28. Operations of a National YALDA Foundation
Once you have decided that you want to form a national YALDA foundation, the next step is to get a team of people together (preferably current YALDA members) to act as the planning committee.
Specifically how the national YALDA foundation will operate will be governed by rules and laws regarding NGOs in your respective country. Be sure to read up on what exactly you will need to set up this foundation. Another issue will be figuring out your organizational structure as you have to do that early on. You have to decide whether you will have a few paid staff working at your foundation or it will just be an executive board of volunteers who will meet at specified time periods, to be determined by the board, to go over proposals and apply for funding.
There are a number of possible organizational structures you could adopt for your national YALDA foundation. If you choose to have a board and hired staff, your structure might look like this (however, please feel free to construct other organizational structures that work for you):
In this case the Executive Board would effectively be the decision makers of the foundation (composition of which is discussed below) and administration of the organization will be carried out by the few hired staff of professionals.
An alternative organizational structure could also look like this:
In this case, the Executive Board could meet once every month or every two months, and would work closely with the general foundation members, who are really volunteering to help the foundation carry out its mandate and raise funds.
Requirements to be on a national YALDA Foundation
YALDA requires that your foundation executive board be comprised of the following (who must also be YALDA members):
- Half of the board should be alumni YALDA members from different local branches (with at least 2 positions open to current branch board members at universities).
- Other members of the board can be community YALDA members.
It is advised that you also set up a YALDA advisory board comprised of local leaders and professionals in your community. Their role will only be to advise the national YALDA foundation, but they will have no decision making powers.
National YALDA Foundation Constitution
YALDA does not have a generic constitution for the national YALDA foundation. However, those who are forming a foundation could use the YALDA Branch Constitution as a template deleting and editing items as they go over them. It is important that when creating the constitution for your foundation to remember the main aim of the foundation is to raise funds and disburse them to the local YALDA branches for their different activities and projects. What Does the Foundation Do?
A. Raising Funds
To reiterate, the main purpose of the national YALDA foundation is to raise funds for all the branches in the country for whatever activities, projects or other needs the branch may have. The foundation may advise branches on funding issues, but may NOT dictate to branches what they should or should not apply for funds for. We suggest that once the foundation forms, branches then create proposals and submit them at required deadlines to the foundation, which will then apply and/or source for funding after compiling all the proposals. The foundation may use any of the ideas mentioned in Chapter 4, Section 15 as their fundraising strategies, but more especially they should solicit for major sponsorship and apply for grants.
B. Disbursing Funds
Once the foundation has secured funding, then they decide how they will disburse the funding. The foundation could give money directly to the branch eg. if the branch applies for $300 then the foundation would give the branch $300. The foundation could also set up a matching fund system where for every $100 a branch raises, the foundation gives the branch $200, or whatever system they feel is workable in the country.
The foundation must ensure there is a transparent financial system in place and that branches also provide it with financial reports, copies of receipts, invoices and other crucial information on their branch spending activities. It is up to the foundation to ensure that branches submit these reports in a timely manner, and also that foundation donors requests for financial reports and statements are met.
The foundation must also report to the YALDA International Headquarters every 6 months, with all financial reports and statistics and the consolidated financial reports of the branches. The foundation must also ensure that the financial reports are audited by a reputable international auditing/accounting firm (who are very willing to audit financial statements of non-profits for free as part of fulfilling their philanthropic requirements).
D. African Youth Charter Community Impact Projects
The foundation is NOT allowed to propose and implement community impact projects. However, if a member of the foundation wants to work on a project, they can do so through the university branch they are a member of—remember YALDA members at university branches are either current student members, alumni members or other youth in the community.
E. Other Activities
As the foundation is made up of a team of people, the foundation should engage in activities that ensure team building and motivate its members. The foundation can also set up trainings and workshops to help its members improve their leadership and financial skills, etc. It is important to keep these activities in mind when you draw up your foundation constitution, including your board duties, and your foundation operating procedures. However, it is important to note that the foundation must NOT be engaging in community wide events or activities, unless they are solely for fundraising purposes.