A golden gavel

501(c) Sample Bylaws



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


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


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:

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


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


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.


Women in Philanthropy (5 Easy Tips to Do It Smartly)

Sandra Pfau Englund

Oct 11, 2019

An excellent opportunity exists for nonprofit leaders to attract women in philanthropy to their cause. Recently, Boston Consulting Group reported the money controlled by women will reach $72 trillion in 2020. That's 32 percent of total wealth! And, the reporting also said that most wealth will go to women. Thus, as the nonprofit sector changes, one of the reasons is because of women. But, as with any donor group, you have to attract them smartly.

On female donors, Fidelity Charitable published an excellent report. The Women and Giving: The impact of generation and gender on philanthropy reported.

  • 72 percent of Boomer and 55 percent of Millennial women report giving satisfaction.
  • Female donors have a "social approach" for giving. In other words, three-quarters of women give with their hearts.
  • Female donors promote giving with friends, partners, and families.
  • Boomers prefer traditional ways of giving. And, Millennials are open to trying crowdfunding, for example.
  • Women who give to charity are more "engaged and empathetic."
  • Female donors seek expert advice when deciding on charity.
  • Women have a higher likelihood to question finances in giving than men. Meaning, they want advice on taxes or how giving will impact their finances.

All this points to an excellent chance for nonprofit leaders to build relationships with women. And, with a consistent effort, charities or people that seek to start a nonprofit can increase female involvement. In turn, it will help your group grow.

How nonprofits can include women in leadership

The first place that nonprofits can look to add women in philanthropy is in their teams. So, ensure you promote gender equality in your group. By doing so, you'll make it clear to female donors that you care about them. If women and men equally represent your team, then keep going and doing what you're doing. But, don't forget to also look at your management team. You want to make sure that there is gender equality there as well.

Also, when you recruit people into your team, do it blindly. Meaning, in today's world, smart groups practice blind recruiting. As well, make it a point to have written harassment and discrimination policies. Doing these things will help you ensure that your group is walking the walk. In sum, a gender-equal team will encourage female donors to give to you.

5 Tips to Get Women Involved In Your Cause

Once you've got your house in order, focus on female donors and getting them engaged with your cause. We have several ideas to share with you. 

1) Recruit female donors onto your board

If you seek to increase giving by women, then you have to begin with leadership positions. As you did with your team, look at the number of women on your board. Take the time to work with the nominating committee to ensure gender diversity. Also, get equal representation of race, religion, sexual orientation, etc. Diversity is an excellent thing for any group. Simply, diversity and inclusiveness expand your base of support.

2) Show women in philanthropy what you do

Typically, when men give to charity, they seek performance and metrics. But, female donors bring a more heart-based approach to giving. Thus, remember that women want to know about the good that their donations will do. It's common in nonprofits to tour major donors and provide them an understanding of the work. This is something that can also happen with any donor who gives whatever amount. So, use digital (e.g., live streaming) and real-world techniques to show your programs, especially to female donors.

3) Remember that women care about their finances

When you're dealing with female donors, remember they care about their finances. As a result, when they give major gifts, they will likely speak to their legal or financial advisor. Many charitable vehicles exist that could benefit the donor and your charity. If you don't have someone with technical expertise on charitable giving (e.g., gift planning), hire a consultant. Doing so will ensure that you can get high-level gifts for your nonprofit.

4) Create social opportunities for women

Since female donors are more social, create ways for them to get involved in your cause socially. As reported by Fidelity Charitable, women want more engagement. There are several ways you can get women engaged with your group. First, make sure that women represent your board equally. Also, develop volunteer opportunities where women will experience the work. Finally, create social events where women will share their experiences. For instance, consider donor receptions, live streams, or community service events.

5) Women are not all the same

Don't treat all women in the same manner. Just as you personalize your message to different groups, remember that women are different from each other. As noted above, Boomers tend to use traditional methods for giving. Millennials have a higher chance to give to a crowdfunding fundraiser..... Women involved in religious groups give differently than non-religious ones. So, take the time to understand how women give to charity.

Finally, as a nonprofit leader don't only focus on major gift female donors. Most women are not millionaires or billionaires. But, that doesn't mean that they can't support your group. For instance, when you review your data to pick up giving patterns, take a look at lifetime giving. You will find female donors who support your cause with many small gifts. That's a clue to you that you should increase your engagement with them. In sum, take a thoughtful approach toward getting more women involved. When you do so, you'll see higher results in your nonprofit.

The easiest way to get and keep tax-exempt status