Requirements, Policies, and Guidelines for APABA-SV Events


Non-Profit Event/Program Requirements

Since APABA Silicon Valley is a 501(c)(6) non-profit organization, any events and/or programs supported by APABA Silicon Valley funds must serve a permissible purpose, and we must keep records of the events that we fund. “APABA Silicon Valley funds” include any and all types of revenue received by APABA Silicon Valley, including sponsorship funds and the value of any benefits provided by a sponsor. 

Prior to calendaring your event, you should review the Committee Activity Report form, so that you can see what type of information you should be prepared to provide on it, including which permissible purpose your event and/or program served.

Reimbursement Procedure

Starting in 2014, reimbursement requests for event-related expenditures will be processed by the Treasurer only after receipt of completed Committee Activity Reports -- you should complete one Report per event and submit it together with all reimbursement requests for the event.  This will ensure documented compliance with applicable tax rules. Contact the Internal Vice President overseeing your committee if you have any questions or concerns regarding reimbursement.

Membership Benefit Policy

One important source of revenue to help sustain APABA Silicon Valley and enable us to provide our members with many different benefits is membership fees.  As with all bar associations, many attorneys sign up to receive our weekly newsletter and attend occasional events during the year without signing up for membership.  While this is an appropriate way for attorneys to learn about our organization, we stress the importance of encouraging them to sign up and pay for membership in APABA Silicon Valley.  This will grow our organization and ensure that we can continue to provide meaningful benefits to paying members of APABA Silicon Valley.

Committee Goal: At least 50% of your programs and events should be “Member Benefit” events. This means that APABA Silicon Valley members who are current on their membership dues should receive some benefit above and beyond other folks who may be on the APABA Silicon Valley mailing list but not paid members.  These benefits provide an important incentive for attorneys to become currently paid members. Here are a few example ways to meet this goal:

  • Member Discount: charge for admission to the event and provide a discount of at least 50% for members (or simply free for members!). Make sure to mention the member discount when you promote your event. (Note: when you think about how much to charge the non-members, be conscious of the value that you are offering them. For example, professional organizations often charge $100-$250 for a 1-hour CLE, which APABA Silicon Valley typically allows members to attend for free.)
  • Members Only: when you promote the event/send out invitations to the event, make sure to note that admission to the event is restricted to only currently-paid members, and that if non-members wish to attend, they may pay for membership registration at the door. 
  • Member Priority: if capacity for a popular event will be limited, promote the event at least several weeks ahead of the event date and note that currently-registered members will get priority admission to the event and that non-members who wish to RSVP will be waitlisted until a later date (e.g., one week before the event).
  • Premium Opportunities: think of a type of event that people would be sure to pay a premium for, e.g., opportunity to pitch in-house counsel, opportunity to speak on a panel about a particular topic, opportunity to send a message to a targeted group of APABA Silicon Valley members (e.g., legal recruiters who want to target a group of APABA Silicon Valley members who are law firm attorneys who have privately indicated that they are interested in new job opportunities). 
  • Member Perks: consider providing a service or perk of interest to currently paid members (e.g., professional headshots for in-house attorneys who do not receive company-paid photographs).

This may mean that certain programs and/or events are Member-discounted, Members-only, or that Members get priority RSVP when there is limited capacity.  Ideally, committees will hold both “Member Benefit” events and free/open events.  Both are important to the growth of our membership.

Important: make sure to mention the Member Benefit aspect when you draft the blurb to promote your event in the APABA Silicon Valley newsletter and on the APABA Silicon Valley website.

Member Sign-Ups

Most APABA Silicon Valley events include non-member attendees.  Each committee should use its best efforts to recruit non-members to sign up for APABA Silicon Valley membership.  This can be done quickly and easily with the iPad.  (As a back-up, hardcopy blank membership signup forms will be available, but given that we are a “Silicon Valley”-focused organization, it is highly preferred that you use available technology whenever possible.)

Event Photography

Taking pictures is a great way to memorialize APABA Silicon Valley events, as well as promote the organization.  We encourage all committees to take pictures of their events and send them to the Communications Committee co-chairs for upload to the website.  In order to maintain a professional and consistent appearance, however, event photography should adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Use at least an 8-megapixel camera (e.g., iPhone 5S).
  • Galleries of event photographs must include a minimum of eight pictures, not including duplicate shots (e.g., multiple pictures of the same scene) to avoid having insignificantly-sized or redundant galleries.
  • Blurry images or images with “red eye” will not be posted.
  • Images with bad lighting will not be posted.

Sponsorship Support Policy

Sponsorships are an important source of support for our events.  Utilize your network and reach out to law firms, companies, vendors, other organizations, and individuals who may be interested in hosting your event, providing sponsorship funding for your event, and/or other benefits for your event (e.g., donating prizes or services for an auction or raffle).

Committee Goal: At least one and ideally 50% of your programs and events should be sponsored events (i.e., substantially, if not completely, paid for by sponsorship support). Please make every effort to reach out to potential sponsors to ask them to sponsor your event, make sure that they receive an invoice, and ensure that they fulfill their commitments.  A list of historical sponsors of APABA Silicon Valley events is available here.  Note: Sponsors are more likely to give you their support if you (1) already know them personally, (2) communicate how they will benefit from supporting the event, and (3) explain the purpose and importance of the event.

Inter-Bar Association Policy

One great way to provide networking opportunities, increase attendance, and foster greater unity and cooperation within the minority legal community is through joint events with fellow NAPABA affiliate bars and other regional minority bar associations.

Committee Goal: Build relationships with your peer leaders from our fellow regional minority bar associations, and consider opportunities to plan joint events with them.  APABA Silicon Valley frequently works together with its fellow NAPABA regional affiliates, which include:

  • Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area (AABA)
  • Korean American Bar Association of Northern California (KABANC)
  • Vietnamese American Bar Association of Northern California (VABANC)
  • Southeast Asian Bar Association of Northern California (SABA-NC)
  • Filipino Bar Association of Northern California (FBANC)
  • Asian American Prosecutors Association (AAPA)

Other frequent collaborators include the Asian Law Alliance (ALA), Bay Area Lawyers For Individual Freedom (BALIF), the Asian Law Caucus (ALC), and other members of the Minority Bar Coalition (MBC).  If you would like to put together a joint program or event, but don’t know who to contact at any of the above organizations, ask the Internal Vice President overseeing your committee or an Executive Board Member to make an introduction for you. 

If you would like to collaborate with an organization that is not a regional NAPABA affiliate and does not have an ongoing relationship with APABA Silicon Valley, please contact the Internal Vice President overseeing your committee.  APABA Silicon Valley’s Board of Directors may need to vet such organizations to ensure they comport with our organization’s mission and core values.