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Can anything be done if quorum can never be reached?


Guest Joe D.

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Guest Joe D.

Well,

Our membership recruitment curve was straighter than our knowledge of RR's curve. So, we are now in a situation that since our bylaws are silent on quorum numbers, it has defaulted to a simple majority. Which is, of course, too large. We haven't had a quorum for the last two meetings.

To make matters worse, our bylaws can't be changed without a two-thirds vote of the association!

My question is this: is there anything at all we can do to try to fix this problem if it is permanently impossible to get two-thirds of the assocation in the room at the same time?

Any ideas greatly appreciated.

Joe

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Free food and drink? Try to stir up a major controversy so folks will come out to defend their view of what is right?

Or....

Announce that because of a lack of membership interest, the organization will dissolve itself and go out of business. Really. Organizations don't last forever, and it is much better to close up shop formally than just drift along, and then wonder what happened to the bank account, far too long after the fact to do anything about it.

Often enough a threat like this one will shake enough people out of the woodwork who will be willing to show up after all. But if it doesn't, there is a message there...

Apparently, however, based on reading between the lines of your note, you had a successful membership drive. Will an appeal to those new members pay off? Who knows.

Good luck, however.

(Contact me by the internal e-mail system on this board and I'll suggest an improper way to "solve" your problem. No, not dancing girls. You'll have to joint the B-Board to use the mail - it's painless and it will be the last CAPTCHA you will have to deal with.)

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Well,

Our membership recruitment curve was straighter than our knowledge of RR's curve. So, we are now in a situation that since our bylaws are silent on quorum numbers, it has defaulted to a simple majority. Which is, of course, too large. We haven't had a quorum for the last two meetings.

To make matters worse, our bylaws can't be changed without a two-thirds vote of the association!

My question is this: is there anything at all we can do to try to fix this problem if it is permanently impossible to get two-thirds of the assocation in the room at the same time?

Any ideas greatly appreciated.

Joe

Are you sure that your bylaws require the vote of two-thirds of the entire membership in order to adopt an amendment? Maybe they just require a two-thirds vote.

In any event, you will need to have a quorum (a majority of your members, I gather) present at a meeting in order to take any action to amend your bylaws.

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Or....

Announce that because of a lack of membership interest, the organization will dissolve itself and go out of business. Really. Organizations don't last forever, and it is much better to close up shop formally than just drift along, and then wonder what happened to the bank account, far too long after the fact to do anything about it.

Wouldn't a decision to dissolve run into the same obstacles? IOW, wouldn't it still require enough people voting at a meeting?

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Of course -- but an announcement of such a decision (or, better, proposal) might either...

1) Bring out the troops to stop it - enough (with luck) to have a quorum;

2) "Encourage" people to quit, not renew membership, until the numbers are down far enough to get a quorum to show up.

I'm not trying to get rid of organizations, but at least get those that are nearly kaput to close down in an orderly way -- and avoid fights in the process.

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Guest Joe D.

So, this is not an organization dying down, but rather in its toddler years. We get about thirty people showing up on a regular basis, but our quorum is now a bit more than 50. Most members keep abreast of things on Facebook, so they feel they don't need to show up and vote.

And I am absolutely positive that its two-thirds of the whole association. I suppose I was hoping that there was some arcane loophole that could help out here, but it seems there isn't. If you think of anything, let me know. Thanks.

Joe

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Announce a special meeting to revise the bylaws (depending on the process for amending bylaws in your bylaws), followed by something fun (alcohol? guest speaker? karaoke?), and beg people to come out for it. It could be worse - it's possible to get your quorum, just a bit difficult.

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Stop posting meeting "news" on Facebook. If members want to find out what's going on, they have to come to the meeting, which is the only way they can vote anyway unless your bylaws authorize some fashion of absentee voting. But if the most of the members aren't interested in actually participating and are just "joiners", you may not make much progress there. Besides, without a quorum, there really isn't anything to report, on Facebook or otherwise.

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So, this is not an organization dying down, but rather in its toddler years. We get about thirty people showing up on a regular basis, but our quorum is now a bit more than 50. Most members keep abreast of things on Facebook, so they feel they don't need to show up and vote.

And I am absolutely positive that its two-thirds of the whole association. I suppose I was hoping that there was some arcane loophole that could help out here, but it seems there isn't. If you think of anything, let me know. Thanks.

Joe

So, the 2/3 for a quorum is in your bylaws? The OP says quorum is not mentioned?

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No, he didn't say it is 2/3 for a quorum. He said that the bylaws require a vote of two-thirds of the entire membership in order to amend them.

OK, now I see that. I saw "2/3 of the whole association". If it actually requires 2/3 of the whole association, that's tough -- and a little unusual (it seems to me) that if you have a quorum, and if each and every member present votes for the bylaws amendment, the amendment would fail because there are not 2/3 of the whole membership present.

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