What are some guidelines for writing bylaws?


Quick Answer

Bylaws should describe an organization's purpose and name, membership details, officer duties and responsibilities, meeting guidelines and information about the board of directors, according to the University of Kansas' Community Tool Box. Other suggestions for writing bylaws include starting with a rough outline, checking the bylaws of similar organizations, and determining how they are approved.

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Full Answer

Bylaws begin by stating the official name of the organization and declaring its function, explains Community Tool Box. Bylaws clearly set forth information about members, such as requirements for joining, necessary fees and situations that might cause membership revocation. Details regarding the roles of officers, including how they're elected and the amount of authority each has, ensure an organization's steady governance. A section about meetings should specify when they're held, who attends and rules for conducting them. Organizations that utilize a board of directors include a section in the bylaws describing the number of members, their necessary qualifications and their powers.

Organizations usually format bylaws as an outline, using headings such as articles and sections, notes Community Tool Box. Checking the bylaws of similar organizations provides useful insights and suggestions, and the use of a template facilitates the composition process. Before writing a set of bylaws, members of an organization decide if they are to be written by individuals or committees and whether a unanimous vote is required to adopt them.

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