Private organizations soliciting for gifts
By Capt. Darin C. Fawcett , 39th Air Base Wing Assistant Staff Judge Advocate
/ Published December 01, 2006
INCIRLIK AIR BASE, Turkey --
In order to comply with AFI 34-223, any private organization who intends to solicit gifts from Incirlik Alley merchants for holiday parties must first come to the legal office and obtain a template letter to be given to the merchant.
Private organizations unofficial activities need to be aware of the following:
-- Use of the name/abbreviation of a Department of Defense component, unit, or installation must not mislead the public to assume a PO is an organizational unit of DoD (e.g. use "booster club" or other moniker attached to a unit designation).
-- POs must place the following disclaimer on all print/e-mail mentioning the PO's name confirming the PO is not a part of the DoD: "This is a private organization. It is not a part of the Department of Defense or any of its components and it has no governmental status." This must also be stated verbally when the PO's name is mentioned.
-- POs may not use the seal, logo, or insignia of the DoD, any military department/military service, organization unit, or installation on PO letterhead, correspondence, or in its title.
-- POs must be self-sustaining, primarily through dues, contributions, service charges/fees of their members - no unit money can be used.
-- POs are prohibited from engaging in any conduct which has the effect of advertising for, making referrals to, or encouraging use of any commercial businesses.
POs may accept gifts and donations, but... POs cannot solicit gifts/donations on base. Off base solicitations must clearly indicate they are for a PO and not the base or any official part of the Air Force. Donor/gift recognition may not be made publicly - it can only be made to members of the PO or those present at an event benefiting from the donation/gift. POs are prohibited from actions which make it appear that the installation is endorsing or giving special treatment to the donors.
This is not a complete summary of the dos/don'ts for POs, but is intended to address the upcoming holiday season. For more guidance on POs, please review AFI 34-223. We are sure you can appreciate the concern of having numerous USAF members approaching these merchants asking for donations and placing them in an awkward position thinking they must donate to each solicitor in order to avoid being "blacklisted" by USAF groups/members. Please help us maintain good relations with our Alley merchants by complying with the above guidance.