The following is from the QOV®F Newsletter of Oct 13, 2014. It is shared here due to the changes that are in process for the organization. Anyone may sign up for the Newsletter on the QOVF website or on the QOVF Facebook Page (you must be a member of facebook for this link).
Please note that this is the fourth message in a series - you may be interested in the first three messages also - refer to the above links.
The Quilts of Valor ® Foundation
Getting Our Financial House In Order
From Susan Gordon
I'm starting this next e-blast by sharing some background information that I hope will help you understand why we are making the current changes.
During the early years following Catherine's dream of healing the wounded with quilts, sew groups began to form around the country. As the number of volunteers and quilts increased, Catherine recognized the need to become a 501(c)(3) and took the time and effort to register the foundation, making financial donations to our mission tax deductible.
Also, a QOVF website was born. We listed sew groups on the site and used Facebook to communicate with quilters by posting information there. We had no published policies or procedures in those days.
Eventually, QOVF had a monthly newsletter, but we also experienced a long period without a newsletter to communicate the guidelines of our rapidly growing foundation to volunteers, simply because no volunteer with the needed skills was found. In the meantime, technology improved, and now we have-in addition to our quality monthly newsletter QOVF Threads-"Constant Contact," which we use to send messages like this to our 7000 and growing email list. We now also have a published Policies & Procedures Manual with clear guidelines regarding the "whys" and the "hows" of what we do at QOVF. The "P & P" is available on our website www.QOVF.org as a downloadable pdf.
Just a few years ago, our Board of Directors applied for national trademarks for the words Quilts of Valor®, Quilt of Valor®, and QOV®. The approval process was lengthy, but with our trademark applications now approved, we have a responsibility to protect our trademarks and monitor their use; our Policies & Procedures Manual helps us to do that.
Earlier this year, as we worked to get our policies and procedures into publishable form, our team spent a great deal of time thinking about how to create a way to ensure that the administrative costs any growing national organization must bear would be shared by all. These expenses include our Constant Contact contract, our website, our tax return, our state fundraising registrations in the states that require filing, our liability insurance policy, and other costs.
The decision was made to transition to a membership structure-to ask our volunteers to pay a nominal fee to actually join Quilts of Valor Foundation as card-carrying members. Becoming a membership organization enables us to put our financial house in order. Member groups must designate a Group Leader who will take the responsibility of keeping records of the group's local fundraising activities, reporting and turning in local funds to our national treasurer, and monitoring reimbursements.
Keeping accurate financial records is critical for maintaining our 501(c)(3) status and filing our annual tax return. Charging a nominal annual membership fee means everyone in Quilts of Valor Foundation shares in the expenses necessary to operate the foundation. With our financial record-keep in order, we'll be in the position to seek financial support from both inside and outside the quilting industry. We'll be in a position to order and pay for a financial audit of our books.
Financial transparency is important, and the independent audit mentioned above is a goal of our Board of Directors and Executive Staff. With additional funding, we'll be able to "give back" much more to local groups. Right now, we're asking our community of volunteers to step up and become members, and we hope that within a short time we'll have extra resources to not only help local groups buy more fabric and supplies to use locally, but to also set up scholarships and grants to enable people who can't afford fabric themselves make Quilts of Valor.
Our Core Values say we are accountable.
We are accountable to our donors, our volunteers, and our recipients. We must also be accountable for the funds that are raised in the name of Quilts of Valor. From now on, groups who represent themselves as QOV groups and who raise money locally are required to send their funds to national treasurer, who maintains our records and supplies them to our tax preparer. Without local accountability, we can't be accountable at the national level.
The good news is that, now, 100% of the funds you raise locally are available for reimbursement. With our new membership structure, everyone helps with shared "national" expenses. There is no need for 10% of your funds to be earmarked for these expenses as they once were. Refunds of the 10% that was held at national in this past year have been made to all local groups. Going forward, when you apply for reimbursements, our Treasury Services Coordinator and our National Treasurer are committed to getting reimbursement to local groups within 14 working days provided documentation is in order. Check the Policies & Procedures Manual for this procedure.
Thanks for your passion and devotion to our mission. Please let Sharon Ledbetter (sharon.ledbetter@QOVF.org) or me (susan.gordon@QOVF.org)know if you have questions.