Why should our club have bylaws?
There are three good reasons why clubs should have bylaws: 1) they convey to volunteers what is expected of Board Members and how long they’ll be expected to serve in their roles as club leaders; 2) they legitimize that Board members are working in an official capacity for the club, which will be helpful in the event that someone is injured at a club event which may result in lawsuits filed against the club, its members, and/or the AAUM and 3) they provide clubs with a “road map” for conducting business.
If our club has its own 501(c)(3) designation, are there additional requirements that are not be in these model bylaws?
If your club has its own 501(c)(3) designation we suggest a review of your club’s bylaws by someone who is knowledgeable about Internal Revenue Code Sec. 501(c)(3) to assure they are in compliance with laws, rules and regulations governing non-profit organizations.
If our bylaws state that we need a quorum to make decisions, what do we do if a Board member rarely shows up for a meetings?
Not having a quorum at a meeting can impact making decisions in a timely matter. It’s important that the Board is in agreement as to what “regular” attendance at Board meetings means and that the nominating committee communicates this expectation to applicants they’re interviewing for Board positions.
We’ve never had term limits before and don’t want everyone to leave the Board at the same time, so how do we institute term limits and still have continuity on the board?
The first time you set term limits you can stagger term expiration dates so they don’t all end at the same time. For instance, if your bylaws say that a Board member can serve two three-year terms, initially one third of the Board members would actually serve a one-year term, one third of the Board members a two-year term, and the remaining third a three-year term. The easiest way to “assign” the staggered terms is to have a drawing. If a Board member draws a one-year term, they’d be eligible to serve a one-year term followed by two complete three-year terms for a total of seven years on the Board. If a Board member draws a two-year term, they’d be eligible to serve a two-year term followed by two complete three-year terms for a total of eight years on the Board.
We have a long-term president who’s knowledge we don’t want to lose. What should that person’s role with the Board be once they are no longer the president?
Some clubs, but not all, have a defined role for the immediate past president written into their bylaws. If the immediate past president has served the maximum number of years that Board members can serve when his/her presidency ends, an exception can be written into the club bylaws allowing him/her to remain on the Board, usually for no more than one year. In this case the Immediate Past President would serve in an advisory capacity to the Board and participate as needed. If the Immediate Past President has not served the maximum number of years a Board member can serve, he/she can continue to serve as a regular Board member with voting privileges until he/she has reached the maximum number of years that a Board member can serve.