Barbora Skarabela: We are delighted to hear about IASCL becoming a registered charity. As the President of the Association, can you give us some background as to why IASCL has applied and successfully become a registered charity?
Gina Conti-Ramsden: I welcome the opportunity to share with our members the reasons that led us to apply for charitable status.
IASCL is a growing association with a considerable membership. Prior to our application, IASCL had no formal status and no legal power to carry out activities. In the past IASCL has been able to organize our Congresses only under the legal backing of Universities or Institutes of Higher Education. Having a recognised status provides IASCL the opportunity to be a more independent association. Our Edinburgh meeting will be the first meeting organized with the legal backing of IASCL. This does not mean that Universities and Institutes of Higher Education can not sponsor IASCL events, to the contrary. They can do so with the knowledge that they are helping a recognised charity. What becomes less necessary is to have such Institutions having to legally back IASCL activities.
There are also other important advantages. Although our funds are modest, being a registered charity provides us with the opportunity to be tax exempt on our income and to have a more transparent, open accounting system that is regularly audited.
A number of associations like ours have moved to become charities and we are pleased that IASCL is now amongst them.
I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the officers of IASCL and the organizers of the Edinburgh Congress, in particular Antonella Sorace, for their constant support in obtaining charitable status for IASCL.