NETS - A Registered Non-Profit Cultural Organization
Article 1: Nature of Organization
Section 1: Name:
New England Tamil Sangam, hereinafter referred as “NETS”.
a)NETS is a non-profit, member based cultural organization, incorporated under the laws of Massachusetts, USA.
b)To primarily focus on promoting Tamil Culture and Heritage in and around New England Area.
c)To cultivate member’s involvement in participation of Tamil Cultural activities.
Section 3: NETS shall be non-political, should never engage in propaganda or participate in any political campaign for any candidate for public office in Massachusetts or in USA or elsewhere. NETS members shall not support anyone, including any members for any political campaign like said above.
Section 4: NETS does not envisage any financial gain or profit for any of its members in Executive Committee or Advisory Committee or any other member(s) directly or indirectly. Members of NETS shall acquire no interest in NETS property by virtue of their membership therein. No part of NETS asset or property shall be devoted to any personal purpose other than NETS expenses.
Section 5: Any Member(s) of NETS shall not be held personally responsible or liable in any lawsuit against NETS and for any debt incurred by NETS. The extent of liability of members shall be limited to the unpaid membership dues and for no more.
Article 2: Membership, Fees & Events
Section 1: NETS Membership shall be open to everyone supporting the objectives of NETS.
Section 2: NETS Executive Team (explained in detail below) may disapprove/terminate membership of any individual whose activities are opposed to or are not in harmony with NETS purpose.
Section 3: The Fiscal year of NETS will be Jan 1 – Dec 31 of each calendar year. All membership fees are annual, expires by the end of December. All membership needs to be renewed every year. NETS Membership shall be classified as Individual & Family.
Section 4: Any Individual person above 18 years is eligible for Individual Membership and the membership fee is only for the individual (him/her).
Section 5: Family Membership includes the membership fee for the entire family which includes (Spouse, Kids and Parents). Family Membership does not include any extended family (Brothers, Sisters, and Cousins etc.)
Section 6: NETS Membership fees shall be determined by the Executive Committee, General Committee and Advisory Committee (only if needed), and can be changed for the fiscal year based on majority members voting in favor of such a proposal.
Section 7: Only members are permitted to attend the Tamil Sangam programs for free. Non-members need to pay the fees to attend all the events. Both members and non-members shall pay the participation fees for the events which are determined by the Executive Committee. Membership fees are non-refundable. Participation fees are non-refundable too but considering valid reasons for the absence during event day, participation fees are refundable and this is totally under the discretion of the Executive Committee and General Committee (if needed).
Section 8: As of 2015, there are 4 events conducted by NETS. This can subject to change under the discretion of the Executive Committee, General Committee only if majority members vote for the same. This includes changing the name of the event as well.
a) NETS Pongal Vizhaa (happens during month of Jan/Feb).
b) NETS Chithirai Vizha (happens during month of Apr/May).
c) NETS Annual Summer Picnic (happens during month of July/Aug).
d) NETS Children’s Day (happens during month of Nov).
Article 3: Executive Team & Advisory Team
Section 1: NETS comprises of Executive Committee, General Committee and Advisory Committee henceforth referred as Board.
Section 2: Executive Committee referred as EC hereafter shall comprise of Office Bearers with the titles of President, Secretary, and Treasurer. President upon selection/election, with the approval of the Board, appoints Secretary, Treasurer and others posts like Vice President, Joint Secretary, Joint Treasurer as and when he/she deems necessary.
Section 3: General Committee referred as GC shall comprise of committee members who are Social Coordinators who elects the Executive Committee.
Section 4: Advisory Committee referred as AC as of now, comprises of members who had served the board earlier and prefer to stay as advisors when help is needed by the President or Executive Committee.
Section 5: No two persons, with a family or business relationship shall serve in the Board at the same time. This is applicable for EC, GC & AC.
Section 6: There is no limit on the Board Members. This is totally left to discretion of the current Board.
Section 7: Executive Committee serves NETS for 2 consecutive years. Later, either they can change their role or stay as member in the advisory committee or continue as a member in the general committee. President, upon completion of 2 year term can be the member of advisory committee or continue as a member in the general committee. He/She cannot change roles unlike the Secretary and Treasurer.
Minimum years required to serve NETS to become an Office bearer in EC is 2 years and above.
** Minimum years required to serve NETS to become an Office bearer in EC is 1 year (2017-2019). This rule will change back in 2019 unless needed.
This change is effective between 2017-2019 only, due to Office Bearers (2016-2017 Treasurer and 2016-2017 Secretary) having 1 year of experience serving in the Committee in Executive Roles due to unavoidable circumstances.
Article 4: Roles of EC, GC & AC
a)The President shall be the spokesperson for NETS. The President shall preside over the meetings of NETS (EC, GC & AC) and shall perform the duties of a presiding officer.
b)In addition, the President, by virtue of the office he/she holds in NETS, serves as an Advisor in the Advisory Committee.
c)The President shall address the Board about the state of the NETS in every meeting.
d)The President and/or Treasurer are the authorized signatories for all financial transactions.
e)The President shall assume charge of the duties of Treasurer during their absence.
f)In case of tie during voting at Board meetings, the President shall have an extra vote to break the tie.
g)The President shall, with the approval of the Board, appoint members as and when he/she deems necessary.
h)The President ensures that EC carryout their responsibilities in accordance with the bylaws of NETS.
a)The Secretary of NETS shall convene, call and send notices for all meetings.
b)The Secretary shall record the proceedings, maintain minutes of all meetings of EC.
c)The Secretary shall keep a record of NETS official correspondence for their period of 2 years.
d)He\She shall regularly check NETS mail box, and keep EC informed of relevant mail.
e)He\She shall maintain current membership database, including email addresses and other contact information of NETS members.
f)He\She shall honor appropriate requests for information from members.
g)He\She shall renew business license for NETS and any other statutory renewals with local, state and federal authorities every year.
h)He\She shall secure insurance for activities and property (hall\theater) rentals.
i)He\She hold and preserve all office records, registers, books for their period of 2 years.
j)He\She shall appropriately document in shared drive to handover them for the next Secretary.
k)He\She shall perform all other duties pertaining to the Secretary as directed or decided by EC.
Section 3: Treasurer
a)Treasurer shall collect all dues, program fees, contributions, donations and receive all monetary belonging to NETS.
b)He\She shall deposit the amount in NETS name in a bank designated by EC.
c)He\She shall pay all bills after due review and upon the instructions of EC.
d)He\She shall notify members or business or any individual about the dues.
e)He\She shall keep and maintain proper and accurate record of all financial transactions and properties as well as all assets and liabilities, receipts and disbursement vouchers and all other financial records and accounts that are required by EC.
f)He\She shall be responsible to file tax returns for NETS as required by IRS guidelines.
g)He\She shall furnish financial reports at EC meeting after every NETS event.
h)He\She perform all other duties and responsibilities as a Treasurer as required by EC & GC.
i)In addition, Treasurer, by virtue of the office he\she holds in NETS, serves as a Director in the Board. The Treasurer is expected to attend all meetings, submit quarterly financial and membership reports and must get approval from EC. Such reports shall include budgets, expenses, disbursements and tax filing.
a)The following subcommittees shall be constituted to extend the capabilities of Executive Committee in various areas of NETS focus. Hereafter subcommittee is referred as SC.
· Technology (Website & Email Communication).
· Program Coordination.
· Youth Volunteers.
· Improving Tamil Culture.
b)All SC’s of GC shall operate under the overall authority of the EC. Each one of them works closely with other member to extend the capabilities of the EC.
c)Each SC will be led by the leader who reports to the President and thereby acting as liaison between SC and EC.
d)Term of SC is same as that of the EC.
a)NETS AC comprises of members who were acting as trustees before.
b)AC shall contribute their advice when deem fit.
c)Under situation(s), which and when needs another sets of eyes, AC can be pulled in by the President for advice and the decision made by AC and President will be final.
a) No member of EC, GC or AC who gets access to NETS communication medium shall use NETS Email list, address list or web site for
· Personal Glory.
· Airing grievances and internal conflicts.
· Accusations, bad mouthing, profanity, insults, derogatory/demeaning remarks etc.
· Unproven allegations.
· Proxy voting or enforcing one’s wish in to others for committee’s decision.
b) Personal email(s) shall never be used to address the NETS Members.
c) Each EC has been provided with the email ids with respect to tamil sangam and that should be the only email id to be used to contact NETS Members.
Article 4: Election and Voting
Section 1: All along, NETS current president identifies the future presidential candidate, based on opinion collected from EC & GC and as per the seniority in NETS. If there are no discrepancy, upon agreeing to take the presidential role, the new president is selected. The new president will then select the other members of EC. Under discrepancies, Advisory Committee (used to be trustees) is pulled in for the selection of next president based on the seniority.
Section 2: This process is now left to the new committee and either Section 1 can be chosen or Section 3 (election) can be chosen to select the next president.
Section 3: The Board or AC shall be responsible to conduct elections for all positions. All Officers of EC shall be elected by the GC as per the voting procedures mentioned in article below:
a) The Board appoints Election Officer herein referred to as EO to conduct NETS elections. The EO should have been a member with good standing and up to the discretion of EC.
b) Call for nominations need to be sent.
c) EO will review nominations to make sure they satisfy eligibility requirements. If a nomination received from a member does not meet requirement, EO should notify such member about her\his status confidentially.
d) If there are no nominations more than 1 for each position, then unanimously he\she is selected for the post. If there are more than 1 nomination for each position, then voting is followed.
e) Election and Voting section will be expanded in detail based on EC & GC meetings.
Section 3: The operating budget of NETS shall be used to pay for all expenses related to conduct of elections reasonably.
Section 4: Elected\Selected candidates for the titles of President, Secretary, Joint Secretary (if needed), Treasurer, and Joint Treasurer (if needed) will be announced in the next event, immediately after the completion of 2 years which happens before fall of every year.
Section 5: Proxy voting is not allowed in the meeting for the purpose of electing officers of NETS.
Section 6: All the above in Article 4 are subjected to change by the total discretion of EC, GC & AC.
Article 5: Amendment Versions
By-laws created by 2015- 2017 Committee for enhancing
current process and making it more professional.
Article 3: Executive Team & Advisory Team Section 7
** Minimum years required to serve NETS to become an Office bearer in EC is 1 year (2017-2019).
This rule will change back to 2 years requirement in 2019 unless needed.