Chapter Guidelines for a SEEDS Chapter
0. Chapters are to follow SEEDS constitution, the “chapter guidelines” and relevant government regulations in their official actions and transactions.
1. Each chapter will have its own elected executive body and organizational structure as seen fit by their chapter members according to their own chapter by-laws. Each chapter needs to have its own by-laws for its executive body and organizational structure for proper and orderly functioning. Chapters cannot themselves enact by-laws that tend to change overall constitution of SEEDS.
2. It is recommended that SEEDS chapters acknowledge their identification by adding a subtext "a chapter of SEEDS" to their title/name.
3. Each chapter shall nominate (by election) at least one member to the SEEDS Board of Directors (“bod”). To facilitate financial reporting this member is preferably the treasurer or other signatory authority for chapter finances. If the size of the chapter warrants it, additional members may be nominated.
4. Chapters shall send their financial statement every quarter to the SEEDS finance committee, and all chapters will be collectively responsible for following all relevant laws and regulations that SEEDS is bound by its charter. Chapters are also to provide a summary of their project activities once every quarter for recording and dissemination purposes. SEEDS (the parent organization) and its chapters will jointly file the tax return and yearly report to the authorities.
5. Chapters will undertake to cover their fair share of SEEDS expenses towards accounting, tax preparation, project monitoring in India, promotions, etc. It is not anticipated that these expenses will be more than a small percentage of the project costs (5%). Please note that SEEDS members are not compensated for their time or volunteer work. The only expenses charged are direct costs, e.g. accounting, tax, mailing and registration fees, nominal travel expenses of volunteers in India who are unable to afford the necessary travel to monitor or evaluate projects, etc.
6. To strengthen SEEDS and its overall mission, and to facilitate inter-chapter cooperation and collaboration, each chapter makes a yearly financial contribution to SEEDS based on the funds raised by them in the last year (not counting the years when the chapter was not incorporated with SEEDS). These pooled funds will be used to provide funding for pilot projects, inter-chapter projects and/or emergency spending such as food distribution after a disaster. Each year a chapter is free to choose between two ways of contribution to the pool: (1) contribute 5% of money raised by the chapter (called chapter’s yearly collection or CYC) under SEEDS name (thus tax-exempt to donors), or (2) contribute 2% of their CYC to the afore-mentioned pool and apply 5% of CYC to fully or partially fund one or more projects undertaken by SEEDS for SEEDS-wide collaboration. Chapters are encouraged to appoint a member to co-coordinate such joint and collaborative projects which further empowers themselves while furthering SEEDS mission.
7. Chapters are encouraged to produce a joint yearly report, showcasing the achievements, milestones and finances of SEEDS overall (thus included are the chapters), which will be jointly reviewed by the SEEDS bod, SEEDS executive body, and the chapter executive bodies. This report may be published in newsletters or by other media and may be used for informing the community and the public and for reporting to the regulatory authorities.
8. Chapters are encouraged to work independently on all aspects of fundraising, projects, and monitoring, etc. However, all projects need to be brought into the overall SEEDS philosophy -- thus a process of consultation with the SEEDS BOD should be undertaken. Since each chapter will be represented on the BOD this process should be fast and transparent. Thus, a chapter’s representative in the bod shall give a synopsis, to the bod, of any new project that the chapter wishes to undertake. If the bod sees any serious issue with the project, within a week, the chapter’s bod representative will be asked to address and resolve any such concern before the project starts. However, it is expected that there will be minimal delay, if any at all, in a project’s start as chapters should and would ensure that the projects are consistent with SEEDS mission and guidelines.
9. A chapter is encouraged to engage SEEDS early when in doubt about suitability of a project, or to seek inter-chapter collaboration or such help as review, monitoring, or to request special funding, etc.
10.Chapters are encouraged to undertake projects that are “sustainable and equitable,” thus addressing long-term solutions to human society’s development issues. However, this is not a requirement for disaster-relief projects and other “soft sustainable” projects related to education and health-care of the needy public.
11.Any member of a chapter is eligible to apply for membership in SEEDS (parent) thus bestowing upon him or her
the usual voting rights and responsibilities under SEEDS constitution and by-laws. Currently, the bod recommends an annual SEEDS membership fee of $100 for students and $150 for others. Fee may be waived, on a case by case basis, for People who are in financial hardship. However, all members of a chapter are by default non-voting members of SEEDS.
12.Gross violation of these guidelines or misuse of funds by a chapter may lead to termination of its chapter status, notification to the authorities, and other appropriate punitive actions against the chapter as determined by the SEEDS bod operating under the SEEDS constitution. SEEDS bod will investigate in the unlikely event that a violation is noticed or reported.
13.Chapter guidelines may be reviewed once a year and any amendments made by two-thirds majority of the SEEDS bod.