Bylaws of Troubled Times, Inc.
a Nonprofit Public Benefit Corporation
Article 9: Grants
Members seeking funds to cover expenses related to Troubled Times, Inc. goals do so in the form of a grant request. Examples of requests are the development of prototype survival sites, testing solutions, or development or dissemination of educational material. The primary vehicle publishing grant requests is the World Wide Web, placing the grant requests on the Troubled Times, Inc. web sites, but other grant request formats are entirely appropriate.
Each grant request must explain fully:
(a) the specific goal behind the grant request, i.e. what the grant is attempting to accomplish
(b) the scope and bounds of the effort, such as time frame, place of activity, and individuals involved.
(c) how the funds will be spent, supplying a budget as part of the grant request.
No grant requests will be accepted for publication on the Troubled Times, Inc. web sites or otherwise to be issued under the banner of Troubled Times, Inc. until approved by the Board of Directors of Troubled Times, Inc. Bypassing this rule will result in the member of Troubled Times, Inc. breaking this bylaw being banned, and corrective actions such that the funding source understands the breach. In the case of continuing infringement of this bylaw by banned members or non-members purporting to represent Troubled Times, Inc., legal action will be taken. Only those grant requests in keeping with the premise and mission of Troubled Times, Inc. will be supported by the web site or may bear the origination of the grant request as coming from Troubled Times, Inc.
All potential grant recipients must sign a binding agreement that any copyrights or Trademarks on any products that might ensue from the efforts funded under the banner of Troubled Times, Inc. will belong solely to the corporation, Troubled Times, Inc. No grant request may be submitted on paper to any agencies or foundations or potentially funding parties until board approval has been received. No grant recipient may have their grant proposal reviewed or approved by the board until the binding agreement has been signed.
No grants will be accepted by Troubled Times, Inc. until the terms of the grant have been reviewed and approved by the Board of Troubled Times, Inc. Grants approved by the board can stipulate how the funds are to be spent, but under no circumstances can stipulations or restrictions imposed by grants affect the operation of Troubled Times, Inc. outside of the disbursement of the grant funds. Grants so worded or subject to such interpretation will be rejected unless and until the wording is in accordance with this bylaw. Grantors are to be gently counseled in this matter should their grant infringe on the independence of Troubled Times, Inc. in this manner, prior to submission of the grant for approval by the Board of Directors.
If the member who wrote the grant request wishes to accept terms or stipulations or restrictions imposed by a grantor but the Board does not feel these terms to be in keeping with the goals of Troubled Times, Inc., the member must pursue the grant as an independent individual, taking the following steps:
(a) separate from Troubled Times, Inc. as a member or officer or Board member
(b) provide Troubled Times, Inc. a letter of resignation clarifying the separation
(c) resign from any official Troubled Times, Inc. positions held
For each funded proposal, the Treasurer of Troubled Times, Inc. will establish a separate account. Disbursement from this account can be either as reimbursement for expenses already paid or as prepayment for anticipated expenses. Both disbursements require receipts. Petty cash accounting will be regularly forwarded to the Treasurer, who may issue a single check to cover a number of petty cash expenses. Disbursement checks can be issued singly, for each expense, or may cover a number of expenses. In either case, itemization must be maintained so that a complete audit trail relating checks and expense items is maintained.
No disbursement of funds will occur relevant to a funded project until a place of business has been identified and established to represent a physical point of contact for the public to come in contact with either the officers of the corporation, the principals working to fulfill the mission of the particular funded project, or representatives. Each such place of business shall be approved by the Board of Directors, will secure a business license, and will be known to the public both by address and phone number. Individual participants on a given funded project may remain private, their names and addresses not open to the public.
Example: a funded proposal to distribute non-hybrid seed. The distribution points, where seed is received, sorted, packaged, and again mailed to seed growers or other recipients of such seed, is established as a place of business. The individual growers of such non-hybrid seed, contributing their efforts for free and being reimbursed only for postage, may remain private.
Example: a funded proposal to develop recipes using dried earthworm powder, such recipes to be placed into the public domain. The physical point where such recipes may be secured by the public is established as a place of business. Members of Troubled Times, Inc. who are experimenting with recipes and who may be compensated for the cost of baking goods, dehydrating equipment, and the gardening tools necessary for maintenance of a compost heap, may remain private.
Example: a funded proposal to establish a self-sustaining survival site equiped with a windmill to generate electricity, distillation of drinking water, recycling sewage effluent into a fish pond, and indoor hydroponics, is established as a place of business open to the public to tour.
Disbursement will not occur unless and until a binding agreement stating that any copyrights, patents, or trademarks to ensure from such a project funded by the corporation will be owned solely by the corporation. If such a binding agreement was not secured when the grant request was approved by the board, due to additional or alternative recipients being funded, then such binding agreement must be secured before any distribution of funds can occur.
An Internal Audit team of volunteers from the Troubled Times, Inc. membership will review all grant disbursement activity. The Internal Audit team hold elected positions and are elected yearly along with the officers and board members. A copy of the face of checks issued by and signed by the Treasurer must be made, to be forwarded to the Audit team monthly along with a copy of the bank statement. A bookkeeper, is such bookkeeper is not the Treasurer, will likewise receive these copies. All receipts will be sent to the Treasurer, who will make a copy to be forwarded to the bookkeeper. The original of the receipts will be maintained by the Treasurer, for tax purposes. If a gift of $5,000 or greater is received by the corporation, or if the total amount of gifts within a given year exceeeds $25,000, a CPA will be hired to review the accounts annually.
A review of all activity - vouchers, check writing, bank statement accounting - is thus done by more than one party, and copies of pertinent paperwork is thus maintained in more than one place.
(a) the original voucher requesting payment from grant funds is maintained by the Treasurer, with a copy forwarded to the bookkeeper;
(b) a copy of the face of all checks issued by the Treasurer is forwarded to the Internal Audit head monthly, with canceled checks retained by the Treasurer;
(c) a copy of the receipts is retained by the Troubled Times, Inc. member incurring the expense, the original receipt is retained by the Treasurer, and a copy of the receipt is forwarded to the Internal Audit head monthly;
(d) a copy of the monthly bank statement is forwarded to the Internal Audit head monthly, and a copy sent to the bookkeeper for accounting purposes.
Special audits of members operating with funds secured as a result of Troubled Times, Inc. grant requests will be conducted whenever the Internal Audit team or the Board, passing a resolution, feels they are necessary. These audits may take many forms, as required. Audits in most cases will be conducted by other voting members of Troubled Times, Inc. but may include outside auditors hired for this purpose. If outside auditors are deemed necessary, as a result of a Board resolution or vote by the voting membership of Troubled Times, Inc., the cost of the audit will be paid for out of the grant being audited.
Grants terminating for whatever reason will follow the Troubled Times, Inc. rule that all excess funds in any grant account are to be returned to the grantor and subject to the grantor's express wishes. A special Troubled Times, Inc. account will be established, subject to the direction of the Board of Directors of Troubled Times, Inc., for the purpose of managing excess funds that any given grantor wishes to place therein. If the grantor does not stipulate terms for the excess funds so placed into this special account by their express wish, the excess funds will remain in this special account, under the direction of the Board. If the grantor specifies how the excess funds are to be used they are in essence creating a another grant, and the normal procedures for establishing a grant will then apply. Assets purchased with grant money obtained under the banner of Troubled Times, Inc. will remain the property of Troubled Times, Inc. upon termination of the grant.