Private Organizations (POs)
Private Organizations are self-sustaining special interest groups set up by individuals acting exclusively outside the scope of any official Air Force duties. Air Force Instructions (AFI) 34-223, Private Organizations Program, 13 Dec 2018, and DAFI 36-3101, Fundraising, 26 Oct 2022, govern POs and fundraising activities in the Air Force.
Unofficial Activities (UAs)
Unofficial Activities such as coffee funds, water funds, and sunshine funds are not considered Private Organizations (POs) unless current assets, excluding inventory, exceed a monthly average of $1,000.00 over a three (3) month period. For questions about whether or not your UA should become a registered PO, please contact 94 FSS (94FSS.SVC.MWR@us.af.mil). Air Force Instructions (AFI) 34-223, Private Organizations Program, 13 Dec 2018, AFI 36-3101, Fundraising, 26 Oct 2022, and the Joint Ethics Regulation (JER), DoD 5500.07-R, Section 3-210, govern UA fundraising activities in the Air Force.
New Private Organizations
The Air Force Instructions related to fundraising and private organizations have been substantially revised, and provide different guidelines for fundraisers on base depending on whether the fundraiser is for a registered private organization or an unofficial unit-affiliated activity. In addition, most fundraisers taking place on WPAFB must be approved in advance by the Installation Commander’s representative. For more information or questions, please consult AFI 34-223, Private Organizations Program, 13 Dec. 2018, AFI 36-3101, Fundraising, 26 Oct. 2022, or contact the 94 FSS Private Organizations Monitor at: 94FSS.SVC.MWR@us.af.mil.
For fundraising approval, read the information sheet that is specific to your organization affiliation, complete request form and submit to: 94FSS.SVC.MWR@us.af.mil. The approval process can take up to 20 business days, please plan accordingly.
Fundraisers should not coincide with or detract from the Air Force Assistance (Fund AFAF) Campaign or Combined Federal Campaign.
Fundraising, Private Organizations and Unofficial Activities
The Air Force and the Department of Defense have guidelines about fundraising. These questions and answers will give you general knowledge on private organizations and unofficial activities, help you follow rules that you may not have known, and help you apply the rules to your specific organization.
1. Does my organization have to be a chartered PO (Private Organization) to conduct fundraising activities on base? A: No. Approved UAs (Unofficial Activities) are also authorized to conduct fundraisers. However, AFI 34- 223 requires your group to be one or the other.
2. What are Unofficial Activities? A: UAs are small groups of individuals who are not required to be formally established as a PO because their current monthly assets do not exceed a monthly average of $1,000.00 over a 3-month period.
3. How can my organization become an approved UA? A: In order to become an unofficial activity, you simply complete the one page form available through your friendly 94th Force Support Squadron for approval.
4. How can my organization become a chartered PO? A: 94th FSS has an instructional package complete with samples. They can help you complete this package and forward it to Legal for coordination. The request is then forwarded through the chain up to the Installation Commander (delegated to MSG Commander) for approval.
5. What is the real difference between a PO and a UA? A: Like unofficial activities, POs are self sustaining special interest groups set up by people acting outside the scope of any official position they may have with the government. Unlike unofficial activities, their monthly assets (which include cash inventories, receivables and investments) are at a threshold exceeding an average of $1,000.00 over a 3-month period. That is the real difference. Both UA’s and PO’s are governed by AFI 34-223, and may operate on the installation at the pleasure of the Installation Commander.
6. Once my organization becomes a UA or PO, how do I receive approval to conduct a fundraiser? A: Submit a fundraiser request form to the 94 FSS/FSR. This form will remind you of some regulatory limitations that are important. These limitations are as follows: a. The fundraising event will not be conducted during the Combined Federal Campaign or the Air Force Assistance Fund Campaign (unless Installation Commander approves). b. Contributions or sales will NOT be sought during duty hours in the work place. (lunch hours are permissible). c. Government equipment or letterhead will not be utilized. d. The event will not compete with the Base Exchange or Force Support activities. e. The event will not include any games of chance, lotteries, raffles, or other gambling activity. f. The requirements of DOD Directive 5500.7, Standards of Conduct, must be met. g. Any sale of food will also be coordinated through Military Public Health. h. The sale of alcoholic beverages is prohibited. i. Military personnel cannot participate while in uniform. j. Otherwise comply with AFI 36-3101, Fundraising in the Air Force.
The bottom line is that in order to conduct a fundraiser on any AF installation, you must be either a Private Organization or an Unofficial Activity and submit a request to the 94th Force Support Squadron that is reviewed and forwarded to the Installation Commander (delegated to 94 MSG/CC) for approval. Many of us are involved with important fundraising organizations. It’s a big part of developing the AF family and a sense of community. We just need to be aware of the rules that govern these activities.