In 2004 a task force was appointed by the Visual Resources Association Board to investigate the tax status situation of the VRA and to make recommendations.  VRA was incorporated in 1982 as a 501 (c) 6 organization, a trade association.  Although a trade association is non-profit, it is an organization established solely to provide direct services to its members.  VRA exemplified a well-functioning and significant 501 (c) 6 organization.  As it grew, the Association’s importance came to extend beyond its member services. Yet, due to United States Internal Revenue Service tax status limitations, the VRA, as a 501 (c) 6 trade association, had not been able to pursue major grants to engage in research or other educational endeavors.

The Association’s educational and research components had become important assets and major resources for the general public and the field of information management.  After a year of studying the issues, the task force recommended that from an organizational standpoint, a separate 501 (c) 3 Visual Resources Association Foundation offered a way to most efficiently oversee and extend these significant and influential educational and research efforts.

In July 2007, the VRA Foundation was incorporated in the state of Delaware, and in September 2007 the Internal Revenue Service granted the Foundation 501 (c) 3 tax status. The purpose of the new VRA Foundation was to develop and expand educational and research opportunities in the public interest; establish standards for emerging electronic media; manage grants and develop programs to improve the visual resources field; conduct and/or sponsor research in the information sciences and educational technology; publish informative articles, guidelines, and online resources; and complement the work of VRA by providing educational, literary, and scientific outreach to the larger community and general public.

The VRA Foundation Board is comprised of seven directors serving two year terms. Four of the directors are appointed by the VRA Board, and three by the Foundation Board.  Three officers — a Chair, Treasurer and Secretary — are selected by the directors from their ranks.

VRA Foundation Founding Board of Directors

Loy Zimmerman, Chair, Arts Curator, Visual Resources Collection, University of California Irvine

Margo Ballantyne, Secretary, Visual Resource Curator, Lewis & Clark College

Ann Thomas, Treasurer, Slide Curator, Union College

Kathe Hicks Albrecht, Visual Resource Curator, American University

Elisa Lanzi, Director of Imaging Center, Smith College

Virginia M.G. Hall, Senior Instructional Designer, Center for Educational Resources, Johns Hopkins University

Allan T. Kohl, Visual Resources Librarian, Minneapolis College of Art & Design