Rules govern fundraising on base|
by Kelly Deichert
Air University Public Affairs
1/27/2012 - MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. -- Many private organizations use fundraising and donations to support their activities. Those groups registered at Maxwell-Gunter must follow base, Air Force and Alabama instructions and policies to ensure proper management.
The 42nd Force Support Squadron hosted two workshops earlier this week to provide guidance to private organizations on constitutions and by-laws, financial paperwork and fundraising guidelines.
"We're making sure everyone knows what the rules are and that we can assist you," said Lorna Fermanis, FSS deputy commander.
The FSS can provide guidance, documents and templates to help private organizations manage their accounts and operations in compliance with Air Force Instruction. Documents are then reviewed by the legal office and installation commander.
Groups need to submit a fundraising request to the FSS for events on or off base, including clothing and food drives. There are regulations regarding the frequency, location and dates of fundraisers, which is why a review process is in place.
For example, to avoid competition with Combined Federal Campaign and Air Force Assistance Fund, fundraising is not allowed during drives unless designated as donations to these campaigns, said Christina Baumayr, a private organization program coordinator with the FSS.
She encouraged private organizations to get facility manager approval when hosting a fundraiser, such as at the base exchange, commissary or fitness center, and include that approval in the request paperwork to the FSS.
Requests should be submitted as soon as possible to ensure approval before the event, she said.
Baumayr also discussed fliers, telling the audience to submit them with the fundraiser request since they need to be approved as well.
One instruction states fliers "need to be in a general area, an area that is not a workplace," she said.
Fundraising material should not be distributed using a basewide email or on the base website, since private organizations cannot use government assets, Fermanis said.
Raffles and donations
The FSS also provides guidance on raffles and donations, including template letters to help facilitate the process.
Since private organizations do not represent the installation, donation letters cannot be written on official letterhead. The letter cannot include rank and must specify that the donation will go to the organization, not the base or the Air Force.
Under state law, gambling is prohibited, which prevents private organizations from conducting raffles. Door prizes are allowed, Fermanis said.
After the fundraiser or donation, private organizations must ensure financial documents are submitted to the FSS in accordance with FSS deadlines and regulations. Organizations not following these policies may face suspension or be dissolved.
"We need to know where your money is going," Baumayr said.
Since certain policies are often updated and may vary from installation to installation, the FSS staff encourages private organizations to ask questions about operations, including financial reports, constitution and fundraisers. Call Baumayr at 953-1386 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for information.