BAM Policies, Guideline

DRAFT

 

Bengali Association of Minnesota (BAM)

 

Privacy Policy and Guidelines

 

  1. Scope and Purpose

 

This Privacy Policy and Guidelines Statement  (hereinafter referred to as “BAM Privacy Policy” or the “Policy”) covers Bengali Association of Minnesota (BAM)’s treatment of  personal information or personally identifiable information ( both referred to hereinafter as “Personal Information”) that may be collected or submitted when the web-user (“you”) are using BAM’s website or services.

 

This Policy does not apply to companies and organizations that BAM does not own or control, or to individuals that are not under BAM’s supervisory control.

 

The purpose of this Policy is to provide transparency and to provide BAM Directors, Officers, Advisory & Compliance Committee (ACC) Members, and staff (including contract employees, if any) Guidelines regarding the treatment of member’s and guest’s Personal Information that is collected by BAM during its normal day-to-day business activities.

 

  1. Personal Information collected by BAM from members and non-member visitors to its website

 

The BAM website is divided into 2 sections: a general section that is accessible to both members of the general public and BAM members; and a “Members Only” section that can be accessed only by registered BAM members after entering a unique personal password. Content on the BAM website. Content on the “Members Only” section of the BAM website is accessible only to BAM members.

 

While using BAM’s website, BAM members may submit Personal Information when applying for BAM Membership or Membership Renewal, registering for BAM notifications and emails, signing up for future events and newsletters, and accessing and posting content.

 

Depending on the service or process, the Personal Information you may be asked to provide is your:

 

  • Name
  • Postal Address
  • Email address
  • Phone number
  • Age, Gender, Family members, and other pertinent demographic information needed for membership registration
  • Financial information like Credit or Debit Card or PayPal Account Information

 

  1. Use and disclosure of Personal Information collected by BAM

 

BAM uses the Personal Information collected from members only for the internal business of BAM. BAM allows access to non-public Personal Information only to BAM members who need to know the information in order to run BAM’s operations and carry out BAMs work and objectives.

 

BAM does not buy, sell, lease, or rent members’ Personal Information or BAM membership list.

 

BAM does not disclose any non-public Personal Information about its current or former members to any person or organization except as permitted or required by law. 

 

  1. Protecting non-public Personal Information

 

BAM strives to use reasonable steps and precautions to protect and safeguard the non-public Personal Information of its members. 

 

During the course of its normal day-to-day business activities BAM, like many other organizations, works with several outside companies and organizations specializing in the management of websites and web-based information, and for processing online payments (hereinafter referred to as third-party vendors). BAM uses these third-party vendors to host and maintain its website and online services, collect and process payments from members, and collect and process information for registration of members and conducting BAM elections.

 

To safeguard the information provided by members and processed by these third-party vendors, BAM strives to use reputable and established vendors/service providers that have Privacy Policies and technical infrastructure in place to safeguard the personal information processed or hosted on behalf of their clients. For example, payments made to BAM may be collected through PayPal or credit card or by depositing checks in the BAM’s bank account, and BAM relies on the Privacy Policies, procedure, and technical infrastructure in place at these financial institutions to prevent unauthorized disclosure of Personal Information

 

However, BAM realizes and cautions its members that in spite of such steps and precautions, Personal Information that is entered or stored online may in some cases be intercepted, collected and used by others. 

 

  1. Monitoring and Reporting

 

It is the responsibility of all the members of the BAM Board of Directors(BOD) and BAM Advisory & Compliance Committee (ACC) to support and enforce this Policy. The President of BAM may appoint one of the Directors to be the main contact for ongoing evaluation of the processes and safeguards in place in BAM and at the third-party vendors that BAM uses for operating its website and payment processing. This Director shall present a Privacy Policy status report once every quarter to the BOD and ACC with any updates and recommendations.

 

Complaints or reports received from any BAM member(s) regarding disclosure of Personal Information  in violation of this Policy or about a data breach at a third-party vendor site shall be investigated by the BOD and ACC and the results of the investigation will be communicated to the affected parties and BAM General Body, as deemed required by the BOD and ACC. 

 

  1. Notice regarding Privacy Policy; Questions

 

BAM shall post a notice on its website regarding this Privacy Policy with a link to this Privacy Policy document. 

Questions or comments regarding BAM’s Privacy Policy Notice may be addressed to support@mnbangali.org.

Bengali Association of Minnesota (BAM)

Policy Guidelines regarding Financial Responsibility & Duties

These Policy Guidelines have been established by the Board of Directors of the Bengali Association of Minnesota (BAM) under Section VIII – Financial Responsibility & Duties; Fiscal Year of the BAM ByLaws which states as follows: 

“VIII.1 In order to maintain the 501 (c)(3) tax-exempt status of the corporation under the Internal Revenue Service guidelines, BAM shall comply with all applicable rules and regulations. The Board of Directors (BOD) and Officers of the corporation shall maintain corporation’s records and file necessary reports and documents to government authorities as required by law. The Board of Directors may authorize consultation with appropriate professionals like certified public accountant or attorney to assist with this. 

VIII.2 BAM may receive funds and contributions in the form of grants, bequests, gifts and through fund-raising activities, and for a specific purpose or for the general benefit of the corporation. The BOD may lay down appropriate guidelines relating to the raising, collection, recording, safekeeping, and expenditure of funds and other matters pertaining to the financial management of the corporation.”

VIII.3 Fiscal Year: The fiscal year of the corporation shall be from January 1st to December 31st.

 

BAM Policy Guidelines regarding Financial Responsibility & Duties 

(Proposed and drafted by the ACC and Approved on May 11, 2019 by the BOD of Bengali Association of Minnesota)

Purpose: The purpose of these Guidelines is to provide guidance for the Board of Directors (BOD) , individual Directors, Officers, ACC and Committee Chairs and Members, General Body Members, and Employees of BAM for the prudent, transparent and ethical discharge of their financial responsibilities and duties, and to ensure that the financial management of the corporation is compliant with applicable legal requirements, and fulfills BAM’s  mission in the most effective and efficient manner and remains accountable to all BAM stakeholders and the community. These Guidelines may be updated if needed in the future by the BOD in consultation with the ACC.

The following guidelines shall be followed:

  1. Maintenance and production of financial data; filing of returns and reports:
    1. The Officers and the Board of Directors of BAM shall maintain and make available accurate and complete financial data for internal and external use as needed to comply with all applicable laws, rules, and regulations and maintain BAM’s 501 (c)(3) tax-exempt status.
    2.  The Board of Directors and Officers of the corporation shall file necessary reports and documents to government authorities as required by law.
    3. Financial reports and summaries shall be presented at BOD meetings and shared with BAM members on a regular basis.
    4. The Board of Directors may authorize consultation with, or appointment of appropriate professionals like certified public accountants or attorneys to advise it on financial and legal matters and help with preparation of financial reports or tax returns. In such event the Board of Directors shall also authorize payment of fees to such professionals.

 

    1. Funds and Contributions: BAM may receive funds and contributions in the form of grants, bequests, gifts and through fund-raising activities, and for a specific purpose or for the general benefit of the corporation.
      1. BAM Reserve Fund:
        1.  The fund received for BAM’s general benefit will be kept as BAM Reserve Fund. The maintenance and safekeeping of this Reserve Fund will be the responsibility of the Board of Directors.
        2. The Board may set a minimum amount that needs to be maintained in the Reserve Fund based on the corporation’s estimated yearly fixed operating costs, and for emergencies and unforeseen contingencies.
        3. All accounting related to the BAM Reserve Fund will be done by the Treasurer and shall be reported regularly at the Board of Directors and General Body meetings.
        4. Temporary Advances from Reserve Fund: From time-to-time, it may be necessary to use funds from the BAM Reserve Fund to pay as advance payments for successful execution of BAM events. The President and the Treasurer will have the authority to make such payments. Repayment of these advances back to the BAM Reserve Fund should be done, preferably, no later than ninety (90) days from the date on which this advance payment was made or as soon as funds are available. All instances of such advances from the Reserve Fund shall be reported in the next Board of Director meeting.
        5. The Board of Directors may authorize drawing of funds from the BAM Reserve Fund under the following circumstances:
          1. Approved and budgeted operating expenses of the organization;
          2. For long term strategic investments for the benefit of the corporation;
          3. For purchase of assets deemed necessary for BAM’s recurring use;
          4. For humanitarian relief assistance;
          5. Any other cause approved by the general body of BAM.
        6. Total funds withdrawn for the purposes noted in para II.a.v above during any fiscal year shall not exceed twenty (20) % of the balance of the Reserve Fund at the time of the withdrawal of the funds. Any exceptions to this will require a resolution approved by the general body of BAM.
      2. Funds received for specific purpose or event; Donor Designated Funds:
        1. Funds received for a specific purpose (e.g. a BAM scholarship or for specific disaster relief fund raising) or a specific BAM event (e.g., Durga Pujo) shall be used only for that specific purpose. If BAM receives a donation, gift, or bequest that has been designated by the donor for a specific purpose, the BOD shall determine how best to use the funds in a manner that meets the wishes of the donor.
        2. All accounting related to the receipts and expenditures for each such specific purpose or BAM event shall be done by the Treasurer and reported regularly at the Board of Directors and General Body meetings.
        3. The Board of Directors and the Organizing Committees appointed for all BAM events will strive to run such events on a no-loss basis. If any surplus funds are left over after expenditures are met for any BAM event, the same will be made part of the BAM Reserve Fund.
        4. If there is a shortfall of funds available for a particular BAM event, the Board of Directors may authorize meeting the shortfall, in full or in part, by withdrawals from the BAM Reserve Fund. The BOD may authorize additional fundraising initiatives to raise money to meet the shortfall and/or make revisions to the budgeted expenditures for other events to meet the shortfall and pay back the amount withdrawn to the BAM Reserve Fund.
      3. Asset Replacement Fund: In order to provide for the cost of replacing BAM’s major assets (e.g. Durga Pratima) the BOD may authorize annual fund raising initiatives to establish and maintain a BAM Asset Replacement Fund. All accounting related to the receipts and expenditures for the Asset Replacement Fund shall be done by the Treasurer and reported regularly at the Board of Directors and General Body meetings.
      4. The BOD may lay down additional guidelines relating to the raising, collection, recording, safekeeping, and expenditure of funds as needed for the effective financial management of the corporation.
      5. BAM shall issue receipts and Tax Certificates to donors for donations received as required under law. The receipts and Tax Certificates shall be signed by the Treasurer or other person authorized by the BOD to do so.

 

  • Gift Acceptance

 

    1. Cash, check, credit card payments: BAM may accept gifts and donations by cash, check, credit card payments. This will be the usual means of accepting gifts. All such payments shall be deposited in BAM’s bank account upon receipt.
    2. Contributions in kind: BAM shall accept contributions of goods or services other than by cash, check or credit cards that are related to the programs and operations of BAM. For example, BAM may accept flowers or food items that will be used for one of its events. Any other contributions of non-cash items must be reviewed and approved by the Board of Directors before acceptance.
    3. Stock, bonds or other negotiable instruments: BAM may accept stocks or other negotiable instruments as a vehicle for donors to transfer assets to the corporation. Transfer and recording the value of the asset shall be done in a consistent manner and in compliance with accounting standards after consulting an appropriate professional advisor in this regard. The President or another so authorized by the BOD shall sell any stock given to the corporation immediately upon receipt and deposit the proceeds in BAM’s bank account.
  1. Day-to-day Financial Management: The BOD is ultimately responsible for the financial management of all activities. The President and Treasurer are authorized to act on the Board’s behalf on financial matters when action is required in advance of a meeting of the BOD or in the normal course of business of the corporation. The President and Treasurer are responsible for the day-today financial management of the corporation. The BOD authorizes them to:
    1. Pay bills, receive funds, and maintain bank accounts. Opening of new bank accounts or closing of existing bank accounts shall require prior approval of the BOD.
    2. Sign checks and withdraw cash from BAM’s account as needed for BAM’s everyday business. The BOD must authorize checks issued over $ _1000______ and cash withdrawals over $ _500___.
    3. Enter into contracts for activities that have been approved by the Board as a part of budgets or plans. The BOD must authorize any contracts outside of these parameters and all contracts with a financial value greater than $_500___.
    4. Manage expenses within the parameters of the overall approved budget, reporting to the BOD on variances and the reason for these variances.
    5. The BOD must approve any use of the BAM Reserve Fund or the BAM Asset Replacement Fund that have not been pre-authorized by the BOD.
  2. Contractual commitments requiring specific approval of BOD: No contractual commitment for bank loans, corporate credit cards, or for real estate leases or purchases, or for motor vehicle purchase or lease, shall be made on behalf of BAM without the specific approval of the BOD. The BOD may specify other classes of contractual commitments that will require specific approval of the BOD.
  3. Financial Transactions with Insiders:
    1. No personal advances or loans of funds to BAM officers, directors, members, or employees are authorized. Direct and necessary expenses for authorized BAM activities and events, and related to carrying out BAM responsibilities shall be reimbursed.
    2. In no case shall BAM borrow funds from any BAM officers, directors, members, or employees without specific authorization from the BOD.
  4.  Fixed Assets and Depreciation:
    1. Fixed assets with purchase prices greater than $500 will be recorded as capital assets in BAM’s accounting records.
    2. Depreciation of capital assets will be spread over the reasonable life expectancy of the asset but shall not exceed five years for furniture and equipment or three years for computer and other technology equipment.
  5. Duty to conduct financial transactions in a prudent and responsible manner:
    1. The BOD and all BAM officers, directors, members, and employees shall strive to conduct financial transactions and manage BAM finances in a prudent and responsible manner keeping in mind the best interests and well-being of the corporation.
    2. The BOD, Officers and Committees will ensure BAM plans for and pays its bills, insurance premiums, legal and professional fees owed, and other financial obligations in a timely manner and vendor credit accounts are limited to prudent and necessary levels.
    3. The BOD, Officers, and Committees responsible for buying goods or services for BAM should select vendors and suppliers based on cost, service, quality and other relevant considerations.
    4. The BOD may require competitive bids to be obtained for expensive items or services and establish selection criteria based on cost, service, quality, member preferences and other relevant considerations. BAM may award the bid to any provider and is not required to accept the lowest cost proposal.
    5. The BOD may approve payment of down payments and advances for booking of venues, cultural performers, and service providers for planned BAM events when it considers it to be appropriate and in the interest of BAM.
  6. Asset Protection: In order to ensure that the assets of BAM are adequately protected and maintained, the BOD shall:
    1. Insure against theft and casualty losses to the corporation and against liability losses to members of the BOD, ACC, Committees, event volunteers, staff, or the corporation itself to levels indicated in consultation with suitable professional resources.
    2. Plan and carry out suitable protection and maintenance of property, building, equipment and physical assets and store them in suitable secure locations when not in use.
    3. Avoid actions that would expose the corporation and the members of BAM BOD, ACC, Committees, event volunteers, and staff to claims of liability.
    4. Protect intellectual property, information, and files from unauthorized access, tampering, loss, or significant damage.
    5. Receive, process, and disburse funds under controls that are sufficient to maintain basic segregation of duties to protect bank accounts, income receipts, and payments.
    6. Select venues for BAM events and meetings keeping in mind the safety and security of the members and guests that will be attending them.
  7. Review of Financial Reports, Budget and Planning:

In order to ensure that planned activities of BAM minimize the risk of financial jeopardy and are consistent with Board approved priorities and the long-term financial health of the corporation, the Board of Directors shall:

    1. Assist the President and Treasurer of BAM prepare and submit draft operating and capital budgets in time for discussion and approval by the Board at the Special Board Meeting convened for this purpose in beginning of the fiscal year.
    2. Ensure that the budget is based on responsible and realistic assumptions and projections and potential shortfalls of revenue are identified early in the year and plans are put in place to meet these shortfalls.
    3. Review financial reports at each board meeting and make adjustments to the budget or planned expenditures as necessary to stay within the budget.
    4. Ensure that all new members of the BOD, ACC, and BAM Committees are provided with adequate training and information to enable them to fulfill their role and responsibilities with regard to BAM finances.
    5. Work with the ACC and other members of the BAM community in the long term planning of priorities for BAM.