The Constitution of FORCES International

Preamble and Principles Charters Statements Download Constitution in PDF

CHARTERS


Charter II (Committees) Charter III (Chapters and Affiliates) Charter IV (Memberships, Donations and Sponsorships)

CHARTER I

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

1. 1 - Definition – The BOD of FORCES International (FORCES, Inc.) is the highest authority of the organisation, and solely responsible for its actions.

1.2 - Structure and BOD members – The BOD is structured in a hierarchical manner as follows:

  • President – This is the most senior position of the organisation. The president calls meetings, and coordinates the activities of the BOD. The president is the principal spokesperson for the organisation, although this duty may be delegated according to the discretion of the Board of Directors.
  • Vice-president – Acts in lieu of the president, and assists the president in his/her duties and tasks.
  • Chairman - Chief Executive Officer (CEO) – Implements the decisions of the Board.
  • Treasurer – Handles the finances, and has the responsibility of periodically reporting to the Board on the organisation’s financial status, expenditures and income, and manage the finances according to the directions of the BOD. Maintains the financial records of the organisation in good order and ensures that they are available to the inspection of the BOD or any of its members at any time. The treasurer will maintain the financial records according to accepted bookkeeping practice.
  • Secretary – Handles and archives the minutes of the BOD meetings, and performs the corollary administrative functions necessary to support, as needed, the functions of the President, Vice-president, CEO and Treasurer.
  • Simple Member – Participates in the BOD meetings, and is assigned tasks by the Board. The tasks have to be completed during the time allotted and agreed on by the Member.

1.2.1 - Number of Members – The maximum number of members of the BOD is nine. The minimum number of members is five. If the number of members falls under the minimum threshold, new members are to be found as soon as possible to restore the quorum. If the BOD is temporarily without enough members to constitute a quorum, the BOD can only act provisionally, and only to maintain the essential activities of the organisation.

1.2.2 - Advisor – A person who is not part of the BOD but offers advice according to his/her field of expertise. The help of the advisor is to be called on as needed, and the advisor’s counsel is not binding. There is no limit to the number of  BOD advisors.

1.2.3 - Duties – The duties of the BOD consist in:

  • Holding routine monthly meetings.
  • Holding special meetings on specific issues as needed.
  • Establishing committees.
  • Collecting information from the committees.
  • Coordinating and monitoring the activities of the committees.
  • Making decisions of a political nature.
  • Making decisions concerning the finances of the organisation
  • Establishing implementation dates on various programs.

1.3 - Criteria and procedures for BOD Membership

1.3.1 - Criteria – Membership to the FORCES International Board Of Directors must satisfy the following criteria:

a) He/she must have a documentable reputation of activism and commitment to the cause of individual liberties and lifestyle, particularly in – but not limited to - the field of smokers’ rights.

b) He/she must not have, nor had, a policy making position of any nature with private or public health organisations or healthist groups of various natures that act or acted against the freedom of choice and lifestyle, nor must he/she have acted against the freedom of choice and lifestyle at personal level. Past or present participation of any nature in antismoking, anti-alcohol, food control or lifestyle control groups in general is a disqualifier, except when it concerns the election or appointment to a government body and employment in non-policy making positions in the public sector. Exceptions will be dealt with on a case by case basis by the BOD.

c) He/she must explicitly subscribe to the following statements:

c1) - That multi-factorial epidemiology in general is junk science, and that its denunciation, containment and/or destruction as a public policy tool is one of the main goals of FORCES International, as it represents a mortal danger to liberties, social welfare, human spontaneity and medical/professional ethics.

c2) - That passive smoke as a private or public health hazard is an epidemiological fraud in all its manifestations, permutations and presentations.

c3) - That the “dangers” of primary smoke are immensely exaggerated, to the point of becoming an epidemiological fraud themselves.

c4) - That, with the exception of communicable diseases and basic hygienic conditions, public health is an institution and a social value that is secondary to personal liberties and lifestyle, choice, and constitutional liberties.

c5) - That, in general, he/she submits to, and accepts, the constitutional principles of FORCES International.

False representation concerning any of the articles above implies the automatic expulsion of the member from the BOD. Should “changes of heart” occur after the acquisition of membership for whatever personal reason, the member is expected to openly and truthfully communicate them to the BOD, which will consider and judge the situation according to the case and circumstances. The BOD may ask for the resignation/expulsion of the member from the Board if, in its unquestionable judgement, the Board deems it necessary for the welfare of the organisation.

d) He/she must be provided with skills and/or contacts that are useful and needed by the organisation.

e) He/she must be willing and able to commit a base number of weekly hours of actual labour to the organisation on a reliable and predictable basis. The BOD is responsible for assigning tasks to the member on an on-going basis. The number of weekly hours to dedicate to the organisation will be agreed with the BOD beforehand along with the task, and adhered to thereinafter. Should personal conditions arise that demand a change in that agreement, the member must promptly and formally communicate that change to the BOD and, when possible, do his/her best to complete the task he/she is performing before the schedule change. Failure to communicate the schedule change to the BOD, and instead delaying the completion of the assigned task may, at the sole discretion of the BOD, result in the dismissal of the member from the Board.

In consideration of  1.3.1 c, it is necessary to specify that the status of smoker, drinker, or any other personal lifestyle has no bearing on participation in the BOD.

1.4 - BOD official meeting protocol

1.4.1 - Because of its international nature and the technology available, the official BOD meetings (hereinafter called “meeting”) of FORCES International are held electronically at a convenient time for all participants around the world. To avoid misunderstandings, the meeting time will be expressed as Greenwich Mean Time (London time), and expressed with the 24-hour (military) clock. The meetings will be conducted by using the Robert’s Rules of Order, Small Meetings Protocol.

1.4.2 - The president chairs the meetings. In the absence of the president, the vice-president chairs the meeting. Alternatively, a chairperson is to be selected before commencing the meeting.

1.4.3 - A meeting cannot be conducted without a chairperson and the secretary. In the absence of the secretary, the chairperson appoints one of the members to the temporary function of secretary. The appointee is responsible for all the obligations of the task, and must transfer the minutes and any other act to the secretary as soon as possible.

1.4.4 - A meeting cannot be held without a quorum, which consists of five members. It is possible to delegate the voting power to other members of the BOD in advance and only for specific issues, providing that the number of proxies does not exceed two.

1.4.5 - A meeting agenda is to be presented on line at the commencement of the meeting. It can also be circulated via e-mail at least 24 hours (GMT time) prior to the meeting. The agenda is part of the minutes, and must be included in the minute’s recordkeeping. In case of dispute on time of issue, the time stamp recalculated in GMT of the e-mail that was issued to communicate the agenda is settling evidence. The secretary is responsible for compiling and issuing the agenda, as well as for the safekeeping and logging of the minutes of the meeting. The minutes of the meeting are defined as the MSN (or equivalent) communication scroll, plus reports and presentations, plus the agenda.

All BOD members must send their agenda items only to the secretary, and not to any other member of the BOD. The secretary cannot refuse any item proposed for the agenda. However the BOD, at the beginning of the meeting, can decide to eliminate items from the agenda, or to move agenda items to the agenda of future meetings. In case of disagreement on the elimination or rescheduling of items, a vote is held.

1.4.6 - Members of the BOD who have reports and presentations to make will present them in written form on-line for all other members to see. The reports must be complete and concise, and can make use of any audio/visual/pictorial means necessary for the best illustration of the issue.

1.4.7 - In the interests of brevity and efficiency, no digressions from the subjects/topics at hand are allowed during the meeting, unless essential for the debate. Chats of all nature must be done prior to or after the meeting. The chairperson is responsible for keeping order during the debate, and must recall members to order as needed. In case of non-compliance, the chairperson has the authority to terminate the meeting, and/or call for disciplinary sanctions against individual members in extreme cases. Such cases would include abusive, insulting, slanderous language used by one member towards other(s). However, the obligation of the secretary to keep the minutes of the meeting stands unaltered.

1.4.8 - The handling of agenda items  is to adhere to the following structure:

a) Complete statement of the issue through pre-arranged reports or presentations, or typed directly on the chat board scroll.

b) Presentation of pertinent additional materials if needed.

c) Debate as needed.

d) Motion and seconding of motion. If no motion is made, the chairperson must call for it after allowing reasonable time for debate. If no motion is made at this point, no vote is held and the BOD moves on to the next agenda item.  If a motion is made no one seconds the motion, no vote is held and the BOD moves on to the next agenda item.

e) Vote.

A motion is carried with 50% + 1 of the votes, except in special cases established by this Constitution, where a fixed majority or a unanimous vote is necessary.

1.5 - Procedures for constitutional and charter amendments, emergencies, termination

1.5.1 - Charter and constitutional amendments are decided with the same basic procedure held for ordinary meetings and issues. The BOD can be called for one or more extraordinary meeting for this purpose.

1.5.2 - Charter amendments must be proposed by a minimum of two members regardless of the number of members constituting the BOD, and require a majority equal to or in excess of 75% of the voting power. All members of the BOD must be present at the meeting(s).

1.5.3 - Constitutional amendments must be proposed by a minimum of three members regardless of the number of members constituting the BOD, and require a majority equal to or in excess of 90% of the voting power. All members of the BOD must be present at the meeting(s).

1.5.4 - Calculation of the voting power – The voting power of each member of the BOD changes according to the number of BOD members. Although the individual vote is the standard way to cast, the carried motions can also be logged by the secretary as voting power percentage for the reference of future configurations of the BOD, that may have a different number of members. The voting power is calculated as follows:

For a 5-member BOD: each physical vote has 20% of the voting power

For a 6-member BOD: each physical vote has 16.66% of the voting power

For a 7-member BOD: each physical vote has 14.28% of the voting power

For an 8-member BOD: each physical vote has 12.5% of the voting power

For a 9-member BOD: each physical vote has 11.11% of the voting power

1.5.5 - The termination of the organisation requires unanimous vote. All members of the BOD must be present at the meeting(s). In case of disagreement on termination, the outgoing members will surrender all the physical, political and goodwill assets of the organisation to the remaining member(s) without compensation of any nature, as well as their voting power, which will be equally distributed to the remaining member(s). The remaining member(s), while assuming all the legal responsibilities of the organisation, may attempt to reconstitute the organisation and the BOD in any way he/she/they see fit and, in case of failure, he/she/they will terminate the organisation according to this unanimity clause. The final disposal of physical assets, if any, will be performed after compensation (if any) due to the remaining individual(s) is carried out, and the organisation will be made extinct according to the laws of the State of Virginia, USA, where FORCES International is incorporated as a 501c non-profit organisation.

1.6 - Emergencies

In case of emergency, any member of the BOD can call an emergency meeting. In case of non-availability of the complete BOD, the emergency is handled by the members available to the best of their abilities. The decisions of the BOD members able to attend are binding for the missing members. If the emergency requires an immediate remedy, the member or members discovering the emergency can do whatever it is necessary in the best interest of the organisation without the consultation of the BOD, and without being held responsible by the BOD for the unintentional negative consequences of their actions. After the remedy has been implemented, a BOD meeting is still to be convened as soon as possible, if the severity of the emergency warrants it.

1.7 - Elections and resignations

1.7.1 - Elections – Elections are held once a year. All the members of the BOD must be elected or reconfirmed. The admission of new members of the BOD is done through regular vote held at any date. The new member is to be reconfirmed at the date of the regular election.

1.7.2 - Resignations – A BOD member who wishes to resign must do so through written notification addressed to the secretary for record keeping, and the secretary communicates it to the Board. A vote can be held at the next meeting of the BOD, or via e-mail, according to the necessity of the situation. If the resignations are immediate and the member has a task in progress, the next available member of the Board must take over the task if possible.

1.8 - Disciplinary procedures, and criteria for suspension and expulsion

1.8.1 - If a member of the Board has behaved in a manner that is either inappropriate for the organisation or contrary to this Constitution and/or its charters, the member is to be officially admonished. The BOD is to be informed by the President through meeting or e-mail with necessary and sufficient evidence of the alleged transgression. The debate must include the member who has committed the alleged transgression. The admonishment is to be issued after being approved by simple majority vote by the members of the BOD, calculated at 50% + 1 of the voting power with the exclusion of the member object of the admonishment. In case of a tie vote, the admonishment is not issued. After three admonishments, the BOD decides on whether to suspend or to expel the member.

1.8.2 - A member of the Board is automatically expelled when one or more of the following cases has been demonstrated to the satisfaction of the majority of the BOD members, calculated in the same way as for the admonishment procedure.

a) He/she has presented false credentials that have led to acceptance in the BOD.

b) He/she has been discovered to have collaborative and clandestine relations with parties having goals and agendas contrary to those of FORCES International.

c) He/she has intentionally given false representation of the organisation to third parties.

d) He/she has abused the resources of FORCES International, or his/her position as a member of the Board of Directors in any manner deemed by the Board to have been damaging to the organisation or its members.

1.8.3 - The expulsion of a BOD member requires a special meeting convened by the President, and it cannot be debated via e-mail. In case of severe misbehaviour of a member implying an immediate danger, the President must convene an emergency meeting as described in Article 1.6.


CHARTER II

COMMITTEES

GENERAL

2.1 - Definition - A committee is a group of persons appointed by the BOD to perform a specific task in a specific area of competence. It may include members of the BOD.

2.2 - Duties and privileges of Committees

2.2.1 - Duties

  • To establish, in agreement with the BOD, specific goals.
  • To establish timetables and methodology for the achievements of those goals.
  • To create procedures and rules for those acting in the committee. Procedures and rules must be explicitly approved by the BOD.
  • To report their activities to the BOD on a bimonthly basis with written reports and participation in the BOD meeting(s) concerning the report.
  • To report to - and interact as needed - with the member of the BOD whose function directly concerns the activity of the Committee (example: the fund raising committee and the treasurer).
  • The tour of duty of each committee has the duration of one year. At the expiration time, the committee is to be reconfirmed by the BOD, or a new committee is to be appointed.

2.2.2 - Privileges

  • To internally organise, administer, coordinate and implement the activities to achieve the goals specified by, and agreed with, the BOD for the time allotted. During that time, the BOD will have only a consultative function, but will not interfere with the committee’s activity and methodologies, save when such activities are in contrasts with the welfare of the organisation, or contrary to its principles. The BOD reserves the right to intervene with corrective actions up to and including the termination of the committee in case of misrepresentation, repeated abuses, or neglect of duty.
  • To access the resources of FORCES International for the implementation of its activities, including logo and letterhead. Specifically:

a)  The use of as many electronic mailboxes as necessary.

b)  The use of, and access to, areas of the FORCES International website that are dedicated to the activities of the committee.

c)  The use of as much web server space as necessary.

d)  The use of newsletters, chat rooms, forums and whatever facilities available to facilitate its activity, providing it does not interfere with or damage the activities and operations of other committees, chapters, and the main website.

  • To access common financial resources of the organisation, if and when available, upon presentation of satisfactory financial business plan, and upon approval of the BOD.
  • To enjoy legal protection from FORCES International when acting within the goals of the organisation and with the explicit approval of the BOD.

2.3 - Limitations and specifications

2.3.1 - No activity of any committee can interfere with or impinge upon the activities of other committees, chapters, or BOD.

Cooperation with other committees for common goals is strongly encouraged. To that end, committees can establish any form of interaction and cooperation without the supervision or the approval of the BOD. One person can participate in more than one committee.

2.3.2 - In case of  disagreement or conflict with other committees, all parties involved must present their case to the BOD in a short written form for record keeping, and participate in BOD meeting concerning the case. The meeting could be either ordinary or extraordinary, depending on the gravity of the situation. The deliberation of the BOD shall be considered as final settlement on the matter.

2.3.3 - All contacts established during the activities of the committee are assets of FORCES International and not of the committee or its participants. The same applies for all monetary and political gains that may be accrued during the activities of the committee.

2.3.4 - FORCES International is an organisation of volunteer and unpaid participants. No personal or corporate compensation whatsoever is to be expected for the activities or the committee or the members of the committee, unless explicitly agreed by the BOD during an official meeting and before the initiation of the activity.

2.3.5 - Unless previously and explicitly granted by the BOD as a body, no individual member of the BOD can grant permission on activities and initiatives of the committee or any of its members that involve the organisation as a body outside of the area of competence of the committee, which will be solely responsible for those actions.

SPECIFIC COMMITTEES

2.4 - Fund Raising Committee

2.4.1 - The function of this committee is to raise funds from:

a)  Membership

b)  Organisations of various nature (political, cultural, etc.)

c)  Tobacco, alcohol, food industry, and any other industry that may be interested in support

d)  Celebrities

e)  Other sources

2.4.2 - Membership drives are essential for the existence of the organisation, and they are the first duty of this committee, which has the responsibility of developing and implementing methodologies for:

a)  Establishing a record keeping system to keep track of all standing members, and their membership due dates.

b)  Collecting from standing members.

c)  Establishing new members.

Furthermore, the committee will be responsible for seeking sponsorship from other organisations and celebrities in a systematic and ever-expanding way.

2.4.3 - The committee will report collections and expenditures to the BOD on a monthly basis.  The committee will transfer the funds raised to the appropriate account of FORCES International quarterly, following written notification of the amount owed by the Treasurer. The committee will be awarded a commission equal to 25% of all funds raised, to be kept by the committee at the end of each quarter.

2.5 - Editorial and Publishing Committee

2.5.1 - The function of this committee is:

a)  To coordinate the editorial and publishing activities of all contributors to the websites or other publications.

b)  To create and develop ways and methods ensuring the smooth operation of the website(s), and other publications.

c)  To ensure the quality of the published product and the ideological consistency of the publications, and to ensure coherence and coordination of the FORCES message. To those ends:

c1) Appoint an editor for every language used by the FORCES websites. All submissions will have to be screened by the editor in charge. To that end, the website(s) will be set up so as to make impossible direct posting without the editor screening.

c2) Create and develop new means and ways of communication and website promotion, and to expand on the quality, power and scope of the ways and methods already implemented.

c3) Ensure that blasphemy, swear words and various profanities are not used.

c4) Ensure that what is published is not legally actionable by parties that are the object of the criticism.

c5) Ensure that the international web site, and all other chapter web sites do not contain or have links to materials concerning racial, religious or sexual hatred, or terrorism.

c6) Ensure that the international web site, and all other chapter web sites are not turned into politically partisan billboards. Although the majority of FORCES members tends to be Libertarian or conservative, the organisation is trans-partisan in nature, as it deals with trans-partisan issues.

c7) Ensure that the international web site, and all other chapter web sites do not contain pornographic or gratuitously violent or scatological materials, and that they do not contain links leading to such materials.

Remarks on point c7 – Since FORCES is an international and multicultural organisation, this Committee should allow for cultural variations. While there can be no dispute on the meaning of “scatological” or “gratuitously violent” (the pictorial display of beheaded corpses or excrements, for example) and “pornographic” (the pictorial display of genitalia without artistic intent, or while engaged in sexual activities), the area of sensuality or certain representations of gestures can have different weight according to cultures and nations, as well as to the context of the issue dealt with at the moment. Therefore, the Committee should use good and tolerant judgement with the national chapters' websites, while monitoring for a tasteful average on the international, multicultural website.

2.6 - Public Relations and Contacts Management Committee

All organisations need to keep public relations, and this is particularly true in the case of FORCES International because of the particularly controversial field in which it is involved. Keeping public relations has been, so far, a sporadic job taken on randomly by whoever was at hand.

2.6.1 - As the importance of PR cannot be overestimated, it is essential that a committee is set up to implement this activity. The Public Relations and Contacts Management Committee has the following functions:

a)  To initiate contacts with other organisations with similar goals, i.e. Libertarian groups, American Indian tribes and other parties selling cigarettes, as well as hospitality industry, media, etcetera.

b)  To maintain the current contacts on a regular basis.

c)  To answer and interact with the numerous supporters who write and often get no answer. Smokers feel particularly isolated, as that is part of the tactic of the opposition to weaken  resistance and further the penetration of the antismoking credo. Similar strategy is already in progress for other target groups. One important function of this committee is to provide a friendly environment for smokers and other target groups – an environment where they can feel important and cared for, and so confirmed in the righteousness of their life choices. This is the first step for the creation of a militant organisation that can enrol the very people that are made to feel comfortable and understood.

d)  To set up and/or maintain media contact pages.

e)  To design and maintain further areas of the web site that facilitate contacts with the public, i.e. forums, blogs, newsletters, etc.

f)   To have the function of official spokesperson of the organisation when needed.

g)  To send out mass-mailers to advertise the existence and the activities of the organisation.

h)  To keep on file agreements concerning link exchanges, affiliations, etc. (see Article xx, section Y)

i)   To induce writers from all walks of life to participate to the FORCES website and organisation, as well as specific activities.

j)   To enrol notable figures in the FORCES International Honour Committee

2.7 - Sales Promotion Committee

2.7.1 - The function of this committee is:

a)  To implement the sales of banners, ads, and other forms of advertisement on the site of FORCES International, and of any other FORCES site.

b)  To implement the sales of consulting and training service for organisations, industry associations, trade associations. The consulting and training will concern the fields of activism, epidemiological frauds, and consulting for legal suits.

c)  To implement the sales of educational courses on epidemiological frauds for cultural and educational associations.

d)  To implement the sales of accessories, cigarettes gadgets and other objects through electronic means, i.e.: on-line electronic markets, directly or through third parties.

e)  To find and conceive other means of sales and promotion leading to profit for the organisation.

2.7.2 - The committee will report collections and expenditures to the BOD on a monthly basis.  The committee will transfer all the funds from the sales to the appropriate account of FORCES International quarterly, following written notification of the amount owed by the Treasurer.  This committee will be awarded a commission equal to 25% of all collected sales, to be kept by the committee at the end each quarter as sales commission.


CHARTER III

CHAPTERS AND AFFILIATES

3.1 - Definition – A chapter is a group of people structured to represent the organisation in a particular geographical area, with the intent of achieving the same political, cultural and moral goals of the mother organisation at the local level.

3.2 - Size – A chapter must be composed of a minimum of three active members in active force at all time. If a chapter falls below three active members it ceases to be a chapter and the remaining members, active or inactive, are transferred to the central organisation.

3.3 - National and local chapters – A chapter can be national or local. A national chapter is that which represents the nation. There can be only one national chapter in each nation. A local chapter is a chapter in a nation that already has a national chapter. This kind of chapter handles regional matters, with the additional duty of handling the overflow of the national chapter when needed. In the interest of limiting bureaucracy and energy dispersal, the proliferation of small, local chapters is discouraged in favour of integration with the national chapter.

3.4 - Chapter hierarchy – A local chapter cannot officially access the FORCES International BOD, but has to go through the national chapter, which has the duty to bring the issues to the BOD. Exceptionally, the national chapter can allow the local chapter to access the BOD (i.e., needs immediate help from the BOD for local matters that cannot be delayed), or the BOD can access the local chapter directly for the purpose of ascertainment.

3.5 - Language – FORCES is proud of its international and multicultural nature, and encourages the dissemination of its message in all languages. However, to facilitate communications between the various chapters, and between the chapters and the BOD, the official language is English.

3.6 - Structure – The basic structure of a chapter is invariable, although local adaptations may be necessary and are encouraged to conform to local laws and to maximise the impact of the local activity. A chapter may or may not have a Board of Directors. The basic structure of a chapter is as follows:

  • President and Chief Executive Officer (compulsory position) – Chief Representative of the chapter, calls meetings, coordinates the activities of the chapter. The president represents the chapter when called to participate in the Chapters’ meeting presided over by members of the FORCES International BOD. The President is the official spokesperson of the chapter.
  • Vice-president (optional position) – Acts in lieu of the president, and assists the president in his/her duties and tasks.
  • Treasurer (compulsory position) – Handles the finances, and has the responsibility of periodically reporting to the president or BOD on the chapter’s financial status, expenditures and income.
  • Secretary (compulsory position) – Handles and archives all legal acts of the chapter, and performs the administrative functions necessary to support, as needed, the functions of the President, and/or of the other members of the chapter’s BOD (if the BOD exists). He/she is responsible for the good up-keeping of the members list, and to communicate it to the organisation’s central headquarter. If a treasurer is not foreseen by the chapter, the secretary has the function of treasurer.
  • Member (optional) – A supporter of the chapter who pays fees to be registered. A member is not bound by any compulsory activity other than keeping his/her membership in good order.

3.7 - Essential requirements for chapter qualification

a)  The president, secretary, treasurer and all the members must be paying members in good standing of their Chapter, regardless of the value of their contribution to the central or local organisation.

b)  The chapter must make officially available a postal address, a phone/fax number and a media contact person that must be published on the chapter’s website and/or on the central international website.

c)  The chapter must be provided with a computer capable of internet connection, and with MSN Messenger installed and properly operating. The technical support of FORCES International will assist to the MSN setup as needed.

3.7.1 - Number of Members – There is no limit to the number of members a chapter can have.

3.8 - Duties and privileges

3.8.1 - Duties – The duties of a chapter are:

a)  To proactively promote what is established in the chapter definition and, periodically, to report to the FORCES International BOD on their activities and results.

b)  To divulge the FORCES organisation at the local level to the best of its abilities. That means local media contacts, contacting local private people for membership drives, contacting local organisations for the purpose of corporate membership/sponsorship, sales of advertisement and consulting products (which qualifies the chapter for 25% of the collected revenue if the service is provided by the central headquarters, or full retaining of the amount if provided directly), providing education on smoking and other statistical frauds, and instigating lawsuits against local prohibition. The chapter cannot initiate a lawsuit as FORCES except after official and explicit approval by the FORCES International BOD. FORCES International reserves the right to start legal action(s) against the chapter and its representatives to seek compensation for direct and indirect damages that may arise from unauthorised legal actions by the local chapter.

c)  To contribute to the central, international website at least two summations of news and commentaries per month regardless of the language used. Alternatively, make available to the FORCES International BOD (or its representative(s) ) four hours of labour a month in the field of specialisation that is better suited to the individual skills of the members of the chapter.  The BOD will establish a  task proportional to skill and time available on a temporary or on-going basis.

d)  To update its website at least once a month, if a chapter chooses to have a website. In case the simple skills required  for website updates are not available from the chapter, they must be acquired either through training from FORCES International personnel, or independently. As a temporary measure and not to exceed the period of three months, FORCES International personnel will post for the chapter the materials otherwise electronically provided by the chapter. The chapter website is to be linked to the central FORCES International website which has the obligation to reciprocate the link, and its initial design must be approved by the FORCES International BOD.

e)  To keep an updated member list, and to communicate its membership list to the central FORCES International headquarter on a periodical basis.

f)   To participate to the chapter meetings, and follow the meeting’s procedure. Failure to participate three times in a row, or sporadic participation, may result in the disbanding of the chapter at the BOD’s exclusive discretion.

g)  To contribute ideas, suggestions, tactics and strategies, program implementations – and whatever else possible to ameliorate the organisation and divulge the local and general activities of  FORCES.

h)  When a new Chapter is accepted it then has six months to fill its local Officers positions. If this is not accomplished, then the Chapter converts automatically to the Affiliate status. During this six month period the Chapter is not authorized to use the non-profit status.

3.8.2 - What a chapter is not

Because of past misunderstandings and older structures, we feel that there is the further need to emphasize, in simple, clear and straightforward words, what a chapter is not.

a)  A chapter is not one individual motivated by the desire to help, regardless of how strong that desire is. That is also regardless of how important  his/her skills, connections, and/or how important other factors are. For such person, other positions and functions in the organisation are certainly available.

b)  A chapter is not a website – and, especially, not a website that gets updated if, when, and how it is felt like, according to random personal availability, emotional needs and/or leisure. FORCES International does not encourage, nor does it tolerate in any permutation, personal websites passed as chapters by using FORCES’ logo. FORCES chapters are not a hobby, nor are they a smokers’, drinkers’ or eaters’ lifestyle get-together clubs: they represent a serious and on-going social and political commitment to fight public health’s grave frauds and threats to liberty, government intrusion, taxation of targeted goods, and to obtain a freer and truer world as a result -- for this and future generations. The chapters and the central organisation need activists willing to take positive action in the real world as well, not internet hobbyists looking for relaxed socialisation while seeking the illusion of being fighters.

c)  The purpose of a chapter is not  just to “get off your chest” the frustrations and social resentments arising from prohibition, propaganda, false media information and public health frauds, nor is it a chat room or meeting place to tell each other just how bad the general or local situation is, or tell each other anecdotes of a personal nature to help “survive the day”. The chapters and the central organisation need people willing to take positive, coordinated  action leading to obtain/cause social and legal change - not depression-causing complainers.

3.8.3 - Privileges and intents

A chapter has the following privileges and intents:

a)  To internally organise, administer, coordinate and implement activities to achieve the goals of the chapter and of the central organisation. During that time, the BOD will have only a consultative function, but will not interfere with the chapter’s activity and methodologies, save when such activities are in contrasts with the welfare of the organisation, or contrary to its principles. However, the BOD reserves the right to intervene with corrective actions up to and including the termination of the chapter in case of misrepresentation, repeated abuses, and neglect of duty.

b)  To access the resources of FORCES International for the implementation of its activities, including logo and letterhead. Specifically:

          i.        The use of as many electronic mailboxes as necessary.

          ii.       The use of, and access to, areas of the FORCES International website that are dedicated to the activities of the committees.

          iii.      The use of as much web server space as necessary.

          iv.      To use newsletters, chat rooms, forums and whatever feature available to facilitate its activity, providing it does not interfere or damages the activities and operations of other committees, chapters, and the main website.

c)  To retain the financial proceedings arising from its local activity if those proceedings are utilised for achieving the goals of the organisation.

d)  To access common financial resources of the organisation, if and when available, upon presentation of satisfactory financial business plan approved by the FORCES International BOD.

e)  To enjoy legal protection from FORCES International when acting within the goals of the organisation and with the previous, explicit approval of the BOD.

f)   To have any of its members candidate as a FORCES International BOD member.

g)  To participate in the activity of any committee, and to constitute chapter committees as needed.

h)  To ask the international organisation and its members for support and expertise on local issues in the form of consulting or active participation.

3.8.4 - Minimal activity requirements

A chapter cannot be, or become, an idle entity kept up just for appearance purposes. For that reason, a chapter is expected to notify the BOD if a protracted period of inactivity is anticipated, and to discuss with the BOD on whether suspension or disbandment is appropriate according to the current situation.

3.9 - Chapters as non profit organisations and as branch chapters

3.9.1 - National chapters can constitute themselves as legal, non-profit organisations in the countries where they operate. Although the non-profit status is not a requirement to become a FORCES chapter, the achievement of the status is encouraged, as not only it confers a charitable public perception, but it also obligates the creation of a minimal, proper legal structure as required by local laws.

3.9.2 - A branch chapter is a chapter without the non-profit status. A branch chapter can be national or local. When possible, it may collect tax-deductible donations under another non-profit chapter. For example, the Alaska branch chapter in the United States can collect donations and memberships under the “umbrella” of the United States non-profit national chapter.

3.9.3 - In any case, national, local, non-profit and branch chapters are bound by the laws of the nations where they operate, and any directive from FORCES International BOD cannot override the laws of the country/state where the chapters are installed. It is the duty of the national chapters to make aware the FORCES International BOD of any possible discrepancy between its directives and local laws. Furthermore FORCES International, its Board of Directors, its members and other chapters are not responsible for any violation of local laws by national or local chapters, regardless of its status. Thus the directors of those chapters are solely responsible for possible violations.

3.10 - Chapter meetings

Chapter meetings are an essential means to strengthen the organisation, and to improve efficiency, general impact and smooth operation, as well as sharing ideas and resources to achieve the common goals.

3.10.1 - A general chapter head meeting is to be held at least once every three months. A chapter meeting is to be chaired by one member of the FORCES International BOD, and the agenda of the meeting is to be communicated to the BOD secretary, which will post it on a special, pass-worded section of the web site so that it can be read by all chapter heads before the commencement of the meeting. The purpose of this meeting is to exchange ideas, share solutions, find common and local strategies, and get better acquainted.

3.10.1 - The main purposes of the chapter meeting are:

a)  To share with other chapters – and to bring to the attention of the BOD – possible problems that may arise locally, nationally or internationally, and to find possible solutions.

b)  To share with other chapters – and to bring to the attention of the BOD – new ideas, tactics, observations, positive or negative criticism of other chapters and of the BOD itself. In general, to become a think tank for the general benefit of the organisation, and to find original, effective, economical and unpredictable way to fight and damage the opposition for the advancement of the common goals.

c)  To exchange information of all nature - including mailing, media and corporate lists – that may become common patrimony as tools in the fight.

d)  To report on specific or local trends, strategies, tactics, distortions and false information of the “public health” establishment in order to prepare the organisation in general to counter upcoming assaults on freedom, wallets and truth, and to pro-actively take the initiative through anticipation and pre-emption.

e)  To create a sense of familiarity and cooperation between chapters in various areas of the world to motivate achievement, reinforcing morale and sense of purpose, general strength and effectiveness, while preventing unproductive torpor from indifference, depression and resignation.

f)   To find new ways for fund raising and other entrepreneurial endeavours leading to the general wealth of the organisation and to the wealth of the chapter and of the individuals in it. “Public health” and the pharmaceutical colossuses have available virtually unlimited funds and resources at the disposal of their activists, and that cannot be fought just with words and good intentions.

g)  To teach each other how to fight even at the individual level, and to pass that information to individual members. Those who are targeted by “public health” notoriously feel isolated and disarmed against what they perceive as an unstoppable march of prohibition, leading to unavoidable over-regulation and repression. That time-honoured and well-tested tactic leads to final, inevitable resignation and submission of the targets. Providing individuals with motivation, hope, education and means to fight at a tangible, personal level is one of the main purposes of the FORCES International organisation.

h)  To face, solve, and especially to prevent internal disagreements, arguing, fights and rivalries -- a serious problem plaguing grass root organisations of all kinds, causing precious energies to be spent internally, instead of externally to reach common goals. In most cases, internal petty politics are responsible for the final failure of organisations.

i)   To avoid inefficiency and duplication of work – another serious problem that has always plagued uncoordinated and scattered organisations, causing much unfruitful consumption of energies and eventual incoherence of the message.

Above are some – but certainly not all – of the possibilities arising from efficient chapter meetings. To maintain effectiveness, the presiding BOD member(s) is to see that meetings do not turn into wild “chat rooms” for personal anecdotes, jokes and sharing of “horror stories” and personal, unproductive outrage. The presiding BOD member not only is to set the tone and the example, but also have the power to dismiss misbehaving parties, and he/she is to efficiently comply with the meeting agenda.

3.10.2 - One of the participants to the meeting is to be appointed as secretary before commencement, and he/she will be responsible for transmitting the minutes to the FORCES International BOD secretary upon completion of the meeting.

3.11 - Personal and inter-chapter communications

3.11.1 - Personal communications - To facilitate amalgamation and personal communications, FORCES International is to make available forums, blogs and private chat rooms where chapter representatives can get acquainted and communicate at will with each other, with members of the BOD and with other members of the organisation. Again, the creation of this familiarity is intended to build up a constructive feeling of business, belonging, and self-confidence through a sense of community. However, that familiarity is to be contained within the means provided, and not interfere with the efficient and smooth operation of the organisation. The BOD has the duty and the authority to intervene with the necessary means should the need arise.

3.11.2 - Inter-chapter communications of official nature have to be posted on special posting boards provided by FORCES International for the purpose. The posting boards are accessible by all chapters and members of the BOD.

3.11.3 - It is forbidden to all to post official internal communications and/or sensitive, internal information on forums, blogs and any other means of communication that could be accessible by unauthorised parties. It is also forbidden to all to post sensitive, internal information on areas of the web site that are accessible to the public. According to the gravity of the infringement of this rule, the BOD will take adequate measures against the perpetrator(s).

3.12 - Chapter termination and disbanding

3.12.1 - Chapter termination - A chapter terminates automatically when its executive membership falls under three persons.

If the members of a chapter wish to terminate the chapter, they must officially notify the President of the FORCES International BOD thirty days before the termination. If there are members who wish to continue on with the organisation, they will be included in the general membership. A chapter that terminates must turn membership and media contact list, as well as any other asset accrued through the means of FORCES International, to the central organisation.

3.12.2 - Chapter disbanding - A chapter may be disbanded by the FORCES International Board of Directors for one or more of the following reasons:

a)      It is acting against the Constitution of FORCES.

b)      It does not participate to periodical chapter meetings.

c)      It is inactive for protracted time periods.

d)      Its web site and/or its other publications are used as billboards for political parties.

e)      It publishes scatological or pornographic materials, and/or makes consistent use of vulgarities, profanities and swear words, or otherwise consistently diminished the image of the organisation.

f)        It has presented false credentials that led to its acceptance by the BOD.

g)      It has been discovered to have collaborative and clandestine relations with parties that have goals and agendas contrary to those of FORCES International.

b)      It has intentionally given false representation of the organisation to third parties.

c)      It has severely abused the resources of FORCES International, causing severe and irreparable damage.

The FORCES International BOD President will notify the chapter’s director(s) on the matter, and convene an electronic meeting as soon as possible with the FORCES International BOD and the chapter to ascertain the matter. After the meeting, and if the allegations are substantiated, the BOD will hold a vote on the course of action to take: admonishment or disbandment. The majority vote will be by simple majority at 50% + 1 of the voting power. The disbandment will be automatic after three admonishments are issued.

3.13 - Affiliate Organisations

3.13.1 - Definition – An Affiliate Organisation is a group, a company, or other collective entity with similar ideology and goals as those of FORCES International. There cannot be affiliate individuals, as they fall under the category of members if paying membership; otherwise, they are to be considered admirers or sympathisers. It follows that there cannot be links to personal websites categorised as “affiliates”.

3.13.2 - Conditions for affiliation – FORCES and an Affiliate Organisation must implement reciprocal acknowledgement, reciprocal mentioning with third parties, and official link exchange on websites. The links on both websites must have equal exposure.

3.14 - Permanent links policy

A permanent link without affiliation is a stable connection to another website. FORCES International will not link to private groups or organisations that do not reciprocate the link. Exceptions are: public institutions, and/or adversaries against which FORCES intends to warn its readers. FORCES will terminate links with private groups or organisations that have previously agreed to reciprocate links, but have failed to do so within 15 calendar days from the understanding. Link agreements cannot be verbal, but established in writing (printed paper or electronic mail). The agreement must be kept on file by the Public Relations committee.


CHARTER IV

MEMBERSHIPS, DONATIONS AND SPONSORSHIPS

4.1 - General definition – A member is any person or organisation paying membership fees, and whose membership is in good standing.

4.2 - Membership fees

As a true charitable organisation, FORCES International exists because of unpaid volunteers and members. Thus, all members of FORCES, including chapter heads and BOD members, must pay the base membership fee to the organisation. The base membership fee is US$ 30.00.

4.3 - Types of membership

Yearly membership
Base yearly membership: US$ 30.00
Student, low income, disabled and pensioner yearly membership:  US$ 20.00
Corporate yearly membership (companies only):    US$ 200.00
Sponsor yearly membership (companies and private): US$ 500.00
Lifetime membership
Lifetime disabled and pensioner membership:  US$ 150.00
Lifetime standard membership:  US$ 250.00

4.4 - Chapter membership 

4.4.1 - A member of any national or local chapter is automatically a member of FORCES International. A chapter cannot charge a membership fee lower than what described at point 4.3, nor can it create new categories of membership.

4.4.2 - Deleted as per Board of Directors meeting on December 17th, 2006

4.4.3 – Chapters wishing to charge more than standard membership fees can do so.

4.4.4 – Chapters not using the United States currency will use the closest excess whole number approximation expressed in local currency.

Example

  • Base membership fee: US$ 30.00.
    Exchange rate at the time of transaction: 1 USD = 0.807871 EUR
  • 30.00 x 0.807871 = 24.23 Euros
  • The closest whole number excess approximation is EUR 25.00, to be charged by the chapter.

4.4.5 – Deleted as per Board of Directors meeting on December 17th, 2006

4.4.6 - The same calculation methodology applies to all membership categories described above.

4.4.7 - International chapters which, by law or internal constitution, can demonstrate they cannot charge membership fees are exempted from the above provisions of 4.2 through 4.4.5. Those chapters, however, must contribute to the general organisation through labour and services in a manner and at a rate that is established by the Board of Directors before the initiation of the chapters, and it is subject to periodical verification of performance. Chapters that are already in existence at the time of the approval of this Constitution shall be examined by the B.O.D. on a case-by-case basis, and their status defined with individual rulings. The individual rulings are limited to pre-existing chapters; new chapters must conform to the Constitution.

4.5 - International membership

4.5.1 - A member or a prospective member residing in a country covered by a national chapter must be addressed to - and pay fees to - that chapter, and be subject to the fees imposed by that chapter.

4.5.2 - A national chapter cannot accept membership from people residing in another nation, regardless of whether that nation is or is not covered by a national chapter. Membership requests from countries not covered by national chapters must be promptly addresses to the Central Treasury by any chapter that receives the requests.

4.5.3 - Memberships from countries that are not covered by national chapters are collected by the Central Treasury in San Francisco, which will issue the international membership card and log the member in the database.

4.5.4 - As a local chapter can exist, by definition, only if a national chapter exists, the national chapter must establish a chart with the local chapters for the collection of membership fees.

4.6 - Free membership

Preface: some frank rationale about free membership

As for most organisations, it is desirable for FORCES International to be able to claim as many members as possible. That explains the past tendency of the chapters to “give away” membership to anyone expressing support. However, although FORCES International is a charitable organisation with unpaid volunteer work, it is still in dire need of finances for current expenditures, expansion, and to obtain means for its agenda. It is therefore necessary to reduce free membership to a rare exception rather than a common occurrence.

The first coherent act of those who claim to be supporters is to become financially supportive, and pay the membership – even when they offer material labour -- as it is easy enough to understand that bills still have to be paid, and that they cannot be paid with that labour. That is the very reason why every member of the BOD and of chapters is to set an example, and he/she is obligated by this Charter to pay the membership regardless of his/her position in the organisation and of the amount of work and resources contributed. In consideration of the modest fees required, it is inconceivable that even those who live at poverty level cannot spare the equivalent of 20 US dollars for a yearly membership. Chapter heads and members of the BOD alike must accept that:

a.  Those “supporters” who avoid paying the membership are just offering lip service, and sometimes obtain a sense of belonging “for free”.

b.  Giving away membership does not increase the power of the organisation, but rather makes it heavier – just as it happens with the numerous one-person “chapters” currently existing. Furthermore, having a large number of claimed members without actual economic power is a bluff that can be easily called by reality as soon as there is a need for some action that requires economic means – that is, most of the time. The lack of implementing that action not only makes a joke of the organisation in the eyes of friends and foes, but also discourages potential parties that are willing to pay, as they feel that they are wasting their money.

c.  Giving away membership lowers the perceived value and credibility of the organisation to the value of its membership: zero – usually with the member’s commitment to match. It may be easy for chapters to “sell” FORCES that way, and it is easy for the self-proclaimed supporters to accept a worthless membership at no cost to them. But that is no success as, in the long run, a worthless membership invariably means a worthless organisation: an uncomfortable but inescapable reality that is better to face sooner than later.

d.  We believe that those who do not consider the value of the fight of  FORCES International for liberty and truth to be worth half the price of a carton of cigarettes or of a flat of beer a year do not deserve that liberty and that truth, as they show to have no faith in the organisation and/or in what it stands for. And if the overwhelming majority of the current members or perspective members are unwilling to “put their money where their mouth is”, then FORCES has no reason to exist, as it will never be able to make a tangible difference.

4.7 - Advantages of membership

Memberships that are just an idle payment of money to an organisation fail to motivate members to participate and to renew their memberships. It is therefore important to establish a communication link with members, and to offer them sufficient tangible advantages to keep active their interest and participation.

4.7.1 - Membership entitles FORCES members to the following advantages:

a)     FORCES membership card.

b)    Full access to any area of the FORCES International website, including the interactive part with forums, blogs, and chat rooms. Their membership number on the membership card will be their access key to restricted areas of the site.

c)  One e-mail address with the forces.org extension, and 10 Mb mailbox capacity.

d)  Automatic enrolment as recipients of the FORCES Newsletter, that includes the synopsis of the week news, events, products of various nature, promotions, etc.

e)  20 Mb of disk space on one of the FORCES International servers with direct FTP access. The space can be used for personal data storage, or personal websites (please note: not FORCES websites, and it does not include expenditures related to domain names, registration, etc.). Storage of audio-video files must be cleared first by the Chief Information Officer of FORCES International.

f)   Discounts on any product sold by electronic markets of FORCES anywhere in the world.

g)  Discounts on any service offered by companies sponsoring FORCES International, if an understanding of mutual support between FORCES and those companies is in place. The discounts are obtained with the use of the membership card number.

h)  Other advantages, facilitations, discounts, events and activities that may arise through time.

4.7.2 - Advantages of corporate and sponsor membership

In addition to the features above, the FORCES Corporate membership entitles to:

a)  Two e-mail addresses with 10 Mb mailbox capacity and with the forces.org extension instead of one.

b)  40 Mb instead of 20 Mb of disk space on one of the FORCES International servers with direct FTP access. The space can be used for data storage, or corporate website (please note: not FORCES websites, and it does not include expenditures related to domain names, registration, etc.). Storage of audio-video files must be cleared first by the Chief Information Officer of FORCES International.

c)  A prominent advertisement banner on the FORCES International website, or in any other FORCES website chosen by the corporate member or sponsor. In case the corporate/sponsor member chooses a national or local chapter web site for advertisement, the chosen national or local chapter cannot refuse the advertisement, except on the grounds that it is contrary to the Constitution, and/or the statements and/or the Charters of FORCES International.

d)  The free posting and managing of its products on the FORCES electronic markets, save:

                        i.  The refunding of all expenditures for collection and
    transfer of funds.

                        ii.  A commission of 15% on the price of the products.

                        iii. The fulfilment of any physical order, which is exclusive
     responsibility of the supplier.

4.8 - Donations

Structure

Preface - A donation to FORCES is, by definition, a gift for the clear purpose of helping the organisation to achieve its goals. It is reasonable to assume that the original geographical location the donation indicates the intention of the donor to help the chapter of his/her country/state/zone. Hence it is logical to assume that the donation should be channelled to the chapter of the area the donation comes from, unless differently specified by the donor.  >The fee to the central treasury applies to donations, calculated in the amount of 20%.

Consideration - Unfortunately, at present not all chapters have the means to receive money because of either lack of a bank account (as they are branch chapters, thus not constituted as a legal entity), and/or because they lack an electronic e-commerce way for receiving the money. Furthermore, the FORCES International website is not presently provided with the means necessary to interpret the desire of the donor as to the destination of the money. It seems reasonable to assume that many potential donations are lost in this way. It is therefore necessary to provide a structure that allows the maximum possible “harvesting” of donations, and to make those donations reach the destination they are intended for.

We therefore establish that the structure donation is as follows:

4.8.1 - Proxy handling of donations

a)  Non-US currency chapters provided with e-commerce facilities – These chapters are already autonomous and can collect as usual. A contribution fee to the general treasury applies to donations transacted in such manner, calculated in the amount of 20%. The chapters not using US currency and that are enabled for e-commerce (i.e., the Italian chapter) have the obligation to collect donations for other national chapters using the same currency but that are not provided with e-commerce facilities (i.e., presently the Austrian chapter), should  those national chapters require the service. In this case, the 20% contribution to the Central Treasury is drawn directly by the receiving chapter and sent to the Central Treasury, and the net amount is sent to the destination chapter, which will have no further obligation to contribute. Should the total number of donations and membership fee transactions handled by the hosting national chapter exceed the number of 20 per year, the receiving chapter can demand that the benefiting chapter(s) acquire an independent e-commerce, and the benefiting chapter is obligated to do so.

b)  US currency chapters provided with e-commerce facilities – These chapters are already autonomous and can collect as usual. A contribution fee to the general treasury applies to donations transacted in such manner, calculated in the amount of 20%. The chapters that use US currency and are enabled for e-commerce have the obligation to collect donations for other national or local chapters also using the US currency but are not provided with e-commerce facilities, should those chapters require the service. In this case, the 20% contribution to the Central Treasury is drawn directly by the receiving chapter, and the net is sent to the destination chapter, which will have no further obligation to contribute. Should the total number of donations received by the hosting national chapter exceed the number of 20 a year, the receiving chapter can demand that the benefiting chapter(s) acquire an independent e-commerce, and the benefiting chapter is obligated to do so.

4.9 - Membership fees and donations through e-commerce web page

A standard design website page is to be produced specifically for the collection of donations and membership fees. This page must be the same design for all chapters anywhere; only the language can be changed as needed. The page will be provided with a selection panel offering the choice of electronic payment or cheque/bank transfer. If the latter is chosen, the reader is transferred to a new page (see 4.8.2)

4.9.1 – If the electronic payment is chosen, the readers are transferred to a multi-selection panel enabling them to choose the destination chapter for which the donation or the membership is intended. A third selection panel is used for currency: US dollars or Euros. Finally, a fourth selection panel offers the choice of either donation or membership payment. Cases:

a)  If donation and US dollars is chosen, then the readers are transferred to the US e-commerce site where the transaction takes place. An auto-mailer describing the beneficiary chapter, amount and intent of the transaction is issued to the donor, the beneficiary chapter and the Central Treasury. The US e-commerce site then sends 20% to the Central Treasury and 80% to the destination chapter.

b)  If donation and Euros is chosen, then the readers are transferred to the Italian (or other EU) e-commerce site where the transaction takes place. An auto-mailer describing the beneficiary chapter, amount and intent of the transaction is issued to the donor, the beneficiary chapter, the chapter that hosts the transaction and the Central Treasury. The EU e-commerce site then credits 20% to the Central Treasury and 80% to the destination chapter using the virtual accounting system regulated as in Charter 5.

c)  If membership and US dollars is chosen, then the readers are transferred to the US e-commerce site where the transaction takes place. An auto-mailer describing the membership chapter and the amount of the transaction is issued to the member, the beneficiary chapter and the Central Treasury. The US e-commerce site then sends the amount to the chapter. The Central Treasury issues the membership card to the member.

d)  If membership and Euros is chosen, then the readers are transferred to the Italian (or other EU) e-commerce site where the transaction takes place. An auto-mailer describing the membership chapter and the amount of the transaction is issued to the member, the beneficiary chapter, the chapter that hosts the transaction and the Central Treasury. The EU e-commerce site then sends the amount to the chapter.

4.9.2Donations through cheque or bank transfer

Prospective donors unwilling or unable to pay with credit cards are transferred to a new page. The page contains a printer-friendly form that includes (but is not limited to) the following areas:

a)   First and last name of member/donor (compulsory)

b)  Complete postal address of member/donor (compulsory)

c)  Phone number of member/donor (optional)

d)  Social Insurance number (or equivalent) if required by local laws

e)  Complete postal address of Central Treasury (for payments in US dollars)

f)   Complete postal address of host chapter (for payment in Euros)

g)  Complete bank coordinates of Central Treasury (for payments in US dollars with bank transfer)

h)  Complete bank coordinates of host chapter (for payment in Euros with bank transfer)

i)   The complete, updated list of FORCES chapters or offices, provided with tick boxes to indicate the destination chapter or office

j)   A disclaimer concerning delivery and transferability of the cheques

· If donations are paid in US dollars:

Once the cheque or bank transfer is received by the Central Treasury, the treasury will:

1.  Retain the 20% contribution.

2.  Issue the tax-deduction receipt.

3.  Credit/transfer to the destination chapter.

If donations are paid in Euros:

Once the cheque or bank transfer is received by the hosting chapter, the hosting chapter will:

1.  Retain 20% contribution if donation.

2.  Credit/transfer to the destination chapter.



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