Clubs are a wonderful place to make friends and learn violets from fellow growers who live in your area and know what works.
To build a great club requires a little work at the beginning, and we have laid out the steps for you here. The legal steps are the most daunting but also very important. Once that’s done, the rest gets easy. Enjoy the process! We look forward to watching your group grow!
Contact the AVSA Affiliate Chair firstname.lastname@example.org
Almost every African violet club started with someone who wished that there was a club in their area. If that is you, then this might be the day for you to consider how to make a club happen. There are lots of ways to make it happen. But first, let’s answer a few questions.
Why might someone want to belong to my club?
Why would I want to affiliate my club with AVSA?
Affiliated club shows receive free advertising in the African Violet Magazine and on the website Events page.
What are the steps to become an Affiliated Club?
What are the rules for being an AVSA Affiliated Club?
There aren’t many rules until you want to host an AVSA Standard Show.
How do I find members?
If your club goals include having a sale or maintaining a treasury, then your group needs to become a legal non-profit entity under state and federal rules. Banking rules require that these papers be in place before accounts may be opened.
Become a Legal Non-Profit Group
Write Your Articles of Incorporation for the IRS in your “Organizing Document.”
SEE IRS REQUIREMENTS
Please contact your Secretary of State and ask the procedure to become a non-profit in your state. Or, if possible, check their website, it is usually full of helpful information. Remember, use the word NON-PROFIT and not tax exempt.
Each state is different in its requirements for “Organizing Documents.” Usually the easiest way to become a non-profit is to file the Articles of Incorporation with the Secretary of State.
TIP: NON-PROFIT status is state law – TAX-EXEMPT status is federal law
All tax-exempt organizations are nonprofit, but not all nonprofits are necessarily tax-exempt.
Downloadable pdf Sample bylaws for AVSA Affiliate
Article I – Name and Objective
Article II – Membership and Dues
Article III – Meetings and Quorum
Article IV – Officers and Their Duties
Article V – Elections
Article VI – Amendments
Article VII – Parliamentary Authority
Robert’s Rules of Order, Revised (current edition) shall be the parliamentary authority to cover questions of procedure not provided for in these bylaws.
Obtain EIN (Federal Employer Identification)
Every organization must have an employer identification number, even if it will not have employees. The EIN is a unique number that identifies the organization to the IRS.
To apply for an EIN, please either fill out the highlighted areas on the current Form SS-4, or call the IRS at 1-800-829-4933 and provide them the information from the SS-4.
Please note that the EIN is not your “tax exempt number.”
Open a Checking Account
Using the EIN number received from the IRS, open a separate checking account for your organization.
It is very important to keep the organization’s funds separate from an individual’s funds. In other words, please do not write checks from or make deposits to personal checking accounts on behalf of the organization.
Sales Tax Permit
Sales & Use Tax
The state revenue departments of each state govern the sales and use tax laws. Please check with your state as to whether nonprofit organizations are required to collect and remit sales and use tax. If required, a permit may need to be applied for.
File Federal Form 990-N
Form 990-N (e-Postcard)
If your organization’s gross receipts are normally less than $25,000, you will be required to file Form 990-N, also known as the e-Postcard. The form must be completed and filed electronically. There is no paper form. (Please see www.IRS.gov/charities)
The e-Postcard is easy to complete. All you need is the following information about your organization.
Once your club is formed, the next step is to become an AVSA Affiliate.
Benefits of Affiliation with AVSA
There are perks to becoming an AVSA affiliated club.
How to Affiliate with AVSA
One person must serve as the Administrator for the club and may affiliate online or by mail using the white cover-wrap of a recent African Violet Magazine.
Congratulations! You’ve started a club! Now make it fun and educational.
Promote the new club
Now you need to promote your club so that you can grow and add members. Here’s some ideas which have worked for others.
Be a great club to visit!
People will come to your club meetings for many reasons. They often join to learn more about violets, but they stay because they made a friend and they feel comfortable.
As your club grows be sure to continually ask, understand and incorporate those reasons/ideas into the club agendas. Listening and responding to those needs will keep people coming back and bringing others.
Try to keep business meetings short and to the point. Get to the program as fast as you can.
Have interesting programs, and encourage participation so that everyone has a chance to say something in the group at every meeting. A regular “question of the month” (which invites each member to describe where they first saw violets, what their favorite products or colors are, how they water, etc.) gets members better acquainted and helps everyone feel important and appreciated.
Consider going on field trips to local hydroponic stores, to local botanical gardens or nurseries, or even to members’ homes. Consider having one meeting a year that is purely social and fun.
Share violets! Set up a small sales table or a raffle drawing at every meeting where members may share and exchange violets and related items. Offer leaf or tip cuttings of plants used for the meeting program. Sharing your favorite plants with others is good insurance against losses in your own collection.
P.O. Box 22417
Phone: (409) 839-4725
FAX: (409) 839-4329
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