Our initial formation board meeting was held at Paradise Tiki Hut in the Dolphin Key Resort in Cape Coral at 11:30am on Tuesday, December 12th. If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, or would like to participate with the board, you can call or text Will Washington at 512.762.1048 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Florida has several chapters including Fort Walton Beach, Jacksonville, Orlando, Pensacola, Tallahassee, Tampa, and the ambiguous "South Florida" chapter which is on the southeast side of the state and includes Miami and everything else over there. It is high time to set up a chapter over on the southwest side of the state.
This chapter will be known as the "Fort Myers Chapter" of the LSU Austin Alumni Association, or just LSU Fort Myers, versus something ambiguous like "The SWFL chapter". That gives Naples, and any any other locations, the opportunity to form their own chapters in the near or distant future with no confusion.
One eventual goal is to create a 501(c)(3) entity. Since this filing is not free ($275 filing fee), the board members will discuss available options when they meet at a future board meeting, and create a timeline for filling out and submitting this nonprofit paperwork to the IRS.
The agenda of the formation meeting:
Election of the board.
Election of the officers.
Discuss and hopefully approve the Articles of Incorporation and the By-Laws. If approval is not given for either or both documents, there will be a special follow-up board meeting scheduled to handle that approval.
Approve the accounting period and tax year that will be adopted by the chapter.
Approve opening a bank account, and the double signing procedure.
Approve opening a paypal account
Approve obtaining an EIN.
Discuss scholarship plans and money plans.
Discuss funding and reimbursements.
Discuss 501(c)(3) paths and obstacles.
Discuss the joint membership program with the overall LSU Alumni Association in Baton Rouge. This is now required for new chapters.
Dicuss the Chapter Leadership program hosted by the LSU Alumni Association in Baton Rouge each year.
Discuss Facebook, email, and growth strategies
Discuss the future role of the chapter, and any events the chapter may be interested in organizing. There is absolutely no requirement at this point to do anything. We can just have a light brainstorm session and capture some ideas.
Anything else the board cares to discuss.
Here is a general path for establishing the LSU Fort Myers chapter, there will almost definitely be more items added in this path to a 501(c)(3):
Hold the first board meeting and elect the 3 board members and vote on officers.
At that first meeting, or a subsequent meeting, approve the Articles of Incorporation and the By-Laws.
Create the meeting minutes which correctly capture everything required by the State of Florida and the IRS.
Set up a corporate records binder capturing all documents required by the State of Florida and the IRS, to be kept at the chapter "headquarters". The headquarters will be determined at this initial board meeting.
Obtain our EIN.
File the approved version of the Articles of Incorporation with the State of Florida.
Open any bank accounts and perform any other transactions approved by the board.
File form 1023-EZ with the IRS, which is our application for 501(c)(3) status.
Create an annual punch list which meets all the IRS and State of Florida standards needed to maintain our exemption and properly file taxes and other documents.
Again, if you are interested in volunteering to help the board, or you have any questions or comments, send an email to email@example.com, or text/call Will Washington at 512.762.1048.