Financial Rules and Guidelines

Please review our bylaws, Article II for goals. Your committee must abide by these.

From Article IV section 7 Executive Committee – Duties:

2. Treasury
a. Elects a Treasurer from its ranks.
b. Maintains all funds and accounts of PRRC.
c. Allocates available funds to various projects.
d. Reviews requests for funds from chapters and action committees and is responsible for the approval and the allocation of funds to the different programs.
e. May develop and implement projects to raise funds at the national level.
f. May initiate and participate in fund raising events in full coordination with chapters and other action committees.
g. Presents financial reports to the Coordinating Committee.
h. Shall prepare or arrange for the preparation of all financial reports that may be required by governmental agencies.

PRINCIPLE:

Since PRRC is registered as a 501(c)3 organization, it is incumbent on all who collect and dispense money on behalf of this organization comply with state and federal regulations. Towards this and in compliance with these regulations and our bylaws, the executive committee drafted these rules in 2003 for financial dealings of committees and members when using Al-Awda/PRRC name. The principles behind these are: transparency, accountability, adherence to laws, and yet maintaining autonomy and encouraging creativity in the local chapters.

Rules:

1) Chapters are able to raise and spend money on projects they deem appropriate and that fall within the mandate/mission of Al-Awda/PRRC as specified above (see Bylaws Article II, Section 2 as copied above) provided they comply with rules and regulations herewith and laws of their own state. Fundraising may be done in numerous legal ways including seeking donations at functions, selling paraphernalia such as shirts, bumper stickers etc. But note that for most states, solicitations of donations require registering with the secretary of state. This is an essential process and should be a priority for most chapters. The executive committee can
work with you to accomplish this (see below).

2) All donors must be notified that receipts for their donations must be received from the national executive committee. This is so that donations are all accounted for both locally and nationally, that tax-exempt donations are all reported to the IRS per the guidelines and which must identify donors and their addresses.

3) Local committees should elect a treasurer and must notify the national executive committee of the name and contact information of this individual.

4) Before commencing collecting or dispensing any funds on behalf of PRRC, the local chapter through their elected treasurer must become familiar with accounting procedures, rules and regulations. Towards this, the national executive committee can provide worksheets and specific guidelines as requested by chapter reps.

Duties and responsibilities of the elected national executive committee

The coordinating committee elects members of the executive committee for a term of one year. Their duties and mandate are specified in the bylaws (copied above are the relevant section, Article IV section 7). In addition, the national executive committee is expected to act promptly on requests that fall under its mandate from the local finance committee. In all cases, a
response (including any negative response) must be provided with full explanation no later than two weeks after receipt of the original request. Members of the national executive committee report to the coordinating committee which can remove any member who violates any of its laws or behaves in such a way to jeopardize the legal and financial structure of Al-Awda/PRRC.

Duties and Responsibilities of the elected local treasury/finance committee are:

a) Be accountable and provide clear and transparent records to their local committee in all financial matters

b) Comply with all requests for records and paperwork from the national executive committee via its treasurer. This includes submitting copies of all donation records, receipts, invoices, expenditures etc in intervals not to exceed three months (quarterly reports). The quarterly reports must be received in the national box (PRRC, PO Box 131352, Carlsbad, CA 92013) no
later than April 20th, July 20th, Oct. 20th, and January 20th for the quarters ending March 31st, June 30th, Sept 30th, and Dec. 31s (respectively).

c) The elected local treasurer and/or local committee are required to keep records (originals and copies) of all receipts, checks, bills and transactions (duplicates sent to the national treasurer). They are also required to transfer all these records to their successors in a timely manner.

Other guidelines:

All checks and donations should be made out to PRRC and should include full address and phone number of donor (and email address if available).

When checks are donated for specific programs or fundraisers, the person writing the check should specify this in the memo part of the check (e.g.”Rafah refugee support”, “April 2001 rally”, and “sweatshirts”).

Always deal with companies’ not personal accounts. This will avoid personal liabilities. Make checks out to companies and receive receipts from companies. Use PPRC accounts in relation to all PRRC-related transactions i.e. avoid using personal accounts

Local accounts

For some chapters, a local account may not be needed. Checks and cash collected can be sent to the national account and expenses paid directly from the national account with the local chapter deciding on their own projects and allocation of money they collect. This can entail a delay of up to two to three days for mail or no delay. However, we can pay bills by credit card on the same day if we receive faxed invoices from companies and vendors. If a local account is deemed necessary by the local chapter in consultation with the national committee (e.g. due to high frequency of local transactions), a written application must be sent to the national executive committee. The request should include the following:

a) A cover letter stating how and why the local chapter decided this approach was needed. This should explain financial plans. Description of the intended location of the bank account and estimated income and expenses for the first year should be provided.

b) The names and addresses of elected local representatives and local treasurer
c) A statement (which we can provide you) signed by at least two people, one of whom is an elected representative of the chapter and another is an elected treasurer/local accountant that accepts responsibility for the account, and that you would be legally liable for any mismanagement of the account including in ways that jeopardize the tax exempt status of PRRC/Al-Awda under which the account is opened).

Upon receipt of this information and no later than one month from receipt, the national committee will rule on the application. If accepted, they will contact the people named in the original application and provide the necessary guidelines and documentation.

All local PRRC accounts are required to be accessible to two individuals at the primary location of the account plus an additional member of the executive committee. National accounts that are accessible from any state should be accessible to two members from the executive committee. An additional reserve is identified to be provided access as quickly as possible in the eventuality of death, misdemeanor etc.

Closing and/or Suspending accounts, penalties, and liabilities

1) Local accounts may be closed by local action committees should these no longer serve their function. This must be a collective decision of the local chapter.

2) Cases of impropriety, inadequate book keeping, non-compliance with the law, lack of submitting records brought to the attention of the national executive committee will be acted on swiftly. The committee is notified and one of its members will be selected to issue a warning on its behalf giving the local chapter time to remedy the situation is issued with one month given to provide the needed information which must be received via registered mail at the address provided within one month of the warning. The warning is sent to the designated local treasurer with copy to the elected reps of the local chapter.

3) If a satisfactory response is not received, the national executive committee would be requested to vote on a motion to close the local account. A majority vote triggers another letter notifying the local chapter of the intent to close the account and giving the reasons. The local chapter will have two weeks to contest this decision in writing. If new material is submitted, the national executive committee will review any new material and vote again. If the decision stands, it will be executed by the national executive committee member who is indicated on the local bank account. Additionally, the executive will send letters to the bank and state requesting termination of the account and registration in the state.

4) In case of legal disputes that require legal action, the executive committee will seek input from lawyers and may request input from and inform the coordinating committee before proceeding with legal action.