Are you giving your nonprofit bylaws the attention they demand?

Most nonprofits begin their existence by filing articles of incorporation with the state. Another critical step is to draft an initial set of bylaws to establish key governance rules. Founding board members often get bogged down in drafting the initial nonprofit bylaws, struggling to get the first set perfect and to cover every conceivable issue that might arise in the future. Or they blindly borrow a bylaws example, even though it may not fit their needs. A more helpful approach is to start with very basic bylaws that cover major issues surrounding meetings and elections and then gradually amend those bylaws over time as the nonprofit matures and as new governance issues arise that were not clearly covered by the initial bylaws.

Better Bylaws: Creating Effective Rules for Your Nonprofit Board will help you draft workable rules. It includes

  • an overview of the issues and areas bylaws should address
  • examples illustrating the relationship between state laws and bylaws
  • samples that can be used as a starting point or to revise existing clauses
  • helpful advice on how to choose among alternative bylaws provisions
  • instructions on how to amend bylaws

In addition, the accompanying downloadable content provides bylaws templates and sample policies appropriate for most nonprofit organizations. This material can be customized.

Carefully crafted bylaws and adherence to them can help ensure the fairness of your board decisions and provide protection against legal challenges. Isn’t it time to give your nonprofit bylaws the attention they demand?

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