Getting Organized
Bylaws: Structure & Samples

bylaws imageAfter stating the goals and objectives of your organization in your mission statement the constitution and bylaws of a community theatre should spell out carefully-determined specifics. While basic operating rules and organizational structure should be defined, enough flexibility should be provided to accommodate changes and future developments.

It is possible to conduct an organization without any official constitution or bylaws. However, if you wish to qualify as a charitable, educational and/or nonprofit entity, you will need bylaws.

We have provided sample bylaws in several different styles, depending on the size of the company, and how detailed you feel your bylaws should be. You may also find it useful to blend components from more than one set into your own.

Bylaws for a typical community theatre often include the following:
1. General
  • Name and location
  • Preamble
  • Legal counsel
  • Bookkeeping and audit procedures
  • Corporate status
  • Amendment and repeal procedures
  • Rules of procedure

2. Officers and Board of Directors

  • Election procedures
  • Terms of office
  • Powers
  • Duties
  • Replacement during absences and vacancies
  • Indemnification

3. Members

  • Definitions of
  • Types of
  • Dues
  • Obligations
  • Powers
  • Privileges
4. Meetings
  • Annual membership meetings
  • Special membership meetings
  • Board Meetings
  • Purposes of
  • Quorum requirements
  • Advance notice for
  • Order of business
  • Time and place requirements, if any

5. Committees

  • Standing committees
  • Types and purposes of
  • Membership of
  • Quorum requirements
  • Chairmanship of
  • Membership change in committees
  • Appointment or election to
  • Powers of
  • Duties of

6. Amendments

Sample Bylaws

A text version of each example may be downloaded for editing on your computer. Note that different styles and wording may be needed in different states. If you plan to incorporate as a nonprofit/charitable entity, it's wise to consult your state attorney general's office, or whichever state department has oversight over nonprofit organizations.



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