There are several things to consider when forming a nonprofit organization. One of the most important items to draft is the entity’s bylaws, which outline the organization’s purpose, structure, size and membership, among other elements.
The bylaws should include the organization’s name, a statement about its purpose, and its legal structure. It should outline how a person can become a member as well as member rights and responsibilities.
Bylaws should include the titles and roles of officers, how they are elected or appointed, their duties and responsibilities, as well as how long they can serve. Similarly, the bylaws should explain the roles and responsibilities of its board members, how they are removed if necessary and how vacancies are filled.
It’s helpful to include information about meetings, the voting process, how financial matters are addressed and how conflicts of interests will be managed. Because the organization may change over time, it may also be useful to include a process for amending the bylaws and how the organization will be dissolved.
There are also several elements to consider when choosing the nonprofit organization’s membership. It’s important to attract new members and retain existing ones, while keeping them engaged. Otherwise, the organization can fall apart over time.
Nonprofits should ensure the organization includes a diverse population of members, maintain strong communication with their members about how decisions are made, and have transparent leadership.
It may also be helpful to notify the members of how leadership responsibilities will be transferred if the structure of the nonprofit changes.