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Policies of the Guild Association — Commitment to Compliance

One of the main reasons guilds have continued to thrive for more than 110 years is the integrity of our members. Donors trust us with their money. That’s a tremendous responsibility, which each guild member helps to fulfill. In the interest of Children’s and the communities in which we raise and manage funds, all guilds must operate in accordance with applicable federal and state regulations. As these regulations become more complex, you can count on the Guild Association to provide the resources and guidance you need to be “fiscally fit.”

The Guild Association works closely with the Internal Revenue Service, the Washington Secretary of State, the Washington State Gambling Commission and Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board to provide all guilds with current regulations and reporting procedures as befit our nonprofit status. The Guild Association Board of Trustees, Fundraising and Membership Committees and staff members assume the responsibility of educating guild members on our fundraising policies. The Guild Association trusts our members to comply with established policies, take the time to familiarize yourselves with our guidelines, ask questions and share the information with new members as they join your guild.

The Guild Association

  • Provides education to our guilds through workshops on compliance and best practices.
  • Reviews and annually updates our Resource Guide and website
  • Uses Guild News as a tool to keep members informed of IRS, Washington Secretary of State, Washington State Gambling Commission and Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board requirements as well as Guild Association fundraising policies
  • Ensures the Guild Association Board of Trustees and Fundraising Committee members have a working knowledge of Guild Association policies and procedures pertaining to fundraising, compliance and the ability to educate guild members as needed
  • Employs a Guild Association accountant to ensure compliance with all regulations and reporting procedures

Fundraising Policies

Fiscal Year

The Guild Association fiscal year is Oct. 1 - Sept. 30

Financial Agreement and Access

Net revenue should be at least 65% of the gross revenue. This is a general guideline used by the Guild Association. Please do not retain excessive funds in a checking account. If you are not sure how much to hold back, contact the Guild Association. Money earned or collected through all guild activities in the name of Seattle Children’s belongs to Seattle Children’s. Revenue is directed to the guilds area of support and may not be diverted or spent for any other purpose.

The Guild Association does not promote nor approve of guild project revenues being deposited into an interest-bearing account such as a money market account or a certificate of deposit. It is the policy of the Guild Association that guild revenues, less start-up funds, be turned over to the Guild Association within 90 days of the guild’s event.

The Guild Association shall have full and unfettered access to any and all banking and financial information of all guilds. Upon request, the identified guild shall promptly deliver its banking and financial records to the Guild Association. Furthermore, the Guild Association is granted the authority to access all guild financial records directly from any banking institution or member of the identified guild as deemed necessary.

Banking and IRS Federal Identification Number The IRS requires that each guild have a unique Federal Tax Identification Number. The Guild Association office will apply for this number on your behalf.

Once you receive your Federal Tax Identification Number, open a checking account in the name of the guild for any money raised through projects. Guilds should not invest project revenue in certificates of deposit (CDs) or other financial instruments.

Your guild’s bank account should be designated as a nonprofit account for money raised to benefit Children’s. Some banks waive fees for this type of account or may have other options for your banking needs. Contact the Guild Association for suggestions. The signature card must be signed by the president, treasurer and one other guild officer. It is recommended that two signatures are on all checks. If this is not practical for your guild due to the timing of a payment deadline or coordinating schedules for members to meet and sign checks, it is acceptable to submit a check with one signature if the expense has been preapproved by the guild. This can be done via email if needed.

Start-up Funds/Seed Money

A portion of project revenue may be retained to meet expenses, including start-up expenses for the next project. Start-up funds are generally used to cover expenses incurred in the first quarter of the planning year. A review of the previous year’s first three months’ expenses can help you anticipate costs. Also, review the cash flow and consider when to expect income from sponsorship and/or event tickets. Guilds with more than one event or project in a year should complete a Treasurer’s Report for each event (tracking revenue and expense separately for each event/project) and submit all proceeds (less start-up funds for next project) to Children’s within 90 days. New guilds that have not held an event and therefore have no start-up funds may seek sponsorship support from businesses, individuals or institutions.

Sunshine Fund

A Sunshine Fund may be established by your guild to cover incidentals such as birthday cards, sponsor recognition gifts or providing food at guild meetings. You can build your Sunshine Fund by asking guild members to contribute each year toward special-occasion needs. These contributions are not tax-deductible. The money you receive from donors to benefit Children’s may not be used to buy gifts of any kind; therefore, the Sunshine Fund must be held separately from your guild’s fundraising revenue and cannot be deposited to the guild’s general checking account.

Internal Audit

An internal audit is a required review of your guild’s financial records by a guild member or another qualified person (an adult with basic understanding of revenue and expense documentation) who is not responsible for maintaining the guild’s financial records. If a guild member conducts the audit, he or she must be someone other than the guild treasurer. All books must be audited at least annually, and, depending on the size of your project(s), more than one audit per year may be advisable.

Regular audits help ensure that funds raised for the benefit of Children’s are used for that purpose. The internal audit form is sent to the guild president and is also available on the Guild Association website. It is the guild president’s responsibility to ensure that the audit is completed, signed by the auditor, treasurer and president and sent to the Guild Association. Any comments or information communicated to the president by the auditor should be noted on the audit form.

Each year the Guild Association performs a random review of guild audits. Guilds that are selected for a review will be asked to provide supporting documentation.

Form 990

The Guild Association is required to file an informational tax return with the IRS (Form 990) for each guild whose gross receipts average $50,000 or more over the preceding three tax years. The Guild Association accountant will work with your guild’s treasurer to obtain the information needed to comply with all IRS filing requirements.

Employer Matching Gifts

To promote philanthropy, honor the diversity of employees’ interests and provide a broad spectrum of community support, many companies offer a matching gift program to their employees for direct gifts or volunteer hours. Matching gifts are an excellent way to increase your guild’s revenue with very little additional work. Employer matching gifts support and match an employee’s direct donation — a 100% tax-deductible gift — to Children’s. Types of gifts that are eligible for employee matching programs include donations given in memory of a loved one and donations elicited through direct-mail appeals, “Raise the Paddle” donations, and Radiothon and Miracle Makers broadcasts.

Generally, companies do not match the dollar amount of event tickets, raffle tickets and auction purchases. Some companies may match the donation portion of event tickets and auction overages (the difference between an item’s fair market value and what the donor paid). Not all employers will match gifts to every nonprofit.

Please note that matching gift programs can only be accessed with donations made from an employee’s personal funds.

Contracts With Vendors

Any contract requiring a deposit or commitment/guarantee of $10,000 or more must be reviewed and approved by the Guild Association prior to signature. To ensure sufficient time for staff review, please provide contracts to the Guild Association at least three weeks prior to signature deadline.

Guild members should carefully review and understand the terms and conditions of any contract prior to signature, particularly when making a deposit or a commitment with vendors (catering, music groups, facility rental, etc.). Before signing a contract, consult the Guild Association if you have questions or concerns. The person signing the contract must be an active dues-paying member of the guild and have the authority within the guild to sign on the guild’s behalf. Once a contract is signed, it is the responsibility of the guild to abide by the agreement, just as the vendor is responsible for its commitment. The Guild Association cannot make loans to guilds to pay deposits or cover a loss should a guild be unable to satisfy the requirements of the contract. Guilds should have a well-thought-out plan and timeline in place as to how funds will be generated to meet contractual commitments.

Because guilds are nonprofit organizations raising funds for Children’s, they may be able to negotiate reduced deposits and payment time frames. If at any time during event planning your guild has difficulty meeting its contractual obligations, please inform the Guild Association so that appropriate guidance can be provided.

Special Interest Guild Policy

A special interest guild provides assistance or support to a specific Children’s program, department or area of research. The special interest program must be confirmed by the hospital or Research Institute as an area of need. Special Interest guilds must adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Fundraising intentions are mutually agreed upon between the guild, the program or department, and Guild Association staff.
  • A special interest guild must make a three-year commitment to the beneficiary program or department (or less, if any established funding goals are met). After this time frame, guilds electing to change their designated special interest must give at least one year’s notice to the Guild Association and beneficiary program or department.
  • All revenue must be directed through the Guild Association, which will designate funds to the appropriate program or department.
  • Promotions for a special interest guild’s project must clearly state the program that the project benefits.

Non-Retaliation Policy

Children’s is committed to compliance with all laws and regulations that govern its operations and wishes to foster an environment in which guild members and others feel free to report possible instances of noncompliance. Accordingly, the Guild Association adopts a non-retaliation policy to protect guild members and others from intimidation, threats, coercion, discrimination, or other retaliatory action.

It is the responsibility of each member of the Guild Association to report perceived misconduct, including actual or potential violations of laws, regulations, procedures, matters relating to accounting, internal accounting controls or auditing, or Guild Association polices. Guild members may report misconduct to Guild Association staff or the Guild Association Executive Director. Any member of the Guild Association who violates this policy may, at the discretion of the Guild Association board of trustees, lose Guild Association membership.

Donor Information Confidentiality Policy

Seattle Children’s Guild Association and its members will maintain the confidentiality of donor information, including names, contact information, credit card numbers, gift amounts, etc. Neither the Guild Association nor guild members may disclose, sell or trade donor lists or donor information with other non-Children’s entities, except as may be permitted or required by law.

Canceling a Guild Event, Disbanding a Guild or Revoking Guild Membership

The Guild Association Board of Trustees may at its sole discretion cancel a planned guild event, disband a guild, remove a guild member or take any action determined to be in the best interest of Children’s and the Guild Association. The board may, but shall not be required to, consider the following in any such determination:

  • Misrepresentation of Children’s, the Guild Association or the event
  • Misappropriation or misuse of guild or Guild Association funds or resources
  • Misuse of guild records
  • Failure to disclose guild records as required or requested
  • Project or event expenses exceed 35% of gross revenue (Guild Association proceeds-to-expense ratio standard is 65% to 35%)
  • Noncompliance with Guild Association policies and guidelines as outlined in this Resource Guide and on our website

Conflict of Interest

Children’s is committed to the highest standards of ethical conduct in every aspect of its activities, from patient care to vendor relations to volunteer support. As a volunteer-driven nonprofit organization, the Guild Association draws heavily on the efforts, expertise and generosity of its members and community. As guild members seek goods and services for guild fundraising projects, a guild member may not use his or her corporate, public or guild position for personal gain or profit. The Guild Association prides itself on the integrity of its members and operates with high standards of ethical behavior. We trust that our volunteers advocate for Children’s with loyalty and in good faith. Any member who engages in a violation of this understanding may, at the discretion of the Guild Association Board of Trustees, lose Guild Association membership. A member’s misconduct may jeopardize his or her guild’s good standing.

Contact Seattle Children's Guild Association

Mail: Seattle Children’s Guild Association 
M/S 818-F
PO Box 5371 
Seattle, WA 98145-5005

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