1.      The Association shall be known as Bengali Cultural Association of Arizona.

ARTICLE II – Address

1.      The address of the Association will be the address of the current President of the Association, unless otherwise notified.

ARTICLE III – Missions and Objectives of the Association

1.      Organize and celebrate Bengali social, cultural, philanthropic, and spiritual events.

2.      Promote appreciation and understanding of Bengali culture, language, and traditions.

3.      Teach the children of the Bengali and international community, the Bengali language, culture, and traditions.

4.      Co-operate with other diverse, cultural groups and regional organizations in promoting and sharing Indian culture and traditions.

5.      Publish magazines and/or a newsletter which will act as vehicles of sharing arts, information, and ideas amongst the members of the association.

6.      Participate in Philanthropic or Charitable events of possible interest to the Arizona Bengali Community.

7.      Manage finances to maintain non-profit charitable status of the Association and to promote long term sustainability of the Bengali Community.

8.      The Association shall not discriminate based on race, religion, caste, creed, nationality, or sex.

ARTICLE IV – Donation fropm Patrons

1.      Anyone desiring to further the objectives of the Association, can donate to the Association. We value your donations to the organziation as it helps us execute on our missions.The Executive Committee of the organization at its discretion may grant certain special privileges to donors who contribute significantly to our cause.

ARTICLE V – Executive Committee Responsibilities

1.      The Executive Committee, hereinafter called the Committee shall be responsible to fulfill and promote the Mission and Objectives of the Association. it will be the responsibility of the membership to help the Committee in rendering their responsibilities.

2.      It will be the responsibility of the Committee to raise enough funds through collection of membership payment dues, conducting fund raising events, collecting funds from corporate & individual sponsors, and by other means as legally allowed for a non-profit charitable organization, to meet the annual expenses.

3.      As per the spirit and purpose of a non-profit charitable organization, the Committee will aim to raise enough funds to meet the annual expenses in conducting activities that meet the Missions and Objectives of the association.

4.      Even though the Missions and Objectives of the organization is not to make profit; it will be beneficial, to meet the long term objectives for the sustainability of the organization, to contribute as much as possible every year to the “long term objectives for sustainability fund”, hereafter referred as LTF (Long Term Fund). Thus it will be the expectation of the membership that the Committee manages the annual budgets in a way to enable them to make positive contributions to the LTF at the end of their tenure.

5.       In order to facilitate a new Committee to conduct activities at the beginning of their term, the Committee can borrow a maximum of 20% of the total LTF without prior General Body Meeting (GBM) approval. However, the Committee shall pay off the loan at the earliest convenience.  Without a prior GBM approval, the Committee under no circumstances can withdraw more than 20% of the LTF during their entire tenure. Any unpaid amount from the previous withdrawals will be used to determine the total 20% withdrawal limit.

The Committee is expected to pay off the LTF loan. However, any unpaid LTF amount will hinder the Association’s capability to meet the long term objectives of the Association and will be subject to explanation to the general body.

However, the Committee may borrow additional funds from the LTF with GBM approval under special circumstances.

6.      The Committee must adopt appropriate measures, including hiring of CPA and other accounting professionals to maintain the financial documents, as  required by law. The Committee shall also fulfill all other legal obligations, including submission of IRS return(s) to maintain the non-profit charitable statute of the Organization.

7.      The outgoing Committee shall hand over all documents, funds and inventories to the newly formed Committee at a joint meeting of the two committees.

ARTICLE VI – Composition and Formation of the Committee

1.      The Committee shall at least be composed of 3 core members: the President, the General Secretary, and the Treasurer. The term of each committee shall be for the duration of two years and shall start on 1st of January. The committee shall serve in a voluntary capacity. The committee shall be responsible to the membership.

2.   The President for the next term shall be elected as detailed in Article XII. After the election, it will be the responsibility of the elected President to select the General Secretary and Treasurer before starting his or her term.

The President at his or her discretion will add new members to the executive committee as deemed necessary to ensure proper functioning of the organization. 

To qualify as a core member of the Executive Committee (EC), the individual should be an active member and in good standing* for at least two (2) consecutive years. The core functions will consist of the following:

  • General Secretary

  • Treasurer

  • Cultural Secretary

  • Food Secretary

*Must pay his/her dues and actively participate in volunteering opportunities in events organized by BCAA

3.      The President shall be the Chief Executive Officer of the organization and shall have the general powers and duties of supervision and management.

The President shall preside over all general and executive body meetings, and shall have general supervision, direction and control of business of the Association. The President will have no special powers. All decisions shall be decisions of the Committee. The General Secretary shall give, or cause to be given, notice of all meetings of the Association, social,  cultural, and other community events, and all other notices required by the constitution.

In case of his or her absence, any person hereunto directed by the President may give any such notice. He or she shall record all proceedings of meetings of the committee. The General Secretary shall assume all responsibilities of the President in his or her absence. The Treasurer shall have custody of all funds and securities of the Association and shall keep full and accurate accounts of receipts and disbursements. He or she will be responsible for IRS tax returns, as required by law. The treasurer shall prepare the annual budget, get it ratified by the Committee and publish to the membership at least once every year.

4.      The Committee may also form an Advisory Board comprised of senior and knowledgeable members of the BCAA community to help them rendering their responsibilities, both tactical and strategic. However the Advisory Board shall act only as per the request and directions of the Committee.

5.      The membership will have to elect a new President if the current President fails to maintain the minimum requirements of 3 core members for a period of consecutive three months.

6.    No elected members of the committee may serve more than two consecutive terms in the same or any elected capacity. There will be a minimum cool-off period of one term (2 years) before the member can join the executive committee team in any elected position.

(Please note this is only for ELECTED members, which as of current date implies only for the PRESIDENT)

ARTICLE VII – Banking and Accounts

1.      The Committee shall approve the institution(s) in which the account(s) of the Association shall be kept. All accounts shall be kept in the name of the Association. Transactions shall normally be by means of checks – paper or electronic. Under no circumstances shall the payee be a signatory of a check.

2.      There will at least be two financial accounts:  one to manage the day-to-day activities and the other for LTF fund.

3.      All contracts with the  outside organizations and individuals shall be in writing and must have prior approval of the committee.

ARTICLE VIII – Rules of Order

1.      All meetings shall generally be conducted in accordance with Robert’s rules of order. Membership meetings may adopt other rules of procedure as required for the conduct of their business.

ARTICLE IX – General Body Meeting (GBM)

1.      Unless otherwise specified in the by-laws, there shall be at least one annual general body meeting called and organized by the Committee.

Other general body meetings may be called when necessary, by the Committee. A general body meeting can also be called when at least twenty-five percent of the membership requests it by a petition to the Committee.

2.      The following items shall be included in the agenda of the annual GBM:

a.       President’s report

b.      Discussion and approval of the Treasurer’s report

c.       Election of the new Committee if and when required

ARTICLE X – Quorum

1.      For Committee meetings, at least sixty percent of the Committee members must be present to constitute a quorum. For general membership meetings, at least thirty percent of the members must be present to form a quorum.

2.      If a vote is taken electronically, a second 48 hour notice shall be given if less than 30% of registered members vote, after that the motion shall be carried (or not) based only on those members who actually voted.

3.   The following motions, are to be carried out:

  1. Expulsion of any active member(s) from the Association:

Shall require a quorum of fifty-one percent of the general membership and a two-thirds majority of those present

  1. Removal of any elected member:

Shall require a quorum of fifty-one percent of the general membership and a two-thirds majority of those present. If the President is removed, the General Secretary will perform the role of President for the interim period till the steps are taken to elect the new President as stated in Article XII comes into effect.

  1. Removal of a member from the Executive Committee:

The elected member of the executive committee (as of current rules the President) at his/her discretion reserves the right to select, replace and/or reshuffle any member of the active executive committee team for cause or convenience, based on general consensus and a joint decision of the executive committee team. 


1.      By-laws can be proposed by either the Committee or the general membership. They are adopted only if approved by a majority vote at a general meeting or when approved by an order voting procedure specified by the general membership.

2.      The by-laws shall complement the Constitution of the Association. In cases of conflict between the by-laws and the constitution, the Constitution shall prevail.

ARTICLE XII – Election of President

1.     The Election Officer is subject to satisfying the following criteria

    • Active member of the organization for the past 3 years or more

    • Nominated by the Executive Committee

    • The election officer can not be part of the current executive committee

  1. Eligibility to be nominated as a president: 

    • An active member of the organization for consecutive 3 years or more.

    • Should not be an office bearer of an external organization with competing interests. The individual should not take up a similar position during the tenure, which could be deemed as a conflict of interest.

    • Should be nominated by any individual whose membership is in active status for 3 years or more by submitting the nomination form.

    • The nomination is accepted by the candidate.

    • The nomination is filed before the cut-off date

    • The candidate should have served at least one term as a member of the BCAA executive committee or has demonstrated leadership ability and has consistently served the BCAA community through volunteering efforts or any other philanthropic initiatives carried out by this organization.

  2. The election officer will have the authority to disqualify the nomination if he or she deems any criteria stated above in #2 are not satisfied.

  3. Nomination is announced by the election officer, as and when a valid nomination is filed and accepted.

  4. The election officer will announce the names of candidates who have stood for President 1 week before deadline to all the members who are current with their dues. If there is only one valid nomination once the nomination deadline has passed then the election officer will declare the person as President.

  5. The Election officer announces the election, if there is more than one valid accepted nomination. 

  6. After the completion of the nomination process, the general membership will be asked to vote.

  7. The President’s election can be conducted online (digital) or by consent at the annual general meeting on the date and time, decided by the Election Officer.

  8. New and existing members who have paid their annual membership on or before the BCAA Durga Puja event of the election year will be eligible to vote.

  9. Active members who have subscribed to individual membership will be entitled to a maximum of one (1) vote.

  10. Active members who have subscribed to family membership will be entitled to a maximum of two (2) votes. The rest of the household members can avail of all the membership benefits except they cannot vote.

  11. The voting will be done by secret ballot, where the voter’s choice of candidate will be kept anonymous. The identity of members who have voted or not voted will not be shared with any candidate, only the Election Officer will be privy to the information.

  12. Suppose there is a situation where nobody stands for the President’s position, or the election result runs into a tie. In that case, an emergency GBM meeting will be called by the EC and a President will have to be nominated or elected by a simple majority. Candidates who took part in the election will not qualify to be nominated.

ARTICLE XIII – Voting on Other Issues

1.      Voting on other issues can be held either in a general membership meeting or, if the Committee or the general membership decides, by mail balloting.

A majority vote will decide all issues, irrespective of the voting procedure. Voting can be either by a show of hands or by secret ballot at a general meeting as desired by the general membership.

2.      A majority shall decide all issues in the Committee, provided a quorum is available. The Committee can use mail or phone balloting among its members if necessary.

ARTICLE XIV – Amendments

1.      This Constitution may be amended only by a simple majority vote of the membership. The General Secretary shall issue a notice regarding the amendment. By-laws can be amended by a majority vote at a general meeting of the membership. Proposals for amendments may originate from the Committee or by means of written request from at least thirty percent of the membership.

ARTICLE XV – Dissolution

1.      The Association may be dissolved with the approval of a majority of the general membership. The committee shall be responsible for the actions necessary to accomplish this.

Ratified by the GBM on October 19th 2013