C1 – The LEA

Communiqué One

So… The League of Extraordinary Albertans. That’s a fun name… Yeah I know a few people on The Board, but what really are they doing for our community?
We are glad you asked!
Well lots really. Many discussions and debates, lots of paper work, learning how a Society is supposed to legally run, trying to figure out what we should be doing with our community funds, sending stuff to the Government, writing polices and legally binding Bylaws, you know, those kinds of things. It would be nice if we could just snap our fingers and have all the knowledge on how to do this stuff, but that’s not the case. Effectively as a Board we have been, and still are, in training.
We don’t quite have a communication policy yet, but we feel strongly that it’s time to give our current and soon to be members of The League of Extraordinary Albertans a little bit of insight as to what been going on, and what you can expect to come next.  It’s a bit of a long read, but worth your time. One of the legal requirements to operate a Not for Profit Society is that we are required to have financial transparency with the Government and file Financial Statements annually. We have now completed our first year of operations and have filed our Annual Return to the Government.
All societies are legally bound by their Bylaws. These Bylaws provide the governance for how the Society is to be run and include topics like who can be a member, and how The Board should be run and elected. When we first set up the Society we used the standard form fill to set up our Bylaws. While this was an effective way to quickly set up the Society at the time, we soon realized that these Bylaws didn’t quite fit our needs and we therefore had to file an amendment with the Alberta Government to ensure our Bylaws reflected the requirements of our community. Both the Bylaws and our Financial Statements can be found on The League of Extraordinary Albertans website www.extraordinaryalbertans.ca.
Oh yeah, we built a website! And a Facebook page (have you liked us yet?). You can also sign up to be a member, or a friend of The League on our website, you should check it out.
Some of the more obvious and fun initiatives of The League (not necessarily it’s Board members) was the production of Freezer Burn, creating our first Alberta Burning Man Film Festival, and of course our most recent initiative, Decompression. We also had a nice little coming out party at BassBus Common Culture event in June where some of our Board members were on hand to answer questions and sign up members.
Of great importance was to define what The League supports. We’ve defined three different ways we get involved:
• Grants are projects that The League supports, like Art Grants.  Any LEA member can apply for a grant, we just recently granted funds to Sunday 4 Play.
• Initiatives are projects that The League puts its name and organizational resources behind, and are financially and legally liable for. Current LEA Initiatives are Freezer Burn, Decompression & Alberta Burning Man Film Festival. Once we have a policy and procedure in place, any LEA member can apply to request to produce a LEA initiative.
• Donations are project or entities that The League donates funds too. The League seeks these opportunities out like our recent donation to Kamp Kiwanis of $250.  You may also recall that we held a vote to determine which Burner related organization you would like to donate 10% of the Freezer Burn 2013 surplus too; well Burners without Boarders was the preferred choice, we sent them a cheque for $815.
Once defined, we realized that policies were required to facilitate our support of these Initiatives, Grants, and Donations. More paper work! Funny thing about policies is that they multiply exponentially once you get started, we even need a policy for creating policies, and another one to amend a policy – ugh!!! Thinking we only had three to write was naive to say the least!
We have now approved policies for the following, these can also be found on our website.
· Donation Policy
· Board Member Interim Replacement Policy
· Membership Policy
· Policy and Procedure Policy
· Initiative Budget Policy
Below are the policies that are in the process of being written or approved:
· Initiative Policy
· Grant Policy
· Communication Policy
· Elections PolicyFunny thing about a policy, is that you can’t do anything with it unless you have an accompanying procedure! We now have to create a way to administer these policies. Right now we want to hope that there might only be three for Grants, Initiatives, and Donations. But based on past experience, we know many more will likely be required.
So that’s where we’ve been.
You may have noticed that we are developing an Election Policy. This Board has nearly completed its term, and although many of us hope to continue the work we started, that will be up to you to decide at our AGM in May. Perhaps you would like to be on the next Board!  But you have to be a member!  You can sign up on our website.
Stay tuned. We have an Elections Policy to write that will be the subject of our next announcement.
The League of Extraordinary Albertans Board Members
Zoltan, Czar Dim, Marty Party, Partytime, Dree, Gnomette, Olenka, Philbot, and Golde