Auxiliary News - Announcements
Past 9th District President, Elsie Slagter 2008-2009, passed away March 19th, Services are April 1st, 10:30 at Fatih Lutheran Church in Marcus, visitation 5-7 p.m. on Friday March 31st. On line condolences, email@example.com Elsie had been in a care center in Columbus, NE where one of her daughters resides. Please keep Elsie's family in your thoughts and prayers.
Unit data forms are due to the office by April 15, 2017. They are on our web page under forms.
Dues increase for 2018 dues $17.00 for seniors 3.00 for juniors. New dues will go in affect when you receive your membership packet in July .
Girls State parent waiver form due into the office by February 28,2017
Girls state refunds will not be issued until April 2017
Commemorative Junior Member certificates are now available online. The “Commemorative Graduation Certificate” honors the dedication of Junior members as they transition to senior membership. The “Commemorative Enrollment Certificate” can be used when a Junior membership is given as a gift. Both certificates can be found on the Junior Member Activities page when you log in to the Members Only section at www.ALAforVeterans.org.
10/13/16: Winter Coat Giveaway Flyer
As Department and Division leaders, I’m asking that you help spread the word about Giving Tuesday. Please distribute the attached brochure to members of your Department. You can include a copy of the flyer in your monthly newsletter, forward copies to all Unit Presidents and Unit Secretaries, and distribute/discuss during meetings with your own Unit. We have just a little over a month to spread the word about this important opportunity to all members within the ALA. Can I count on your support in distributing this message? If you have any questions about Giving Tuesday, they can probably be answered with the information below. However, you should also feel free to contact me if you have any questions. I appreciate your assistance.
Board Member, American Legion Auxiliary Foundation
I have a new request from Laura, VA Voluntary Services, at the Des Moines VA.
1. They are currently out of Medium sizes of underwear, shirts and sweatpants for men.
2. They are in need of candy (mostly peppermint type candies) and any kind of gum. This is for smokers to satisfy their needs as they are not allowed to smoke while they are patients on 3A.
District Presidents. please spread the word and help out our VA and our veterans.
Laura, said the best way to make a donation of candy is to ask members to purchase the candies and drop them off at the VA. Ask them to include their name, organization, address and phone number so we can confirm and thank them.
Dept. VA&R Chairman
Greetings national and department leaders and newsletter editors!
The American Legion Auxiliary National Headquarters is working to build brand loyalty and raise public awareness about the American Legion Auxiliary through national news media (Goal 5 of the Centennial Strategic Plan). We’ve recently released an article related to the upcoming National Veterans Creative Arts Festival in October, which is available for news sources to pick up through the end of the year.
We need your help to further spread the ALA's message! Please share the story, found here https://www.alaforveterans.org/Veterans-Find-Hope-and-Healing-Through-Creative-Arts/ , with your local media; on your unit, department, and personal social media accounts; and in your ALA newsletters. This story is ready to go as is, no additional editing or writing is required. If you are uncertain how to approach your local media with a story, please read the PR Guide and Tips for Volunteer Recruitment found on the Marketing & Promotional Materials page of www.ALAforVeterans.org (log in required). You’ll find lots of tips about creating a media list, pitching a story, and following up with reporters.
Join the ALA brand-raising action and share this story with your local media, community, and social networks today!
Great news — the 2016-2017 Programs Action Plan (formerly known as the Plan of Action) is ready and available for download at www.ALAforVeterans.org. The benefit of using the web version is that you’ll always have the latest copy when changes/updates are made
You can download the full 2016-2017 Programs Action Plan here (log in required): https://www.alaforveterans.org/members/programs-action-plan/
Best regards, National Headquarters.
Donations wanted for "Hospice Baskets Project" at the Des Moines VAMC Facility. Using small baskets, place travel-size items such as lotions, shampoo and conditioner, and body spray along with a notepad/pencil or pen and fuzzy socks. You can find items at Target, Dollar General, Dollar Tree, Walmart, Hy-Vee and Bath and Body Works. (Use your imagination on what items to use.). If you would rather donate money, send check to Department and earmark it for "Hospice Baskets at Des Moines VAMC."
Please help the CLC Hospice Wing provide the best experience for our veterans.
Thank you for honoring their service and sacrifice for our freedoms. Contact VA&R Department Mary Sebben if you need more information.
Education e-bulletin that was just published on April 1. Please be sure to share with all the units in your Departments.
IRS Exempt Organization Updates: 990-N (e-Postcard) See Attached Form
The IRS has posted that the host site for the annual filings of the 990-N (e-Postcard) will be changing on February 29, 2016.
How does this affect American Legion Auxiliary Departments, Districts, Counties, Councils and Units? The overall impact should be minor for those organizations filing for the tax years of 2014 or 2015.
The transition requires the following:
Those organizations of the American Legion Auxiliary that have already filed the 990-N online for the current required tax year prior to February 29, 2016 will not be impacted until the next required filing due date. However, when your organization is required to file, please note that the site has changed and it will be necessary to establish a new account on the new IRS repository system for filing.
The IRS will formerly take over the 990-N (e-Postcard) system of filing February 29, 2016. The IRS will not be obtaining or retrieving the already established account data of user id(s) and passwords from the Urban Institute.
American Legion Auxiliary Departments, Districts, Counties, Councils and Units that have NOT filed a 990-N for the current tax year before February 29, 2016 should note that the host site has changed and the account-user ids and passwords, established through the host site of Urban Institute will no longer work with the new IRS repository system for filing. The IRS requires that the eligible organizations required to file the 990-N (e-Postcard) will need to establish a new account – user id and password on or after February 29, 2016.
We ask that you please forward this information on to your units, districts, counties and/or councils.
Reminder for contacting the Department Office: Please use this guideline. Thank you.
Traci – firstname.lastname@example.org – Obligations, Poppies, Website, 990’s
Jeannie – email@example.com – Membership, Girls State, Junior Camp
Marlene – firstname.lastname@example.org – Administrative, Communique, Blue Book, Policy Book and other business not list above
NOTE: Traci is in the office all day Monday and Tuesday and Wednesday until noon.
Office Number – 515-282-7987 or FAX – 515-282-7583
Dear Department and Unit leaders,
During the 2015 Department Leadership National Conference (DLNC) in Indianapolis, as well as at the 2015 National Convention, it was announced that members now have the option to pay their dues online through the secure member portal section on the national website.
We are excited to report that over 6,000 members have already utilized this convenient method and have praised the ease of it. To try our handy new online dues payment portal, members should visit the national website, www.ALAforVeterans.org, and log in to the “members only” area. Once logged in, members who have not already paid their 2016 dues will see a “button” that says “Pay Dues” next to their name – a quick and easy reminder!
Please reassure members that they are absolutely still able to pay their dues directly to their unit – in person or by mailing it with their renewal notice reply slip. And as always, no one ever has to wait for a renewal notice to pay her dues. Dues can be paid any time.
Also please remember that no unit or department can deny their members the right to pay their dues online. As discussed at the 2015 National Convention, all members are granted the same rights and privileges as all other members. Please help us spread the information about this new payment option with positivity and a spirit of goodwill. It will trickle down!
Finally, it is still the Unit’s responsibility to distribute membership cards to their paid members, regardless how they pay. As soon as the Unit becomes aware that a member has paid her dues on-line, her card should be distributed.
Departments can access a “Paid Dues Online” report at any time via ALAMIS and should determine how frequently they will forward these reports to their units so that cards can be provided promptly. Units that have access to ALAMIS can pull their own “Paid Dues Online” report at any time so that they know when to provide a member her 2016 membership card.
*Please note that departments can either send units the “Paid Dues Online” report (which reflects payments in real time) OR they can wait to receive the report from National Headquarters that accompanies the email about ETF disbursements and forward that to their units.
Please help me by sharing this information with all of your members, especially the leaders of your units. And, as always, thank you for your support and dedication to the American Legion Auxiliary!
2015-2016 National President
American Legion Auxiliary
To sign up for LIT (American Legion Auxiliary accident insurance) $1,000 accident/emergency insurance OR $5,000 (if accident while on official Legion business) benefits:
1) Go to www.thelit.com
2) Click on Member Benefits
3) Click on Accident and Emergency
4) Click on Learn More
5) Click on sign up now
6) Complete the information (your membership number is optional)
7) Click on NEXT
8) Check the box to agree to terms
9) Click Finish
This entire process takes no more than 5 minutes! Wala, you're insured!
They send an email to your email address stating that you are insured and encourage you to print the paper and place it with your other financial and insurance papers! This is for all Legion and Auxiliary Members.
The VFW, at its recent national convention, adopted an amendment to its bylaws changing the name of Ladies Auxiliary VFW to VFW Auxiliary and to allow male spouses and eligible male relatives to join the VFW Auxiliary. Many ALA members are also members of the VFW Auxiliary and are asking how or if this VFW change might affect the Legion’s and ALA’s membership eligibility criteria. It doesn’t, and it can’t. And here’s why.
The Ladies Auxiliary VFW and Men's Auxiliary VFW have always been programs of the VFW, similar to how the Sons of The American Legion and Legion Riders are programs of The American Legion. The VFW Auxiliary is not a separate corporation from the VFW – it is program of and within the VFW, governed by the VFW, and it falls under the VFW’s IRS identification and classification.
The VFW Auxiliary and American Legion Auxiliary are legally structured entirely differently. The American Legion Auxiliary is a separate corporation, incorporated as an all-female organization with our own Tax Identification and our own IRS Group Exemption independent from The American Legion. As such, we cannot amend our American Legion Auxiliary bylaws to change membership eligibility because our Articles of Incorporation filed with the government already prohibits it. The American Legion’s federal charter established by Congress establishes membership eligibility in The American Legion. The American Legion Auxiliary is both incorporated and constituted as an all-female organization and our national governing documents cannot conflict with The American Legion’s governing documents. The American Legion National Constitution Article 13, Section 2 specifically limits membership in the American Legion Auxiliary to females, as specified consistently in everything published stating membership eligibility criteria. Therefore, any changes to membership eligibility in The American Legion Auxiliary would first require a Constitutional Amendment to both the Legion and ALA Constitutions and an amendment by the federal government to the IRS Code, which is considered very unlikely.
If the American Legion Auxiliary were to become structured similarly as is the VFW Auxiliary, the ALA would become a program of and governed by The American Legion. The Legion would control our membership, our assets, our finances, our programs, and policies. That has never been the case, and I do not sense that after 95 years the American Legion Auxiliary would want to cease to exist as a separate corporation and become a program of and be controlled by The American Legion. If such were to happen at the National level, then likewise, ALA Auxiliary departments would become controlled by the Legion departments and posts would control units.
While there has long been an understandable desire to find a way to include into the Legion Family those connected to the Legion Family who are not otherwise eligible for membership, e.g. the wives of the Sons and male spouses of Legionnaires, there is literally no legal way to do so without Congress passing federal legislation re-defining eligibility.
Both The American Legion and American Legion Auxiliary at the national levels have together spent considerable time in recent years looking into the legalities of expanding membership eligibility, and continue to do so. Under the current federal law and Legion federal charter, ALA national articles of incorporation, and IRS regulations, there is no way legally possible to expand membership eligibility within The American Legion and American Legion Auxiliary without an Act of Congress, and that is unlikely in the foreseeable future.
The issue of expanding membership eligibility is compounded by the non-appealable audit and revocation authority exercised by the IRS. The current problem being confronted by The American Legion at the federal level is the fact that the IRS is attempting to impose the 75% veteran membership requirement of Section 501 (c)(19) of the U.S. Tax Code on the American Legion Auxiliary. The Legion is now approaching Congress to get this matter resolved because the IRS is applying the rule to Sons of The American Legion. Since the SAL is a program of the American Legion, the SAL is the 25% “social membership” allowed under the 75-25 membership ratio enacted by Congress; the SAL is not unto itself an entity that must have 75% veterans as members.
The new IRS regulations also state that membership eligibility in the ALA and SAL is limited to two degrees of sanguinity, which means that great-granddaughters and great-grandsons are now not being deemed eligible by the IRS for membership in the ALA or Sons respectively, and units and posts are receiving negative IRS audits jeopardizing their exempt status for having such members. These relatively new IRS field audit regulations are entirely contrary to federal law. The Legion is taking every action legally possible at the federal level to get the matter corrected, which takes time and resources.
These problems with recent years’ IRS regulatory actions negatively impacting the ALA is at the center of the many presentations that ALA National Headquarters has made about IRS tax issues as it pertains to ALA membership and exempt status. As we have discussed frequently in national meetings the past 4 years, the IRS has long classified the ALA as a 501 (c)(19) tax exempt auxiliary veterans service organization, to which contributions are fully tax deductible.
Four years ago, the IRS revoked the tax exempt status of several hundred ALA entities. The IRS up until recently had been re-instating many of those ALA entities that re-applied for exempt status under the Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code – a 501(c)(3) is a social welfare organization. Now, the IRS has recently begun reinstating ALA entities that re-applied for exempt status under the Section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code – a 501(c)(4) is a social welfare lobbying organization, a classification to which members’ dues and donor contributions are not tax deductible.
Therefore, because of a) the membership eligibility restrictions grounded in the federal charter Congress enacted for The American Legion, b) the ALA’s Articles of Incorporation and Legion’s Constitution specifying and limiting the ALA as an all-female organization, and c) the recent IRS regulations jeopardizing the tax exempt status of the American Legion Auxiliary, the membership eligibility in the Legion and ALA cannot be expanded or altered without an Act of Congress.
And expanding membership eligibility will not happen in the foreseeable future because the first internal legislative priority of the Legion is to ask Congress to protect current ALA and SAL membership eligibility, specifically to a) reverse the new IRS regulations that require the Sons to be comprised of 75% veterans, and b) overrule the new IRS regulations that limit membership eligibility to two degrees of sanguinity, protecting the membership eligibility of great-granddaughters and great-grandsons in the ALA or Sons respectively. The Legion is also continuing to work with Congress to promote a federal charter for the ALA in order to protect our 501(c)(19) IRS tax exempt classification. In the meantime, the ALA will continue to accept great-granddaughters into membership, and the SAL will continue to accept great-grandsons.
As has been mentioned, presented, and discussed in several ALA national meetings, the ALA cannot change its membership eligibility, and I greatly appreciate that the departments have understood and not presented new resolutions requesting changes to membership eligibility. For the reasons explained above, the Legion cannot consider any changes to membership eligibility.
I hope this explanation is helpful, and thank you for understanding why ALA membership eligibility cannot be amended or expanded.