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Standing Committee Membership


Dawn M Lynch
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Can a Standing Committee be made up entirely on persons who are not members of the organization? We are a Fire Company working to incorporate an existing Ladies Auxiliary for 501C3 compliance. The argument is we can just make them a standing committee with a seperate set of bylaws that does refer back to ours for discipline, harassment, and a few other areas without making them a type of member of our organization. I say they need to be a class of membership that is set up with a set of bylaws that follow next to ours but has a seperate level of membership requirement from firefighting or else the tax, insurance, and discipline of our bylaws doesn't apply to them under Roberts Rules. 

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I do not see why not.  Of course, I do not recommend it.  One or two non-members, who may expertise that would benefit's the Committee's work is one thing, but having the entire Committee made up of non-members makes me wonder why they would want to serve on the Committee even though they are not members of the organizations and why members would not volunteer to serve on the Committee.

The Committee does not need its own set of By-laws (and why would it.)  Just make it a Committee of the organization.  Period.

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1 hour ago, Rev Ed said:

but having the entire Committee made up of non-members makes me wonder why they would want to serve on the Committee even though they are not members of the organizations and why members would not volunteer to serve on the Committee.

It seems pretty clear to me why they want to do it - "members" are required to do thinks like respond to alarms and attend training, while members of the auxiliary generally are not.

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16 hours ago, Dawn M Lynch said:

Can a Standing Committee be made up entirely on persons who are not members of the organization?

Yes.

16 hours ago, Dawn M Lynch said:

We are a Fire Company working to incorporate an existing Ladies Auxiliary for 501C3 compliance. The argument is we can just make them a standing committee with a seperate set of bylaws that does refer back to ours for discipline, harassment, and a few other areas without making them a type of member of our organization. I say they need to be a class of membership that is set up with a set of bylaws that follow next to ours but has a seperate level of membership requirement from firefighting or else the tax, insurance, and discipline of our bylaws doesn't apply to them under Roberts Rules. 

They certainly could be made a standing committee, but standing committees do not have their own bylaws. RONR has no rules concerning tax or insurance - those are questions for an attorney or accountant. There is generally no need for rules on discipline for a committee (although an organization is free to adopt such rules if it wishes). If the committee’s members do not have a defined term of office, they may be removed by a motion to Rescind or Amend Something Previously Adopted (if appointed by an assembly) or simply by deciding to remove them (if appointed by an individual).

As you suggest, it would instead be possible to create a new class of membership. Finally, the auxiliary could be its own organization, but still subordinate to the company. Which of these is most advisable is beyond the scope of this forum. I suggest consulting with other fire companies and asking how they handle this.

Edited by Josh Martin
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I agree with the post immediately above by Josh Martin.  I have concerns about trying to create this ladies auxiliary as a "standing committee".  I just don't  think it's a good idea for a variety of reasons, but I don't know the intricacies and customs of your organization.  I think creating a separate class of membership or a separate organization is a better way to go.  I also agree with his suggestion that you talk to members of several other fire companies regarding their practices and experiences.

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