Non-profit bylaws contain the guidelines and instructions for way a non-profit organization can conduct their affairs. They also provide guidance to the nonprofit’s board of directors and management personnel. The bylaws therefore can serve as a reference throughout the duration of the nonprofit’s existence, and can help to avoid and remedy organizational conflicts.
Non profit bylaws shouldn’t contain any provisions or clauses that are in disagreement with the organization’s articles of incorporation, or with state and federal laws.
A non profit organization’s bylaws should include basic information such as:
The bylaws can also include other, more specific issues such as suspension or termination of various members, classes of membership in the organization, what to do in the event of a non-profit contract dispute, and rights of individual members. These can be tailored to each individual non-profit, but they should not be in conflict with other organizational documents and policies.
Some common mistakes associated with nonprofit bylaws can include:
As you can tell, careful planning is necessary when instituting the organization’s bylaws. These should be regularly updated so as to avoid legal conflicts.
Drafting a non-profit’s bylaws usually requires the assistance and guidance of a lawyer. You may need to hire a lawyer if you need help drafting or reviewing your organization’s bylaws. A qualified lawyer in your area can provide you with legal advice to ensure that your bylaws are clearly drafted. Also, in the event of legal dispute, your attorney can help you file a lawsuit if needed.
Last Modified: 04-22-2013 04:03 PM PDTLaw Library Disclaimer
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