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Feature | Oct. 29, 2013

Legally speaking: Fundraising on base

By Capt. Alan Serrano and Emily Benz 633rd Air Base Wing Judge Advocate

With the holiday season fast approaching, many organizations and groups will plan fundraisers, both on and off base. When planning a fundraising event, it is essential to know how to receive approval.

The first step in planning a fundraiser is getting the required permission.

All base-affiliated private organizations or unit booster clubs planning a fundraiser - whether at Joint Base Langley-Eustis or in the community - receive approval from the 633rd Force Support Squadron commander for events at Langley Air Force Base or the 733rd Force Support Division director for events at Fort Eustis.

Every fundraiser request is reviewed by the 633rd Air Base Wing legal office to ensure compliance with all applicable regulations Additionally, requests must not violate ethics rules, and must comply with Virginia state laws.

All requests must be submitted at least in writing on a worksheet 15 days prior to the event. Requests must contain the time and location of the event, a list of the items to be sold and examples of solicitation letters and fliers or banners that will be used to advertise the event.

Fundraiser submissions must include a statement of its charitable purpose and intended beneficiaries. Even if the event will benefit a proper charitable purpose, it must meet certain requirements before being approved. First, fundraisers must not duplicate or compete with Army and Air Force Exchange Service activities. Additionally, fundraisers may not conflict nor compete with Air Force Assistance Fund or Combined Federal Campaign activities if conducted during the same time period.

Unless in support of AFAF or CFC, no government resources may be used to organize or advertise the fundraiser. Official e-mail, traditional mail, computers, copiers or phones should not be used to provide notice of these types of activities or as a means of organizing these events. Also, wearing military uniforms, fundraising while on duty or using official titles to advertise a fundraiser are prohibited. Finally, flyers or printed advertisements must contain a disclaimer to ensure they are not mistaken for an official endorsement.

Fundraisers are an important part of our community and serve a valuable purpose. However, each request must comply with applicable regulations and laws to ensure fairness, impartiality and proper charitable purpose. Gaining approval can seem daunting, but with the proper preparation it can be a smooth and easy process. Starting the permission process early can save organizations time and ensure legal compliance.

Requests for Langley events should be sent to Carole Parker at 52 Willow Street, Suite 101, while Fort Eustis requests should be sent to Joan Coleman at the 733rd FSD, located at 601 Hines Circle. The 633rd FSS fundraising information and forms can be found at langley.jbleforcesupport.com/privateorg.html, while the 733rd FSD fundraising information and forms can be found at eustismwr.com/index.php/2011-11-16-17-19-59/fundraising.

For more information, contact the Langley Law Center at 764-3277 or visit langley.jbleforcesupport.com/privateorg.html or eustismwr.com/index.php/2011-11-16-17-19-59/fundraising.