*Please click here to download and review a PDF of the Bylaws.*
Dear GAHF Members,
Every nonprofit organization has a set of rules referred to as Bylaws, a legal document that sets forth the rules and procedures for running the organization. As an organization grows and changes, the Board of Directors may make recommendations to the Members for their approval.
This past summer, the Board of Directors reviewed the GAHF Bylaws and are recommending revisions for two reasons:
1 – Over the years, amendments had been made based on the needs of the organization at the time. In some cases, the amendments conflicted with other articles. Therefore, some changes are being recommended for consistency and are considered cosmetic.
2 – Also, an analysis of best practices was conducted with other cultural 501(c)(3) organizations to ensure transparent and effective operations. The most substantive changes being recommended are as follows:
a. Introduction of elections for Officers and Directors – Article VI
Current practice: Members elect Directors and then Directors decide who the Officers are.
Rationale for change: Members transparently elect their leadership. The revised bylaws also identify duties and expectations of Officers and Directors.
b. Introduction of term limits – Article VI
Current practice: No term limits.
Rationale for change: New board members bring fresh ideas to the board or to old ideas that did not work in the past, but whose time has come. New board members bring representation of new constituent groups to the board, for example, different age or ethnic groups, emerging stakeholders, or geographically-dispersed members. Term limits require the Board of Directors to regularly assess what skills, abilities, networking connections, etc., are needed to advance the GAHF mission. Purposefully recruiting board members to meet our needs requires communication with the community about what the organization does, etc. It’s a good outreach tool. Making room on the board for new members demonstrates that you want community engagement, ideas, and leadership. And, finally, term limits give board members a break from service, to refresh for future engagement.
c. Introduction of a Disposal of Assets (also known as Dissolution) – Article XIV
Current language: No such article exists.
Rational for addition: The dissolution clause is a statement that explains what GAHF will do with its assets in the event that the organization dissolves. This clause is particularly important given that the assets of a nonprofit are not owned by any person or group. Also, non-profit law requires that the assets go to another 501(c)3 with a similar mission. The Board wishes to be explicit about this concept.
To review and/or download a copy of the Bylaws, please click here.
If you have any questions or concerns about these changes, please email us at email@example.com as soon as possible to ensure your vote to approve/not approve the Bylaws is completed by Dec. 3, 2022. We will respond to you in a timely manner. Please also include your phone number in case your question(s) are best addressed with a call. Results will be announced at the Annual Meeting, which will take place via Zoom, on Saturday, Dec. 10 at 1 PM EST.
The German-American Heritage Foundation (aka United German-American Committee of the USA, Inc.) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization (EIN 23-2033554), and donations are tax-deductible to the full extent of the law. Please remember GAHF in your estate plans.