A By-laws Checklist

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Q. At minimum, what should a comprehensive Not-for-Profit bylaws look like?

A. Non-Profit By-laws should cover the following:

  • The organization’s purpose
  •  A description of the membership
  •  A description of the board composition and governance structure
  •  Location of head office
  •  Terms of office for board members
  •  Number of meetings held by the board, including Annual General Meetings
  •  Special meetings and in-camera meetings
  •  The number and a brief description of any standing committees and the process for appointing a committee chairperson
  •  Description, title and responsibilities of Executive Directors (if applicable)
  •  The election and voting process
  •  Details about quorum
  •  Filling board vacancies
  • Removal of directors
  •  Senior staff positions
  •  Making amendments to bylaws
  •  Required reports and legal filings
  •  Charitable status
  •  Details about fiscal year
  •  Bank accounts, financial obligations, funders
  •  Conflict of interest
  •  Indemnification
  •  Disbanding the organization and disbursement of funds and capital assets

The Muttart Foundation has an excellent resource on drafting and revising bylaws: www.muttart.org/sites/default/files/downloads/publications/drafting_revising.pdf

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