ARTICLE I – Name
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 shall be elected by the membership at a GBM called by the outgoing Committee prior to the completion of their tenure as detailed in Article XII. It will be the responsibility of the President to select the other two core members of the Committee on or before the beginning of the tenure.
The Committee is at liberty to add more members to it as deemed necessary.
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 member of the committee may serve more than two consecutive terms (four years) in any capacity. However, they may serve again after taking a break of two years.
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, in order to be carried out, shall require a quorum of fifty one percent of the general membership and two-thirds majority of those present:
a. Removal of a Committee member
b. Expulsion of a member from the Association
ARTICLE XI – By-Laws
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 – Executive Committee Election
1. The election shall be conducted by the Election Officer appointed by the Committee.
2. The Election Officer may request nominations from the general membership
3. A nomination is valid if all the following conditions are met:
a . At least two members support the nominee
b. The nominee is present, except for instances of illness and/or emergencies
c. The member accepts the nomination
4. After the completion of the nomination process, the general membership will be asked to vote.
5. Executive Committee election shall be by secret ballot or by consent at the annual general meeting to be held at the biggest social event e.g. Durga Puja festival.
6. The members present at the annual general meeting shall select only the President of the Committee. Each member, above the age of eighteen, is entitled to one vote.
7. A general member shall be entitled to vote by proxy for another general member, provided prior written authorization is obtained from such an absentee general member. Such written authorization shall be on formal proxy forms to be provided by the Association for future examination/verification by the members.
8. The President shall be elected based on majority vote. In case of tie votes, another vote shall be conducted.
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