Mission Statement and Bylaws (As Amended December 11, 2017)

Article I. Name of Organization

The name of the organization shall be the California Advancement Researchers Association (CARA). CARA is a state chapter of Apra (the Association of Professional Researchers for Advancement), a private, non-profit association. CARA is registered with the Illinois Secretary of State as a 501(c)(6) not-for-profit corporation.

Article II. Mission Statement

The California Advancement Researchers Association, a state chapter of Apra, serves development researchers by promoting and educating advancement professionals for the benefit of philanthropy.


Section A.

CARA membership will be open to individuals, institutions, or company partner representatives who seek to join an association of prospect development professionals within the fundraising community. Terms of affiliation shall not be contrary to the goals of Apra, and shall uphold the responsibilities and integrity of Apra without conflict of interest.

Section B.

CARA will hold at least two (2) meetings of the membership and one Annual Conference per year. Exceptions may be in yearswhen the international Apra Conference is in the state of California or if the Board determines that it is in the best interest of the chapter to not hold meetings or a conference.

Section C.

CARA Board members need not be members of Apra, with the exception of the President, President-Elect, Treasurer, and Secretary. Holders of these CARA Board officer positions must be members of Apra during their tenure.

Article IV. Board of Directors

Section A. Authority.

The Board of Directors, hereafter referred to as the “Board,” shall have the power and authority to govern the affairs of CARA, and shall take such actions as it considers necessary to carry out the objectives of CARA.

Section B. Board Composition.

The Board shall consist of twelve (12) Directors. Four (4) directors shall be officers: President, President-Elect, Treasurer, and Secretary, and must also be members in good standing of Apra. The remaining eight (8) Directors shall each be responsible for one of the following areas: Northern Regional Chair, Southern Regional Chair, Membership Chair, Communications Chair, Mentor/Volunteer Chair, Vendor Relations Chair, and CARA Conference Co-Chairs (2 Directors). All Board positions shall be evaluated for possible reassignment each year. Unexpected Board vacancies will be filled as specified in Article IV, Section D.

Section C. Election of Board.

Directors will serve a term of three (3) years, and shall serve no more than two (2) consecutive terms. Tenure of directors whose terms of service are ending may be extended for one year at the request of the Board. Extensions are limited to one year during a term of service. The President shall serve a lifetime maximum of three (3) years in that role. Former Board members must have a minimum of a one (1) year break in service from the Board to be eligible for re-election. Board members will serve on a calendar year basis to coordinate with the fiscal year. Elections will be held late summer or early fall to fill positions that will be vacated. New and retiring Board members will attend the first full day Board meeting following election and/or the Board meeting in which transfer occurs. The Secretary shall be the Nominations Committee Chair. The President shall appoint a Nominations Committee Chair to handle the elections when the Secretary is a candidate for re-election. The Nominations Committee Chair may appoint members to the Committee. Nominations Committee members shall not be allowed on the ballot. The Nominations Committee shall prepare a slate to present to the CARA membership and prepare the ballots. The ballots may be electronic. Only CARA members in good standing shall be eligible to vote in Board elections. Either the CARA Administrator or the Nominations Committee Chair shall receive and tabulate the votes. The Nominations Chair will report election results to the Board and the Board will notify the membership. If there is a tie vote in the general election, the candidates will go before the CARA Board for a vote and a decision. If one or both of the candidates are current CARA Board members, those Board members will abstain from voting. At a Board meeting following the election, the Board-elect will decide among themselves the four officers and assign Board duties as set forth in Article IV, Section B above

Section D. Board Vacancies.

In the event that a vacancy occurs in the membership of the Board, a replacement shall be appointed by a majority vote of the remaining members of the Board. When appointing replacements, the Board should strive for a balance in regional and organizational representation. The replacement will complete the original member’s term. The replacement shall still be eligible for two elected terms following the end of the appointment.

Section E. Removal of Board Membership.

Any CARA Board member may be removed by the vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the Board members present or represented at a duly called meeting of the CARA Board at which a quorum is present whenever, in their judgment, the best interests of CARA would be served by such removal. In addition, any Director who becomes ineligible for his/her position on the Board or who is more than ninety (90) days in default in the payment of any dues or charges shall have her/his term on the CARA Board terminated automatically. In special circumstances, such termination may be delayed by the Board of Directors.

Section F. Board Meetings.

There shall be a minimum of two (2) meetings of the Board each year on such dates and in such place fixed by the Board. These meetings may be held prior to or in conjunction with the membership meetings. Special meetings of the Board may be called by the President or upon the request of any five (5) members of the Board. Directors are expected to attend all Board meetings each year. If a Director misses two (2) unexcused regular or special Board meetings, he/she may be asked to resign from the Board. Board meetings shall be open to members or non-members of CARA with the approval of the President. Seven (7) members of the Board shall constitute a quorum. Electronic voting by the Board shall be permitted. Special meetings of the Board may be conducted via electronic means such as conference calling or video conferencing. Minutes of Board meetings and votes from special meetings will be recorded by the Secretary.

Section G. Duties of Officers and Directors


The President shall serve as the Chairperson of the Board and have overall responsibility for the programming and activities of CARA. Other duties shall include, but are not limited to the following: CARA’s elected representative to Apra (or will select an alternate representative, with Board approval); oversee the activities of the members of the Board during his or her term in office; and serve as the main contact with the CARA Administrator.


The President-Elect shall be named with the approval of the Board to serve for at least one year. The President-Elect shall shadow and assist the outgoing CARA President in all Presidential responsibilities during the President’s term. The President-Elect shall perform the duties of President in the event of the President’s inability or refusal to serve. Upon the completion of the term of the then President, the President-Elect shall automatically assume the office of the President. In the event the President-Elect is unable to assume the office of President, the Board shall select the President. The President-Elect will also serve as the Chair of the Programming Committee and perform other duties as assigned by the Board.


The Treasurer’s duties shall include: Preparing the annual budget for discussion and approval by the Board; overseeing the collection of membership dues and other fees (including Seminar Day fees and CARA Conference fees); managing CARA financial accounts; providing reports on the financial status of the organization including the IRS 990 report; making recommendations to the Board on investment matters; assisting host members in charging for events at their facilities; being custodian of all the funds of the Association; and performing other duties as assigned by the Board. The Treasurer is also the main contact with the CARA Administrator on financial matters.


The Secretary’s duties shall include: Record-keeping; taking minutes at Board meetings and distributing approved minutes to Board members; chairing the Nominations Committee (as specified in Article IV, Section C); recording election results and announcing those results to the Board; overseeing the CARA archives; and performing other duties as assigned by the Board.

Communications Chair:

The Communications Chair shall manage the coordination and the preparation of the CARA blog, which shall have content updated and shared throughout the year; manage the coordination and the preparation of CARA electronic communications; provide CARA news and event information to Apra, PRSPCT-L, and other suitable media; help coordinate the promotion, design and content of the CARA website; and perform other duties as assigned by the Board.

Vendor Relations Chair:

The Vendor Relations Chair is responsible for the promotion of CARA to vendors, as well as working with vendors to promote partnership agreements, and sponsorship at regional Seminar Days, at the CARA Conference, and at other programs or events. The Vendor Relations Chair keeps all lists of vendor contacts and address and acts as the liaison between vendors and the CARA Administrator. Performs other duties as assigned by the Board.

Membership Chair:

The Membership Chair shall oversee the maintenance and updating of the membership database; the distribution of mailing lists and labels; the recruitment and retention of prospective and renewing members; and the production of an annual membership directory, updated as necessary for distribution to the membership. In addition, the Membership Chair oversees the new member welcoming materials and helps apprise new members of their benefits. Performs other duties as assigned by the Board.

Mentor/Volunteer Chair:

The Mentor/Volunteer Chair shall manage the CARA Mentor and Volunteer Programs; maintain lists of volunteers, mentors, and mentees; and act as liaison with the national and regional Apra Mentor Coordinators as needed. The Mentor/Volunteer Chair shall serve as Chair of the annual scholarship process.

CARA Conference Co-Chairs:

The CARA Conference Co-Chairs shall organize and coordinate the annual CARA Conference and perform other duties as assigned by the Board. The location of the CARA Conference shall be approved by a majority vote of the Board. Ideally, at least one of the Conference Co-Chairs should have served in this position previously or be experienced with CARA educational programs. Both Co-Chairs shall serve on the Programming Committee.

Regional Chairs:

The Regional Chairs shall organize and coordinate the programming and activities of their respective CARA regions (North or South), which may include conference days, seminar days, and prospect development training workshops. Both Regional Chairs shall serve on the Programming Committee. Perform other duties as assigned by the Board.

Article V. Committees

The President or the Board shall be responsible for establishing committees to assist with the operations of CARA. The exact number, purpose, and composition of the committees shall be left up to the discretion of the President with the approval of the Board.

Article VI. Finances

Section A. Fiscal Year:

The fiscal year of CARA shall begin on January 1 and end on December 31 of the same year.

Section B. Dues:

Membership dues and fees will be set at the discretion of the Board, not to increase more than 25% in any given fiscal year.

Section C. Reserve Fund:

The Board will establish a reserve savings/endowment fund that will be invested conservatively. The Board shall hold in reserve no less than 6 months of operating expenses to be used to cover future unforeseen needs. Should it be necessary to spend some or all of this fund, the Board will make every effort to replenish this account as soon as possible. The Treasurer shall make investment recommendations to the Board for its approval.

Section D. Treasurer’s Reports:

The Treasurer shall distribute the annual financial report and summary to the CARA Board and to Apra within sixty (60) days of the end of the fiscal year. He/she will also compile and distribute to the Board quarterly financial statements. CARA’s Annual Report to Members is reported by the Treasurer and shared on the website or blog in the spring. Additionally, CARA’s annual IRS 990 report must be filed by May 15 each year and a comparable California State report must also be filed by the Treasurer or an authorized representative.

Section E. Approval of Disbursements:

All expenditures of $1,000 or more must have prior approval of the President or the Treasurer. All regional seminar day budgets, fees, and expenses must have prior approval by the President, Treasurer, and respective Regional Chair. The annual CARA Conference budget, fees, and expenses must have prior approval by the President, Treasurer, and CARA Conference Chairs. Fees for regional Seminar Days and the CARA Conference should cover expenses for those events.

Article VII. Scholarships:

Subject to its financial condition, CARA may award scholarships for the CARA Conference, Seminar Days, and Basic Training, as well as the Annual Apra Conference. The number and dollar amount of scholarships must be approved each fiscal year by the Board of Directors. Scholarships will be awarded on the basis of need and other criteria to be set by the ad hoc Scholarship Committee chaired by the Mentor/Volunteer Chair. Current CARA members in good standing are eligible to apply for any scholarships.

Scholarship Donations are accepted throughout the year.

The Guenevere T. Molloy Memorial Scholarship:

  • In 2009, the CARA Board established that the scholarship(s) given to members for the Annual Conference will be designated as the Guenevere T. Molloy Memorial Scholarship to honor a former CARA member and officer, Guen Molloy, who died of cancer in April 2009. In the event the statewide Annual Conference is not held, the Molly Scholarship may be awarded for other CARA events at the discretion of the Board.

Article VIII. Awards

The CARA Service Award shall honor one or more individuals who have contributed exceptional service above and beyond his/her regular work for the betterment of the advancement research profession, their professional colleagues, and the California Advancement Researchers Association (CARA).

Consideration for this award is based on the following criteria:

  • Current or former member in good standing of CARA for at least three (3) years.

  • Current members of the CARA Board of Directors are not eligible. Board members must be off the Board for a minimum of two (2) years before they can be considered for the CARA Service Award.

  • At least three (3) years experience in the field of advancement research

  • Education and training: presentations, workshops, classes made/taught for CARA, Apra, CASE, AHP, AFP or other organizations

  • Published articles, essays, or books in the field of advancement research

  • Service to CARA, including leadership and volunteer positions

  • Providing assistance and/or mentoring to professional colleagues

Requests for Service Award nominations will be sent to the membership at large by the Mentor/Volunteer Chair and the CARA Board of Directors will review the nominations and select one or more recipients for the award.

The CARA Distinguished Partner Award shall honor an individual(s) or company who has demonstrated extraordinary generosity, commitment, and support to the betterment of the prospect development profession, their professional colleagues, and the California Advancement Researchers Association (CARA).

Consideration for this award is based on the following criteria:

  • Service to CARA, including but not limited to: leadership, volunteer positions, or sponsorships

  • Providing assistance and/or mentoring to professional colleagues

  • The recipient of this award does not need to be a member of CARA

The CARA Board of Directors may solicit nominations, or internally nominate a potential awardee at any time. There’s no requirement that this award be given out annually, only when the Board sees fit. Nominees must be confirmed by a 2/3 vote of the Board.

Article IX. Amendments to the Bylaws

An amendment to the bylaws may be proposed by any member in good standing of the organization. The proposed amendment must be presented, in writing, to the Board of Directors, and can be voted on electronically or in person at any time. A two-thirds (2/3) vote of the Board of Directors shall be required for an amendment to be enacted.

Article X. Dissolution of the Organization

At such time as the Board of Directors feels it is appropriate to dissolve CARA due to lack of membership, diminished interest, or other reasons, and said decision is confirmed by a majority vote of the Board and membership, all funds remaining in the treasury after payment of debts will be given to Apra or another Apra Chapter for scholarships and/or programming.