[NVCF PRESIDENT’S NOTE: In light of questions around the beginnings of the NVC Foundation, we reprint this article from the Nisei Veterans Newsletter of August 2002, Volume 52, Issue 07]
The NVC Constitution and By-Laws have been reviewed by our legal consultants to ensure the best course of action, relative to the implementation of the changes ratified by the membership in the latter part of 2001. These changes addressed the need to change the tax code status of the NVC from a Veterans Organization to a Charitable Organization. This was driven by the need to ensure for the continuance of the NVC and its legacy for future generations.
Initially, we proposed to end the old organization and create a new organization in its place. However, it was the opinion of our legal advisors that the Veterans Organization continue on and that the new Educational Organization be created to run in parallel with the current NVC organization. This approach would have the current NVC Executive Committee act as the Board of Directors of the Educational Organization. This would, in the eyes of the legal counsel, ensure that the current veteran activities of the NVC (activities that may not be allowed under the tax codes of an Educational Organization, e.g. Koden, Memorial/Veterans Day, etc.) could still be accomplished under the Veterans Organization. This approach was approved by the membership at the June 28th General meeting.
This approach also ensures for our compliance to the strict IRS membership rules of a Veterans Organization. Current NVC Veteran members would be members of both organizations while non-Veteran NVC members would become members of the Educational Organization. New Non-Veteran members would be allowed to join the Educational Organization, for which there are no IRS membership restrictions. The exception would be that those Non-Veterans on the Executive Committee Board of Directors, would be members of both organizations during their terms in office.
Although there are additional efforts involved in the operation of two organizations, this is offset by use of one governing body for both organizations. We will align current and future activities in accordance to where they fit within the two organizations’ mission and purpose. In general, the Veterans Organization will focus on Veteran and Community issues, and support to the Educational Organization. The Educational Organization, proposed to be called the “NVC Foundation”, will focus on educational and charitable activities associated with the Nikkei Veteran experience/history, along with providing support to the Veterans Organization.
The existing NVC Constitution and By-Laws, as amended in 2001, will continue to guide the Veterans Organization. The NVC Foundation will have its own Articles of Incorporation and By-Laws, in compliance with IRS tax codes. These documents are general in nature and are standard for a 501(c)(3) organization. Draft copies will be available at the August 30th NVC General Meeting and will be approved by the membership at the September 27th NVC General Meeting.
The approval of the NVC Foundation Articles of Incorporation and the By-Laws will mark the beginning of a new chapter of the NVC and is the result of many years of discussion on the continuance of the NVC. Please plan on attending the next two meetings to participated in the decision-making process.