Why We Seem to Make You Jump Through So Many Hoops?
It can feel like there are a lot of steps to take to get things paid, monies deposited, or agreements signed. Most of our policies and procedures are actually a direct result of the myriad layers of rules, regulations, and guidelines we must follow in order to operate!
Our overall goal is to serve all of our constituents in an efficient and effective manner while we navigate this seemingly more complex, and ever changing, regulatory environment. We thought it would be helpful to give you a little insight into this hierarchy of rules makers and other influences that impact most of our processes:
First and foremost we are governed by the IRS code as it relates to our 501(c)(3) status as a non-profit. We cannot allow any activity or transaction that could put our 501(c)(3) status in jeopardy.
Next, like all companies and organizations, we are governed by various federal, state, and local statutes that impact everything from our Investment and Spending Policies on one end of the spectrum to how long we have to keep resumes for people we don't hire on the other end of the spectrum.
In addition, there are Generally Accepted Accounting Principles we must adhere to in order to be able to publish "clean" audited financial statements each year.
Then, as an affiliated foundation of the University System of Maryland (USM), and the Advancement Office for the USM, we have various Board of Regents policies that impact our operations.
Additionally, our own Board of Directors will provide guidance in how we operate in order to fulfill their common law duties, fiduciary responsibilities, and attainment of the organization's missions and goals.
Of course the insurance agents and lawyers also chime in to make sure our risk and liability exposures are minimized.
And finally, where applicable, we follow best practices (such as how gifts and donors are classified) as promulgated by various industry organizations in order to be able to measure ourselves against our peer groups or other indices of achievement.
Unfortunately, rules and regulations are just a fact of life and they aren't going away. As we continue to navigate this maze we certainly will continue to strive to keep our processes as simple and direct as we can for all of our constituents while meeting our obligations to the various rule makers.