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Friends Essential


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Description of Friends Groups for National Wildlife Refuges:

What are friends?
Structure of the organization?
Management essentials?

Published in: Business, News & Politics
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Friends Essential

  1. 1. Friends Essential Joan Patterson Director of Grassroots Outreach National Wildlife Refuge Association
  2. 2. Key Points of our Conservation <ul><li>What are Friends </li></ul><ul><li>Partnerships </li></ul><ul><li>Structure of the Organization </li></ul><ul><li>Management Essentials </li></ul>
  3. 3. What Are Friends Organizations? <ul><li>Private </li></ul><ul><li>Independent </li></ul><ul><li>501(c)(3) nonprofit </li></ul><ul><li>Provide support </li></ul>
  4. 4. Friends Organizations Are Not… <ul><li>“ Anti” groups </li></ul><ul><li>FWS spokesperson </li></ul><ul><li>Refuge managers </li></ul><ul><li>Cash cows </li></ul>
  5. 5. Why Are Friends Important?
  6. 6. National Friends Program Partners <ul><li>U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service </li></ul><ul><li>National Wildlife Refuge Association </li></ul><ul><li>National Fish and Wildlife Foundation </li></ul>
  7. 7. Partnership Foundation Elements <ul><li>Compelling Vision </li></ul><ul><li>Strong and Shared Leadership </li></ul><ul><li>Shared Problem Definition and Approach </li></ul><ul><li>Power Equity </li></ul><ul><li>Interdependency and Complimentarily </li></ul><ul><li>Mutual Accountability </li></ul>
  8. 8. The Board <ul><li>Setting the policy for the organization. </li></ul><ul><li>Monitoring the organization’s operations. </li></ul><ul><li>Serving as a public figure for the organization. </li></ul><ul><li>Fulfill legal obligations or duties: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Duty of care </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Duty of loyalty </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Duty of obedience </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Recusal </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Mission Statement Why the organization exists <ul><li>Opportunities or the needs </li></ul><ul><li>Competence-people, needs, </li></ul><ul><li>Commitment </li></ul>
  10. 10. Bylaws Bylaws are a legal document. They outline the nuts and bolts of how your group is structured and how it will operate. Typical articles:
  11. 11. Federal Filings <ul><li>1023 application for your 501c3 Incorporation </li></ul><ul><li>This is the actual federal application form for nonprofit status. Available online at:,,id=96109,00.html </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Federal Tax ID/ Employee Identification Number (EIN) </li></ul><ul><li>Needed for bank accounts or grants, it is given to you when you receive your IRS nonprofit determination letter </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>IRS Nonprofit Determination Letter </li></ul><ul><li>Provided to you once your 1023 application has been reviewed and approved. It is sometimes required as proof by granting agencies and your state that the IRS has certified your group </li></ul>
  12. 12. Filings with State <ul><li>Apply for - Articles of incorporation/organization </li></ul><ul><li>Provide - Copy of Bylaws </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Apply for - Certificate of Solicitation </li></ul><ul><li>Apply for - Certificate of State Tax Exemption </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>NOTE </li></ul><ul><li>Some states provide Certificates of State Tax Exemption only to certain types of nonprofits (Religious or educational groups, etc.). Others may require that you only present a copy of your IRS determination letter. Please check with your state Department of Revenue, or Attorney General’s Office, to find out what rules apply in your state </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>File - Public Charities Form </li></ul>
  13. 13. FWS Agreements <ul><li>Cooperative Agreement or Memorandum of Understanding? </li></ul><ul><li>USFWS requires that organizations working on, or on behalf of, a refuge, have a Cooperative Agreement (CA) or Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). </li></ul><ul><li>CA for Friends groups have a permanent sales outlet on refuge property. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>MOU if you are not going to have an official sales outlet on the refuge, but do plan on selling items on refuge property at events that benefit the Friends and the refuge, or will have an on-going activity that will not have direct FWS staff oversight/control. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Annual Filings and Reports <ul><li>Federal - IRS form 990 </li></ul><ul><li>This is the annual tax form that must be filed regardless of whether or not your group has exceeded the $25,000, gross annual income threshold. </li></ul><ul><li>State </li></ul><ul><li>Declaration of Interest, Dividends or Capitol Gains </li></ul><ul><li>Public Charities Form </li></ul><ul><li>Report for Nonprofit </li></ul><ul><li>Annual Corporations </li></ul><ul><li>Annual Financial Audit </li></ul><ul><li>CPA Audit Report </li></ul>
  15. 15. Updates and Changes <ul><li>Notify your secretary of state's office when there are: </li></ul><ul><li>Changes in Bylaws </li></ul><ul><li>Change in Address (for organization) </li></ul><ul><li>Change in Fiscal Year </li></ul><ul><li>Changes in board officers </li></ul>
  16. 16. Accounting <ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Accurate accounting records of all of your organizations’ financial transactions are key to avoiding any potential liability issues. The following outlines the basic. </li></ul><ul><li>Fiduciary responsibility of board </li></ul><ul><li>Treasurer's Reports </li></ul><ul><li>More than a checkbook! Have a paper financial statement outlining the opening balances for the month, any income, all expenditures and the closing balances for the month </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Read and understand financial statements </li></ul><ul><li>Be prudent concerning the control and transfer of funds. Vote on and then record expenditures in minutes </li></ul>
  17. 17. Meetings <ul><li>Meet at regular times and place </li></ul><ul><li>Agendas </li></ul><ul><li>Have a standing agenda </li></ul><ul><li>Take and approve minutes </li></ul><ul><li>Have a quorums for a vote </li></ul><ul><li>Annual Meeting </li></ul>
  18. 18. Board Meetings <ul><li>Be prepared </li></ul><ul><li>Set ground rules </li></ul><ul><li>Resolve problem behaviors </li></ul><ul><li>Encourage constructive behaviors </li></ul><ul><li>Establishing subgroups </li></ul><ul><li>Extraneous ideas </li></ul><ul><li>Achieve closure </li></ul>
  19. 19. Recommendation <ul><li>Centralize your records </li></ul><ul><li>Be advocates for your refuge </li></ul><ul><li>Have fun and celebrate! </li></ul>