IWA Articles of Incorporation
Article I - Name: The name of the organization shall be “Indian Women Association.”
Article II - Place: The place where the principal office of the Corporation is to be located is the City of West Lafayette, in Tippecanoe County, Indiana.
Article III - Nature: IWA is a non-profit organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and is organized for charitable, social, educational and cultural purposes. IWA is a non-political, non-religious and non-sectarian organization.
Article IV - Responsibilities: With respect to the tax-exempt function of IWA’s status, 70% of IWA’s time and resources will be spent on cultural and social activities. 10% of IWA’s time and resources will be spent towards educational activities, 10% of IWA’s time and resources will be spent on community service and 10% of IWA’s time and activities will be spent on activities related to charitable donation.
Article V - Trustees: IWA will elect and/or appoint Trustees to oversee the activities of the organization.
Article VI -Mission: IWA’s main objective is to provide a common platform to all members living in the Greater Lafayette Community for pursuing their common goals and efforts in the social, cultural, educational and charitable activities of its members. The purpose of IWA shall be to promote Indian culture and values by providing social, cultural, educational, recreational and community programs, thereby uniting the Indian community, and raising awareness about Indian culture in the local community. IWA will also direct its effort to promote community spirit and a higher level of affinity between the members of the Indian community in the Greater Lafayette Community. IWA believes in improving mutual understanding and appreciation between the Indo-American community and the mainstream American community. IWA as the representative organization of the Indian community in Lafayette will cooperate and participate with other humanitarian organizations in the area in providing community service. IWA will promote the creation of opportunities for people of all ages, and various social, philosophical, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds to experience voluntary giving, voluntary association, and community service in America.
Article VII - Membership: To promote IWA’s broad mission, it shall be absolutely non-discriminatory as to member's race, religion, or national origin. Membership is open to women of Indian and Non-Indian origin, who support IWA’s mission and who live in the Greater Lafayette Community, as well as to those who have moved away and yet choose to remain members. IWA understands and values diversity and thus invites members from other ethnicities.
Article VIII - Dues: Annual dues for membership are $25.00 per family and subject to revision annually based on the decision of the board of directors. Dues are non-refundable if the member chooses to revoke membership or relocate. Dues are only prorated to $15.00 for those new to the Lafayette area and becoming members after June 1. Only grandparents (and no other extended family members) are considered to be a part of the family unit. Checks in the amount of $25.00 should be payable to IWA and mailed to Renu Bajaj at 710, Noble Court, West Lafayette, IN-47906, by March 1.
Article IX -Benefits of Membership:
- Discount Admission to IWA functions
- Participation in committees is limited to members
- Priority given to members for participation in cultural, social and educational events.
- Members recommend charities that receive donations from IWA for the board’s consideration.
- Distribution of appropriate e-mails of services and events offered in Lafayette to members depending on board discretion
- Access to website
- Vote in IWA elections and run for the Board
- IWA member’s Directory
Article X-Elected officials:
The IWA Board of Directors: IWA’s governing structure will consist of 2 co-presidents and a 5 member Executive Committee. All actions taken by these 7 members of the governing structure must be in compliance with the articles of incorporation and the mission of IWA. The governing body will maintain IWA’s non-profit status and ensure its financial stability. IWA must host a minimum of two annual community events, choose charitable organizations for the annual donation and have a source of communication medium to the general membership body of IWA.
Term: All officials are elected for the term of one calendar year beginning on January 1 and ending on December 31.
Responsibilities of Elected Officials: The IWA board will be autonomous with complete power and authority to lead IWA, but in keeping with IWA’s federal and state government mandated charitable mission.
President Team (two member team)
- are the official representatives and spokespersons of IWA and will preside over all official meetings of the Board
- provide strong leadership to carry out IWA’s mission and establish a strategic plan and detailed goals for the year (in collaboration with the board) in keeping with IWA’s mission and articles
- are responsible for oversight and governance of IWA
- communicate effectively with all members so as to reduce divisive and negative dispositions
- address questions, grievances and concerns of members, treating everyone fairly and without discrimination
- create a sub-organizational structure to implement IWA’s goals (for example – the event committees)
- approve decisions and delegate responsibilities
- moderate meetings and the conduct of executive committee members so that disagreements remain impersonal and constructive
- have the autonomous and collegial power to make modifications to the sub-structures so as to best carry out the stable functioning of IWA
- may fill the position on the executive committee if a member is unable to meet a portion of the term of office
- send e-Mails to the IWA distribution group
- past presidents provide oversight for the next year to ensure continuity of policies and general guidance
- choose charities that will receive IWA’s services and donations in collaboration with the board
Executive Committee (five members)
- assists the co-presidents in implementing the strategic plan and goals set for that year
- collaborates with each other and with the co-presidents at all times
- helps address grievances, and implement suggestions of the general membership body
- keeps a united front about IWA’s mission and policies at all times
- diffuses rumors and idle talk about IWA’s policies within the community
- encourages a spirit of volunteerism in the community by fostering a climate of good faith, support, and cooperation
- assists in the formation of different sub-committees and acts as a liaison between them
- responsible for general oversight and governance of IWA
- has the power to decide by majority vote, in the event of non-agreement between the co-presidents
- takes accurate minutes of all meetings
- assists in choosing charities that will receive IWA’s services and donations
IWA Board of Directors
Treasurer: In addition to the above board, Renu Bajaj will function as the treasurer. The IWA board will balance the annual budget, allocate revenues and handle reimbursements but the treasurer will receive payments and do all the deposits and withdrawals with the bank. She will update IWA’s financial records. Renu Bajaj will also maintain the annual membership list, as it is the primary source of IWA’s revenue. In the event that she was to stop handling IWA’s finances, an elected official(s) will replace her office. This is a continuing position and will not change every year unless she were to resign or IWA members decide to elect someone new to that position.
Monal Patel is responsible for filing legal papers that maintains IWA’s status as a Non-Profit Organization. She also handles renewal of Insurance Policies and Insurance Claims. This is a continuing position and will not change every year unless she were to relinquish her duties or IWA members decide to elect someone new to that position.
Rashmi Chaturvedi and Monal Patel are the two trustees of IWA
Nomination of the IWA Board: The nomination procedure will take place over a website in accordance with the following rules at least two weeks before the elections:
- Past presidents and board members can re-run any number of times and also vote.
- Only current IWA members can be nominated.
- You can nominate yourself.
- You can nominate any number of people but you must first get their prior verbal consent.
- In the case of the team of presidents, you must get consent from both members that they want to be a team. They are voted as a team and must run together.
- If you did agree to be nominated and then later decide you do not want to run, then you may take your own name off the list.
- You may NEVER take another member’s name off the list.
- A member’s name can be on both lists (the president team and executive committee). If the member is elected on the president team, then she will not be chosen for the executive committee.
Election Procedure of IWA Board: The two presidents and the five executive committee members will be elected by ballot at the elections which will be held during the Diwali function. A simple majority of those members present will constitute a majority. In absentia votes will be collected electronically.
Article XII - Funds: No part of the net earnings of the corporation shall inure to the benefit of, or be distributable to its members, trustees, officers or other private persons, except that the corporation shall be authorized and empowered to pay reasonable compensation of service rendered and to make payments and distributions in furtherance of the purposes set forth in Article III. No activities of IWA will be for furthering of political propaganda, nor shall its activities attempt to influence legislations. IWA will not participate in activities that support or oppose any candidate for public office. No IWA funds can be used towards furthering of religious or sectarian agendas.
The final decision pertaining to IWA’s annual charitable contributions rests with the board of directors. However, members of the general body choose and recommend charities to the board for consideration.
Article XIII - Dissolution: If IWA were to be dissolved, its assets and shall be donated to another or other Non-Profit Organization(s) or returned to the federal, state or local government for a public purpose. This shall be decided through a majority vote of IWA’s membership body.
Article XIV- Amendments: Any amendments to all of the above articles, mission, governing body structure, election and nomination procedure can only be done through a majority vote of the general body of IWA’s membership.