What is the Purpose of the Osage Nation Foundation?
A: The mission of the Osage Nation Foundation is to promote and enhance the general welfare of the people of the Osage Nation by supporting cultural, educational, health, historical, community and other appropriate activities and programs.
Q: How is the Osage Nation Foundation funded?
A: In 2020, The ONF delcared the intention of operating as a financially self-sustained organization. Since its inception, the Foundation has been funded from a variety of sources: The operating expenses have been appropriated through the budget of the office of the Principal Chief by the Osage Congress just like any board or commission of the Osage Nation. The Osage Congress also has funded various programs of the ONF at its discretion. Funds are raised through various fundraising events, an on-line gift shop, and through donations from individuals, public and private foundations, and from corporations as well as from business operations. Some donations/funding are dedicated to certain uses. Others can be used at the discretion of the Board of Trustees. The ONF encourages gifts/donations to be made on an unrestricted basis. But the Board of Trustees will consider donor requests for funding of specific projects/causes.
Q: What types of donations are accepted?
A: The Osage Nation Foundation accepts gifts of cash, deferred gifts, estate donations, real property, life insurance and other forms of planned gifts. Foundation staff will coordinate with donors' advisors on the structure of donations in order to assure that the wishes of the donor are fulfilled.
Q: Are donations to the Osage Nation Foundation tax deductible?
A: Yes, subject to Internal Revenue Service laws and the tax position of the donor.
Q: Does the Osage Nation Foundation have a strategic plan?
A: The Board of Trustees each year updates its strategic plan to coincide with the objectives of the Osage Nation and to reflect the long-term vision of the organization's leadership. The plan reflects both the long-term (five years) direction of the organization in addition to near-term (one year) objectives. The strategic plan is subject to ratification each year by the Board of Trustees and is communicated to all stakeholders upon annual approval.