Nonprofit Accounting Basics
Bylaws form a legally binding document that outlines the organizational authority levels, how the board functions, and how it is structured. This document is unique to every organization but it should always address a number of specific issues including:
- name and location of organization
- statement of purpose
- election, roles, and terms of board members and officers
- membership issues (categories, responsibilities)
- meeting guidelines (frequency, quorum)
- board structure (size, standing committees, if any)
- compensation and indemnification of board members
- role of chief executive
- amendment of bylaws
- dissolution of the organization
The board should have a process in place to review the bylaws every couple of years. This assignment is best carried out by a board task force formed for the purpose. There is no need to have a permanent bylaws committee.
Here are some sample bylaws. NOTE: Please, do not adopt anyone else’s bylaws. Let your board decide on every clause.
Minnesota Council of Nonprofits, http://www.mncn.org/info/template_start.htm
Foundation Center, http://fdncenter.org/getstarted/faqs/html/samplebylaws.html