In March 1861, just weeks before the outbreak of the American Civil War, Abraham Lincoln concluded his first inaugural address with an evocative turn of phrase. Wistfully yearning for a peaceful resolution to the gathering storm, he felt that preservation of the Union might still be possible if only the citizenry’s hearts could be “again touched … by the better angels of our nature.”

Our 16th president’s eloquent description of the more virtuous instincts of the human condition, those “better angels of our nature,” seems also to be a fitting description of ASA’s Foundations, the charitable organizations founded and supported by ASA that discharge our profession’s more virtuous interests.

All told, ASA sits at the center of a constellation of six charitable organizations. All are organized under section 501(c)(3) of the federal tax code, which not only makes them exempt from federal corporate income tax, but more important for donors,...

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