Bylaws FAQs

1.    Why not have both a Constitution and Bylaws?

It is the recommended practice that all of an organization’s rules be placed in a single document—bylaws—to make it more “user-friendly.” This way all of the rules regarding officers, boards, committees, etc., are placed in one location, making it easier to find and remember them.

2.    Why does the purpose have to be so lengthy and include such detailed explanations about IRS?

This extensive purpose is necessary if the local association has or would like to receive 501 (c)(3) status under the MTNA group exemption as an affiliate organization. It is best to use this legal language to avoid any misunderstanding. 

3.    Why aren’t dues amounts included in the Bylaws?

Bylaws are the governing document of an organization and as such, should not contain information that may change on a yearly or bi-annual basis. Dues amounts and event fee amounts should be placed in Standing Rules, which can be changed more readily.

4.    Why are the duties of officers so vague? Shouldn’t they include specific duties?

The Bylaws need to be a flexible document that does not have to be amended or changed on a yearly basis. The listing of broad duties allows for the organization to utilize the talents of its members to the best advantage and to allow for growth and development. Specific duties can be listed in an Officers Handbook.

5.    Why do we need to have a President-elect?

The position of president-elect provides for member training to fulfill the role of president, and for continuity in the leadership of the organization.

6.    Can we hold board meetings by conference telephone call or vote by e-mail?

Board meetings by conference telephone call may only be held if the bylaws specifically authorize it. A vote by e-mail is only allowed if stated in the bylaws and must be a unanimous vote since the board members could not debate the motion.

7.    Why do we have to have a parliamentary authority?

Parliamentary law was developed to protect the rights of all members within an organization. It enables the members to establish and empower the leadership as it wishes and yet retain an appropriate amount of control over the organization