Five drafting tips to avoid pile-ons at a members’ meeting

Let’s not pretend. No one joins a society because they enjoy fighting with other members. Litigation is expensive, time-consuming, and generally unpleasant for all involved. Often these disputes start because of “meeting stacking”: where a certain group signs-on a bunch of members who change the organization in some fundamental way, which other members disagree with. Here are five bylaw drafting and governance tips to avoid issues with meeting stacking.

Can a society’s provisions still be “unalterable”?

As of November 28, 2016, a constitution may only contain a society’s purposes, and no provision in a society’s bylaws can be “unalterable.” While this is good news for many societies which have to adapt their bylaws or purposes to accept specific gifts or govern themselves as time goes on, some are concerned that they will be vulnerable to straying from their key values or obligations. Others have external funding agreements which are dependent on such provisions. However, there are ways to protect a society’s key values, purposes, and funding agreements so they are…