Tuesday, August 3, 2010

News You Can Use From National HLAA

In this Issue
• The HLAA Chapter-National Partnership
• Chapter Connection Calls from HLAA
• October 15 Deadline for Filing IRS Form 990 by ePostcard
• Newsletter Help from HLAA
• How to Use Walk4Hearing™ Funds
• Fundraising Idea

The HLAA Chapter-National Partnership
You, our HLAA Chapters, represent HLAA in your community. National HLAA supports and encourages your work by providing expertise, training, communications and encouragement. All of us follow a single mission statement: to open the world of communication to people with hearing loss by providing information, education, support and advocacy.

HLAA Chapters and HLAA national provide assistance and resources for people with hearing loss and their families to learn how to adjust to living with hearing loss. HLAA is working to eradicate the stigma associated with hearing loss and raise public awareness about the need for prevention and the importance of regular hearing screenings throughout life.

HLAA is the nation’s leading organization representing people with hearing loss. According to the National Center for Health Statistics 36 million (17%) American adults have some degree of hearing loss making it a public health issue third in line after heart disease and arthritis.

Because your HLAA Chapter represents HLAA on a local level, HLAA requires all steering committee members or officers to be members of national HLAA. Only HLAA members can speak as “insiders” because they can and do identify how HLAA is serving members through advocacy, awareness, support and shared resources.

National HLAA and HLAA Chapters share equally in the outreach that helps change lives of people with hearing loss. We appreciate the countless hours and hard work that each of you contributes to fulfilling the vision of our Founder Rocky Stone. Together we are making a positive difference in the lives of people with hearing loss.

Chapter Connection Calls from HLAA
Starting next week all chapter leaders and coordinators will receive a call from me, Elizabeth LeBarron, HLAA national states and chapters coordinator. In our brief I will reintroduce myself, ask about your chapter’s plans for the upcoming year, remind you of any outstanding documents your chapter(s) may need to submit to be covered under HLAA’s 501c3 federal tax exemption, and learn how HLAA can best support you. The conversation should take about 15 minutes. I am looking forward to talking with each of you.

October 15 Deadline for Filing IRS Form 990
Did you file the IRS 990 ePostcard this past spring for tax year 2009? If not, your chapter is risking the loss of your tax-exempt status especially if they also they failed to file the required returns for 2007 and 2008 also. Chapters can preserve their status by filing the returns by Oct. 15, 2010, under a one-time special relief program.

The IRS posted Monday on a special page of IRS.gov the names and last-known addresses of these at-risk organizations, along with guidance about how to come back into compliance. The organizations on the list have return due dates between May 17 and Oct. 15, 2010, but the IRS has no record that they filed the required returns for any of the past three years. (Note: if your chapter is new to HLAA since January 2010 or if you were not covered under our 501c3 last year, your chapter’s name is not on this list.)

Form 990 is an annual information return required to be filed with the IRS by most organizations exempt from income tax under section 501(a). It is a series of questions that are straightforward. To complete the online application click here.

Newsletter Help from HLAA
Need articles for your newsletter? Borrow freely from HLAA! Listed below are the resources from which you may export material. Please attribute HLAA and/or Hearing Loss Magazine as the source of the information.
• Hearing Loss Magazine HLAA’s award-winning, bi-monthly publication
• “This Month in Bethesda,” HLAA Executive Director Brenda Battat’s enewsletter sent to all members and chapter leaders via email
• eNews, HLAA’s primary enewsletter sent bi-weekly, free (to sign up, click here)
• This Chapter and State Development Blog sent by email to all state and
chapter leaders
Hearingloss.org (http://www.hearingloss.org), HLAA’s website

How to Use Walk4Hearing™ Funds
Staff have received several phone calls about how HLAA Chapters should use the monies they raised at the Walk4Hearing™. We have one response: OUTREACH. Plow the proceeds right back into educating others in the community about the effects of hearing loss and strategies for living a fuller life as people with hearing loss. Implement the steps outlined in “Invisible No More,” a program developed by North Carolina State President Michael Eury, or host Marcia Finisdore’s six-week or day-long “Hearing Loss 101” program for the community. To view them click here.

Keep building on the momentum and public recognition you achieved from the Walk4Hearing to educate and support people with hearing loss and their colleagues, friends and family in your community. In the process you will likely gain new members and leaders for your chapter. Resist the temptation to use those funds to cover routine administrative costs or a social event for chapter members. Reinvest in your community!

Here are some acceptable ways to use Walk proceeds.
Hearing Loss 101 program (outreach)
* nationally-recognized speaker for outreach meeting(s)
* scholarship/stipend for chapter leaders (delegates) to attend the HLAA Convention
* scholarships for young adults for college and/or HLAA Convention
* HLAA Founder's Day [November]
* Chapter website development and maintenance
* CART for chapter meetings

Fundraising Idea

Want to increase donations and make people feel good at the same time? Consider signing up your chapter(s) for iGive. Get more information about listing your chapter(s) by clicking here. (Hint: your chapter does not have to have a 501c3 in order to participate!) HLAA already participates; see www.hearingloss.org for details. (Submitted by a blog reader.)