Follow Us


  • April 10, 2020 11:02 AM | Anonymous

    By Anna Jovel
    SOS Account Executive
    About Anna

    Whew… It’s been a quite a whirlwind the last couple of weeks. Many people’s lives have been turned upside down since the start of the COVID-19 spread. There is worry about loved ones becoming at risk, travel bans put in place, a lack of toilet paper, and as many of you are experiencing, the need to work from home.

    How’s it going? Have you changed out of your pajamas yet? Personally, I don’t mind working from home. I actually get A LOT done. But I think part of my problem with working from home is that there is no separation of work time versus home time so my reaction is just to be in work mode, all the time. As you can imagine, the “work all the time mindset” can definitely cause some stress. Have kiddos that are stuck at home too? Bring on the additional stress.

    So, how do we balance this new lifestyle during this time? Below are some tips and tricks that I have read about or personally experienced:

    1. Manage expectations, or as Forbes Magazine calls it, “Get real with your boss and teammates.” Be forthright and let your clients, your teammates, and your Board know what is happening in your world today and what your game plan is to handle it. A simple message stating your circumstance and that you are still committed to supporting your organization goes a long way.

    2. “Create (and maintain) a designated workspace,” (Business News Daily). Having a designated workspace (and using it) allows you to focus your attention to the task at hand. Personally, this has helped me to find the balance between my home and work life. I have set up a desk space with my computers, notes, etc., and when I sit in this space, it is time to work. I do not use it for anything else. When I step away, I can be in a different mindset to take a walk, help my kids, or focus on something else.

    3. Do not, I repeat, do not, use your bed for your workspace. The American College of Healthcare Sciences suggests that working in bed, “limits focus, decreases productivity, and hurts sleep.” Your mind associates your bed as a space for rest and recovery. If you begin to utilize it as a space for work, the next time “you lay in bed to call it a night your mind will continue to think.” Additionally, is there enough space in your bed to be productive? When working, it is important to organize your materials to remain focused. When you are in your bed, surrounded by blankets and pillows, it can be difficult to lay out all of your materials and get the work done productively.

    4. Utilize video conferencing. At work, many of us are used to the social interactions that occur between teammates and clients. Now that we are all stuck in our homes we are missing out on a lot of social opportunities. Using video conferencing instead of phone calls helps to bring some of that social interaction back to our new work environments. It also helps to focus productivity. Often, when you are on a phone call, it is hard to know if someone is really paying attention or when they have finished their thought. The ability to see facial expressions helps us to bring back some of that body language, an integral part of human connection and communication, into our meetings or conversations.

    5. Have kids at home? Practice patience. “Trying to remain at the top of your game at work while also taking care of young children is completely unrealistic,” (Forbes).

    • Be patient with yourself – take walks to maintain your sanity, lower the expectations of yourself, ask for extensions on deadlines when you need them.
    • Be patient with your clients and teammates – more than likely, these people are experiencing similar circumstances. Some projects that you are working on might become delayed or new projects become a higher priority due to the current situation. It is okay to rearrange the priority of projects and it is okay to put things on hold (just make sure everyone is on the same page first).
    • Be patient with your children – most are not used to having to learn at home. Always remember to pick your battles and if you can get them to be engaged in some type of learning for a couple of hours a day, you have succeeded.
    We are all in this together. Sending health, safety, and well wishes your way during this time.


    Gausepohl, Shannon. “7 Ways to Improve Work-Life Balance When You Work at Home.” Business News Daily, Businessnewsdaily.com, 23 Feb. 2017, www.businessnewsdaily.com/7712-work-life-balance-home-entrepreneurs.html.

    Robben, Brian. “Never Do Homework In Bed: 3 Reasons Why.” Accredited Online Holistic Health College, 2016, info.achs.edu/blog/never-do-homework-in-bed-3-reasons-why.

    Whitehead, Kourtney. “5 Tips To Balance Remote Working While Your Family Is Also At Home.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 18 Mar. 2020, www.forbes.com/sites/kourtneywhitehead/2020/03/15/5-tips-to-balance-remote-working-while-your-family-is-also-at-home/#2eb2471c4843.

  • January 04, 2020 12:41 PM | Anonymous

    By Anna Jovel
    SOS Account Executive
    About Anna

    I spent eight years in the wonderful world of restaurant customer service. It is a faced paced, demanding, ever changing environment. However, between each restaurant, each new position, and each new management turnover, one thing remained the same: the customer is always right.

    Now, I know what you’re thinking, “What? No one is ever always right.” And that is entirely correct, they are not always right, but the goal is to make them feel like they are. To ensure the happiness of the customer, they need to feel valued, heard, and appreciated.

    The same idea applies in the association world, but instead of the customer it is the member who needs to feel valued, heard, and appreciated, maybe even more so since they are usually paying money to be a part of the association.

    Some members are really engaged. They know the ins and outs of the organization, they can maneuver the website, are always on time to events, and never forget to pay their dues. These members are the easy ones to show value and patience.

    On the other end, there will always be the member who forgot to register for Monday’s event, or who cannot figure out how to pay their dues online because they swear the website isn’t working even though you were just on it and someone else had literally just paid their dues online. So how do we make those difficult members still feel valued as a part of the association?

    1. Do things with a smile on your face, in person and on the phone. Yes, I know no one can see you, just do it! Psychology Today states that body language is 55% percent of our communication, vocal tone of voice is 38% and words spoken are only 7% of how others interpret our communication (Thompson, “Is Nonverbal Communication a Numbers Game?”). It is known that most people respond positively to a smile, and when you are smiling, it tends to change your tone of voice. This presents a more welcoming and positive atmosphere that can make your members feel welcome right from the get-go.

    So why do you need to smile on the phone when the member cannot see your smile? The Psychology Department at the University of Portsmouth in the U.K. held a study that “investigated the vocal communication of naturally occurring smiles.”  The study found that “listeners can discriminate different smile types and further indicated that listeners utilize prototypical ideals to discern whether a person is smiling. Some acoustical cues appear to be taken by listeners as strong indicators of a smile, regardless of whether the speaker is actually smiling” (Drahota et al. 2) So, the member may not be able to see you smile, but they can hear the acoustical cues in your voice to interpret a smile, and that is just as important.

    2. Restate some of their words and/or thoughts when you are conversing back with them. This makes them feel heard because you are using their exact words to help identify their concern and it reiterates that we truly listened to the words they used to express themselves.

    3. Sometimes, we just have to say “okay.” We live in a world with multiple generations, different learning styles, different personality types. We all function differently and prefer to do things in a certain style. Because of that there will never not be the difficult member and sometimes all someone wants is to be heard and helped.

    4. Find a happy medium. As I mentioned before, the member is not always going to be right, so how do we tell them they aren’t? Often, there is some type of solution to whatever problem is occurring. We can compromise, see what is available, discuss with our peers and our Board to address a situation. And when there is not…. As I mentioned before, politely explain what can and cannot be done, and do it with a smile on your face.

    All these tactics together will ensure that you can be the best administrator, director, or executive for your association. The members are the key to an association's success, without members, there is no association, so we want to be sure to keep them happy!


    Drahota, Amy & Costall, Alan & Reddy, Vasudevi. (2008). The Vocal Communication of Different Kinds of Smile. Speech Communication. 50. 278-287. 10.1016/j.specom.2007.10.001.

    Thompson, Jeff. “Is Nonverbal Communication a Numbers Game?” Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers, 2011, www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/beyond-words/201109/is-nonverbal-communication- numbers-game.

  • December 02, 2019 2:05 PM | Anonymous

    SOS-Association Management Solutions has recently been awarded re-accreditation by AMC Institute, the global trade association representing the Association Management industry.

    Among 500-plus Association Management Companies (AMC) worldwide, only 81 have achieved AMC Institute Accreditation, demonstrating the commitment and the ability to deliver the highest level of professional management services to association and not-for-profit clients. These AMCs are the recognized choice of association and not-for-profit organizations.

    “We applaud SOS on this significant achievement,” AMCI Chair Jeanne Sheehy said. “AMCI accreditation requires that association management firms demonstrate adherence to operational and ethical best practices, as outlined in the AMCI standard. Accreditation distinguishes SOS’s ongoing commitment to leadership in association management.”

    Administered by AMC Institute, AMC Institute Accreditation is recognized and supported by ASAE & The Center for Association Leadership and is based on the ANSI Standard of Good Practices for the AMC Industry. ANSI requires that the standard be reviewed and updated regularly to remain an approved standard. Measurable performance practices include contracts and service delivery; employee recruitment, training and professional development; and financial management and internal controls, among others. AMCs must earn re-accreditation every four years, demonstrating to an independent outside auditor that they continue to meet the standard.

    “We have been an accredited firm for over 8 years and this re-accreditation shows our commitment to the Associations we serve. The value of accreditation to our business growth is tremendous,” says SOS President and Founder, Conni Ingallina.

    For more about AMC Institute accreditation, visit www.AMCInstitute.org/accreditation.

  • October 23, 2019 1:09 PM | Anonymous
    By Laura Taylor
    SOS Account Executive
    About Laura

    Diversity helps build strong and effective work teams. When we think about diversity, there is often a tendency to focus on gender, age, and race. While it is certainly important and crucial to be diverse in those areas, there are other areas to consider in which to be diverse. How we work, learn, communicate, and cooperate with others all have certain levels of diversity to them.

    Building a diverse team is usually one of the more difficult tasks. When we recruit and hire staff and volunteers, we often subconsciously choose candidates that look and think just like ourselves. At times, statements are made about the chosen candidates being the best fit for the team. Sometimes this means the chosen candidate looks and thinks like many of the current team members. How can this be remedied?

    Understanding that we all have prejudices is a good start. From there, we can become cognizant of our actions and reactions. Start at the beginning. With each interview, be mindful of your own biases.

    How We Hire

    We need to be aware of our own prejudices and how that might play out when we communicate with others who are different from ourselves. There are many subconscious actions that happen and we are simply not aware they are occurring. Videoing a conversation with a potential new team member can be helpful in recognizing subtle body language actions for awareness. For example, when one agrees with a person, does he/she lean in, smile, make eye contact, shake their heads in agreement? When a person disagrees or has a different thought or receives an unexpected answer, what is his/her physical reaction? Remember, these are subtle things that we don’t always know are happening. It causes the other person to react in certain ways. Soon the whole conversation is derailed because of subconscious body language happening by both parties.

    Another area where diversity in the workplace can be found is in learning a new job or skill set.

    Leader and Teacher – How We Learn

    There are visual learners, auditory learners, and kinesthetic learners. Most of us are a combination of these three styles but probably have a preference. If you are in charge and want to be able to provide a learning component or teachable moments, you can be really effective in delivering your message by listening to and observing your would-be learners and reacting accordingly.

    Here are some characteristics for each type of learner and what might be observed. This can guide a leader as to how to best communicate with each type and gain the best and productive work from each individual.

    Visual learners process things better if there are pictures, graphs, diagrams, and charts. They often are good notetakers and artistic. They may have a strong sense of colors and can visualize objects at different angles.

    Auditory learners might say things like, “I hear you” or “that sounds like a good idea.” They may talk to themselves and be easily distracted by noise. They may speak in rhythmic patterns and are good at repeating music. They are better at telling than writing, are talkative, and often eloquent speakers.

    Kinesthetic learners learn by doing. They like hands on activities and working in groups. They may be physically active and well coordinated.

    How We Work

    Have you ever worked with someone who drives you crazy just because of how that person works? I’m not talking about someone who is incompetent or lazy. I am referring to individuals who get the job done but in a different way than you do. As long as you are working parallel to each other, all is good.

    But what happens when you have to work together on a committee or a project? If you can work through it, the relationship will potentially thrive. In the bigger picture, the organization becomes stronger. Our difference makes our teams that much better. Finding solutions often means there will be more than one thought as to how to get it done.

    In an article, Why Diverse Teams Create Better Work, Adam Vaccaro writes that teams with different perspectives, points of view, and backgrounds result in better work (2014, View article here). This is not a new idea. It also doesn’t mean it’s easy to do. It takes conscious effort to find diversity in how workers conduct themselves using their strengths and methods. As a supervisor, being transparent as to what one may be trying to accomplish is important so a team understands that goal. When a diverse team is formed, there is likely to be conflict or hopefully vigorous debate where everyone feels safe sharing opposing views. Coming to agreement and maybe compromise for some, moves the organization forward with confidence, in the work that is produced.

    Ideally, everyone is able to work in the style that they are accustomed to while having learned how other’s are most productive.

    There have been studies, such as the one done by economists, Quamrul Ashraf of Williams College and Oded Galor of Brown University, that demonstrate that diversity stimulates economic development and homogeneousness slows it down (2011, City Lab). Having staff with entrepreneurial spirit and others with great attention to detail is not only beneficial to the internal team. but in developing partnerships with other organizations, it can make the difference in successful advancement of the business. Diversity is the selling point.

    Build a diverse team. The challenges and struggles are worth the growth in personal development, team strength, and community partnerships.


    Vaccaro, A. (2014, March 25). Why Diverse Teams Create Better Work. Retrieved from this link.

    Florida, R. (2011, December 12). How Diversity Leads to Economic Growth. Retrieved from this link.

  • October 01, 2019 12:51 PM | Anonymous

    As published in the Fall edition of the AZSAE Newsletter

    In our increasingly fast-paced, technology-driven world, the opportunities and options of ways to communicate with each other are decreasing. Electronic communication seems to be the way in which we engage with others a majority of the time. It can be highly efficient and effective and therefore, abundantly necessary because we are moving at such a rapid pace. But what is lost in this automated system we have created to connect with others? Is it really necessary to have deeper connections with those we come in contact with throughout our business and social lives? If we do want to have significant, operative relationships in conjunction with savvy technology, it might be time to revisit The Basics. Here are just a few simple but effective ways to make associations with others and without a phone or computer.

    Eye contact is a small piece of the whole concept of body language, which is a study in itself. It is important in improving our social skills to be adept at making eye contact.  Determining how much eye contact to make can be tricky. Giving too much eye contact can be interpreted as staring and could likely be portrayed as creepy to the person to whom you are looking. If you don’t make eye contact while conversing, it seems like you are disinterested. To find that happy medium, a good tip is to follow the lead of the person with whom you are speaking. See how often the person looks away when he/she is talking. You don’t have to match that to a tee. But it will give you an idea with how much eye contact that person is comfortable, provided your converser is making some eye contact with you.

    Be sure to smile. There are definitely health benefits to smiling. Having a happy expression on your face exudes confidence, helps to build delightful relationships with colleagues and business associates, and can assist one in being recognized in a positive light by employers. A true smile can be heard in your voice and seen in your eyes.

    The handshake is another essential component when it comes to the basics. Think Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Mama Bear’s bed was too soft. Have you ever had a too soft handshake? Find a friend and do a too soft handshake - fragile and maybe kind of yucky.

    Moving on to Papa Bear’s bed – it’s too hard. The too hard handshake has two versions. There is the too hard of a squeeze handshake. Then there is the too hard of a shake handshake. Be careful when you practice this one. Don’t hurt your friend with your too hard handshake. If someone gives you this kind of handshake, instead of returning an equally hard handshake, just lose eye contact. This will end the handshake.

    Now, remember what Baby Bear’s bed is? Yep, it’s just right. The just right handshake is firm and radiates conviction. When a handshake is just right, two other things happen – you smile and you make eye contact.

    Another skill to master to show how much you care and to make others feel cared for is to learn and remember names. There are several techniques to use. Try these tips next time you make a new acquaintance.

    • Use the person’s name throughout the conversation. When you learn the person’s name, attach it to your greeting, “Hi Jennifer, it’s nice to meet you,” for example. Be sure to repeat the name when it makes sense in the conversation and definitely when you say goodbye.
    • Spelling out the name can be helpful to the visual learner. Gaining a business card and making some notes about what you talked about or a visual cue can be of assistance in remembering the person’s name.
    • Association techniques may also work for you. Think of an image tied to a person’s name for a future reference. Something like Benjamin has a burly beard; or Mary likes margaritas. A variation on this  is to make a connection with someone you already know with the same name. For example, Don is tall like my Uncle Don and of similar age to my Uncle Don. 

    The investments necessary to be successful at remembering names are focus, practice and time. The payoff is a step up to building strong relationships. The old show “Cheers” had the best theme song to illustrate the power of remembering names because “you want to go where everyone knows your name.”

    While we need the efficiency of virtual communication, making that long-term, meaningful connection requires some face to face time. Take time to revisit and develop The Basics.





  • August 27, 2019 10:39 AM | Anonymous

    SOS Association Management Solutions (SOS) has been selected by the National Pharmaceutical Association (NPhA) to provide association management services.

    Founded in 1947, NPhA is a national, professional organization of pharmacists committed to serving the underserved and promoting minorities in pharmacy. NPhA provides support for education and professional training intended to assure the public of the availability of competent personnel to perform the accepted functions of the practice of pharmacy, especially within disenfranchised communities.

    SOS will provide management support in all areas, including event planning, financial management, board support, membership, and communications.  “We needed a management solution that would allow us to grow and provide support to take us to the next level of success,” said Dr. Lakesha Butler, NPhA President. “We are excited to begin this new partnership with SOS Association Management Solutions.”

    “We are thrilled to be working with NPhA as it continues to build on its rich history by providing value to its members and pursuing its critically important mission,” said Conni Ingallina, president and owner of SOS.

    About the National Pharmaceutical Association (NPhA)

    The National Pharmaceutical Association is dedicated to representing the views and ideals of minority pharmacists on critical issues affecting health care and pharmacy, as well as advancing the standards of pharmaceutical care among all practitioners.  www.nationalpharmaceuticalassociation.org

    About SOS Association Management Solutions

    SOS is an accredited, full-service professional management company dedicated to giving the personal touch to all the associations it serves. The organization accomplishes this by creating a sustainable growth environment that ensures maximum success while allowing for individual personality, unique culture, and engaged volunteers.

    Association Management Companies (AMCs) specialize in managing associations and not-for-profit organizations, providing leadership and professional management services through experienced staff, best practices and shared resources.  Because AMCs manage multiple association and not-for-profit clients, their experience and knowledge base are broad and substantial, positioning AMCs as the preferred choice for full-service and specialized management services. SOS is the only AMC Institute-accredited AMC in Arizona. For more about SOS, visit www.sossolutions.org. For more about the AMC Institute, visit www.AMCInstitute.org/accreditation.

  • April 11, 2019 10:18 AM | Anonymous

    By Laura Taylor
    SOS Account Executive
    About Laura

    In the association management world, there are basically three types of associations. First, there are trade associations that bring together professionals in an industry who work together to advance legislative causes, support research within their trade, and promote sound and ethical business practices. There are also professional organizations that have individual memberships who come together to network and exchange information. The third type of association is philanthropic or charitable in its emphasis, working to advance a particular cause. There are of course a number of commonalities across the different types of associations, and there is often overlap in terms of their missions, values, and key initiatives.

    One feature that is nearly universal across effective associations is the leadership and operational support provided by volunteers. The success of almost every association is dependent upon the willingness of stakeholders to step up and get involved. Having more volunteers who understand and care about the organization obviously strengthens the organization’s capacity. Aside from feeling good about being of service and supporting a cause, there are also other benefits to volunteering. Understanding and effectively communicating those benefits is critically important when it comes to recruiting and retaining impactful volunteers.

    Volunteering connects a person to others. Building relationships through working together on a common cause can be a very beneficial personal experience. The networking opportunities that come with volunteering can lead to career advancement. Gaining support and learning from others are potential outcomes when giving time and energy to a mission-focused organization. And simply acquiring new friends along the way is always a positive outcome worth mentioning.

    There are also health benefits to volunteering. Giving to others is good for the spirit, mind, and body. According to HelpGuide.org, volunteering combats depression, assists in decreasing stress and anxiety, and increases self-confidence. A sense of accomplishment and a feeling of fulfillment are common side effects of volunteering.

    All of these internal motivators and rewards go a long toward explaining why individuals continue to serve as volunteers. Providing opportunities for external recognition for those who volunteer is also appreciated. The expertise and dedication that volunteers bring to their associations, foundations, and coalitions are extremely valuable but sometimes taken for granted. In many cases, these volunteers are employed full-time and have home and family commitments, but they still manage to give countless hours to a cause in which they believe. Take the opportunity to celebrate the impact of volunteer service during National Volunteer Week and recognize and honor those who give year round.


    • www.associationcareerhq.org
    • www.helpguide.org
    • www.independentsector.org
    • https://learn.acendia.com/volunteer-appreciation-ideas/
    • www.pointsoflight.org
    • www.volunteermatch.org
  • March 01, 2019 9:27 AM | Anonymous

    By Jeff Falcusan
    SOS Account Executive
    About Jeff

    When you hear the expression “tooting your own horn,” does it carry a negative connotation? When individuals engage in over-the-top self-promotion, it can of course come off as tone-deaf or obnoxious. At the same time, if are worried about what others will think of us if we make a point of articulating our value, how can we ever expect to be recognized for our contributions?  The same goes for organizations. Effective nonprofit leaders are skilled at convincingly and unabashedly communicating the objectives and promoting the accomplishments of their organizations to decision makers.

    During my years as a policy analyst in Washington, DC, I had the good fortune of working closely with a congressional relations professional with decades of experience representing membership associations on Capitol Hill. My colleague was fond of reminding audiences that a simple mantra (apparently derived from ancient advice handed down by Aristotle) guided his efforts to describe our organization, its members’ contributions, and our legislative objectives: “Tell them, tell them again, and then tell hem what you told them.”

    This philosophy was not about mindless, empty repetition of boilerplate soundbites. Hammering the same audience with the same message using the same words over and over again is a recipe for being tuned out. Instead, my colleague understood that cultivating awareness of and buy-in for our organization and its policy agenda required a practiced persistence.

    Take advantage of every opportunity to get in front of decision makers who can provide support for your organization or its goals, always have something positive to say about your organization that is rooted in data and real-world accomplishments, and stay on the look-out for chances to repeat the process as many times as possible (including with the same audience) to refine and adapt your message and improve your effectiveness at delivering it. 

    Decision makers, whether they are legislators, funders, or even dues-paying members, have finite time and resources. By creating awareness, building up your organization’s reputation for effectiveness, and staying top of mind, you will contribute toward positioning your organization for success. 

  • February 21, 2019 12:14 PM | Anonymous

    By Jeff Falcusan
    SOS Account Executive
    About Jeff

    A few days ago, I ran out to grab a quick take-out lunch in advance of a conference call. Because it was an unseasonably cold day, I ordered a bowl of soup. When the cashier handed me my order (previously bagged up by a different employee), I made a beeline to the napkin and utensil station. Before I could get there, the cashier shouted, “Don’t worry, I threw some utensils into the bag!” “Thank you so much!” I replied, and headed straight to my car, grateful to have saved even a few seconds on what had turned into a very busy day.

    When I returned to my desk, I opened the bag, took out my soup, and retrieved the two utensils the cashier had provided. Unfortunately, they were both forks.

    As association management professionals, we work hard to advance our clients’ goals and objectives. If we are not in tune with our clients’ needs, however, maximum effort might produce minimal results. By keeping the lines of communication open and checking in with clients on a consistent basis, we can stay up to date and maintain a shared understanding of the short- and long-term priorities that require our time and attention. By first understanding our clients’ needs and then working as hard as we can to meet those needs, we set our clients up for meaningful accomplishments.

    In the association management world, there are other mechanisms we can use to ensure that boards and staff remain on the same page when it comes to organizational goals and how to achieve them. A strategic plan, for example, can help an association think through and ultimately prioritize activities and initiatives with the highest potential to generate revenue or meet other organizational goals. When those priorities are in place, current, and understood by all relevant stakeholders, decision makers can allocate resources appropriately and staff will have a clear understanding of the objectives they are charged with advancing. 

    If your organization has not engaged in a strategic planning exercise in the last few years, SOS can help. Feel free to contact us for more information.

  • January 11, 2019 2:36 PM | Anonymous
    By Suzanne Lanctot
    Managing Director
    About Suzanne

    The bylaws of a nonprofit are generally viewed as the second most important document only after the Articles of Incorporation. Bylaws provide an outline of the governance structure of the organization. Sadly, and for many reasons, this document is far too often outdated (maybe antiquated) and not reflecting the current practices of the organization. Organizations evolve and gradually, under the radar, the bylaws are no longer serving its needs. One important method for dealing with this inevitable evolution is to use/amend more flexibility into the language and structure of the document so that the organization can more readily adapt to impending future changes.

    It is a good idea to review the document every few years and keep record of any revisions as they occur. A reputable Administrative or Association Management Company with a recognized expert, such as a Certified Association Executive (CAE), can provide the experience working in this area.

    Although it is not a requirement for bylaws to be made public, consider doing so for greater transparency and board accountability.

    About the State

    Regulations are done by the state so the best place to start a review is with a solid understanding of the Nonprofit Corporation Statute. Keep in mind, where your bylaws are silent there are default rules within these statutes. Therefore it is best to identify where they may exist in the document…and address them with more specific provisions.

    Look at the “purpose clause” in your Articles of Incorporation. This clause describes the reasons for operation and has a direct bearing on the tax exempt status that was granted. Is it the same language in your bylaws? And does it still reflect your current organizations purpose?

    Look at the “dissolution clause.” This directs what the nonprofit will do with its assets if it dissolves or merges. Is it in line with current values?

    The following are some of the most important provisions and questions that need to be answered for a thorough review: don’t wait for a particular circumstance. Have these answers outlined, readily accessible, and updated every 2 years as needed.

    • Have the bylaws changed, and if so, was this reported to the IRS? A 501c3 should report such changes to the IRS with the next (990) report. Additionally, does the state in which the nonprofit is incorporated require to report changes?
    • Are there requirements to be a board member, such as residency? What are the disqualifications?
    • What are the titles of the offices? Roles?
    • How are they elected or appointed?
    • What are the terms and term limits?
    • Are officers/ directors indemnified form personal liability?
    • What is the size of the board and what are the minimum and maximum numbers of board members? Is this number is too small or too large?
    • Is there a required number of board meetings per year? And are there attendance requirements?
    • What are the rules/procedures for conducting meetings? What is the number for a quorum for official decisions?
    • Is the conflict of interest policy clearly defined? And what are the compensation and reimbursement rules?
    • What is the procedure for removing a board member or officer?
    • How are committees formed? Who can serve? Appointed? How terminated?
    • Conference calls/electronic meetings? How is voting regulated?
    • How do you call an executive session and what can be discussed? – rules vary by state.
    • What is the process and provisions to amend the bylaws? Is there a bylaws committee to review and amend? Should it be ongoing? Is the process too easy or too hard? Who can propose changes and how are they proposed?
    • How will monies be distributed?
    • Is there a membership provision/requirements? Can membership be revoked and what is the procedure for doing so?
    • Are there diversity requirements? If not, consider invoking them.

    Remember, your bylaws must serve your organization, so review and examine them, ask these questions, and make the necessary changes to help facilitate its growth and evolution.


The only accredited AMC in Arizona


+1 (480) 289-5761

7729 E Greenway Rd, Suite 300

Scottsdale, AZ 85260



Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software