Bylaws are designed to help the group function in an orderly manner. A copy of each organizations Bylaw should be provided to all officers and board members. Each member should be responsible for making a thorough study of them. A copy of the bylaws should be made available to any member of the association upon request.
If a unit cannot locate the bylaws, a committee should be appointed by the president and chaired by the parliamentarian. Standard bylaws should be obtained from the state office for a nominal fee. Standard bylaws are sometimes pre-printed and provide blank spaces to fill in according to an organization’s needs, but generally bylaws are written with each specific organization in mind.
Bylaws should be reviewed every year. Appoint a small committee with the parliamentarian as chairman to study them, make recommendations, and forward through channels to the organization voting membership. Generally, changing bylaws requires a 2/3 majority vote passed in order to become adopt.
Whenever members are required or permitted to take any action at a meeting, a written notice of the meeting shall be given, not less than 10 days nor more than 90 days before the date of the meeting, to each member, who on the recorded date for the notice of the meeting, is entitled to vote at such meeting.
Standing rule outlines the procedures of the organization that are not included in the bylaws and must not conflict with the bylaws. Some examples of the differences are:
- Bylaws state when the meetings of the association and executive board are held.
- Standing Rules tell where and what time these meetings are held.
- Bylaws give the primary responsibilities of officers and chairmen.
- Standing Rules give the specifics.
If the Bylaws state that the first vice president is responsible for the program, the Standing Rules would list the various chairmen, who work with the vice president under the first vice presidents title, such as program, Founders Day, Honorary Service Award, hospitality, refreshments, and program booklet.
If the organization has supplies and/or equipment, the Standing Rules would state who is responsible for them and where they would be kept.
Standing Rules might also list:
- Who has the responsibility for securing the outgoing president’s pin and its inscription.
- If there is to be an installation of officers, who is responsible for selecting the installing officers and when the installation should take place.
In short, Bylaws are hard and fast rules that may be amended only with prior notice to the membership.
Standing rules are the details of regular work that may be changed from administration to administration or from meeting to meeting. They generally require a two-thirds (2/3rd) majority vote without notice and a majority vote with 30 days notice to adopt or amend.