<8.1 Definition of 4-H Affiliates – 4-H Councils, Fair Boards

A 4-H Affiliate is a term used to describe 4-H entities that are adult-led to support the 4-H program in the state. Typically, these include a County 4-H Council and/or a County 4-H Fair Board (entity responsible for the operation, use, and upkeep of the fairgrounds and its facilities). A further description of the various county structures of 4-H entities is included in section 5.2 of these 4-H Policies and Procedures.

All other adult-led 4-H Committees (e.g., Auction, Fundraising, Livestock, Non-Livestock) should align themselves with one of these two entities in the county for tax reporting purposes. Purdue Extension will not authorize more affiliates than necessary for the operation of the program.


8.2 Authorization of use of 4-H Name and Emblem

4-H Affiliates may obtain authorization to use the 4-H Name and Emblem through signature of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Affiliate and the County Purdue Extension office.


8.3 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)

A sample Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the 4-H Affiliate and the County Purdue Extension Office is available from the County Purdue Extension Office. The (MOU) must be reviewed by the State 4-H Leader or designee.


8.4 Responsibility to Purdue Extension

4-H Affiliates follow, and will not contradict, state and national 4-H Program policies. Individuals who serve on these boards must be approved 4-H Volunteers. These individuals are approved to serve on the boards by the County 4-H Extension Educator prior to election/selection/nomination procedures that the board’s governing document outlines.


8.5 Volunteer status

Each individual who serves as a member of the 4-H Affiliate will be an approved 4-H Volunteer, completing the annual screening process and training requirements prior to making decisions or acting on behalf of the 4-H Youth Development Program in the county.


8.6 Process to join PU GEN

4-H Affiliates are typically required to join the Purdue Group Exemption Number (PU GEN), which provides federal tax-exempt status equivalent to 501(c)(3). As a federally-tax exempt group, the entity is exempted from paying federal income tax and is able to accept charitable contributions from individuals and businesses. A federally-tax exempt group may also apply for grant funding that is available only to federally tax-exempt groups.

A representative of the 4-H Affiliate will sign a one-time “Authorization Letter for 4-H Affiliates”, requesting permission to join the PU GEN.

The 4-H Affiliate will adopt five standard provisions into their governing document (Constitution for an unincorporated group; Articles of Incorporation for an incorporated group) that align with the requirements to join the PU GEN.

These provisions are:

  1. The entity is organized exclusively for educational, scientific and charitable purposes, specifically to provide the youth who comprise the membership a non-formal education 4-H Youth Development experience through the Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service.
  2. No part of the net earnings of the entity shall inure to the benefit of, or be distributable to its members, officers or other private persons, except that the entity shall be authorized to make payments and distributions in furtherance of its purposes set forth in Article . No substantial part of the activities of the entity shall be the carrying on of propaganda, or otherwise attempting to influence legislation, and the entity shall not participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distribution of statements) any political campaign on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for public office.
  3. Notwithstanding any other provision of this document, the entity shall not carry on any other activities not permitted to be carried on by an organization exempt from Federal income tax under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or the corresponding section of any future federal tax code.
  4. In the event of termination or revocation of a charter for, or dissolution of, this entity, all of the principal, income, and assets shall be transferred and assigned to the Purdue Cooperative Extension Service of                 County to be held to support future 4-H educational program efforts to include the formation of new 4-H entities.
  5. The entity shall generate its federal tax exempt status under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code through a Group Exemption Number (GEN) to be issued to Purdue University, and it shall undertake any action so required by Purdue University and by Internal Revenue Service rules and procedures to ensure its inclusion in the GEN issued to Purdue The entity shall obtain an Employer Identification Number from the Internal Revenue Service irrespective of whether a bank account is maintained by the entity. The entity shall comply with requirements for, and file with the Internal Revenue Service, annual information returns on the Form 990 Series applicable to the entity, and the entity shall file all other returns required by applicable law including Federal, State and local law. No consolidated Form 990 for subordinate organizations (i.e. entities) shall be prepared by Purdue University under the group exemption issued to it.

8.7 State sales tax exempt status

Joining the PU GEN provides federal tax-exempt status, but NOT exemption from paying Indiana sales tax. 4-H Affiliates may apply separately with the Indiana Department of Revenue for state sales exemption status. 4-H Affiliates should secure the services of a tax professional to manage this status.

8.8 Insurance coverage

As a 4-H entity, a 4-H Affiliate has liability coverage through Purdue University for its approved volunteers and for programs/activities that are deemed to align with the Purdue Extension/Indiana 4-H educational mission. For those programs/activities and individuals outside of the Purdue Extension/Indiana 4-H educational mission, the 4-H Affiliate should seek independent liability coverage.

The 4-H Affiliate should acquire coverage for property, director’s and officer’s and bonding for the affiliate’s treasurer.

It is recommended that the 4-H Affiliate conduct an insurance audit with the insurance company every 1-2 years to confirm that the correct coverages and amounts are in place for activities/events held throughout the year.


8.9 Guidelines for 4-H Affiliate Finances

Requirements for handling 4-H Affiliate Finances are included in the Financial Management section. These include annual financial report, annual financial review/audit, treasurer’s reports, IRS procedures, and fundraising guidelines. Financial Management forms are available through the 4-H Extension Educator. It is crucial that 4-H Affiliates maintain an accurate accounting of their finances and are transparent in the reporting of their finances to all stakeholders.

Due to the size of the accounts for most 4-H Affiliates, it is strongly recommended that the 4-H Affiliate secure the services of a professional tax preparer and/or financial accountant to help manage the financial aspects of the organization. An annual audit conducted by a professional accountant is highly recommended.


8.10 Organizational Structure of 4-H Affiliates

The organizational structure of 4-H Affiliates fallunder the policies of Purdue Extension/Indiana 4-H for Boards as described in the following sections.

8.10.1 Affiliate Member 4-H Volunteer Status

Each member of a 4-H affiliate shall be an approved 4-H Volunteer as described in Section 12.5. Individuals seeking to be considered for a position on a 4-H affiliate board are to successfully complete the 4-H Volunteer application and screening process with the Purdue Extension 4-H Educator prior to being nominated/elected to serve on the 4-H Board. Nominations from the floor for individuals to serve on the board are discouraged. However, if a board decides to accept nominations from the floor, then the board should clearly state and have recorded in the minutes that the election process is not complete until after all individuals have completed the 4-H Volunteer application and screening process.

8.10.2 Board Member Term Limits

Each board member is elected for a term of no more than four years, unless sooner removed or the member resigns. Board members cannot serve more than two consecutive terms. Members are eligible for re-nomination for additional terms after a one-year hiatus in service.

Terms of elected members are to be “staggered” to ensure Board continuity.

8.10.3 Officers

The officers of the Board are to be: President, Vice-President and Secretary, all elected annually from the membership of the Board. President, Vice-President, and Secretary term limits shall be three consecutive terms (three years). Other officer positions may be created as needed by the Board.

8.10.4 Anti-Nepotism

Board members and their family members shall be excluded from consideration for employment by Purdue Extension, including county support staff. Employees of Purdue Extension, including county support staff, shall not hold a position with the organization while they or members of their family serve on the Board or any committee of the Board. Membership on the Board is limited to one member from the same family.

Family is defined as a relationship between two individuals by blood, adoption or marriage to the degree listed below:

  1. Blood or adoption: parent, child, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, niece, nephew, grandparent or
  2. Marriage: husband, wife, stepparent, stepchild, stepbrother, stepsister, father-in-law, mother-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, brother-in-law or sister-in-law.

Appointed youth to a 4-H affiliate are exempt from the anti-nepotism policy.

8.10.5 Conflict of Interest Policy

The                                 County 4-H Board (hereafter referred to as the “Board”) encourages the active involvement of its members in the community. In order to deal openly and fairly with actual and potential conflicts of interest that may arise because of this involvement, the Board adopts the following Conflict of Interest Policy.

Board members shall exercise the utmost good faith in all decisions involved in their duties, and they shall not use their positions with the Board or knowledge gained there from for their personal benefit or for the benefit any other group they may represent. The interests of the organization must be the first priority in all decisions and actions.

Board members are expected to use good judgment, to adhere to high ethical standards, and to conduct their affairs in such a manner as to avoid any actual or potential conflict between the personal interests of a Board member and those of the Board. A conflict of interest exists when the loyalties or actions of a Board member are divided between the interests of the Board and the interest of the member. Both the fact and the appearance of a conflict of interest should be avoided. Examples of areas in which conflict may arise

Conflicts of interest may arise in the relations of Board members, and with third parties. Examples may include, but are not limited to:

  1. Persons and firms supplying goods and services to the Board.
  2. Persons and firms with whom the Board is dealing or planning to deal in connection with the gift, purchase or sale of real estate, or other property.
  3. Partner agencies, competing or affinity organizations.
  4. Donors and others supporting the Board along with Purdue University Extension/Indiana 4-H programming.
  5. Agencies, organizations, and associations that affect the operations of the Board along with Purdue University Extension/Indiana 4-H programming.
  6. Family members, friends, and other employees. Family is defined as a relationship between two individuals by blood, adoption or marriage to the degree listed below:
    1. Blood or adoption: parent, child, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, niece, nephew, grandparent or grandchild.
    2. Marriage: husband, wife, stepparent, stepchild, stepbrother, stepsister, father-in-law, mother-in-law, son-in-law,daughter-in-law, brother-in-law or sister-in-law. Examples of nature of conflicting interest

A conflicting interest may be defined as an interest, direct or indirect, with any persons or firms mentioned in Section

Such an interest might arise through situations that may include, but are not limited to:

  1. Owning stock or holding debt or other proprietary interests in any third party dealing with county 4-H Boards.
  2. Holding office, serving on the board, participating in management, or being otherwise employed (or formerly employed) with any third party dealing or partnering with the Board or Purdue University Extension/Indiana 4-H with whom the Board may conduct business.
  3. Receiving remuneration for services with respect to individual transactions involving the Board.
  4. Using the Board’s time or good will for other than county 4-H Board approved activities, programs, and purposes.
  5. Receiving personal gifts, interest in or something of monetary value from third parties dealing or competing with the Board. Disclosure policy and procedure

Whenever a Board member has a financial or personal interest in any matter coming before the Board, the affected person shall:

  1. Fully disclose the nature of the interest, and
  2. Withdraw from discussion, lobbying, and voting on the matter. Any transaction or vote involving a potential conflict of interest shall be approved only when a majority of disinterested Board members determine that it is in the best interest of the organization to do so. The minutes of meetings at which such votes are taken shall record such disclosure, abstention and rationale for approval. Annual affirmation statement

Each Board member shall annually sign a statement which affirms such person:

  1. Has received a copy of the conflict of interest policy,
  2. Has read and understands the policy, and
  3. Has agreed to comply with the policy Conflict of Interest Affirmation Statement


THE ___________________ COUNTY 4-H BOARD

The Conflict of Interest Policy of The ______________ County 4-H Board (the Board) requires an annual affirmation that you have received, read, understand, and agree to comply with the Conflict of Interest Policy.

Please sign and date this Statement indicating your affirmation as described above. Please return this Statement to the Board Secretary by January 31.

Your name:____________________