COMMUNITY SERVICE GUIDELINES
Constructive community service is a founding VFW tenet with volunteerism benefiting education, the environment, health sciences and civic projects. Community service must be conducted during the current Community Activity quarter/year.
Community Service is defined as "Any activity or program sponsored or co-sponsored by a VFW Post and/or its VFW Auxiliary, which serves to benefit the city, town, neighborhood, other organizations, institutions or individuals NOT AFFILIATED with the VFW or its Auxiliary as a body.”
Volunteer hours committed to projects and activities benefiting the Post and its affiliated units –as listed, CANNOT BE REPORTED. Such as – Post dance; Post bingo, Post parties and/or Christmas parties.
Quarters/Suspense (Please submit Quarterly, not monthly)
1st = January thru March (Report must be received at Dept by 30 April)
2nd = April thru June (Report must be received at Dept by 31 July)
3rd = July thru September (Report must be received at Dept by 31 October)
4th = October thru December (Report must be received at Dept by 31 December)
The following are a few examples of program/projects for a Post within each category on standardized form. This list of suggested activities is by no means a complete list of projects that can be accomplished. Its sole purpose is to stimulate ideas and provide guidelines in your search for projects to perform. However, remember that these activities CANNOT benefit the Post
A. Sponsorship of:
1. Blood drive
2. Food drive
3. Recycling program
4. Food distribution programs
5. Safety program
B. Flag details for public events
C. Get out the Vote program
D. Financial/equipment support of public programs or entities
B. Public Ceremonies
C. Flag Presentations
D. Educational Materials
E. Loyalty Day
F. POW/MIA Activity
AID TO OTHERS
B. Nursing Homes
C. Senior Citizens
D. Blood Drives
E. March of Dimes
F. Operation Uplink
A. Conduct a Voice of Democracy program
B. Conduct a Patriot’s Pen program
C. Conduct a Patriotic Art program
D. Sponsor and support of a Scouting or youth unit.
E. Conduct a Scout of the Year program
F. Sponsorship of a youth sporting team
G. Sponsor a youth event;
a. Easter egg hunt
b. Bike safety program
c. Halloween party
d. Christmas party’s
e. Veterans in classroom
f. Flag etiquette instruction
g. Support of a JROTC unit, Boy Scout Troop, Cub Scout Pack, Young Marine unit
B. Drug Awareness
For credit in Americanism, a project must be of a patriotic nature. We’re looking for things like flag presentations, parades, presentation of patriotic literature, patriotic ceremonies in schools or youth groups, and public observances of national holidays. Each project must benefit the greater community not just the Post or Auxiliary. Fundraising projects, even those whose proceeds are earmarked for Americanism programs, are not in themselves creditable Americanism projects. However, the project that receives the funds, when complete and if it meets the Americanism criteria, can qualify for an Americanism credit.
Examples of Disallowed (things that don’t count)
1. Any project for yourself or member of the VFW, Auxiliaries, Motorcycle Unit or Jr. Girls.
2. Reciting the Pledge to the Flag at a Post monthly meeting.
3. Sending a "Get Well” card to a member of the VFW, Auxiliaries, Motorcycle Unit, etc.
a. Shopping for the "Get Well” card above
b. Post office visit to mail the "Get Well” card above
c. Providing the car to deliver the "Get Well” card above
4. Any activity that is obviously within the scope of another previously reported project (example, see 3a, 3b, 3c above)
5. A flag raising ceremony at the Post, unless attended by persons outside the VFW, Auxiliaries, Motorcycle Unit or Jr. Girls
6. Purchasing a replacement flag for the Post
7. Running an errand for or giving a ride to a VFW, Auxiliaries, Motorcycle Unit, etc.
8. Honor Guard posting colors at a VFW, Auxiliaries, Motorcycle Unit, etc. meeting or ceremony
9. Giving a certificate to a VFW, Auxiliaries, Motorcycle Unit, etc.
10. Donation to a VFW, Auxiliaries, Motorcycle Unit, etc.
Community Service Activity Report Form
The Department of Alabama Veterans of Foreign Wars and its Auxiliaries will use the attached Activity Report Form to report all activities carried on in Alabama. Many National and Department VFW requirements, including Internal Revenue Service (IRS) policies, rely upon the accurate description and reporting of your Post community service activities.
The Community Service Chairperson will validate and verify each entry to ensure that it meets all requirements for Community Service as outlined.
Header: Fill in District, Post#, Reporting From and To Dates.
Activity Description: Briefly give a detailed description of the activity within the appropriate category. DO NOT list each person/persons involved specifically
Hours: Please indicate the total hours of all volunteers expended on the project. Round up to whole hours- no minutes.
Money: Please indicate the total amount of funds expended to support this activity. Round up to whole dollars. Do not calculate hours into a dollar amount, only list money actually spent.
Mileage: Enter the miles from and to the activity (Round Trip) - round up to the nearest whole number – no tenths. If more than one mode of transportation was used – then combine the mileage.
Projects: How many projects did it take to complete objective.
Members: Please indicate the total amount of members involved with activity.
Future Events: Please indicate if you request any external resources or would like to invite District/Dept Leadership to an upcoming event.
Final Numbers/Table with KPI Calculation:
Posts will add up all appropriate values and place in table prior to sending to Dept
- Total Hours This Report: Add up all hours from each category
o KPI Value is $27.20 per hour.
§ Total Hours x $27.20 = Adjusted KPI
- Total Amount of Money Spent: Add up all money from each category
o NO KPI VALUE
- Total Miles This Report: Add up all miles driven from each category
o KPI VALUE is $.14 per mile
§ Total Miles x $.14 = Adjusted KPI
- Total Projects this Report: Add up all Projects from each category
o NO KPI VALUE
- Total Members this Report: Add up all members from each category
o NO KPI VALUE
Signature: Please indicate who prepared report, their title within post and date
After completion of all descriptions, calculations, etc. send to Department Headquarters ONLY
EMAIL TO: firstname.lastname@example.org
· Remember to keep a copy for Post records
· Community Service Reports should be sent by Post Community Service Chairperson or Commander
The IRS will use your meeting minutes to verify you meet the standards of community service for non-profit organizations. To remain within the spirit and intent of the VFW Charter a Post is granted through the VFW 51% of monetary donations should be to VFW programs.
Important Note: Each Post can have their non-profit status revoked by the IRS if they "Fail to maintain adequate records to accurately report your exempt purpose and activities that supports your exemption un-der code section 501 (c) (19).” The first item the IRS will ask for during an audit is evidence of community service. All community service items should be recorded in the Post meeting minutes, which is the second item the IRS will ask for.
Those Posts that have maintained a properly organized and complete Community Service Record Book and produced it for the IRS during an audit have never had an issue in verification of fulfilling the objectives of their charter from the National VFW.