SOLICITING OFF BASE? HOW TO KEEP YOUR P.O. OUT OF TROUBLE

As we enter the summer, private organizations (POs) are beginning to plan various fundraising events. Many POs will pay for these events by soliciting gifts and contributions from off-base organizations.

Although this article is a handy guide when drafting an off-base solicitation proposal, it should not be construed as legal advice. AFIs 36-3101 and 34-223 are the final authorities on what activities are allowed.

First and foremost, organizations must send a copy of their proposals to the legal office outlining exactly what it is they would like to do. Next, find out if the organization is a PO. A private organization is a self-sustaining special interest group, set up by people acting outside the scope of any official position they may have in the federal government. This includes organizations like the Unit Advisory Council, Top Four, the Officer’s Spouses Club, etc.

Any group with average monthly assets exceeding $1,000.00 over a 3-month period must apply through the Force Support Squadron and Legal Office for formal PO status. After being authorized, these POs are overseen by 31 FSS. If the organization takes in assets less than $1,000 over a 3-month period, it will likely be considered an unofficial activity. Unofficial Activities (UAs) are subject to the same restrictions as POs when soliciting.

When planning a fundraiser, these are the things you should ask yourself: Who, What, When and
Where?

Who are you going to solicit and who is going to conduct the solicitations?

What is the basis for the solicitation?

When you plan to conduct your solicitation?

Where will you solicit?

We hope this article has provided some guidance on how to properly solicit for your PO off base. It is important that we conduct ourselves professionally when interacting with the local community. Remember, the base commander retains the authority to disband any and all POs he thinks prejudice or bring discredit to the Air Force.

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