CHAPTER VI - REGIONAL GROUP FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITIES
Section 1. Opening a Bank Account
A. Each regional group must open a bank account into which funds that are accrued by the regional group shall be deposited. As outlined in the chapter regarding membership and dues:
1. Each regional group in good standing shall receive 80% of the annual dues collected by BVA National Headquarters for those members who join BVA on an annual basis and reside within the geographic boundaries of the Regional Group.
2. The regional group will also receive, on an annual basis, an apportionment from the Life Membership Fund which is 100% of the funds determined available for apportionment in any given year based on the number of life members residing in the geographic boundaries of the regional group.
The formula for calculating the apportionment for each regional group is set forth in the BVA Life Membership Fund By-laws. Such annual apportionment is usually made in the Fall (October/November).
B. Any funds that may be raised during regional group fund-raising activities approved by the BVA National Board of Directors should be deposited in the regional group bank account.
C. Each regional group should open at least a checking account, preferably interest bearing, so that for any business conducted by the regional group requiring funds checks can be written. The checking account should have at least two signatories on the account to protect against any one member engaging in unauthorized expenditures of the regional group funds. Generally, the signatories are the President of the regional group and the Secretary\Treasurer or the Treasurer if the group has both a Secretary and Treasurer. The regional group may also establish a savings account at its own discretion or invest its funds in IRA's or other investments agreed upon by the membership of the regional group.
D. Although most regional groups do not have large sums in their account, the group should consider having signatories on the regional group accounts bonded to protect the regional group against any losses due to misappropriation of regional group resources.
Section 2. Annual Financial Report to BVA National Headquarters
A. Article XIV, Section 13a(3) of the BVA National By-Laws requires each regional group to submit annually to BVA National Headquarters (Attn: Administrative Director) a report on its financial status. Failure to comply with this requirement will result in the regional group being placed in a "Not-In-Good-Standing" category with respect to National BVA and will result in the withholding of the Life Membership Fund and annual dues apportionments.
B. The BVA National Board of Directors takes its financial responsibilities very seriously and consequently expects each regional group to do the same. There- fore, regional groups should carefully consider these responsibilities when electing their officers, and should elect a Treasurer (Secretary/Treasurer) whom they believe will accept the responsibility of preparing and submitting the necessary financial reports to BVA National in a timely fashion. A copy of the financial report form may be found in the Appendix.
Section 3. Appropriate Use of Regional Group Funds
A. How regional groups choose to utilize the funds they have available to them is generally left to the discretion of each regional group. BVA National does not dictate how each group should allocate these funds, but does expect regional groups to exercise good judgment and keep clearly in mind the purpose and mission of the organization.
B. BVA was organized as an organization of blinded veterans to provide assistance to other blinded veterans. If funds available to the regional group are utilized to achieve this end, there should be no problems.
C. BVA encourages regional groups to establish BVA Volunteer Regional Group Offices in VA facilities to facilitate delivery assistance to other blinded veterans. Purchasing of supplies, assisting with travel expenses for the volunteers, and staffing these offices is most appropriate. Establishing service programs for its membership in whatever form that may take is also worthy of regional group funding support. Some regional groups, either at regular business meetings or special meetings such as Christmas parties, pay to subsidize-in whole or in part-the expenses for individual members. Some regional groups subsidize the expenses of their elected Delegates to the BVA National Convention. Other groups establish funds from which get-well cards, flowers, etc., are purchased for their members.
D. Clearly, the regional group's uses of its funds should be limited to supporting programs and services for its members. How that is accomplished is up to each Regional Group. The BVA Board of Directors feels it is contrary to the organization's mission for regional group funds to be utilized solely for the entertainment of a few members. Awards in the form of Certificates of Appreciation or plaques for service rendered to blinded veterans is another appropriate use of regional group funds.