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BITSAA-BITS MoU (Fundraising Governance)
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In 2011, we (BITSAA) engaged with BITS Pilani leadership to clarify issues pertaining to the raising and governance of Funds raised by alumni. This was to enable a clear and productive working relationship between BITS Pilani (the University) and BITSAA International (on behalf of all individual Chapters and BITS Alumni in general). This covers alumni fund raising, fund transfers and fund disbursements for various causes. It enables a sound, fiscally transparent responsible relationship between BITSAA and BITS-Pilani. Further the MoU is expected to strengthen the alumni bond with BITS Pilani and give alumni in general the confidence that any funds donated by them will be used promptly, prudently and as desired by the donor. 

SUMMARY: We have agreed that funds raised by BITSians globally (US, India, elsewhere) will all go into a single account at BITS (independent of BITS's own accounts). Funds from BITSian's in India can go directly into this account whereas those in US will be routed through BITSAA International into the same. This enables tax-benefit to the tune of 100% for all alumni (more in certain categories).  Further the protocol and responsibility for accounting and oversight has been clearly defined. The following attachment has the text of a recently executed MoU and the following is a short summary outline what we have achieved. We want to make this really simple for the extended BITSAA chapters and batches to get on board with.
    
GOAL:  To have an ACCOUNTABLE, CENTRAL, TAX-DEDUCTIBLE way for Global BITS alumni to contribute funds to.
WHERE WE ARE:   BITS has agreed to: 
  1. Open a Separate bank account for BITSAA(=All BITS Alumni) funds - DONE
  2. Quarterly unaudited statements
  3. Annual audited statements
  4. Dedicated contact person for BITSAA CFO to liaise with on a regular basis on matters relating to BITSAA funds
FUTURE WANT:  Online visibility to BITSAA account so that the BITSAA CFO and BITS can operate efficiently with no need for back & forth communication for quick turnaround visibility of funds.
    
We feel that this set up is a fine way to start things off.  We have the transparency and dedicated accounting that we have wanted for years. This is in tune with Chairman Raju's stated goal of streamlining the governance within BITSAA/BITS - and achieve "fundraising accountability"

Viggy Mokkarala (1976) BITSAA's Global Fundraising Chair and Kris Ramachandran ('67) Advisor to the Chancellor, BITS Pilani were the key movers in executing this document. The key stake holders from BITS who weighed in were Vice Chancellor Prof. B N Jain, Chairman Alumni Affairs Prof. K E Raman, Director (Pilani) Prof. G Raghurama, Director (Hyderabad) Prof. V S Rao, Director (Dubai) Prof. R K Mittal and Faculty-in-charge Alumni Affairs (Pilani) Prof. Arya Kumar. The other team members were Raju Reddy ('76) Chairman, SP Kothari ('74) Chairman Emeritus, Aalap Tripathy ('04) CEO, Kaushik Subramanian ('02) CFO, Rajesh Chelapurath ('88) CIO, Rohit Koul ('02) COO and the rest of the Board of Trustees and extended Chapters on behalf of BITS Alumni.


Memorandum of Understanding: BITSAA International & BITS, Pilani

(Signed document available at: Link)
Dated - 4th October, 2011

Background & Purpose
The purpose of this Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) is to enable a productive working relationship between BITS, Pilani (Deemed University) and BITSAA International (on behalf of all individual Chapters worldwide as well as individual alumni) on alumni fund raising, fund transfers and fund disbursements for various causes. It is our belief that this MoU will encourage alumni worldwide (including India) to actively participate in fund raising for BITS-Pilani and its community, supported by a sound, fiscally transparent and responsible relationship between BITSAA International and BITS-Pilani. Further, it is expected that this relationship will strengthen the Alumni bond with BITS-Pilani. Any future revisions of this MoU, if considered necessary by either party, will be done by mutual consent of both organizations.

In this document:
  • "BITS, Pilani” refers to the Birla Institute of Technology & Science, Pilani (all four Campuses at Pilani, Dubai, Goa, and Hyderabad).
  • "BITSAA International” refers to the non-profit organization registered in USA (further described in the following section), on behalf of all Chapters of BITSAA worldwide, and all individual alumni.
  • "Alumni Account” or AA refers either to a Bank Account or to a specified Account Head, managed by BITS-Pilani and exclusively used for the purpose of receiving funds raised by alumni, or to invest the funds in the account, or to disburse the funds in the account.  
BITSAA International
BITSAA International Inc. is an independent not-for-profit organization registered in New Jersey, USA (Federal EIN# 22-3835037) and has been granted tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) of the IRS tax code as of August 20, 2002. For more information on BITSAA International, please refer http://www.bitsaa.org/?page=aboutbitsaa.  For the purposes of this MoU, BITSAA International has the intent to represent all BITSAA Chapters worldwide and individual alumni desirous of raising funds and making donations to BITS, Pilani for investing in specific causes.
 
Vision
To realize an enviable alumni engagement environment where alumni donations constitute a significant part of the annual addition (to the BITS, Pilani balance sheet) from retained earnings and all grants and donations received from BITS alumni.  

Mission Statement
BITSAA International engages in charitable and educational activities by raising funds for setting up endowments, creating scholarships, rewarding teaching and research and generally promoting the development of resources and infrastructure at Birla Institute of Technology and Science at Pilani, Dubai, Goa & Hyderabad campuses.  
  •  Make BITSAA the best and most well networked alumni community in the world and positively enhance the BITS Pilani community’s professional and personal lives
  • Give back to BITS Pilani to strengthen the infrastructure, student exposure and education quality  
BITSAA International also aims to strengthen the ties, friendship, and communication amongst former students, current students, faculty, and friends of the Institute. BITSAA International provides a number of channels for people to stay connected with each other and with BITS-Pilani.  

Articles of Understanding 

 A. Fundraising & Fund Transfer
  1. BITSAA International offers the necessary infrastructure for alumni worldwide to engage in raising funds for BITS-Pilani and its community. This includes access to email groups, newsletters and other publications for publicity of initiatives, a fully established online donation facility for collection of funds and access to alumni directory hosted on www.bitsaa.org
  2. BITS-Pilani will create a separate bank account ("Alumni Account”) or open a separate Account Head for managing funds raised by alumni. This exclusive account will then be used by BITS, Pilani for further disbursement and use of funds towards the purposes specified by the alumni donor.
  3. Alumni donors in India can contribute directly to the "Alumni Account” in BITS, Pilani, or using the web infrastructure of BITSAA International and claim tax-exemption as per the laws and statutes prevailing in India. BITS, Pilani will issue receipts directly to the alumni donor to enable such tax exemption.
  4. Alumni donors in the US can contribute funds to BITSAA International and receive tax-exemption as per the laws and statutes prevailing in the US. BITSAA International will transfer funds collected using its infrastructure to the "Alumni Account”. These funds can be any of the following:
    1. Principal amounts for specific initiative-related investments and their future disbursements by BITS-Pilani
    2. Disbursements required to meet specific one-time initiatives relating to BITS-Pilani
    3. Ongoing BITSAA International’s obligations (such as MCN scholarships, alumni travel grants etc.),
    4. Any other reason as deemed necessary by BITSAA International and BITS-Pilani.
  5. Disbursements to various BITS campuses will be managed by BITS-Pilani from the "Alumni Account” as required. For example, if the "Alumni Account” is setup in Pilani, funds for scholarship recipients in the Dubai, Goa or Hyderabad Campus will be transferred by BITS-Pilani to the respective campus accounts. The "Alumni Account” will act as a central reserve for fund transfers from BITSAA International and other alumni worldwide who use the infrastructure offered by BITSAA International to donate funds to BITS Pilani.
B. Investment of Funds  

  1. BITS, Pilani shall invest funds transferred to the "Alumni Account” under clause 5 above in suitable instruments as determined by its investment policy for its own funds.
  2. BITS-Pilani will create a mutually agreed upon detailed document called the "Alumni Account Reporting Policy Statement (AA-RPS)”, which will serve as a guidepost for tracking and reporting of funds in the "Alumni Account”. Any future modifications to the AA-RPS are to be agreed upon by both BITS-Pilani and BITSAA.
  3. In case of shortfall of funds in the "Alumni Account” for initiatives or disbursements because of investment-related mishaps, BITS-Pilani will assume the liability pertaining to each such shortfall. Under extraordinary circumstances that are beyond the control of BITS-Pilani and BITSAA, the two entities reserve the right to revert to donors and alumni for additional funding of initiatives in question with a shortfall. 
C. Transparency & Accounting 

  1. BITS-Pilani will setup the "Alumni Account” with internet banking facility and provide the CFO of BITSAA International with "Observer Access” permissions to view bank transactions and statements as required.
  2. BITS-Pilani will provide a quarterly financial statement to BITSAA International, for funds contributed to the "Alumni Account” and disbursements during this period. This statement will capture the following:
    1. List of all incoming and outgoing transactions
    2. Initiatives/purposes towards which funds were raised/transferred
    3. Detailed disbursement information and recipients of funds (such as MCN scholarships, travel awards etc.)
  3. BITS-Pilani will provide a semi-annual financial report to BITSAA International on the status of investments and investment returns for funds in the "Alumni Account”.
  4. An annual audited financial report will be made available for circulation to the Trustees of BITSAA International and other alumni trusts that have participated in fund raising during the fiscal year.
  5. BITS-Pilani will issue receipts to alumni in India who contribute to BITS-Pilani ("Alumni Account”) along with acknowledgement of the intended end-use of the funds (only) if the funds have been transferred using the web infrastructure setup by BITSAA International. Such correspondence will be issued within 30 days of receipt of funds into the "Alumni Account”. An electronic copy of such correspondence will also be sent to the CFO of BITSAA International.
D. Liaison
BITS-Pilani will assign a single point of contact (SPOC) for all questions and clarifications on alumni fund raising and use of "Alumni Account”. BITSAA International will similarly assign a SPOC.


Signed and executed on the 4th October, 2011

           Aalap Tripathy ('04), CEO                                                                                  Prof. M M S Anand, Registrar
           (On Behalf of BITSAA International)                                                               (On Behalf of BITS, Pilani)

Updates - (December 1, 0211)
  1. Within a few days of executing the MoU, Prof. K E Raman announced the opening of a separate bank account. If you are an alumnus in India and wish to donate please do so to the following & remember to send an email detailing your generosity to finance-team@bitsaa.org so that we can track your contribution.
    Account Number - 153801000339 
    IFSC code - ICIC 0001538
    Bank Name - ICICI Bank Ltd., Pilani
    (for Clarifications, please email Prof. Arya Kumar - aryakum@bits-pilani.ac.in or Kaushik Subramanian - finance-team@bitsaa.org
  2. BITS Pilani appointed Faculty-in-charge Alumni Affairs (Pilani) Prof. Arya Kumar as the SPoC. BITSAA International appointed Chief Finance Officer (CFO) Kaushik Subramanian as the SPoC on behalf of all alumni. 


(Please contact us at fundraising-committee[AT]bitsaa.org or bitsaa-executives[AT]bitsaa.org for any clarifications or follow-up questions regarding this document)
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