How to Establish a SIG?
Proposal and Alumni Petition
The development of any such group will rely initially on an explicit volunteer-driven, grass-roots effort; alumni must clearly identify themselves as having an interest in the mission of the SIG.
An individual graduate or collection of alumni seeking to establish a SIG must submit a concept proposal that includes a petition of a minimum of 50 alumni names and signatures who support the proposal and pledge to join the group.
The SIG will specify the members who will serve as contacts with Penn Alumni.
Upon submission of the proposal, the group leaders will receive additional information, including forms and sample language to assist with Step 2.
Mission Statement, Constitution, and Incorporation
The SIG must submit:
1) A mission statement with the SIG's nature and purpose.
2) A constitution including information on the following:
Operating Principles: Each SIG must acknowledge the operating principles as part of the body of their constitution.
Nomenclature: The name of the SIG must include the world Alumni and must not include the word Trust or the word Fund.
Governance: Each SIG is an independent volunteer-driven entity and as such, Penn Alumni is in no direct way involved in its management; Penn Alumni may suggest a basic governing structure that has worked for other groups.
Penn Alumni Limitation of Liability Disclaimer: Neither University of Pennsylvania nor Penn Alumni is responsible for the group's practices, and reserves the right to deny the SIG any and all benefits of affiliation at any time if the SIG is in breach of the operating principles set forth here.
3) Proof of incorporation as a corporation. All Shared Interest Groups must file for incorporation in the state where they are formed.
Penn Alumni Recognition
All submitted information will be reviewed by both Penn Alumni staff and the Executive Committee of the Penn Alumni Board of Directors, and a letter of notification will be issued as soon as possible. If the SIG is not approved, a letter will be sent with an explanation and recommendation for future action.
If the SIG is approved, the letter will be accompanied by a confidentiality agreement for the SIG's leadership to sign, which will allow Penn Alumni to share a list of updated contact information on the signers of the proposal. To facilitate SIG-related alumni outreach, each petitioner's name will be coded in Penn's alumni database as being a member of the new SIG, and will maintain such coding. As new members of the Penn community join, they, too, will be coded.
Approval will expire after a five year period from the date of approval from Penn Alumni. To remain active and in good standing, a SIG must submit an application for renewal to Penn no later than 30 days prior to the expiration date. Should that date pass without a SIG submitting a renewal application, the SIG will no longer be considered "in good standing." As such, it will lose recognition and all other benefits of being a SIG, and must reapply to regain them.
Appeal of the provisions either of the operating principles or the Procedures for Establishing and Maintaining a Shared Interest Group may be made to the Executive Committee of the Penn Alumni Board of Directors in writing, stating the reasons for the request for non-adherence.
More on Incorporation
A corporation is a legal entity separate from its members and directors formed for purposes other than generating a profit to be distributed to its members, directors or officers. While a corporation can earn a profit, the profit must be used to further the goals of the corporation rather than to pay dividends to its membership.
For more information, and a guide on how to incorporate in your state, visit this helpful site.