Frequently Asked Questions:
1. Why are we set up as a non profit?
We set up as a non- profit corporation in order to make our association a legal entity, enjoying all the privileges of a corporation. This move also gives some protection to the officers and members of the association.
2. Why are we incorporated?
Being incorporated is not a requirement for forming an association, it just makes it more formal and authentic to the outsiders whom we might do business with in the future. Incorporating the association required the appointment of an initial Board of Directors pending the amendment of our constitution. We are under no pressure to remain incorporated.
3. Why do we need a Board of Directors?
As above, incorporating the association required the appointment of an initial Board of Directors pending the amendment of our constitution.
4. Why are we applying for tax exempt status?
Tax exempt status in a charitable organization is based on the source of funding, governing structure and activities of the organization. Managing such an organization is also complex and requires continuous meeting of the State and Federal laws as well as IRS regulations. Any donations made to a tax exempt non profit makes it such that you can report that donation as a deductible charitable donation on your taxes. We are under no obligation to apply for the tax exempt status as long as we are not soliciting money from the public or grants from other nonprofits organizations . If we were not a tax exempt entity, those donors would have no way to report or claim their donations as a tax deductible expense.
5. Are we hoping to get involved in any public charitable activities?
We are not obligated to do any public charity but we can if we want to - we just have to be appropriately registered. We can continue to operate in a less formal arrangement as we were doing and continue focusing on the cultural empowerment of our members and our children if we so wish.
6. How do we get funding for our activities?
We can continue to fund the associations from within the association using our dues and personal donations. Dues are assessed at $100 per family or single member. College students pay $75. Dues need to be paid every fiscal year, beginning January and running through December. Unless we are a registered charity, those fees and donations are not tax deductible. Also, unless we are a registered charity, we can not solicit donations from the public or from other organizations as described above. This is a conversation we will need to have with our members starting now with comments to this question - how do we fund our activities and how big is our vision and hence those activities?
7. Are we going to remain private with activities limited to our members and friends?
We can remain a privately funded association limiting our activities to our family and friends. Some members have questioned why we have had to go this far with all the incorporation activities, constitutional revisions, trying for registration as a charity etc since the association is meant as a private forum for our people & for the benefit of our children and friends. Questions have also come up regarding the complexity of the constitution for an association meant to be run by volunteer members. These are all valid questions that we have to deliberate on as an association on which way to move forward.
8. When and how often are the meetings held?
Meetings are held every two months on the 3rd Saturday of that month starting with February of each year. Meetings begin promptly at 3pm, no later.
9. How about hosting a meeting? What do we do for a venue?
Currently, meetings are held at our members' homes. Our members have been very generous in offering up their homes voluntarily and spontaneously and opening their doors to all that would come. It is up for discussion amongst our members what to do for a venue should there be no volunteers, a situation which has not occurred so far.
10. How about refreshments for the meeting?
As of January of 2012, the suggestion for refreshments is that the association would offer the hosting family $100 towards the cost of hosting and in appreciation. If the host family declines the token, it will be counted as a donation from that family back to the association. We realize the expense in time and labor that goes towards hosting a large group and it is suggested that simple finger foods/snacks and drinks may be sufficient at a meeting. A host family of course can choose to host us in the manner they would prefer and prepare more or less according to their abilities.
11. Why do we need a Blog or a Website presence on the Internet?
Having the blog or a website brings us in line with the digital age in which we live and share our ideas. It allows a certain level of transparency where even the constitution is available for quick easy review. It allows us a public forum to continually showcase our culture. It allows easy online registration for our members and facilitates the sharing of ideas about our culture. It puts a face on what may otherwise be an impersonal association. It tells our guests more about us in a few minutes of browsing than any one of us can say in the same time. It's a virtual meeting point for exchange of ideas. You can just tell people: please visit the Website at www.yodaai.org
12. Why do I need to comment on the Blog or Website?
Comments are welcomed and even encouraged on the site. It is what makes it a blog, the back and forth exchange of thoughts on an article. It makes for a more dynamic blog where people are genuinely interested and actively participating as opposed to a stagnant site with no traffic or comments. Vistors to the blog can see the active interchange that is going on. Without the comments, the blog appears lifeless and uninteresting to visitors.
13. What happens to photographs taken at our events?
What if I dont want my photo posted online? This is a good question. By being a member of the association and participating in its activities publicly, there is an implicit permission given to the association for the use of any photography taken on behalf of the association at any association event. The association can post the pictures or use them in promotional material. Can you opt out of this? Certainly. If you do not want your pictures taken or posted on the internet, please feel free to let the Blog/Website editor know and your photo will not be published.
14. Can I opt out of participating in an association's event, either online or in reality?
Yoruba l'oni "agbajo owo lo n'gberu d'ori. Eniyan kan o ki i je Awade." We are an association because we chose to come together and work collectively towards the success of the association and therefore, the success of it's members. We all succeed when the association succeeds. So can anyone opt out of a particular association event? Of course. Sugbon, adura wa ni pe, ajose wa o ni tu ka. We need all the support we can get from every member to make this successful for the association.