Every non-profit corporation has to act according to its bylaws. The bylaws are a set of rules (based off the applicable laws in your state) that govern how the non-profit is to be run. The bylaws provide guidance to the board of directors and can help when operational questions arise. The bylaw committee is responsible for all issues and questions related to these rules.
Creation of bylaws
One of the most important things that the bylaw committee does is the actual creation of bylaws. This should happen fairly early in the operation of the non-profit company. The committee should be made of board members who have knowledge of non-profit laws in the state and the ability to research those laws in the event any questions arise. This group comes together and creates everything that relates to the operation of the company, from the election of officers to how much power committees have. They then have to present the bylaws to the general membership so they can be voted on and approved.
Oversee the Bylaws
As the non-profit begins its day-to day operations, this committee is responsible for making sure that all rules in the bylaws are being followed. This oversight usually comes in the form of an operational question which is raised in a Board of Directors meeting. A member of the committee should attend all meetings to answer any questions that have come up. Also, the committee is present to give guidance to the Board of Directors to ensure that any new business is conducted according to the bylaws, and all votes that take place are done in accordance with the voting regulations that have been established.
As a business grows and changes, there may be a need for the bylaws to be expanded and changed. Periodically, the bylaws committee gets together to review the existing bylaws to ensure changes do not need to be made. Also, the Board of Directors may wish to amend the bylaws in some way, a task that is assigned to the bylaws committee. When that happens, the committee should meet to discuss the proposed changes, make sure they do not go against the laws of the state and then figure out how to incorporate them into the existing bylaw framework (which isn’t always possible). Once the bylaws have been changed, the committee is then tasked with presenting them to the membership once again for an approval vote.
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