Examples of nonprofit organizations constitution can provide a thorough understanding of how businesses are supposed to operate. The constitution, much like a set of bylaws, outlines the rules the board of directors must follow. It also details the duties and restrictions of the organization's officers and board members.

Unlike bylaws, however, the constitution will typically explain the belief system of the organization, and it will outline the company's guiding principles along with its moral direction. Because of this aspect of constitutions, you will not normally find them among for-profit companies. In fact, these constitutions are generally only seen among religious and charity-oriented nonprofit entities.

How to Prepare for the Composition of Your Constitution

It is extremely helpful to review other nonprofits in your area for suggestions on how to compose your own constitution. Ideally, these entities will be in your same county and state. Additionally, they will have the same focus or purpose as your company. By contacting such nonprofits, you can introduce yourself as a representative of a similar organization and request to see a copy of their constitution. Let them know you are looking for a constitution to study so you can create your own.

There is not much competition among nonprofit entities, which is why many of them will be more than willing to provide you with a copy of their constitution. They may even be willing to help you prepare your own.

Segments to Include in a Constitution

Once you are ready to start preparing your own constitution, you will need to be in a setting where you can keep information very organized. The constitution itself is going to serve as a legal document, and there are several areas it will need to cover. These include:

  • Name and address of the organization
  • The purpose of the organization
  • Any stipulations that impact membership
  • A statement of binding authority
  • Description of how the entity's assets, if there are any, will be dissolved once the operational life of the organization has come to an end
  • Steps that must be taken to amend the constitution

Prepare the Actual Constitution

From the information you have compiled, create a list of the required elements you are going to include in the constitution. If preferred, you can include additional areas that detail information you believe is relevant to your particular organization. For example, if you are organizing a religious institution, you may want to include a segment that outlines the key articles of the institution's faith.

Specify the name of your organization: Informal groups that wish to adopt a constitution already in place to serve as their guide for operating will need to choose a name that is reasonably unique. For those who are incorporating a nonprofit organization, an official name will need to be registered. In addition, you can choose a doing business as name.

Detail the mission and goals of the organization: This should include listing any broad objectives the organization has, as well as any activities that may take place that speak to the growth of the organization's operational processes.

Explain why the organization exists: You will want to include facts and statistics outlining why the charity should exist. You can include bullet points to outline how your organization is going to meet your objectives. All key information should be included, such as where activities will take place. End this section with a brief summary of why the organization is being created.

Describe membership details of the organization: This is where you explain who your members are, including what their character traits are. It will also explain how people can become members. If there are any approval processes taking place, you will need to outline them here. Also, make sure to explain any factors that can disqualify a person from being a member.

Show the structure of the board of directors as well as the positions of any officers who help manage the organization: Here you will detail how officers are chosen and what powers they have the right to exercise. Also, include how long officers stay in office and provide details as to how they can be removed from their positions and replaced with new officers.

Provide details relating to meetings: Outline how many meetings are going to take place and outline which members are required to be present. You will also include details outlining how the meetings will take place, such as rules of order.

If you have questions regarding how to develop a constitution for nonprofit organizations, post your legal need on UpCounsel today.