by Cate Robeson Pickens | Oct 21, 2019
Bingo, Raffles, and Casino Nights are all popular ways to raise money for nonprofits. But before you start fundraising, be sure your organization is compliant with these rules set by the Indiana Gaming Commission.
#1: Games of chance are illegal in Indiana. The three exceptions are 1) State of Indiana gaming, including the lottery. 2) Licensed Gambling, like riverboat gambling and pari-mutuel horse betting, and 3) Licenced Charity Gaming.
#2: “Charity Gaming” includes anything that involves pay-to-play games of chance. Your nonprofit might consider raising funds through raffles, bingo, drawings, door prizes, game nights, or festivals. These are all considered Charity Gaming, as well as any other activity where you raise funds by selling chances to win.
#3: Charity Gaming in Indiana does not include games of skill. If there isn’t an element of chance, it doesn’t fall under the charity gaming rules. This could include activities like “Buy a ticket, shoot a basket, and win a prize!” or buying a guess of M&Ms or the value of a gift basket. Your organization could even give a random prize for attendance under these guidelines, as long as all attendees are awarded one opportunity and cannot buy extra chances at the prize. Activities like the ones listed above do not require a license and are not regulated.
#5: You must file for a gaming permit with the State of Indiana before you can conduct charity gaming. Depending on the size of your organization and the size of the event, you may need to file other notices and licenses with the state. Visit the Indiana Gaming Commission website to see exactly which notices, waivers, or determinations your organization must file.
#6: Your charity gaming permit has limitations. Prizes must be under $1,000 per event, and under $7,500 annually. If your organization exceeds that limit, it must file a license per event.
#7. Only members of the sponsoring organization can participate in organizing and conducting the event. Strict rules apply to who can and can’t be involved in charity gaming. Only adults can play and participate, including organizing, handling money, filing reports, and selling tickets. Minors can only be involved by selling raffle tickets; they can’t otherwise buy raffle tickets, handle money, or be involved in planning the event.
#8: Violations can incur penalties up to $5,000 per violation. Violations include unlicensed gaming, of course, but also inaccurate reporting. Your
For more information on Charity Gaming, visit the Indiana Gaming Commission website at www.in.gov/igc
by Cate Robeson Pickens | Oct 21, 2019
A Whistleblower Policy provides protection to nonprofit members, board members, or staff who report activity within an organization that they believe to be illegal, dishonest, unethical, or otherwise improper. Click here to download a PDF of this sample Whistleblower Policy provided by the National Council of Nonprofit Associations.
To download the policy, click here. This material is for your use, but while the author of this document is an attorney, she is not your attorney. The author recommends that you (a) review any forms carefully and modify them to suit your particular circumstances and (b) have your attorney review the materials before implementation to be sure that they are legally appropriate for your organization.
General. The Organization’s Code of Ethics and Conduct (“Code”) required directors, officers and employees to observe high standards of business and personal ethics in the conduct of their duties and responsibilities. As employees and representatives of the Organization, we must practice honesty and integrity in fulfilling our responsibilities and comply with all applicable laws and regulations.
Reporting. Responsibility It is the responsibility of all directors, officers and employees to comply with the Code and to report violations or suspected violations in accordance with the Whistleblower Policy.
No Retaliation. No director, officer or employee who in good faith reports a violation of the Code shall suffer harassment, retaliation or adverse employment consequence. An employee who retaliates against someone who has reported a violation in good faith is subject to discipline up to and including termination of employment. This Whistleblower Policy is intended to encourage and enable employees and others to raise serious concerns within the Organization prior to seeking resolution outside the Organization.
Reporting Violations. The Code addresses the Organization’s open door policy and suggests that employees share their questions, concerns, suggestions or complaints with someone who can address them properly. In most cases, an employee’s supervisor is in the best position to address an area of concern. However, if you are not comfortable speaking with your supervisor or you are not satisfied with your supervisor’s response, you are encouraged to speak with someone in the Human Resources Department or anyone in management whom you are comfortable in approaching. Supervisors and managers are required to report suspected violations of the Code of Conduct to the Organization’s Compliance Officer, who has specific and exclusive responsibility to investigate all reported violations. For suspected fraud, or when you are not satisfied or uncomfortable with following the Organization’s open door policy, individuals should contact the Organization’s Compliance Officer directly.
Compliance Officer. The Organization’s Compliance Officer is responsible for investigating and resolving all reported complaints and allegations concerning violations of the Code and, at his discretion, shall advise the Executive Director and/or the audit committee. The Compliance Officer has direct access to the audit committee of the board of directors and is required to report to the audit committee at least annually on compliance activity. The Organization’s Compliance Officer is the chair of the audit committee.
Accounting and Auditing Matters. The audit committee of the board of directors shall address all reported concerns or complaints regarding corporate accounting practices, internal controls or auditing. The Compliance Officer shall immediately notify the audit committee of any such complaint and work with the committee until the matter is resolved.
Acting in Good Faith. Anyone filing a complaint concerning a violation or suspected violation of the Code must be acting in good faith and have reasonable grounds for believing the information disclosed indicates a violation of the Code. Any allegations that prove not to be substantiated and which prove to have been made maliciously or knowingly to be false will be viewed as a serious disciplinary offense.
Confidentiality. Violations or suspected violations may be submitted on a confidential basis by the complainant or may be submitted anonymously. Reports of violations or suspected violations will be kept confidential to the extent possible, consistent with the need to conduct an adequate investigation.
Handling of Reported Violations. The Compliance Officer will notify the sender and acknowledge receipt of the reported violation or suspected violation within five business days. All reports will be promptly investigated and appropriate corrective action will be taken if warranted by the investigation.
by Cate Robeson Pickens | Oct 18, 2019
Unsure where to start (or end) your nonprofit board meeting? Use this resource to help create your first meeting agenda!
- Attendance (5 Minutes). It’s good to keep track of who attends – and who is absent. Chronic unexcused absences are the sign of an unengaged board member.
- Welcome, Introductions (5 Minutes) Always take time to introduce new board members and guests.
- Minutes from Previous Meeting (5 Minutes). The previous meeting’s minutes should be distributed prior to the meeting, or available for pick-up and perusal before the meeting begins. Take record of any corrections and comments on the minutes, and then take a vote for approval.
- Treasurer’s Report (5 Minutes). The Treasure’s Report should show income and expenses current to the most recently-received bank statement. It should also show bank account balances, and may also show “encumbered funds” (like unspent grants).
- Old Business (10 Minutes). This is a time to receive reports on pending projects, previous assignments, etc.
- New Business (15 Minutes). This is a time to discuss new projects and issues.
- Optional topics (10 Minutes). These topics may be added to the meeting agenda when necessary.
- Correspondence. Correspondences can be summarized or read in detail, depending upon the importance to the organization. You might choose to share requests for financial support, calls to action, or expressions of gratitude.
- Upcoming Events. If you have upcoming events, this is a time to discuss sign-ups, volunteer tasks, and opportunities or obstacles.
- Other Business (7 Minutes). Be careful! if you leave your agenda too open-ended, you can get more than you bargain for. If you have Board Members or members of the public who regularly take Board
- Next Meeting (3 Minutes). Don’t forget to remind your Board of the next scheduled meeting! If you don’t have a regular meeting time, schedule two meetings in advance: the next one, and a tentative date for the one after that.
by Cate Robeson Pickens | Oct 17, 2019
All nonprofits should have a Conflict of Interest Policy to be completed and signed by each board member every year. This information does not need to be made public, but rather serves as a guide for the organization’s board and staff members.
To download the form, click here. This material is for your use, but while the author of this document is an attorney, she is not your attorney. The author recommends that you (a) review any forms carefully and modify them to suit your particular circumstances and (b) have your attorney review the materials before implementation to be sure that they are legally appropriate for your organization.
by Cate Robeson Pickens | Oct 17, 2019
How mature is your board? This self-assessment will help your nonprofit board of directors identify its strengths, weaknesses, and progress toward achieving its goals.
To download the assessment, click here. This material is for your use, but while the author of this document is an attorney, she is not your attorney. The author recommends that you (a) review any forms carefully and modify them to suit your particular circumstances and (b) have your attorney review the materials before implementation to be sure that they are legally appropriate for your organization.