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New document offers guidance for private organizations

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Private organizations on any installation provide much-needed support to base personnel and their families, although they are considered unofficial. Groups such as spouses clubs, booster clubs and other organizations play a big role in raising and supporting morale all across the nation.

Private organizations are not considered businesses or official organizations, however, they may still be subject to both state and federal laws governing their policies and practices. Organizing and running these groups often presents unique challenges to both members and the group leaders who are trying to understand what they can or can't do to best support their unit and the installation.

"Some of the challenges I have experienced include going through the process to gain official approval as a private organization and drafting a constitution and by-laws," said Master Sgt. Christopher Smith, 460th Space Communications Squadron first sergeant and Buckley Top 3 member.

These regulations can often frustrate club members and leaders who aren't sure what their parameters are or how they should proceed. That's why Lt. Col. Drew Roberts, 460th Space Wing Staff Judge Advocate, drafted a guiding document, specifically for Buckley AFB, detailing how private organizations should conduct their operations.

"This guide provides a starting off point for all those interested in organizing or starting a private organization or unofficial activity on Buckley AFB," said Roberts. "It is also an outstanding resource for existing groups to ensure they are aware of requirements for fundraisers and matters related to governance of a private organization."

The document covers everything from restrictions on fundraisers to the dissolution of a club.

"I have read through the private organization guidance and found it to be a helpful source of information, especially for those new to running private organizations," Smith said. "This
document should now help answer many of those questions and reduce the load on our agencies."

Not only does the document provide guidance on policies and regulations, it also provides resources for group leaders to use and reference. Finally, the document is a one-stop shop for private organizations that have questions and need information.

"It gives them ready-to-use tools so that they can easily execute fundraiser requests and accomplish a constitution and by-laws, if required," said Roberts. "It also identifies local points of contact that are involved in the private organization program that can assist them."

For more information, contact the 460th Space Wing legal office at 720-847-6444.
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