It's interesting to know that the battle between a federal government and states' rights is alive and well in organizations as small and mundane as the Friends of the Sacramento Public Library. As it is organized we are only one organization with 28 branches which are wholly owned by the System Friends and managed by the System Board of Directors. Thus, for IRS purposes and all other legal purposes, we are one organization and submit reports only for that one organization. The interesting part comes from trying to monitor and enforce that.
We have found branches that apply for and receive their own IRS ID number. We have branches that refuse to follow fund raising guidelines as well as funding guidelines. In one case an outgoing treasurer moved out of state and took the branch funds with her claiming that the new treasurer was not properly elected. And there's the ongoing battle over who has the ultimate say in the practice of fundraising and the distribution of funds.
Tonight was the Board Meeting of the System Friends of which I am a member and officer, Treasurer. Although we didn't spend a lot of time on it, separation of duties and responsibilities between the System and the Branches came up again like it does almost every month.