National Association of the Deaf

Guidelines on Writing Bylaws Amendment Proposals



These guidelines provide the basics on how to write a successful bylaws amendment proposals.

As author, you must either be an individual NAD member in good standing, or an official representative of your state association or organization that is a NAD affiliate member in good standing.

Also, you are responsible for making sure your Proposed Bylaws Amendment Form is worded so that your proposal is clear, concise, and complete before you send in your submission.  Deadline: Thursday, May 6, 2010. Late submissions will not be accepted.

Bylaws Amendment Format

Each proposed amendment has four parts:

  • Article and Section
  • Section Exactly As Worded
  • Proposed Bylaws Amendment
  • Rationale

 Article and Section

  • Specify which 2004 NAD Bylaws article and section (number and title) you wish to amend. Important note: please use only ONE form for each amendment proposal.

 Section as Exactly Worded

  • Insert the 2004 Bylaws section that you wish to amend – that is, insert the current text of the section as it is exactly worded.

 Proposed Bylaws Amendment

  • Write your proposed bylaws amendment (clear, straightforward, and specific focus), explaining what you wish to add, delete, or substitute. See examples below.
    Make sure the proposal can easily be understood and replied to with a vote of, “Yes, I am in favor of this amendment,” or, “No, I am opposed to this amendment.”
    Do research in advance on your proposal. Was this addressed by the NAD in the past, or is this something the NAD is already doing? Is your proposal forward-looking? (Check online documents, e.g., NAD Bylaws, 2006 NAD Priorities, as well as those listed under 2008 NAD Conference business).

 Rationale

  • Clearly explain the rationale for your proposed amendment – that is, briefly state the reason why you believe your proposal is worth considering.
  • For instance, why is your proposal of organizational significance? How will it impact or improve the NAD infrastructure including its governance system?

 Summary

  • Keep in mind the three C’s for successful bylaws amendment writing: Make sure your proposal is clear, concise, and complete


Sample Proposals

Example #1

Article and Title: Article III, Section 2 Officers

Currently Reads As: “The officers of this Association shall consist of a President, a First Vice President, a Second Vice President, a Third Vice President, a Secretary, and a Treasurer.”

Proposed Amendment: Delete “a Third Vice President”

Rationale: To reduce the number of Board officers.

Example #2

Article and Title: Article V, Section I Board of Directors

Currently Reads As: “The Board of Directors shall meet four times a year.”

Proposed Amendment: Change “four times a year” to “six times a year”

Rationale: Increase the number of meetings to facilitate Board decision making.

Example #3

Article and Title: Article V Board of Directors

Currently Reads As: N/A

Proposed Amendment: Add a new section to Article V, “The Board of Directors shall serve no more than three consecutive terms.”

Rationale: Require term limits for elected Board members.