Commentary

November 2, 2012

Rules, regs regarding Private Organizations

Edwards Air Force Base is home to many private organizations.

These POs can greatly contribute to the quality of life on base. However, there are rules governing POs that any group wishing to become a PO, as well as any PO that wishes to remain a PO, should be aware of.

POs are governed by AFI 34-223, Private Organizations (PO) Program, 8 Mar 07, and AFI 36-3101, Fundraising in the Air Force, 12 Jul 02.

In order to create a PO or remain a PO, the PO must submit a constitution and/or bylaws to the 412th Force Support Squadron for review by the Staff Judge Advocate. If the PO is found legally sufficient by the SJA, the PO will likely be approved by the installation commander.

Once created, POs will often engage in different fundraising events throughout the year. Any fundraising request must be routed through 412th FSS for approval. Common examples of fundraisers include bake sales, dances, carnivals, car washes, or other similar functions. The installation commander often only approves two fundraisers per calendar quarter. POs often want to hold fundraisers during the annual Combined Federal Campaign, which is going on right now. While it is definitely possible for a PO to have a fundraiser during the CFC, the rules regarding fundraising are much more stringent when the CFC is taking place. POs should be aware that unless the fundraiser they are holding is directed exclusively at PO members, it will be considered an “external” fundraiser. “External” fundraisers are not authorized during the CFC.

Fundraisers are also limited in terms of where they can be held. Fundraisers which are held outside the workplace are much more likely to be approved. The installation commander, Brig. Gen. Michael T. Brewer, 412th Test Wing commander, determines which areas are workplaces (i.e., offices, hangars, flight line) and which are not (i.e., base quarters, entrances, lobbies or concourses of buildings, schools, chapels). Please be advised that the lobby of Bldg. 3000 has been considered a workplace in previous instances where fundraising approval was requested.

POs might also be interested in holding a fundraising raffle. Raffles on an installation are highly regulated. All PO raffles must be reviewed by the 412th Test Wing Judge Advocate Office. Raffles may not violate the law of the city, county, state or country in which the installation is located. They must be for the benefit of DOD personnel or their family members. They must serve a charitable, civic, or other community welfare purpose within the DOD community, which directly benefits DOD personnel or their family members. Raffles are not permissible if they raise funds for purely social, recreational, or entertainment purposes which benefit only individual PO members and/or their family members, such as to underwrite the cost of weekend, ski trip, a sight-seeing tour, or a shopping excursion. When requesting approval for a raffle, the PO must identify the purpose for which funds are being raised and the intended beneficiaries of the proceeds. It must also identify how the PO will ensure the proceeds are used only for that purpose and those beneficiaries. Raffles at Edwards Air Force Base may not be held in the workplace. They may not be conducted when a military member or civilian employee is on duty. They may not be conducted when a military member is in uniform.

Please keep the above information in mind, and if you have any questions or concerns, contact the Edwards Air Force Base Legal Office at (661) 277-4310.

 




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