Bylaws are rules that govern an organization's actions. They help those who manage the organization work effectively and efficiently and are used for decision making and to delegate authority.
Bylaws should address basic activities, such as:
- governance (e.g., whether the organization is controlled by a board or by its membership)
- board meetings (e.g., when and how they will be held and conducted)
- elections (e.g., how board directors and officers will be appointed or elected)
- nominations and voting procedures (e.g., what constitutes a quorum)
- committee structuring (e.g., how committees are created and discontinued)
- board structuring (e.g., the number of directors on the board, their required qualifications, and their terms of service)
- amending the bylaws
Unlike policies and procedures, which can easily be updated or removed, bylaws are difficult to change. ACLP's bylaws stipulate that any amendment to the bylaws requires a membership vote and a two-thirds majority vote in favor of the amendment.