Changes in Finance, Development divisions at NHQ benefit mission

2020 has been an exciting year for the Development and Finance divisions at ALA National Headquarters in Indianapolis, with changes made to better serve our members.

The national treasurer/director of finance positions have now been split with Gary Ward as director of the Finance Division and Marybeth Revoir as national treasurer. In the financial field, it is considered best practice regarding oversight to have a national treasurer who reviews information and goes back to the director of Finance or other leadership with questions. Additionally, a compliance officer position was added who can focus on assisting units requesting guidance on various issues. National Headquarters’ Sara Riegel has filled that role.

Splitting these duties allows the national American Legion Auxiliary to perform at a higher level as it supports membership. Roles for these three positions:

Director of Finance

  • Oversees the financial matters of the organization and timely reports that information to leadership, the committees, and provides information for those committees to report to the National Executive Committee (NEC).
  • Provides appropriate controls to safeguard the assets of the organization.
  • Works with Human Resources to administer the retirement plan, health insurance, and other employee benefits.
  • Manages the overall budget process.
  • Serves as staff liaison to the national Audit and Finance committees.
  • Works with leadership to mitigate risk, including electronic (IT) information.
  • Supervises the process with the external audit firm.

Compliance Officer

  • Works with the director of Finance and other leadership on matters involving risk coverage such as insurance, grants, and other risk management areas of the national organization.
  • Involved in matters with the annual filing of IRS Form 990 Not for Profit (NFP) Tax Return.
  • Works closely with American Legion Auxiliary units to provide guidance regarding matters concerning how to file their IRS Form 990 returns.
  • If they have lost their NFP status, assists them with some of the considerations of IRS filing requirements as a taxable entity.
  • Prepares fidelity bond claims and keeps the national treasurer informed on these matters.
  • Works on special projects as needed for leadership and the various committees.
  • Assists leadership with the policies and procedures updates.

National Treasurer

  • Member of the executive committee to the NEC. Designated director of the American Legion Auxiliary Foundation Board of Directors. Ex-officio member of the national Finance Committee with voice, but without vote.
  • Serves as custodian of the funds of the national organization and signs checks disbursed by the national organization.
  • Reviews financial reports and investment reports distributed to the NEC. Reviews investment reports and bank statements for unusual transactions.
  • Works with the director of Finance and compliance officer to ensure adherence with all tax matters.
  • Serves as trustee of the 401k retirement plan.
  • Oversees the fidelity bond claims in conjunction with the compliance officer.
  • Manages credential information for the National Convention.

“By having a close working relationship with membership, we can stay more in tune with their needs and provide more value with the services we provide at a national level,” Ward said.

Additionally, the Finance Division also works with the national treasurer and Finance Committee on making sure ALA funds are responsibly maintained, tying together the staff and volunteer sides of the organization.

“The Finance Division provides monthly information to the national treasurer for their review and oversight,” Ward said. “They are not expected to look at information on a transactional level, but they review the information prepared to ensure operating performance, risk management, and the safeguarding of the assets of the national organization are maintained.”

Looking ahead as part of this fiscal year, Ward said the Finance Division has several things they are working on and would like to accomplish.

“We will share ideas, work as a team, and leverage our technology to work smart,” Ward said. “I also am excited to get to know everyone as we work together to further our mission and carry on the great tradition of this organization.”

The Development Division also has made changes this year with additional staff.

“It finally gives us the ability to not just do what needs to be done, but to get creative and more intentional in the way we fundraise and communicate with our donors,” said Madison Maves, director of Development.

Each team member of the Development Division at National Headquarters has assigned focus areas:

  • Sydney DeLong: Handles all things ALA Foundation. This includes raising funds for the three ALAF funds (Mission Endowment Fund, Veteran Projects Fund, and Veterans Creative Arts Festival); ALAF grant management for the four grants we give out (Veteran Projects Fund, Mission in Action, VCAF, and sub grants); and management of the 16-person ALAF Board of Directors.
  • Zac Felty: Focuses on all things ALA. This includes raising funds for the Auxiliary Emergency Fund and scholarships, management of our direct mail program, management of our monthly gifts program, AEF grant management, and our monthly Mission Moments communication piece.
  • Maves: Oversees all Development Division staff, as well as grant writing and planned giving.

The main addition with adding another team person in the Development Division is a focus on corporate relations and sponsorships, as well as grant writing, Maves added.

“We are incredibly passionate, and with a larger team, we are able to give fundraising the true attention it deserves for this organization,” she said. “We are able to continue to improve on campaigns we are already doing, as well as add new initiatives and execute them at a level we are proud of.”

The team is creative, goal-oriented, and extremely dedicated to the mission, Maves added.

“With our growing division, I truly feel like we are able to accomplish not just what has to be done, but what we know should be done,” she said. “We have always known there were additional fundraising opportunities, but we never had the bandwidth to pursue them at the level we hold ourselves to. Now, we are able to do that.”

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