A golden gavel

501(c) Sample Bylaws

[NAME OF ORGANIZATION]

Article I

Name and Purpose

Section 1.01. Name. The name of this organization shall be [NAME].

Section 1.02. Purpose. The organization is organized and operated for [XXXX] [e.g., the charitable and educational purposes of promoting competitive youth gymnastics; supporting XYZ High School, promoting music education, etc.].

Article II

Membership

Section 2.01. Qualification. [XXXX] [e.g., All parents, guardians or other persons with a child enrolled and attending [SCHOOL] and members of the licensed teaching staff shall be considered voting members of the organization. The Principal and Assistant Principals shall be non-voting, advisory members of the organization.]

Section 2.02. Rights and Responsibilities. The members shall have the right and responsibility to attend meetings and events sponsored by the organization, serve on committees and be nominated and elected to office. Voting members shall have the right to vote for the officers, review and approve the annual budget and approve amendments to these bylaws.

Section 2.03. Quorum. The members present at any membership meeting of the organization, provided at least ten (10) members are present, shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. In the absence of a quorum the membership may not take action. In that event, any matter brought before the membership at a meeting at which a quorum is not present shall be discussed and decided by the Executive Board.

Section 2.04. Meetings. There shall be at least one general annual meeting of the membership in [MONTH] at which the officers are elected. Such additional business or special meetings may be held alone or in conjunction with an event sponsored by the organization as is determined by the Executive Board or at the request of twenty (20) or more members in writing to the Executive Board.

Article III

Executive Board

Section 3.01. Membership. The Executive Board shall consist of the elected officers of the organization.

Section 3.02. Authority. The affairs, activities and operation of the organization shall be managed by the Executive Board. The Executive Board shall transact necessary business during the intervals between the meetings of the membership and such other business as may be referred to it by the membership or these bylaws. It may create Standing and Special Committees, approve the plans and work of standing and special committees, prepare and submit a budget to the membership for approval, and, in general, conduct the business and activities of the organization.

Section 3.03. Meetings. A quorum of the Executive Board for the conduct of business shall consist of at least three (3) officers in attendance.

Section 3.04. Quorum. A quorum of the Executive Board for the conduct of business shall consist of at least three (3) officers in attendance.

Section 3.05. Action Without a Meeting. Any action required or permitted to be taken at a meeting of the Board of Directors (including amendment of these bylaws) or of any committee may be taken without a meeting if all the members of the Board or committee consent in writing to taking the action without a meeting and to approving the specific action. Such consents shall have the same force and effect as a unanimous vote of the Board or of the committee as the case may be.

Section 3.06. Participation in Meeting by Conference Telephone. Members of the Board may participate in a meeting through use of conference telephone or similar communications equipment, so long as members participating in such meeting can hear one another.

Section 3.07. Reimbursement. Executive Board members shall serve without compensation with the exception that expenses incurred in the furtherance of the organization’s business are allowed to be reimbursed with documentation in accordance with the organization’s financial policies, and prior approval.

Article IV

Officers and their Elections

Section 4.01. Officers. The officers of this organization shall include one President, one or more Vice Presidents, a Secretary and a Treasurer and such additional officer(s) as may be elected or appointed by the Executive Board from time to time.

Section 4.02. Election. A nominating committee composed of the current President and at least one additional officer shall begin seeking nominees in [MONTH] of the year in which the candidates will be elected and develop a slate of candidates. The candidates shall be announced to the membership as soon as possible. Additional nominees may be solicited from the floor on the day of the election. Only those who have consented to serve shall be eligible for nomination, either by the committee or from the floor. Officers shall be elected at the [MONTH] meeting of the organization by the members present. Officers shall assume their official duties on the last day of the current school year following their election.

Section 4.03. Term. Officers shall serve a one-year term. Officers may be elected for up to two consecutive terms in the same office.

Section 4.04. Vacancies. A vacancy occurring in any office shall be filled for the unexpired term by a person elected by a majority vote of the remaining members of the Executive Board.

Article V

Duties of Officers

Section 5.01. President. The President shall be the principal executive officer of the organization and, subject to the control of the Executive Board shall in general supervise and control all of the activities of the organization. The President shall be a member of the Executive Board and, when present, shall preside at all meetings of the Executive Board and all meetings of the membership. The President shall vote only in the case of a tie in a vote of the Executive Board or the membership. The President shall select and appoint the chairpersons of all Standing and Special Committees and shall be an ex-officio member of all committees of the organization.

Section 5.02. Vice-President(s). The Vice-President shall be a member of the Executive Board and, in the absence of the President, shall perform the duties of the President. The Vice-President shall perform such other duties as are assigned by the President or the Executive Board.

Section 5.03. Secretary. The Secretary shall be a member of the Executive Board. The Secretary shall keep the minutes of the proceedings of the membership and the Executive Board, shall see that all notices are duly given in accordance with these Bylaws, shall be responsible for the publishing of meeting minutes, shall manage and keep an accurate tally of the volunteer records and, in general, perform all duties incident to the office of Secretary and such other duties as may be assigned by the President or the Executive Board.

Section 5.04. Treasurer. The Treasurer shall be a member of the Executive Board. The Treasurer is the authorized custodian to have oversight of all funds of the organization in accordance with the organization’s financial policies. The Treasurer will organize, document, and record all financial activities. The Treasurer will be diligent and conscientious in ensuring all funds are received and spent in accordance with the organization’s tax-exempt purpose, bylaws and budget. The financial records belong to the organization and must be available to the other officers and members upon request.

The Treasurer shall:

  • Prepare an annual budget for review and approval by the members.
  • Ensure that numbered receipts are provided for cash received by the organization.
  • Ensure that all funds are timely deposited in the organization’s authorized bank account(s).
  • Ensure that payments and disbursements are authorized by approved budget, or an amendment to the budget.
  • Present a written financial report (including income and expenditures and comparing budgeted amounts to actual year-to-date amounts), at each General Membership Meeting of the membership and at other times as requested by the Executive Board.
  • See that an annual financial review or audit, as appropriate based on budget size, is conducted and presented to the Executive Board, General Membership, and other stakeholders.
  • Maintain financial records (including financial reports, checkbook, bank statements, deposit slips, cash tally sheets, documentation regarding transactions, IRS Form 990 documents, etc.) and turn all over to the new treasurer.

Article VI

Finances

Section 6.01. Budget. The Executive Board shall present to the membership at the first regular meeting of the membership after the officers have been elected, or as soon thereafter as practicable, a budget of anticipated revenue and expenses for the year. This budget shall be used to guide the activities of the organization during the year, including serving as approval for anticipated expenditures. Any substantial deviation from the budget must be approved in advance by the membership.

Section 6.02. Obligations. The Executive Board may authorize any officer or officers to enter into contracts or agreements for the purchase of materials or services on behalf of the organization.

Section 6.03. Loans. No loans shall be made by the organization to its officers or members.

Section 6.04. Checks. All checks, drafts, or other orders for the payment of money on behalf of the organization shall be signed by the Treasurer or by any other person as authorized in writing by the Executive Board, except that checks of $250 or more must have the signature of at least two officers, such as the Treasurer and the President. Checks shall bear notice of this requirement above the signature line as follows, “Two signatures required for checks in the amount of $250 or more.

Section 6.05. Banking. The Treasurer shall ensure that all funds of the organization are timely deposited to the credit of the organization in such banks or other depositories as determined by the Executive Board. All deposits and disbursements shall be documented by a receipt, an invoice, or other written documentation. Sequentially numbered receipts shall be provided, with a copy kept, whenever cash is turned over or collected. All deposits and/or disbursements shall be made as soon as practicable upon receipt of the funds, normally daily, immediately after received and counted.

If debit or credit cards are established in the name of the organization, a policy approved by the Executive Board shall be developed and used that includes a list of the authorized users, daily/monthly/annual spending limits, and review and oversight provisions. No personal charging on the card by the authorized users shall be allowed.

Section 6.06. Financial Controls. The organization shall adopt appropriate financial controls to ensure the integrity of its funds. Specifically, without limitation, the organization shall maintain separation of financial controls so that, minimally:

  • All expenses must be approved by the membership by way of approval of an annual budget, or amendments thereto, or be approved by separate resolution of the Executive Board;
  • Checks exceeding $250 must be endorsed by at least two officers authorized by resolution of the Executive Board, and checks of the corporation shall include above the signature line a notice to this requirement;
  • Ensure that all funds are timely deposited in the organization’s authorized bank account(s).
  • An officer or other person without check signing authority designated by the Executive Board shall review and reconcile all bank statements on a monthly basis; and,
  • A committee of at least two (2) persons without check signing authority shall annually audit all corporate finances, or hire and supervise an outside accountant or auditing firm to conduct a review of corporate financial records.

Section 6.07. Financial Report. The Treasurer shall present a financial report at each membership meeting of the organization and prepare a final report at the close of the year in accordance with the organization’s financial policies. The Executive Board shall have the report and the accounts examined annually. If the organization grosses less than $100,000 per year, the financial practices and accounts may be reviewed by an internal audit committee. The audit committee shall consist of two or more Board or voting members of the organization who are not involved in the routine handling of the organization’s finances, including not having signature authority on bank accounts or approval authority over disbursements. If the organization grosses over $100,000 in receipts, an external professional, such as a certified public accountant (CPA), shall be hired by the audit committee to perform a financial review or compilation. A full audit shall be conducted by an external CPA when annual gross receipts equal or exceed $250,000.

Section 6.07. Financial Report. The fiscal year of the organization shall be from June 1 to May 31 but may be changed by resolution of the Executive Board.

Section 6.07. Financial Report. All records of the organization shall be maintained and destroyed in accordance with law, and standard record retention guidelines. Financial records shall be maintained as follows:

RECORD HOW TO STORE PERIOD OF TIME
Year-end Treasurer’s financial report/statement, annual Internal Financial Review Reports, IRS Form 990s Store in corporate record book, binder, or cloud-based software. At least seven (7) years Consider keeping permanently.
Bank statements, canceled checks, check registers, invoices, receipts, cash tally sheets, investment statements, and related documents Compile & file records on a yearly basis. Store in binder or cloud-based software. Seven (7) Years Store w/financial records. Destroy after seven years.
Treasurer’s reports (monthly) Compile & file records on yearly basis. Store in binder or cloud-based software. Three (3) Years Store w/ financial records. Destroy after three years.

Article VII

Conflicts of Interest

Section 7.01. Existence of Conflict, Disclosure. Directors, officers, employees and contractors of Corporation should refrain from any actions or activities that impair, or appear to impair, their objectivity in the performance of their duties on behalf of the Corporation. A conflict of interest may exist when the direct, personal, financial or other interest(s) of any director, officer, staff member or contractor competes or appears to compete with the interests of the Corporation. If any such conflict of interest arises the interested person shall call it to the attention of the Board of Directors for resolution. If the conflict relates to a matter requiring board action, such person shall not vote on the matter. When there is a doubt as to whether any conflict of interest exists, the matter shall be resolved by a vote of the Board of Directors, excluding the person who is the subject of the possible conflict.

Section 7.02. Nonparticipation in Vote. The person having a conflict shall not participate in the final deliberation or decision regarding the matter under consideration and shall retire from the room in which the Board is meeting. However, the person may be permitted to provide the Board with any and all relevant information.

Section 7.03. Minutes of Meeting. The minutes of the meeting of the Board shall reflect that the conflict was disclosed and the interested person was not present during the final discussion or vote and did not vote on the matter.

Section 7.04. Annual Review. A copy of this conflict of interest statement shall be furnished to each director or officer, employee and/or contractor who is presently serving the Corporation, or who hereafter becomes associated with the Corporation. This policy shall be reviewed annually for information and guidance of directors and officers, staff members and contractors, and new officers and directors, staff members and contractors shall be advised of the policy upon undertaking the duties of their offices.

Article VIII

Indemnification

Every member of the Executive Board, officer or employee of the Corporation may be indemnified by the Corporation against all expenses and liabilities, including counsel fees, reasonably incurred or imposed upon such members of the Board, officer or employee in connection with any threatened, pending, or completed action, suit or proceeding to which she/he may become involved by reason of her/his being or having been a member of the Board, officer, or employee of the Corporation, or any settlement thereof, unless adjudged therein to be liable for negligence or misconduct in the performance of her/his duties. Provided, however, that in the event of a settlement the indemnification herein shall apply only when the Board approves such settlement and reimbursement as being in the best interest of the Corporation. The foregoing right of indemnification shall be in addition and not exclusive of all other rights which such member of the Board, officer or employee is entitled.

Article IX

Amendments

These Bylaws may be amended at any regular or special meeting of the membership by a majority vote of the members present, provided that at least thirty (30) days’ notice of the proposed amendments has been made to the membership, or alternatively the membership waives the required notice.

FEATURED BLOG

Three Questions before any ASK©

Laura Fredricks

Dec 06, 2019

Before you make your best ASK there are three very important questions you need ASK yourself. Think of this exercise as goal setting which many of us do at work and at home. If you never set a goal you never achieve that goal. If you never ASK you never get what you want. 

Setting goals is a must when you need to ASK. Once you set your goals you can filter out all of the unnecessary things that might prevent you from ever making your ASK. For instance, if you keep second guessing why you are asking, instead of what YOU are going to ASK, you never get to the ASK. Setting these goals will keep you focused on what you should be focused on, your ASK. It also makes you more prepared. When you are more prepared you are more confident. When you are more confident your ASK becomes more attractive to the person you want to ASK 

Setting your goals also allows you to set the playing field. In the process of making your ASK, knowing what you need, when you need it, and who you can give it to you prepares you for whatever response you may receive. Setting your goals makes it harder for the person you are ASKing to catch you off guard, change the conversation, or give you a surprise answer. If you go in knowing how to articulate your own needs, you’ll always be in control of exactly what you will say. 

Knowing EXACTLY what you want to say and practicing your ASK words will ease your tension and anxiety that can come up when you ASK. It will help you feel more confident about how the conversation will go because you have prepared the conversation. Anxiety is known as the “fear of the unknown,” and if you’re ever anxious before making a huge pitch, it’s because you’re afraid of how it might go. We can easily do away with those fears if you just take a few minutes to ask yourself and answer the following questions. 

Ask yourself these questions before making any ASK to ensure your success: 

1) What do you want? 

Be specific, and keep it brief. If you are ASKing for money, then you need a specific amount. There is a world of difference between ASKing for “an increase” and ASKing for “$10,000.” When you make any ASK you need to have a crystal clear idea of exactly what you want. This is your first simple goal. Don’t over complicate it. Don’t over explain it to yourself in your head. If you are ASKing someone to do something for you, such as pick you daughter up after school then just ASK “Can you pick up Chrissy today after school at 3:00 pm this would be so helpful to me?”  Most of us overcomplicate the ASK by going into extraneous details about why you can’t do it, how you are overworked, overburdened, and how your schedule is overwhelming. Finding the right balance between specificity and brevity is important. You want to be specific enough that it is a concrete goal, but keep it simple enough so it is attainable and you do not get lost in extra details. 

2) When do you want it? 

Know the specific time or date of your ASK. There is a HUGE difference between “I’d love you to consider this by next week” and “Can I call you next Tuesday at 10 am so that we can go over the details and sign the agreement?”  This is your second simple goal. You should have absolute certainty that your ASK contains the exact time frame that you want your ASK to come to a conclusion. If you don’t I assure you that a week will turn into a month. A month will turn into two or three months and now your ASK is so old the person has forgotten what you ASKed. You might get what you ASKed for, but you might not get it at the time you wanted it. By laying out the specific time frame of when you want it you make time WORK for you not against you. 

3) Who can give it to you? 

This third simple goal is so important and is over looked so many times. This goal requires you to write down in priority order who you have the best chance with ASKing and getting exactly what you want. Sure, many of us make a list or have it in or heads of who we would like to ASK, who we should Ask but are those people the right people to ASK? By right I mean are they the ones who know and trust you the best and have the means and inclination to say yes? So many times we go to the people who we assume are the easy ones such as the ones who won’t be confrontational or the ones who have said yes before. They may be on your list but when you ASK the order in which you ASK is VERY important. If you need money for a start-up project you should go to the person who could give you the largest amount first, who knows and trust you, and has the means to do so. If you ASK this person half-way through your fundraising I guarantee they will give you a lesser amount because they were not ASKed first. You actually do this every day without recognizing that you do. When you are unhappy with a purchase or frustrated with a service what do you do? You ASK to speak to the manager. You don’t waste time speaking to people who work for the manager because they do not have the power to fix it. The manager does. So when you ASK for what appears to be “larger” things, and often they involve money, remember your third goal – ASK people in priority order who can give you exactly what you want.

The easiest way to get and keep tax-exempt status

Mountains