Bylaws of any group are just like the rules in a game.
- They tell you how many players—or board members—you can have,
- what each one may do and
- under what circumstances they may—or must—do other things.
If you can’t understand the rules, you can’t use them.
And your bylaws can be very useful!
Bylaws determine the organization’s structure. They lay out the rights of participants in the organization. They determine the procedures by which those rights can be exercised.
The more people who understand what’s in the bylaws, the smoother your organization will run.
Don’t put off starting this task because you are afraid of the unknown.
You can fix the bylaws of your organization!
FixMyBylaws can help.Revising the bylaws is not quick work. But if you together with people who have a commitment to the organization. Plan some time to do the work. You can be successful.
You just need a system of plain English questions to help you rebuild your bylaws painlessly, but more importantly, in a way that will result in a document your organization can use to efficiently guide its future.
My system is not a template filled with legalize. It will help your committee draw up a document that will support your organization in its growth.
Read this short article, “Taming the Bylaws Monster: an overview to the process of revising the bylaws of a nonprofit organization.”
If you’re starting on your own project right now, “Taming the Bylaws Monster” will give you an idea of how to get started. It will get you started thinking about:
- How term limits might be affecting your board and
- Whether your quorum is the right one for you.
- How will the proposed changes affect other structures in the organization?
Don’t wait to get started.
Bylaws never fix themselves. In fact, in my experience, the project gets more complicated the longer you wait to attack it.
Why am I making this information available for FREE?
A couple of years ago, I stumbled into the position you’re probably in now. The bylaws of my organization’s local chapter needed to be revised to include specific regulations imposed by the national board. I stumbled through that process. I made some mistakes. But I learned a lot. And I found myself in the interesting position of being the person with the most knowledge about how the organization was supposed to run.
Within a year, I found I had been part of two other organizations’ bylaws evaluations and part of the construction of bylaws for two band new national organizations.
That’s when I developed and began testing “Bylaws from Scratch: 76 plain English questions to build a new nonprofit organization from the ground up.”
Now I have developed a similar system for revising the bylaws of existing nonprofit organizations.
Here’s the key secret:
Start the process in your own language not with a template or form.
Look, I was a math major in college. Nobody could have told me that bylaws could be even just interesting. But I have found absolutely fascinating these documents and what they say about the organization’s leadership — or at least about who ever revised them last.