Voting to change your association’s bylaws can be an arduous task - but it doesn’t have to be. In an era when public sentiment can change with the click of a button, this effective guide for running a last-minute bylaws vote is a great option.
Major headlines and breaking news stories have had an extremely poignant influence on our professional culture these days.
As more and more organizations adapt to a new, more inclusive world, lots of companies and nonprofit entities have had to undergo changes to their rules, codes of conduct, and bylaws.
Granted, most bylaws are written when an association or organization is first chartered, but as we’ve seen in the era of #MeToo, paid parental leave, and commitment to work/life balance, sometimes progress is not a slow process.
How to amend your bylaws effectively
The most effective way for an organization to change their bylaws is through an efficient voting process. Many associations turn to online voting as paper ballots can get messy sometimes, and fairness isn’t always guaranteed with traditional voting methods.
Our online voting platform is an easy and fair solution to your last-minute bylaw election. Our quick signup process will get you started on your ballot in no time and with our tracking features you’ll always know exactly what’s happening in your election.
What’s more, your members will be able to vote from anywhere using any device, ensuring that everyone gets to vote.
With eBallot, you can choose from our comprehensive features to build the ideal ballot.
Before creating your bylaws ballot, address the following
One thing to focus on when creating a last-minute ballot is that you want to give you voters a clear idea of your stance on key issues while not overwhelming them with information overload. Here are some items to consider when determining new bylaws for your organization to abide by:
- Changes in core goals or focus
Things change over time, and sometimes the core mission of an organization changes as they expand, bring in new donors or appoint new leaders. Be sure to think through any major organizational transitions that have recently happened, and how your bylaws would impact them.
Sometimes the rules change organically, sometimes outside influences can force organizations to review their rules for fairness, equality and safety. Before caving into public pressure to change your non-profit bylaws in moments of crisis, conduct an audit of the current bylaws to ensure that any standing rules on the topic have been enforced and go forward from there. This will help if you need to add stronger bylaws in the future.
- Adding an amendment addendum
Establishing new bylaws for an organization is not as simple as just adding a new line of text to an existing document. But by adding an addendum to your organization’s current charter, constitution or SOPs, your leaders can manage, review and update the bylaws with more flexibility and less time.
Once you’ve sat down with your organization’s leadership team and planned out which bylaws need to be amended, it’s time to put those notes to a vote! Here’s a quick run through of how to structure a bylaws election:
Share the ballot information
Share your organization’s election policies along with your bylaws ballot and if possible, a quick explainer with a few bullet points on why certain (or all) of the bylaws are being amended. Remember to be clear and concise, voters will need to understand why they’re being presented with your ballot, but if information overload gets in the way of your vote, you’ll have to redo the whole process later.
Spread the word via email, social media, and video
If you really want your organization’s members to participate in and understand the outcomes of your upcoming bylaws vote, using visual aids and social media is a great way to inform voters. Share the pros and cons of each ballot option your members and if possible, create a quick 60 second video to give them a better idea of: 1) why you need/want their participation, 2) voting instructions and 3) any key deadlines or relevant outcomes they should be aware of.
You've run your bylaws vote, now what?
- Use the results to inform your updated non-profit charter or membership bylaws
Again, using virtual solutions like online voting and email allows your organization to easily amend their bylaws via vote, and also share the outcomes with each member in less time than it would take to simply count and assess paper ballots alone.
Ready to run your next bylaws vote? Contact our engagement team today to see how eBallot works with nonprofits across the globe to make key decisions, better.
eBallot provides a platform where everyone’s voice can be heard. We made our tagline "Decide Anything", and we stand behind it. We exist to give people a voice and transform the way that decisions are made, so if you’re ready to run your next union or collective bargaining ballot, request an election quote today.