Bylaw Changes In Membership Organizations
Posted on May 12, 2016 by Membership Space
Categories: Membership
As a member of a membership organization it is important to know the bylaws and how they benefit the members. Bylaws are the rules and guidelines for how the organization is to operate and the structure of the leadership roles. Bylaws also provide specifics for making changes to the bylaws.
It is important that the bylaws and all other established rules are accessible by the members. Members most often reference the bylaws when there are questions regarding leadership responsibilities, voting rights and representation at meetings. The membership organization's website is the perfect place to provide this information.  
Making Changes To The Membership's Bylaws
Members may or may not agree with the wording in the membership's bylaws. Even when there are negative reactions to the bylaws, it is important that the board continues to follow the wording. Otherwise, accountability and trust within the organization will break down.
Bylaws should not be considered to be set in stone. Organizational needs and industry trends will result in the bylaws needing updated to effectively address the needs of the members. The board should periodically review the bylaws and seek input from the other members regarding when and if the wording is needing changed.
Assigning a Project Champion
Requests to change the bylaws can also be initiated from the members. The most vocal member wanting the wording changed should be strongly encouraged to become the project champion. This will place the person in charge of determining the new wording, following the process outlined in the bylaws and getting the required number of members to agree with the new wording. This will also prevent the person from complaining about how the board is handling the change request.
The board will also need to work with the project champion to determine if the project is worthy of the legal expense to change the bylaws. When the changes are proposed to the members, it is important to explain both the pros and the cons for the change so that members cannot later claim they did not have all of the facts when they voted. Membership management software is a good tool to help the board communicate the project to the members and conduct online voting.

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