Every ISA Member, employee and organizational unit must strive to preserve the Society’s reputation and integrity as an organization whose only purpose is educational as stated in Article II of the Bylaws. The organization may not be used by anyone, whether innocently or not, for personal benefit. It is for this primary reason and to preserve the Society’s legal and non-profit status, that the ISA Executive Board has confirmed this policy.
Nonprofit IRS Status
ISA enjoys a special nonprofit, tax-exempt status reserved for educational and charitable organizations under the U.S. Internal Revenue Service section 501(c) (3). This is a privileged status that is available to the Society and its sections only because of their educational purpose. This status would be jeopardized if any individual or firm were to use the Society in any way for individual gain, whether directly or by association. The concept of “inurement” (analogous to dividends by for-profit firms) can put the tax exempt status at risk. The purpose of the private inurement rule is to ensure that the tax exempt organization involved is serving exempt interest and not private interest. As an example, scholarship programs have the potential to violate the federal tax laws. These laws may change over time, therefore, while it is permissible to offer scholarships, groups seeking to establish a scholarship should consult with the ISA Executive Director or designee to ensure that the applicable IRS rules and procedures are followed.
Reference to ISA by Members
An ISA member may not use an elected or appointed ISA position as credentials in a field other than automation. For example, by indicating ISA membership, a person is implying, properly, that the requirements for the particular grade of membership have been met. However, if a person is a member of a committee, i.e. standards and practices or education, that member should not use this ISA position outside of ISA to imply expertise in the standards or the education fields.
Article XXI of the ISA Bylaws prohibits any member or organizational unit of the Society from making statements that could influence the course of legislation, in the name of the Society. For example, if a division director wants or needs legislation, he or she should do so in the member’s own name with no reference whatsoever to ISA or the member’s position within ISA.