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Bay Area Guidelines (BAG)

The SFBA volunteers have agreed upon operating guidelines in the following areas to establish efficiency and effectiveness in all volunteer activities.

  1. Finance & Accounting
  2. Intellectual Property
  3. Visiting Teachers
  4. Third Party Services
  5. Teachers' Training Program
  6. Fundraising
  7. Event Policies
  8. Confidentiality
  9. Course Announcements

Finance & Accounting

  • Expenses should not be more than 25% of revenue for courses and events.
  • All finance and accounting in SFBA is managed by Local Treasurer (Currently Sarina Dhall)
  • All AOL related expenses and reimbursements (Courses, Special events, Knowledge series etc) have to be submitted through our local treasurer. 
  • VVM (Advanced Course and DSN) is being handled by Parul. IAHV (Apex Corporate Courses) need to be approved by your IAHV contact and cannot be expensed through AOL or VVM.
  • It is mandatory that all backups/receipts etc are submitted within 15 days after the course or event. (We are unable to process and get reimbursed unless all backup is complete and accurate.)

Courses

  • Approval from local teacher is required before expending money for courses
  • All receipts should be submitted within two weeks of the course/project to the course coordinator.

Events

  • Approval from Project/Event Lead is required before expending money for regional projects/events.
  • All receipts must be submitted to the Project/Events lead within two weeks of the completion of the project for reimbursement, otherwise no reimbursements will be made.

Intellectual Property

  • It is the policy of the Art of Living Foundation to protect its intellectual property, including but not limited to, images, service marks, trade marks, publications, audio visual and written material, course material and the like.
  • Written approval is necessary before publishing these materials, either from the [local] body for local events or from the National Board for multi-state events.
  • All volunteers are responsible for protecting these materials from unauthorized display or use.

Visiting Teachers

  • The Bay Area welcomes all visiting teachers. Visiting Teachers’ visits are to supplement existing regional activities.
  • All visiting teachers and/or the organizers must advise the APEX Body before scheduling any courses locally to ensure proper coordination with ongoing courses at least eight weeks prior to scheduling a course for appropriate planning and resource allocation.
  • Any budgetary requirements to be paid for by the local chapter must also be submitted to the APEX Body before scheduling a visit.

Third Party Services

  • Third party services or products (including co-sponsorship of events) cannot be advertised or otherwise promoted during Art of Living events without the prior written consent of the Board at the national and/or local level.

Teachers' Training Program

  • Before applying for the TTC1 or TTC2 course, please advise the local APEX Body of the following information:
    • Name 
    • Local Satsang Teacher
    • Recommending Teacher(s)
    • Course (TTC1 or TTC2) for which you are applying
  • This information will be shared with the SFBA Teachers
  • The regional full Teachers advise the local APEX Body as to which applicants are approved for TTC1. This information will be submitted by the APEX Body to the TTC Course Coordinators. (Current procedure in India)
  • If there are any conflicts regarding an applicant to TTC, APEX Body will resolve the conflict.
  • Visit www.esatsang.net to learn more about the National requirements for TTC

Fundraising

Art of Living Foundation volunteers shall ensure that:

  • Fundraising programs for local activities must be cleared with the regional APEX body in conjunction with the local fundraising coordinator before any activities are started. For national programs, volunteers must ensure National Board approval for the activity.
  • Fundraisers comply, in all of their activities with the principles and teachings of the Art of Living Foundation, as well as applicable laws and regulations.
  • Donors have the right to obtain complete and timely information on how their funds are used, and volunteers must ensure proper follow up and documentation is provided to all donors, regardless of size of donation.
  • Fundraising costs shall be limited; however, there shall be a proper balance between costs, revenue and quality of fundraising activity.
  • A recognized accounting method shall be used to track and control donations.
  • Accurate and timely reports shall be available to the public, including the amounts raised, how it was spent, and the net proportion used for the purpose or cause.
  • Fundraising programs must meet basic criteria, including but not limited to: 
    • Appropriateness of program to the organization.
    • The fundraising event financial goal must be reasonable, and ensure proper use of organization resources.
    • The duration, process and target audience must be clearly articulated in advance of engaging in fundraising.
    • Grants should only be applied to after consultation with the fundraising team lead, the APEX Body and National to ensure the ability of the organization to meet the needs of the donor organization.

Grants

  • Before applying for any grants through proposals, please communicate interest to the APEX Body so that you can be guided to the appropriate contact in the National organization who can authorize grant application.

Event Policies

Art of Living Foundation volunteers shall ensure that:

Advertising Your Event:
(This guideline applies only to public, non AOL-Specific events. For example, an AOL mahasatsang, garba or the like does not fall into this category)

Regional Satsangs should advertise a public event after:

  • The event lead has completed an approval form
  • Approval granted by the Apex Body and/or National Board

Cash Handling
If your group will be handling cash at your event, be sure to follow these guidelines:

  • Use a cashbox if possible
  • Always have at least two responsible individuals handling the cash
  • Count and deposit money immediately following the event through the local teacher and local finance/accounting lead (Sarina Dhall).

Charging Admission
If your group is hosting an event where admission or tickets sales will be charged, please be sure to follow these guidelines:

  • All funds must be deposited into the AOLF account immediately following the event, and an account of funds sent to local SFBA treasurer and the Apex Body.
  • Admission charges must be stated at the time that approval is requested.
  • Consider using the Art of Living website to facilitate your ticket sales for ease and security.

Contracts

• Before signing any contract (bands, speakers, buses, etc.), be sure you understand what it is you and the other party are agreeing to do. Your signature on an agreement, even if signed on behalf of a student organization, means that you as an individual could be held personally liable for any legal or financial issues that may arise.

• Never sign a large contract (more than $500) on your own; you may be agreeing to terms incompatible with the organization and you may have personal liability. Contact the APEX Body to put you in touch with the correct person at National who can sign the contract.

• Before agreeing to a price for service(s), check with others to help you decide if the quoted fee is fair. In other words, negotiate wisely!

• Try not to pay for services or products before they are received; you will have little or no recourse if problems occur.

• Make sure that you have a receipt for all expenses incurred.

Major Events

There are additional requirements for large venue, multiple venue or outdoor venue activities including: major concerts in, Runs, Races, or Walks, large scale conferences that occur in multiple facilities or span multiple days, outdoor fairs, benefit fundraisers, camps and events that involve sponsorship. Such events must meet the following requirements:

• Events must complement the AOLF/IAHV mission.

• All program expenses must be handled through Art of Living Foundation, and must be ready for audit.

• Events must receive preliminary approval by the local APEX Body and National Board before any commitments are made, contracts signed, or advertising is conducted (including the web).

• Event requests must be submitted to the APEX Body no later than 8 weeks in advance.

Sales Tax

By law, all organizations must pay and report sales tax on goods and services bought or sold. This is true even for nonprofit groups. Nearly all types of sales are taxable (CDs, tapes, T-shirts, food, etc.); with few exceptions. Please remember to keep appropriate documentation of tax collection.

Waivers

Signing a liability waiver form should be considered for high-risk activities. They are required for the following activities:

• Programs with youth

• Physical events or activities

Auditing

• Proper documentation of all courses, events, fundraising or other activities must be kept, and submitted to the regional finance team.

  • Fundraising programs for local activities must be cleared with the regional APEX body in conjunction with the local fundraising coordinator before any activities are started. For national programs, volunteers must ensure National Board approval for the activity.
  • Fundraisers comply, in all of their activities with the principles and teachings of the Art of Living Foundation, as well as applicable laws and regulations.
  • Donors have the right to obtain complete and timely information on how their funds are used, and volunteers must ensure proper follow up and documentation is provided to all donors, regardless of size of donation.
  • Fundraising costs shall be limited; however, there shall be a proper balance between costs, revenue and quality of fundraising activity.
  • A recognized accounting method shall be used to track and control donations.
  • Accurate and timely reports shall be available to the public, including the amounts raised, how it was spent, and the net proportion used for the purpose or cause.
  • Fundraising programs must meet basic criteria, including but not limited to: 
    • Appropriateness of program to the organization.
    • The fundraising event financial goal must be reasonable, and ensure proper use of organization resources.
    • The duration, process and target audience must be clearly articulated in advance of engaging in fundraising.
    • Grants should only be applied to after consultation with the fundraising team lead, the APEX Body and National to ensure the ability of the organization to meet the needs of the donor organization.