Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Is Your NonProfit Organization-Family or Village group Dividing?

Dear Compatriots,

Last Wednesday the presiding judge told the Manyu people to go and settle their differences as family, or he will be forced to appoint a receiver. Then he asked them this question: "why do you guys want to spend these monies on lawyers, rather than use it to help your own people." Shamefully, both sides could not agree; they prefer to let the receiver come in. Shame on you all Manyu people in Georgia. Considering that there are many African groups that are divided with some in court and others on their way to court, it behooves me to quickly submit a skeletal synopsis and to disperse certain myths about Nonprofit Organizations.

NonProfit Organizations are in two forms:

A. Union or Association and a

B. Foundation.

Difference: association is based on membership (a union of persons), but the foundation has no membership (it is based on assets). Membership in the Association is freewill and departure too freewill. Nonetheless, when trouble comes and the assets are in danger, then the courts set in.

Every Nonprofit Organization is subject to the Georgia Sunshine Laws of Open Records Act (ORA) and the Open Meetings Act (OMA). In the open records acts, it means that the association is compelled to submit records if requested by the public and the Open meeting Act, the association cannot close its meeting doors to the public. To comply with the Open Meeting Act, the organization must do the following:
A. Set the time, date and place of the regular meeting.
B. Post the information where everyone could see it.
C. Post the agenda two weeks before the meeting.
D. Allow record of the meeting procedures.
E. Post the attendance register and the matters discussed two days after the meeting.
F. if a meeting is to be cancelled or postponed, the members must be informed at least 24 hours before time.

N.B. If these OMA conditions are not met, then whatever decision taken at the meeting is non binding . While most groups look at the profits in acquiring the nonprofit status, they neglect the exigencies that come with it like the OMA.

If an organization was to cease to exist through the abolition of registration or bankruptcy, there are two scenarios according to the Georgian Organic Law "On Ceasing and Prohibition of Public Associations Activity :

A. The Management does the liquidation. This is if all circumstances do not face any challenges. If there are prospects that they will face one, then the second scenario comes in.

B. The court may appoint a liquidator or receiver (in cases of urgency).

During the process of liquidation, the association is made to pay its creditors, and then after a year, the rest of the assets are distributed among the authorized persons. If there are no authorized persons, then the assets are given to another association with the same goals and objectives.

However, in a situation of clear urgency, the courts will appoint a receiver according to the Georgia Code section 9-8-1-14 (2007). This usually occurs when there is infighting in the organization, and there is sufficient evidence of foreseeable destruction of the organization’ assets by the warring factions . A receiver could also come in if there is an injunction that prevents the usage of the association’s finances thereby delaying the progress of the organization and subsequently causing its deterioration . When a receiver is appointed, it is the receiver who determines what is to be sold, shared and who gets what . It should be noted that, it is the troubled organization that pays the court appointed receiver and when or if anything remains in their assets then the distribution takes place.

Notice that, the nature of the organization will determine the distribution of assets. In Nonprofit Organizations with membership, the assets distribution could be shared amongst the contributing members or qualified parties. One thing is certain there will be distribution of assets contrary to popular myth that assets of a nonprofit organization are never shared.

My people, why do you prefer a court appointed receiver than to share the assets amongst you? I have heard people say, "I prefer the court to take everything than for us to give them a penny". That to me is greed at its best. The little money that we are paying the receiver could have been used for a project to help the poor people back home. I want you all to think twice before you follow your stubborn courses.

Until then, you can predict the outcome of your case now.

Prince & PA Hamilton Ayuk.

“Bonyfish beware because the same net that caught the jawless fish, caught the cartilaginous fish” (Hamilton Ayuk). Beware earthly paradise seekers because there is a serpent in every paradise"(Hamilton Ayuk). Idle people write, idler people read, and idlest people read and whine that idle people are taking their time (Hamilton Ayuk).

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