Significant Changes to Washington Nonprofit Corporation Law

Guest article by Matthew J. Schafer, PRP Many organizations are incorporated in Washington State under the Washington Nonprofit Corporation Act. (This article will refer to this law as “the Act”.) During the 2021 session, the legislature repealed the existing Act and replaced it with a new one. These are some of the most important changes…

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Why bylaws?

Guest article by Ted Weisgal Are bylaws the be-all and end-all of organizational development? If you create good ones will a flourishing organization be the natural outcome? Probably not. Good bylaws are critically important, but you should also have: A mission that resonates with people, Orderly meetings, Members who are reliable, Agendas that justify people’s…

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What does it look like if the chair is being a bully?

Guest post by Nicole Schenk Do you suspect that your chair is being a bully? Essentially, this occurs when the chair is not doing their duty to protect the rights of members during meetings, and allows their own personal beliefs or preferences to override their commitment to their duties as chair (or president or mayor—whoever…

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Unanimous written consent in lieu of a meeting

One of the useful techniques to add to your voting toolkit is “unanimous written consent in lieu of a meeting.” If allowed by state law, you can use this approach when it’s not feasible to hold a live board meeting. In order to do this, prepare a written motion proposing the action that you would…

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When can you bring up a new topic during a meeting?

At a recent council meeting I attended, the city issued a proclamation honoring efforts to assist the homeless. In responding to the proclamation, a local pastor asked the council to provide extra funding for their project. Before the mayor could move on to public comment, a council member made a motion to provide the funding.…

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When and how can you change your vote?

A reader contacted us with some concern because a member of her local government body had changed their vote in order to be able to move reconsideration at the next meeting. Was this legitimate? A note about “reconsideration” First off, readers should know that ordinarily, the motion “to reconsider” can be made only during the…

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Hostages of her ranting

Dear Dinosaur: One board member was dissatisfied with the way the bylaws amendment process was handled. At the membership meeting, she proceeded to monopolize the meeting and refused to stop having the conversation. So we were all hostages of her ranting. Is there anything to do? Answer: At a meeting, a member of an organization has…

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Are your meetings seven hours long?

  This strange time of COVID-19 is producing some strange situations. We hear reports of local government meetings lasting far into the night, in some cases taking as long as 7 hours. (See this article about San Jose California). Does this happen to you? Are your meetings too long? If yes, what can be done…

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How disagreeable are your meetings? Take our survey

We had some wild stories at our webinar on “difficult board chair or member.” One person commented, “Seems like Zoom makes all interactions tougher and bolder.” While the norm has not descended to the level of the Handforth Parish Council (see this internet sensation here, or search for “Jackie Weaver”), clearly many meetings are problematic.…

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