What is the relation and differences between the American Go Association and the American Go Foundation? What does each of those do, that the other does not?

It seems that AGA is much older (1935) while AGF is a more recent (1984) creation. If it had to be created, I assume it probably focuses on other goals that the AGA itself does not. What is that division? Why two organizations?

Their websites link to each other and the pages (often confusingly) alternatively mention AGA or AGF for activities, so they seem to be very similar but yet two different organizations. It even seems that the AGA president automatically (ex officio) becomes a member of the AGF so both organizations are very linked: The American Go Foundation

I failed to find a clear official statement of the goal of each, and specially the difference. Wikipedia says “AGA was founded to promote the board game of Go in the United States” and the AGF page says it is “devoted to promoting and spreading Go in the United States”. So same goal? Why are there two of them?


One difference is tax status - the AGF is 501(c)(3) whereas the AGA is 501(c)(4).

Donations to 501(c)(3) are tax deductible, donations to the 501(c)(4) are not (but they have more freedom to lobby or engage in other political activity).

I’m not really sure how the AGA benefits from being 501(c)(4), but since the AGF exists I’m not sure it matters


If tax implications are really the only practical reason for this, then that’s the most American thing ever.


Until they make the “CHURCH OF GO!” to move to total tax exemption :stuck_out_tongue:
Come to think about it, they have all the legal prerequisites to do that.


Finally, an opportunity to get my Go Themed Stained Glass business off the ground



The reason is very simple actually: Tournaments of any sort are considered sporting events and can potentially be bet on. For that reason, 501(c)3 organizations like the AGF are forbidden from running tournaments. The AGA can run tournaments, but cannot give its donors a tax break for donating. The AGF gets all of our money from donations, and all the large donors can write it off on their taxes. In return, we focus on educational activities, primarily benefitting youth. The AGA for example runs the Redmond Cup, but the $5,000 prize budget comes from the AGF. We also fund all of the activities of the American Go Honor Society (high school organizers active nationwide in the US).


Thanks for the clarification - I didn’t realize tournaments were a limitation of a 501(c)(3). I wonder how the USCF handles this…


How do I contact AGA?

Depending on what you need to discuss with them you might want to look for different contacts. But generally speaking I have found that the website is quite useful for these types of inquiries :wink:

AGA contact info