The goals and aspirations of the Finance Corps Regimental Association can best be served by Chapters in the field that are organized and activated to build a network of motivated and interested members in their local areas. The fraternal bond formed by shared experiences and solved problems can be found only at Chapter level, where the commonalties of environment, mission, locality and structure create a positive atmosphere of mutual understanding and respect. Ultimately, the true strength of the Association will be determined by the active Chapters and their programs, not by the Association's central headquarters. Chapters, then, truly will guide the Association to maturity through increased membership, support for and education of FCA Soldiers, and development of activities and programs designed to meet the needs and desires of members to be served locally. The Association will continue as a visible and energetic focal point for:
- Professional development
- Fraternal bonding for all elements of membership
- Sharing, information on programs and activities
- Enhancement and expansion of member services
How to Organize
Determine the feasibility of a Chapter. A realistic assessment of a Chapter's potential is the critical first step in ensuring that success can be achieved. Steps in this process include the following actions:
- Identify the Finance Corps Association leader in the area whose leadership and support are necessary for commencement.
- Contact and invite the key officer, NCO and DAC leaders to a feasibility meeting. At this meeting, determine the geographical area and units the Chapter should serve, as well as the number of potential members assigned or living therein.
- Estimate the support that can reasonably be expected and the benefit that could result.
Membership Rules and Criteria for Chapter Activation
Certain basic ground rules and criteria necessary to preserve and perpetuate the Association, as well as to protect the rights and responsibilities of its Chapters, are described as follows:
- Chapters can be activated only upon approval of the Association, after an appropriate petition has been submitted.
- Activation petitions must contain the chapter's initial slate of proposed officers, and the signatures of 25 active members of the Association. Membership applications (with payment) may be submitted with the petition if sufficient signatories are otherwise unavailable.
- Chapter members must be Association members.
- Chapter officers must be members of the chapter and the Association, and must be elected at a general membership meeting of the chapter to which all members are invited.
- Within six months of activation, chapters must submit their bylaws to the Association for approval.
- Chapters must obtain installation approval from their headquarters military installation in accordance with AR 210-1, Private Organizations on Department of the Army installations.
Duties of the Organizing Committee
This Committee plays a key role in performing specific functions critical in the petitioning and activating processes. These functions would include:
- Coordination with the Association. Advance contact with the Chapters Point of Contact at the Association's headquarters will save time and effort in the preparation of the activation petition and other administrative requirements.
- Definition of the Chapter's Limits and Boundaries. Chapters may be defined by location, such as a post camp or station, by unit, such as a Finance Command, or as a combination of both. Whichever definition has the most potential for building esprit and morale should be selected by the committee and submitted on the petition.
- Selection of the Chapter Name. Usually the Committee will choose a name which has some link or affiliation with the installation, geographical area or unit served by the chapter. This recommendation must also be submitted with the petition.
- Nomination of the Initial Slate of Officers. This slate should contain, as a minimum, a nominee for President, one or more Vice Presidents, a Secretary and a Treasurer. These positions should be defined in the Bylaws as the elective offices. The Association will approve the first slate of officers as part of the petitioning process. (The Organizing Committee can also select the remaining "at large" members of the Executive Council and any Committee Chainmen that the Chapter may want to serve thereon. Special care must be taken to insure that all officers, NCO, DAC's and retirees receive appropriate and representative consideration in the nomination process.
- Organization and Conduct of the Initial Membership Meeting. As discussed in the "Feasibility" section, the Committee must use this initial meeting to assess the overall support for activation, inform the potential membership about the Chapter's purposes, organization and its leadership. At a minimum, the following agenda items must be addressed at the meeting:
- Discussion of the criteria for membership and Chapter activation.
- Briefing on potential chapter programs and activities.
- Discussion of the proposed chapter name and geographical area served.
- Nomination of and concurrence with the initial slate of chapter officers.
- Recruitment to membership.
- Preparation and signing of the petition.
- Concurrence in chapter activation.
- Submission of the Petition. After the initial meeting is concluded and the support for activation is established, the Committee assumes responsibility for submitting a signed petition to the Association. Procedures for preparing and submitting the petition are discussed in the next section of this brochure.
Petitioning the Association for Association for Approval to Activate
The blanks on the first page of the petition must be completed by the Committee prior to the initial membership meeting. The petitioner's listing can be completed, at least in part, prior to the meeting for as many Association members as can be identified in advance. The remaining petitioners needed to bring- the total to 25 must be recruited and signed at the meeting, or soon thereafter. Once completed, the petition and membership payments should be submitted to the Association as soon as practical. In turn, the Association will consider the petition at the next regular meeting of the Executive Council. Once approval is granted, the Association's Chapters Point of Contact will notify the Chapter by the most convenient means available and will coordinate the date of activation. A dated Chapter Charter will be prepared and mailed or delivered to the Chapter.
Once the Chapter Charter has been approved, an appropriate ceremony or activity should be planned to commemorate the event. The ceremony will usually take place at a military club or some other suitable facility. The program should include, as a at a minimum, the official acceptance of the Charter by the President, with appropriate remarks concerning the objectives and programs of the chapter. In so far as possible, a prominent speaker should keynote the event. It is also recommended that a program be printed to highlight all events and activities involved and that photographs be taken to accompany an article for submission to the Finance Corps Association.
Chapters are not authorized to assess their members for dues. Only the Association is authorized to collect dues to support programs and activities benefiting the entire membership. The association will, however, provide financial support to chapters (discussed in a later section). Chapters are authorized and encouraged to find other means to finance their programs and activities besides dues. Examples of potential moneymaking projects would include:
- Auctions of corporate sponsor donations of prizes and goods
- Bake sales
- Bingo nights
- Car washes
- Corporate sponsors
- Flea markets
- Garage sales
- Golf tournament with entry fees
- Organization day activities and admissions
- Resale of bulk ticket buys for athletic events
The Chapter Executive Council must decide where the permanent records of the Chapter shall be located. Every effort must be made to systematically make record of the activities and programs in which the chapter is involved in. The Chapter should also maintain a roster of all its members.
The Chapter should keep the Association informed of its activities. In particular, all noteworthy chapter events (i.e. a Finance Ball, etc.) should be considered for inclusion in the "Diamond Points" newsletter. No format for these reports will be prescribed. Chapters are left to their own ingenuity to design a report that fits their needs best. Reports, however, should be neither too lengthy for easy comprehension nor too brief for complete accreditation. Chapters should submit reports to the National HQs Secretary at the end of every fiscal year. At a minimum, reports should contain the following items:
- A complete listing of Officers and Committee Chairmen from the previous year.
- A complete listing of Officers and Committee Chairmen (including addresses and phone numbers) for the current year.
- Description of programs and activities sponsored by the Chapter during the previous year.
- Description of programs and activities planned for the current year.
- Listing of the Chapter meetings held during the previous year (include programs, if appropriate).
- Listing of Chapter members.
- Listing of Association-presented awards and recipients involved from the previous year.
- Problems encountered the previous year.
- Description of fund raising activities used or planned.
- Recommendations to the Association.
The Association will support chapters financially in the following ways: Upon Chapter approval, a Chapter shall receive a one-time grant of $200 from the Association to get it up and running. Additionally, chapters may receive an annual dividend from the Association. Minus any action of the Executive Council, chapters will receive $2 for each new member brought into the Association and $1 for all other members in good standing as of 30 Sep. The Executive Council may also authorize an additional amount based on chapter renewal rate, quality of membership, and other factors that contribute to the success and promotion of the Finance Corps. Chapters should submit a membership roster as of 30 Sep each year. The Association will disburse the dividends on or about 31 Oct.
The Association shall provide activating chapters charter chapter organization certificates, The Association will also provide other administrative support as requested. The Association Secretary is the point of contact for chapter matters.
Chapter Support Address
Address all chapter correspondence to the Finance Corps Association, ATTN: Chapter Operations, Post Office Box 10069, Fort Jackson, SC 29207.