Article 2 of Poverty Bay Sail & Power Squadron's By laws calls for the squadron "To render, and encourage its members to render such altruistic, patriotic, or other civil service as it may from time to time determine or elect."
In the past, squadron members have contributed funds and/or goods to worthwhile charitable organizations in alignment with the By laws. In most instances these funds were a result of a fund raising activity or, in the case of goods, the result of donations by members.
In other cases the funds have come from the general fund of the squadron without a specific fund raising activity or drive. In these cases the Executive Committee is responsible for the approval and disbursement of the funds by the squadron treasurer. Section 6.6 details the role of the treasurer.
6.6.2 - "The treasurer shall pay all bills contracted by this squadron which have been approved by the Executive Committee or by the head of a department or the chairman of a committee which has contracted the same by virtue of appropriations made by the Executive Committee or by the adopted budget."
At the March 4, 2004 Executive Committee meeting the topic of how charitable organizations have been selected in the past was discussed. It was generally agreed that it had become a rather informal process. While there has been no harm done or funds distributed to unworthy causes, it did appear the By laws were not being upheld, as the Executive Committee had not approved all contributions.
As I see it, there are two issues to be resolved. First, how to decide which charitable organization will be supported by the Squadron. Second, the approval process for distributing general funds of the squadron to a charitable organization.
In order to be in compliance with the By laws the following process is proposed:
As an example, one of the squadron's traditions is to raise funds for a charitable organization at the Christmas party. Based on the 5 steps listed above the process would be seen to work as follows:
I believe this policy will not only keep the squadron in alignment with its By laws but will also increase member involvement and decision transparency. It should also facilitate the squadron supporting a wider and more diverse group of deserving organizations in our community.
Respectfully submitted by Jack Green