Usona Esperantisto № 2023:1 (jan–feb)

Some proposed amendments to the bylaws

Lasta ĝisdatigo: 2023-03-21

Hoss is Editor for E-USA and one of its Directors. Contact him at hoss ĉe lodestone punkto org.

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For decades, Esperanto-USA has divided its savings into three different categories of funds, each following a different set of rules. These categories have enabled us to set aside money for special purposes, allowing donors to have confidence that their contributions won’t be used for unrelated expenses.

For example, our General Fund is in the “Unrestricted” category, meaning that the Board has latitude to spend this money for all sorts of expenses. By contrast, the NASKE Fund is in the “Restricted” category, since it is reserved for NASK scholarships only. All spending from the NASKE Fund must be approved by a separate fund administrator (currently Ellen Eddy). The Board still has indirect control over the fund, with the ability to appoint a new administrator, but the layer of indirection offers some protection against indiscriminate spending.

In the most restrictive category are “Capital Funds” like the Ellen Lewis Endowment, which exists only to earn interest for another fund (in this case, the NASKE Fund). By tradition, the Board has resolved never to spend the capital of a Capital Fund.

These traditions have served us well over the years, but they are just that: tradition, with no formal definition and no mention in our Bylaws. For the sake of clarifying these rules to future Boards, as well as making them transparent to the membership, I’d like to finally put them in the Bylaws. Here are the proposed additions: if you’d like to suggest a change before they appear on the ballot you’ll be receiving in a month or so, please let me know!

Section XIII – Funds

§1301. Monies controlled by the League shall be assigned to funds in one of three categories: Unrestricted Funds, Restricted Funds, and Capital Funds. The Board may create a Fund by a simple majority vote.

§1302. An Unrestricted Fund shall have a defined purpose, but its monies may be used at the discretion of the Board for any purpose. The Board may dissolve an Unrestricted Fund and assign its monies to another Fund by a simple majority vote.

§1303. A Restricted Fund shall have a defined purpose and a Fund Administrator with discretion over Fund expenditures. Fund Administrators may be appointed or replaced by a two-thirds vote of the Board. The Board may also dissolve a Restricted Fund and assign its monies to another Fund by a two-thirds vote.

§1304. A Capital Fund shall exist only to generate investment income for another Fund. Each Capital Fund shall have a designated recipient Fund to receive investment income. No expenditures may be made from a Capital Fund, but the Board may dissolve it and reassign its monies to another Fund by a unanimous vote.