SCBNA members: your vote needed on bylaws revisions!

The bylaws of the SCB North America Section have been updated and approved by the SCBNA Board of Directors in March. In order for these changes to take effect, they must be voted on by the membership. To do so, please visit the SCB website (www.conbio.org) and log in to your member homepage. In the blue box on top of the page you will see a link to the voting page. The voting page will have more information of the proposed changes and rationale. Please cast your vote before 1 August 2016.

Why do SCBNA’s bylaws need to be amended?

Bylaws are the legally binding rules that outline how the board of a nonprofit will operate. Carefully crafted bylaws and adherence to them can help ensure the fairness of board decisions. They can protect the organization from potential problems by clearly outlining rules around procedures, rights, and powers. SCBNA creates bylaws at the time the organization was established in 2002. The board of a non-profit should regularly review the bylaws to ensure that they accurately reflect how the organization works. The board periodically amends the bylaws to ensure that they remain relevant. When amending its bylaws, SCBNA follows a two-stage process: the board first approves any amendments to the bylaws, and then the amendments must be approved by the membership.

SCBNA’s bylaws have not been revised since 2004, shortly after SCBNA was first established (see attached copy of 2004 bylaws). In March 2016, the SCBNA board voted unanimously to approve changes to the bylaws and place these changes before the membership for a vote. These changes were necessary due to several factors. Firstly, several aspects of how SCBNA currently operates (such as the existence of a Chapters Representative and a Policy Committee) are not reflected in the 2004 bylaws. Additionally, recent revisions of the SCB-Global bylaws in conjunction with a governance reform process have suggested bylaws revisions that may be beneficial for SCBNA as well, in that they would strengthen the capacity of SCBNA’s board to achieve its mission. This includes changes such as establishment of vice-president positions to manage specific committees. Lastly, SCB-global now allows regional sections to incorporate as SCB affiliates (with their own non-profit status) in order to increase their ability to manage staff, finances, and long-term strategic planning. SCB-Oceania and SCBNA are the first 2 sections to incorporate under the new affiliation policy. The IRS requires organizations seeking non-profit status to include certain standard clauses in their bylaws.

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