The Quarter-Century Society, Inc.
The Quarter-Century Society was founded in 1923 shortly after the 25th Anniversary of the founding of International Paper. The Society’s sole purpose is to provide financial aid to its members, or a deceased member’s surviving eligible dependents, quickly and confidentially. All disbursements made to members and their dependents are grants. No loans are made by the Society. Chapters exist throughout the United States and Canada, centered on business operations located there.
Initially, the vision for the Society came from Chairman John Fearing. It was intended to be a social organization with membership limited to those who had completed 25 years of service with International Paper or its subsidiaries. The Society’s initial capital came from Chairman Fearing, along with contributions made by other executives and International Paper. In the early years, members paid a modest initiation fee and nominal annual dues. There are no dues or fees today, and membership is entirely voluntary. The Society’s funds come from investments in equities and bonds, and reinvestment of unused earnings from the Society.
In 1950, the Society was re-organized from primarily a social organization to one whose mission was to provide financial assistance to its members. Membership was opened to all company and qualified subsidiary employees in the United States and Canada. By the end of 1990, there were approximately 18,000 members located in over 50 chapters. Today we estimate that there are over 14,000 members.
The Quarter-Century Society, Inc. is an entirely separate legal entity from International Paper. It has its own structure, constitution and income source. It is managed by a Board of Directors, consisting of 12 members who serve a three-year term on a staggered basis. There is an Executive Director, who manages the day to day affairs of the Society, including all financial, administrative and strategic matters. The Society and its chapters have a tax exempt status with the Internal Revenue Service. Per IRS instruction, a form 1099 must be filed on all recipients of $599 or more in a calendar year.
Operations are centered around the chapters, which are the individual locations spread throughout the United States and Canada. There are approximately 30 active chapters today. Each chapter has its own Governing Committee and by-laws, serving the local employee/retiree base in accordance with the Society’s Constitution. Simple semi-annual financial statements and annual audits must be completed by all chapters.
Over the past five years the Society has donated over $500,000 to members and their eligible dependents. In the past 10 years over $1,000,000 in grants have been made. All grants are made without attribution; publicity of any kind is never sought. Grants must be made in the form of a check from the chapter. Cash or money orders are not permitted.
The vision of the Society includes expanding its member base by establishing chapters at those locations which came through merger and acquisitions, maintaining chapters at closed facilities, and providing financial aid and comfort to those in need.
Starting a chapter and managing it is easy. All that is needed is a core of ten people, a governing committee consisting of at least three to administer the program, and a desire to help. The Society and the Executive Director help by providing initial funding and identifying potential members. All chapters are accountable to the Society for their administration, operations and disbursement of funds, as well as providing regular financial reports. Aside from providing moral support and leadership, facility management involvement with chapter activities while appreciated, is minimal.
For more information, contact a Board Member, or the Executive Director at firstname.lastname@example.org, or consult our website at http://ipqcs.com