We have had discussions within the club for several years about the possibility and desirability of having a foundation to support the club’s focus on children’s safety, health and education in Northern Thailand. CP Roger’s last club in the USA had such a foundation and we know that the Rotary Club of Patong Beach and the Rotary Club of Chiang Mai North have foundations. Rotary Clubs in Thailand are not legal entities and cannot have bank accounts (unless grandfathered) in club's name but only in the name of members. This raises questions when people want to make donations to the club.
We have secured a local Thai lawyer with extensive experience in forming formations. We have drawn up bylaws for the operation of the foundation. We have verified with Rotary International that we can use the name “The Chiang Mai International Rotary Club Foundation”. A required provisional bank account has been established holding the required minimum 250,000 Baht and once legal requirements are met the account will be in the name of the foundation. A three-year contract has been signed with the Royal Peninsula Hotel for the official office for the foundation.
We're in the process of legalizing required criminal records checks of potential foundation officers. First we imported FBI approved fingerprint cards, rolled fingerprints here in Chiang Mai and sent the prints back to the US using a private US-based firm to coordinate overall handling. That US firm identified an approved “FBI Channeler” firm to expedite the handling of the criminal record checks. The FBI reports are complete, so the next step is for the US firm to send the FBI reports to the US Department of State for Apostille certification of each report. After the Dept of State certification, the reports with Apostille certification will have to be sent to the Royal Thai Embassy in the USA for their final approval process. After that, the records will return to Thailand and be attached to the entire foundation formation application documents. These documents will have to then flow through the local Chiang Mai government, Provincial Governor and the Ministry of the Interior for their review and approval. In addition, Foundation signage and official stamps will have to be produced. Whew! As those of us who deal with Thai Immigration know, Thai government officials love their stamps and embossed seals, even on FBI reports for foundation officers who haven't been in the U.S. for over a decade.
At this time there is no plan to establish a similar foundation in the USA to qualify for 501(c)(3) status. Roger and Nancy Lindley are personally completely funding all the costs (bank account minimum deposit, lawyer’s fees, criminal record check processing costs and Thai government charges) associated with establishing the foundation here in Thailand. If someone wishes to take on such an effort to establish a foundation in another country, it is suggested they discuss this with the CMIRC Board.
Once the CMIRC Foundation is established, the club will have a legal entity to accept gifts, donations and bequests. Please remember the club in your Final Will and in selecting beneficiaries for your Life Insurance policies.
From the proposed CMIRC Foundation By-laws
Section 1. The purpose of this foundation is to financially support the service projects, present and future, of the Chiang Mai International Rotary Club (Chartered by Rotary International as the Rotary Club of Chiang Mai International and designated by Rotary International as Club Number 85590).
Section 2. The service projects of the Chiang Mai International Rotary Club are focused on “Children’s Safety, Health and Education in Northern Thailand”.
Section 3. Perform public service and cooperate with other charitable organizations in the furtherance of children’s safety, health and education in Northern Thailand.
Section 4. The Foundation will receive, manage and disburse designated, specified, restricted or unrestricted gifts, grants or funds for support of the service projects of the Chiang Mai International Rotary Club.
Section 5. The Foundation has responsibility for growing the value of the Foundation funds by managing a conservative investment strategy in instruments such as, but not limited to, mutual funds.
Section 6. The Foundation will comply with all relevant laws, regulations and requirements of the country of Thailand.