GSMDCA Recognized Regional Club Guidelines
The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Club of America (GSMDCA) recognizes and works with regional and local specialty clubs to host specialty shows, supported entries and GSMDCA-sanctioned working events. Cooperation between the national, regional and local specialty clubs is encouraged and provides mutual benefits.
•A GSMDCA Regional Recognized Club (RRC) is a club neither seeking nor eligible for AKC accreditation. Specialty shows are approved and sponsored through the GSMDCA. •A Local Specialty Club is a club either accredited or seeking accreditation from the American Kennel Club (AKC) and recognized by the GSMDCA.
So You Want to Form a Club?
Congratulations! The following checklist may help you organize in a way which makes it easy to seek recognition by the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Club of America (GSMDCA) and/or AKC.
Hold an organizational meeting to which as many interested fanciers of the breed have been invited as possible. Determine a plan of action to accomplish goals for the club. Accomplish the following goals: Select interim officers to serve until that time when formal procedures for operating the club are created. Decide on a schedule of meetings with locations convenient to the membership. Keep records of the club’s development through agendas, minutes, newsletters, etc. Determine membership fees and collection process, membership application. Plan a program of activities. Choose a name that identifies the geographic center of the club and is recognizable to someone in another part of the country. Decide the club’s geographic area. Keep the area as small as practicable. The GSMDCA encourages the establishment of clubs with limited geography over clubs encompassing large geographic areas. Regardless of your stated boundaries, there is no protected territory. Prepare and adopt a constitution and bylaws for the club’s operation. Please see “How to Form an AKC- Accredited Dog Club” at www.akc.org. It contains a Sample Constitution and Bylaws and other helpful ideas/documents applicable for any newly-forming club. Include the process for dissolving the club and its treasury. Establish a newsletter, discussion list, social media, etc., for communication. Establish a treasury and EIN (visit: https://sa1.www4.irs.gov/modiein/individual/index.jsp) Begin the incorporation process. Please see Rationale for Incorporation page 3. Notify the GSMDCA Board of the club’s formation, giving details about area and purpose. Application to become a RRC can take place one year after the first official meeting.
Application for Seeking GSMDCA Recognition (newly forming clubs)
Please file the following documents with the GSMDCA Recognized Regional Clubs Coordinator:
Minutes and agenda of first recorded club meeting—GSMDCA reviews applications at least one year from that date Contact information for the person filing the application Copy of the club’s constitution and bylaws Specify whether you are seeking recognition as a GSMDCA regional club or AKC accreditation List of elected officers and board members Membership roster, fees, application Name of club and geographic area Briefly outline the club’s history—activities, meetings, etc. Name of newsletter, list serve URL, etc. Obtain insurance and provide carrier and policy number Incorporation status Establish treasury--banking institution Obtain EIN number (visit: https://sa1.www4.irs.gov/modiein/individual/index.jsp)
Maintaining GSMDCA Recognized Regional Club Status (current recognized clubs)
By March 1st each year, existing RRC clubs file the following documents with the RRC Coordinator:
Updated list of board officers and directors with contact information per election process Updated Constitution and Bylaws, if applicable Financial paragraph stating the club’s finances are in order and tax form filed (as needed), signed by two club officers who are not the treasurer or related to the treasurer. Example: “The entire Board received and reviewed copies of the beginning and ending bank statements for the prior year (April 2010 - March 2011) and all was in order. Applicable tax forms have been filed, as well.” EIN on file with GSMDCA Updated insurance information, including company and policy number Annual filing with the Secretary of State for the State in which the club is incorporated State two local activities you have held in the past year—working, conformation or social events—such as parties, supported entries, pack hikes, draft clinics/trials, etc. Updated club territory, if applicable. Regardless of your stated boundaries, there is no protected territory. If a club seeks AKC accreditation, AKC will determine what is allowable territory. If RRC engages in rescue activity/liaison, please provide proof of insurance covering such activity.
Benefits of GSMDCA Recognition
•Listing of club and club officers and contact information on the GSMDCA webpage. •Representation on the GSMDCA Recognized Clubs Committee. Each recognized club recommends a liaison to represent the club on the Recognized Clubs Committee. Recognized Club Committee members must be GSMDCA members. •The GSMDCA Corresponding Secretary will provide referrals to the recognized club in response to inquiries from individuals within the recognized club's geographic area. •Calendar coordination. Clubs are encouraged to work together to coordinate events and submit scheduled events to the Recognized Clubs Coordinator. The calendar of events will be published on the GSMDCA Webpage. •The GSMDCA will provide to recognized clubs, on request, mailing labels or e-mails of GSMDCA members for use in marketing recognized club events. In turn, recognized clubs will encourage members to join the GSMDCA. •Inclusion in the regional club news section of the GSMDCA triennial publication, The SENNtinel. •One free full-page advertisement in one issue of the SENNtinel and e-SENN to announce specialty shows. Clubs may purchase up to two additional pages annually for specialty shows or GSMDCA approved working events at one-half the regular rate. •Use of GSMDCA weight pull harnesses for sanctioned weight pulls.
Rationale for Incorporation
There are two reasons for incorporation. One is for income tax purposes and the other is liability. Incorporation protects the officers and members of the regional club in the event of a lawsuit. Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised states, “A principal advantage in incorporating a society is that officers and members are protected from personal liability under obligations that may be incurred by the organization.” In the event of a lawsuit, the assets of the club are at risk, not the personal assets of the officers and members. Incorporation processes vary from state-to-state and can be found using a simple Google search, such as, “Virginia Incorporation.” It is usually an inexpensive and uncomplicated process.
Rationale for Financial Information
The US Government has rules as to how clubs are recognized and granted tax exempt status along with reporting requirements for clubs taking in revenues of less than $25,000 annually. All clubs have reporting requirements whether a full form 990, 990EZ or 990 "Postcard". Having oversight by the officers of the RRC helps insure that these requirements are met and all fiduciary responsibilities are covered. Although the GSMDCA is separate from Recognized Regional Clubs, an annual financial statement to the GSMDCA board along with the other documents listed in “Maintaining GSMDCA Recognized Regional Club Status” as a part of the ongoing recognized process helps to insure to our national membership that RRCs are operating with full transparency and in the best interest of their membership.
The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Club of America, Inc. no longer engages in rescue activity and does not have insurance coverage for such activity. The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Rescue Foundation (GSMDRF) is the official rescue organization of the GSMDCA, Inc. RRCs are encouraged to use the GSMDRF for rescue purposes. If a RRC chooses to engage in rescue activities, proof of insurance coverage for this specific activity is required.