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Non-profit Bylaws|Operating Manual

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Feb 26

Why Non-profit Bylaws Are An Important Framework:

Suppose that life has an operating manual, would you throw it out the window, or would you choose to follow it? Many nonprofit organizations’ think they can do away with bylaws by tossing them out the window. For a nonprofit that actively uses its bylaws, the bylaws can be an important framework.

 A nonprofit organization is very much like a business, in that it needs bylaws to govern its actions. Simply put, bylaws are a formal legal document that everyone in the organization abides by. Bylaws are rules that govern how a company operates. They state the powers and rights of shareholders, directors, and officers.

Non-profit Bylaws Should Address Specific Provisions Detailing:

  • How the board will function
  • When and how board meetings will be held and conducted
  • How directors and officers are elected
  • The size of the board
  • Policies and procedures
  • Duties and responsibilities

Bylaws are customized to meet the organization’s mission. Bylaws should be routinely reviewed by the board, and amended if needed.-Always have a lawyer that is not a member of the board draft the bylaws and review any substantial changes. Make sure that your bylaws do not become too dusty, placing bylaws as an agenda item at each annual meeting will prompt adequate review.

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