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Board wants to change By-Laws from Shall use Roberts rules of order to, May


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First a little back ground, the club I belong to is a Michigan Non Profit 501 C 7, and the board after being informed at the last meeting by a new director that they need to follow some of the basics in Roberts Rules.


They are going to hold a special meeting (see letter below) to propose that the club change the By-Laws, any wisdom and guidance that can be passed on would be appreciated.






I hope your doing well; I am reaching out to you because I know you with your knowledge in Non-Profits. You will be able to guide me to where I most likely can find the answer I am looking for.


It has come to my attention that a number of the board members rather that follow the By-Laws which state.


D. All meetings shall be governed by Roberts Rules of Order current edition.



They want to replace shall with MAY, so that rather than learn a few simple basic rules, they want to change the wording so they don’t have to follow the rules when they find it inconvenient.


Don’t recall where but thought I read something on non-profits where they had to adopt a system of governance to run meetings, and maybe there is an alternative to RR but to switch the By-laws to say May in place of shall seam’s to me a very dangerous thing, it would allow the board to change anything at any time to suit them on how they want to run things, and could very well limit the voice of the members.


Any help in pointing me in the right direction would be helpful and appreciated.














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Adopt whatever parliamentary authority you want to, but don't say the organization "may" follow it.  That is a recipe for chaos.


The purpose of being able to adopt standing rules and special rules of order is to be able to tailor the rules to suit the needs of the organization. 


RONR (Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised, 11th edition) is by far the most popular parliamentary authority.

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