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8. Other NCSS Groups and External Programs

8.1 Affiliated Groups (Local, State, and Regional Social Studies Councils)

8.1.1 Eligibility

8.1.1.1 Affiliation with National Council for the Social Studies is open to any group of individuals which has the same purpose and goals as NCSS. Any social studies council at the local, state, or regional level may affiliate directly with NCSS, provided that the general goals of the council are consistent with those of NCSS and provided that ten percent of its membership hold regular, comprehensive or student membership in NCSS. (amended September 2017)

8.1.1.2 NCSS will not encourage the organization or affiliation of a council to function within the same geographic area served by an existing affiliate.

8.1.1.3 Regional councils or local councils transcending state/provincial lines applying for affiliation with NCSS must present letters of agreement of participation from state or provincial councils within the proposed region. Only members from agreeing states or provinces will be counted for purposes of representation in the House of Delegates.

8.1.1.4 Councils outside of the United States may affiliate with NCSS on the same basis as U.S. councils.

8.1.1.5 Membership privileges in state and local affiliates should be similar to those in NCSS. Anyone who pays dues is a full voting member and the organization is open to men and women from all levels of education, all ethnic groups, and all geographic areas, urban, rural, and suburban.

8.1.2 Benefits of Affiliation

8.1.2.1 Each affiliated council is eligible for representation in the House of Delegates with representation being based upon the number of joint memberships with NCSS. A council with up to 10-24 joint members is entitled to one delegate; a council with 25-49 joint members is entitled to two delegates; 50-99 entitles it to three; 100-199 entitles it to four; and a council is entitled to an additional delegate (beyond four) for each 100 members beyond 199 joint members. (amended September 2017)

8.1.2.2 Each affiliated council has the right to include 'Affiliated with National Council for the Social Studies' on stationery and promotional materials.

8.1.2.3 Each affiliated council shall be listed as an affiliate in Who's Who in Social Studies along with its officers' names and its future meetings. Affiliated councils and contact information is also listed on NCSS web site.

8.1.2.5 The NCSS Council Assistance Fund

The NCSS Council Assistance Fund shall be used for the purpose of assisting regional conferences and affiliated councils. (revised November 1998)

8.1.2.5.1 Provide seed money to regional conference committees, not to exceed $2,000.

8.1.2.5.2 Provide assistance to affiliated councils for the purpose of council development.

8.1.2.5.3 Provide seed money to affiliated councils for council conferences not to exceed $1,000.

8.1.2.5.4 Provide support for travel and lodging expenses for appropriate NCSS staff or officers or other individuals to give special workshops related to council development at regional meetings.

8.1.3 Communications

Staff will post a copy of approved board meeting minutes and any relevant documents on an NCSS website.

8.1.4 Affiliation Procedures

8.1.4.1 A council seeking affiliation with NCSS should request advice from NCSS offices regarding affiliation procedures and information concerning any existing affiliated councils in its area.

8.1.4.2 Affiliation with NCSS shall continue as long as the council continues to have ten percent of its members or ten members, whichever is greater, who are also regular, comprehensive, or student members of NCSS, and as long as the council's goals continue to be consistent with those of NCSS. The president of each affiliate shall verify its eligibility by submitting promptly each year to the executive director its current membership list, with joint members identified, and a list of its current officers.

8.1.4.3 The completed application of each council will be certified by the executive director each year when in order. Problem applications will be evaluated by the executive committee.

8.2 Associated Groups

8.2.1 Description

8.2.1.1 Associated Groups of NCSS represent the specific interests of NCSS members who have similar work related responsibilities. The International Assembly is a unique group whose membership desire collaboration and interchange of ideas from the United States and countries other than the United States.

8.2.2 Current Associated Groups (2000)

8.2.2.1 College and University Faculty Assembly (CUFA).

CUFA members are college and university faculty personnel interested in the teaching of social studies education at the elementary and secondary levels and in the preparation of social studies teachers.

8.2.2.2 Council of State Social Studies Specialists (CS4).

CS4 members are the specialists who have responsibilities for social studies education in state departments of education/ public instruction.

8.2.2.3 National Social Studies Supervisors Association (NSSSA).

NSSSA members are educators who have supervisory responsibilities for the social studies curriculum and instructional program, pre-kindergarten through grade 12.

8.2.2.4 International Assembly (IA).

International Assembly members are educators who desire collaboration and interchange of ideas from the United States and countries other than the United States.

8.2.3 Requirements of NCSS for Associated Group Status

8.2.3.1 Membership

8.2.3.1.1 Members of Associated Groups must be members of NCSS.

8.2.3.1.2 Associated Groups will encourage the full and active participation of men and women from all levels of education, all ethnic groups, and all geographic areas (rural, urban, suburban).

8.2.3.1.3 Membership processing and the collection of dues of current members of Associated Groups will be done through the appropriate NCSS staff.

8.2.3.1.4 Recruitment of new Associated Group members will be coordinated with appropriate NCSS staff. Associated Group members must also be NCSS members.

8.2.3.2 Communication

8.2.3.2.1 All Associated Group publications, correspondence and letterheads will refer to NCSS as the parent organization.

8.2.3.2.2 Associated Groups may publish a newsletter for members.

8.2.3.2.3 A written report will be sent by the Associated Group's president to the NCSS president before each NCSS board meeting.

8.2.3.2.4 No Associated group may make statements on behalf of NCSS.

8.2.3.3 Meetings

8.2.3.3.1 Associated Groups will meet during or previous to the NCSS annual conference and as otherwise needed to conduct their business and organize a conference program for their membership.

8.2.3.3.2 The associated group's president or designee will meet with the officers of NCSS at the annual conference. The NCSS president elect functions as the liaison with the associated group.

8.2.3.4 Constitution

8.2.3.4.1 Associated Groups will have a constitution and bylaws that are consistent with the constitution and by-laws of NCSS.

8.2.3.4.2 Copies of current constitution and by-laws will be kept on file in the NCSS headquarters

8.2.3.5 Associated Group Meetings at NCSS Annual Conference

8.2.3.5.1 Associated Groups are expected to aid in the development of the annual conference program through a representative to the Program Planning Committee of NCSS. Travel expenses and hotel expenses will be paid by NCSS, following standard NCSS policies for travel.

8.2.3.5.2 Associated Group programs, speakers and event sponsorships will be coordinated with the NCSS conference chairperson and executive director.

8.2.3.5.3 Associated Group members who participate in the Associated Group's Annual Meeting must register for the NCSS annual conference and are strongly encouraged to participate in the annual conference.

8.2.3.5.4 Associated Groups may charge an additional fee for their conference programs and for ticketed events. These fees are in addition to NCSS conference registration. Any additional registration fees will be split between NCSS and the associated group at a mutually agreed ratio.

8.2.3.5.5 Events of Associated Groups will be open to all NCSS members who pay both the NCSS registration fee, and associated group registration fee, if any. NCSS members may also attend annual business meetings of Associated Groups but will not be permitted to vote at such meetings unless they are a member of the associated group.

8.2.3.5.6 Space and time will be provided for Associated Groups at the annual meeting of NCSS.

8.2.3.5.7 Conference activities of Associated Groups will be published in the annual conference program.

8.2.3.6 Finances

8.2.3.6.1 Because NCSS is the legal and liable corporate entity for all Associated Groups, all money collected and paid by the associated groups must be administered through NCSS. NCSS will establish separate general ledger funds for each associated group to account for associated group finances. Associated Group funds will be held collectively in a separate financial account from NCSS general operating funds. Interest collected from this account will be credited to each group based on the groups share of the account balance.

8.2.3.6.2 The tax identification number of NCSS may not be used by Associated Groups. Associated groups may not establish accounts at financial institutions using the NCSS tax identification number.

8.2.3.6.3 Associated Groups must collect sufficient dues to enable them to pay all financial obligations with current funds.

8.2.3.6.4 No Associated Group may accept funding in the name of NCSS.

8.2.3.6.5 No Associated Group may act as a legal agent in any way.

8.24 Requirements for the Formation of Associated Groups (does not apply to associated groups formed prior to 2000)

8.2.4.1 Petitions for the establishment of new associated groups will be received by the national office.

8.2.4.2 Petitions will be forwarded to the executive committee for appraisal and recommendation to the board of directors at its next meeting.

8.2.4.3 The board of directors will accept or reject the executive committee recommendations based on the following criteria:

8.2.4.3.1 The names of at least 125 NCSS members are included with the petition.

8.2.4.3.2 Prospective members have 'job-alike' responsibilities or interests.

8.2.4.3.3 Justification for formation of the new associated group shall be contained in the petition, with emphasis on the concerns of the 'job-alike' members it represents.

8.2.4.4 All applicable registration fees, payable to NCSS, accompany the petition.

8.2.4.4.1 The board of directors determines that the proposed associated group will provide a service to NCSS and the social studies community it represents.

8.2.4.4.2 Membership in the associated groups must be open to men and women from all levels of education, all ethnic groups, and all geographic areas (urban, rural and suburban), with 'job-alike' responsibilities.

8.2.4.4.3 A constitution, consistent with the constitution and by-laws of NCSS, must be a part of the petition.

8.2.5 Services Provided to Associated Groups by NCSS

8.2.5.1 Processing of Associated Group memberships will be done by NCSS.

8.2.5.2 Bookkeeping/accounting services will be provided by NCSS

8.2.5.3 Lists of group members will be provided for use within the group.

8.2.5.4 Computer financial reports of all of the Associated Group's financial activity will be sent to the president and treasurer of the associated groups on a quarterly basis.

8.2.5.6 Special mailings may occur to all or some groups when appropriate.

8.3 Communities

8.3.1 Authorization

The board of directors has authorized the formation of Communities within the membership of NCSS. Special interest groups should satisfy a need for members of NCSS interested in specific aspects of the social studies to affiliate formally with each other. NCSS shall encourage the organization and activity of SIGs.

8.3.2 Formation

8.3.2.1 Petitions for the establishment of new Community will be received by the national office.

8.3.2.2 Petitions will be forwarded to the executive committee for appraisal and recommendation to the board of directors at its next meeting.

8.3.2.3 The board of directors will accept or reject the executive committee recommendations based on the following criteria:

8.3.2.3.1 The names of at least fifteen members who are members of NCSS are included with the petition.

8.3.2.3.2 Justification for formation of the new Community shall be contained in the petition.

8.3.2.3.3 There shall be no duplication of either intent, purpose or operation with another Community.

8.3.2.3.4 All applicable registration fees, payable to NCSS, accompany the petition.

8.3.2.3.5 The board of directors determines that the proposed Community will provide a service to NCSS and the social studies community it represents.

8.3.3 Membership.

Membership in the Community must be open to men and women from all levels of education, all ethnic groups, and all geographic areas.

8.3.4 Governance

The internal operation is left to the discretion of each Community. Each one should decide on the details of its organization regarding governance, dues, and means of communication, with the proviso that all governance decisions be determined democratically.

8.3.5 Continuance

8.3.5.1 A Community in existence for two or more years must have at least thirty members who are also members of NCSS and submit annual registration form to NCSS.

8.3.5.2 Should a Community fall in membership below thirty, or not submit annual registration forms to NCSS, it will be placed on probation.

8.3.5.3 The Community may be granted a year of grace for the purpose of stimulating renewed interest (this will include annual meeting time).

8.3.5.4 If the Community fails to return to the required thirty members following one year of grace, it shall be declared no longer valid, and disbanded.

8.3.5.5 Any Community which is disbanded shall automatically turn over all moneys to NCSS.

8.3.6 Meeting Time and Program

8.3.6.1 Each Community is entitled to a one-hour session at the annual conference which will include their business meeting. All Communities may request an additional one-hour session. The proposal for the session should be clearly marked that it is from a Community and must meet conference proposal deadline.

8.3.6.1.1 In order to be eligible for a time and place on the annual conference program, a Community must return no later than January 1 a completed 'Community Registration Form' (This form will include the names and addresses of the members, including the name and address of the chairperson).

8.3.6.2 Community sessions shall be reviewed by the program planning committee and, if selected for the program, scheduled by the director of meetings in the same manner as all other program sessions.

8.3.6.3 Community programs/presentations at the annual meeting are to be developed by the Community membership. Such programs/presentations should correspond to the general theme of the annual meeting. Any Community considering scheduling a major speaker as part of its program/presentation must first consult the NCSS Director of Meetings and Program Planning Committee.

8.3.6.4 Descriptions of Community sessions shall be included in the printed annual meeting program.

8.3.6.5 Communities may, if they desire, submit additional sessions, workshop, or function proposals under the conditions of the regular program planning procedure. Such proposals, which must be related to the annual meeting theme, will be submitted to the general program planning committee for their approval as part of the overall annual meeting. Community proposals selected for inclusion in the annual meeting program will be cited in the printed program as sponsored by the Community that proposed them.

8.3.7 Community Information

8.3.7.1 NCSS will publish a list of available Communities on the NCSS website.

8.3.7.2 All inquiries concerning Communities received by NCSS shall be responded to in general terms only.

8.3.7.3 All such inquiries shall be forwarded to the specific Communities for further communication concerning the inquiry.

8.3.7.4 NCSS will provide the structure for electronic interaction among community participants.

8.3.7.5 NCSS will seek assistance from appropriate communities when issues need to be addressed or for members to serve on ad hoc committees.

8.3.8 Financial Responsibilities

8.3.8.1 NCSS is the legal and liable corporate entity for funded programs and must be the signatory agent.

8.3.8.2 No Community may accept funding in the name of NCSS.

8.3.8.3 No Community may act as a legal agent in any way.

8.3.8.4 No Community may make statements concerning, nor speak on behalf of, NCSS.

8.4 External Liaisons and Consortia

8.4.1 External Liaisons

To facilitate communications with like-minded organizations, NCSS has both informal and official liaisons with many professional associations and organizations. NCSS has NGO (non-governmental organization) list status at the United Nations.

8.4.2 Consortia and Federations

Because some goals can better be achieved by joining coalitions with other organizations, NCSS will monitor, and when judged appropriate participate in, groups interested in social studies or related to common concerns.

8.4.3 Guidelines for Service on Advisory Committees or Boards of Non-NCSS Projects

If the name of NCSS is to appear on letterhead or to be used in any other fashion so as to imply NCSS endorsement, then prior approval of the project's content or the organization's statement of purpose or other relevant information must be reviewed by the Executive Committee and subsequently reported to the NCSS Board of Directors. The advisory committee or other body on which the NCSS representative is to serve must have active involvement in influencing policy of the project or organization.

8.5 Fund for the Advancement of Social Studies Education

8.5.1 Purpose

The Fund for the Advancement of Social Studies Education (FASSE) shall exist for the purpose of supporting research and classroom application projects which improve social studies education and thereby foster enlightened citizenship and promote civic competence. The definition of social studies is: '(The) integrated study of the social sciences and humanities to promote civic competence The primary purpose of social studies is to help young people develop the ability to make informed and reasoned decisions for the public good as citizens of a culturally diverse, democratic society in an interdependent world

8.5.1.1 Grants will be given in the following areas:

  1. To implement research on innovative projects in social studies.
  2. For research on curriculum development or teacher development related to citizenship education.
  3. For research on citizenship education.
  4. For other projects specified by donors or identified by the governing board which fulfill the general purpose of the fund.

8.5.1.2 Grants for innovative classroom teaching (Christa McAuliffe Award) will be given in the following areas: 

  1. To assist classroom teachers in developing and using innovative social studies teaching strategies.
  2. To assist social studies students in the implementation of an innovative social studies citizenship project.

8.5.2 Accountability

The FASSE Board shall report to the NCSS Board of Directors through the NCSS Executive Committee.

8.5.3 Composition

The Board of the Fund for the Advancement of Social Studies Education (FASSE) will be composed of the following 13 members:

  1. A chair appointed by the NCSS Board of Directors who will serve as vice chair for the first year and chair for the two remaining years.
  2. A vice chair who will be appointed in the last year of the presiding chair's term.
  3. Six members appointed by the NCSS president and serving staggered three year terms.
  4. Four members selected by the Associated Groups serving three year terms.
  5. The immediate past HOD Steering Committee chair who will serve on year.
  6. Members will begin their terms July 1 the year they are appointed or elected. The new vice chair will be appointed by the board of directors to begin service at the beginning of the second year of the two year term of the presiding chair. The board will have 13 members when it has a vice chair and 12 members during the year when there is no vice chair.

8.5.4 Fund Accounting

8.5.4.1 The business department of NCSS shall maintain the financial records, receive contributions, and write checks. Under no circumstances will FASSE be used to provide regular programs and services to members of NCSS or to cover operating expenses with the exception that the fund will pay a reasonable overhead to NCSS for the costs of administering the fund.

8.5.4.2 McAuliffe Funds will always be maintained at a minimum of $10,000. Awards given from the McAuliffe fund will be derived from the accumulated interest of the invested McAuliffe Fund.

8.5.5 Meetings

The governing board will carry on business through correspondence and at least one meeting at the time of the NCSS Annual Conference. They will set priorities for projects to be funded, plan how to solicit funds, review and decide upon projects to be funded, and decide upon the investment of the funds in consultation with the NCSS Director of Finance..

8.5.6 Fund Solicitation

The FASSE governing board is responsible for all fund raising efforts. NCSS staff will assist in the planning of a systematic, ongoing fund raising effort.

8.5.7 Communication

An annual report on the status of the FASSE fund raising plan, grants awarded during the preceding year, and a progress report on any grant recipient activity still in progress will be presented to the NCSS Board of Directors at its winter meeting. The FASSE chair will provide copies of FASSE minutes on a timely basis to the NCSS president and executive director. Minutes of the NCSS Board of Directors and other NCSS information of value to FASSE will be provided to the FASSE chair by the NCSS president or staff. The NCSS vice president will attend the annual FASSE meeting as a liaison to the NCSS Board of Directors and serve as an ex-officio, non-voting member.

8.5.8 FASSE Information on NCSS Materials

FASSE information and a check-off box shall be included on NCSS membership applications, renewal forms, and annual conference registrations forms.

8.5.9 NCSS Annual Conference Support for FASSE

In lieu of the FASSE raffle, the NCSS board will annually consider allocating a portion of available net assets to one or both of the NCSS Council Assistance Fund or the NCSS FASSE Fund. Up to $2.00 of the annual conference registration fees for member, non-member, non-member with membership and local-school-group categories will be designated for FASSE to be divided 50-50 between the FASSE fund and the McAuliffe award in the conference budget.

8.5.10 Affiliated Council Contributions

Affiliated council contributions to FASSE will be recognized through the Council Award program.

8.6 Fundraising

The NCSS BOD endorses a fundraising policy for the organization that is ethical, legal, and supports the mission of the organization.

NOTE: In order to eliminate duplication of effort and limit frequency of or conflict in donor solicitations, those initiating fund-raising should refer to the attached list of existing sponsors and donors, and consult with both the Executive Director, Director of Meetings and/or the Director of Partnerships and Program Initiatives.

Donor's Rights

All donors/sponsors (individuals, corporations, and foundations) are entitled to receive an official receipt for income tax purposes for the amount of the donation. The NCSS BOD may establish a minimum amount for the automatic issuance of receipts, in which case smaller donations will be receipted only upon request. All fundraising solicitations by or on behalf of NCSS will disclose the organization?s name and the purpose for which funds are requested.

Benefits for donors should be negotiated with staff and approved by the Executive Committee. Benefits may include recognition in publications but, in general, may not include conference presentations, conference exhibit space, or free advertising.

Donors' requests to remain anonymous will be respected.

The privacy of donors will be respected. Any donor records that are maintained by the organization will be kept confidential to the greatest extent possible. Donors have the right to see their own donor record, and to challenge its accuracy.

Donors and prospective donors will be treated with respect. Every effort will be made to honor their requests to:

  • limit the frequency of solicitations;
  • not be solicited by telephone or other technology;
  • receive printed material concerning the organization.
  • NCSS will respond promptly to a complaint by a donor or prospective donor.

Fundraising Practices

  • The NCSS BOD will approve of all fundraising campaigns.
  • Those initiating fundraising campaigns should submit any and all materials to the Executive Director, the President and the Executive Committee. See attached sample letters.

Fundraising solicitations on behalf of NCSS will:

  • be truthful;
  • describe the activities and the intended use of donated funds accurately;
  • be conducted with fairness, integrity, and in accordance with all applicable laws;
  • prohibit donations for purposes that are inconsistent with the NCSS mission.

Donor List Rental

NCSS will not sell or rent its donor list. If applicable, any rental exchange or other sharing of the donor list will exclude the names of donors who have so requested. If a list of the donors is exchanged, such sharing will be for a specified period of time and a specified purpose. There may be circumstances in which a request to share or purchase the list may be deemed appropriate by staff to consider; if so, staff would seek the approval of the executive committee.

Point of Contact

The NCSS executive director will serve as the point of contact for all fundraising efforts.

  • The Executive Director will inform the NCSS BOD of the status of all fundraising efforts at least once a year, at the February BOD meeting. The Executive Committee will be informed of all fundraising efforts at its regularly scheduled meetings.
  • The Executive Director will inform the NCSS BOD of the number, type and disposition of complaints received from donors or prospective donors.

Advertising by Corporate Sponsors

NCSS reserves the right to review any and all advertising by a corporate sponsor that includes any reference to the organization.

Financial Accountability

  • The financial affairs of NCSS will be conducted in a responsible manner, consistent with the ethical obligations of stewardship and all legal requirements.
  • All donations will be used to support the organization's mission* and long range plan.
  • All restricted or designated donations will be used for the purposes for which they are given. If necessary due to program or organizational changes, alternative uses will be discussed where possible with the donor or the donor's legal designate.

Annual Financial Reports

Annual financial reports to the BOD will:

  • be factual and accurate in all respects;
  • disclose the total amount of fundraising revenues;
  • the total amount of fundraising expenses.

Administration and Fundraising Expenses

  • No more will be spent on administration and fundraising than is required to ensure effective management and resource development.

Gifts and/or donations regardless of source (individual, group, corporate, etc.)

Unacceptable gifts/donations: NCSS reserves the right to refuse any gift or donation (individual/group/corporate) that is not consistent with its mission*. Gifts/donations will not be accepted by NCSS that:

  • violate any federal, state or local statute or ordinance;
  • create a fund to provide awards, lectureships or any other purposes with restrictive clauses that could cause embarrassment to NCSS or that reserve to the donor or his/her representative the right to designate the recipient;
  • require any action on the part of NCSS which is unacceptable to the Board of Directors;
  • contain unreasonable restrictions on gifts/donations.

Corporate Sponsorships

Corporate sponsorship is a business relationship between NCSS and a commercial enterprise that is of mutual benefit. In exchange for money, products, or services, NCSS provides the corporation with recognition and at times use of the nonprofit's name in corporate marketing. There are four main types of corporate sponsorship.

  • Event Marketing

A corporation sponsors a specific event. For example, Coca Cola and IBM sponsored the 2000 Olympic Games.

  • Partner Sponsorship

NCSS cultivates a long-term relationship with a corporation. For example, The American Promise sponsors materials and workshops, a local mechanic sponsors a little league team;

  • Cause-related Marketing

A sponsor promotes a specific cause by donating a percentage of the profits from the purchase of its product or service. For example, American Express gives a percentage of profits to Share our Strength, or Ben and Jerry?s Ice Cream gives a percentage of profits to rainforest preservation.

  • Promotions

A company pays a royalty fee for the use of a charity?s name or logo on its products. For example, Nicoderm gives money to the American Lung Association to use the ALA name and logo in commercials and on their packaging.

NCSS reserves the right to refuse any corporate sponsorship that is not consistent with its mission. Neither the mission nor the actions of the corporation may countermand the mission of NCSS. Sponsorships will not be accepted by NCSS that:

  • Place unacceptable expectations on NCSS (time, staff, marketing, etc.);
  • Place NCSS at risk for its image with its members;
  • Place NCSS at risk with the IRS or other governmental agencies.

The provisions of this policy are intended to inform but in no way to impede the work of the President, Executive Director,Director of Meetings, or Director of Partnerships and Program Initiatives in seeking sponsorship for annual conference events and awards.