Membership provision

Step 5 of 5

My organization will:

have membership provision

not have membership provision.


A word about nonprofit organization structure.

A typical non profit organization, has a board which looks after all the governance. The board members are either elected by outgoing board or by the members of the organization (if the organization allows for membership).

Accordingly there are two broad classes of membership –

1) Members with voting rights (to elect the board)

2) Members without voting rights.

Membership provision – Should I have one in my nonprofit organization ?

Membership provision with voting rights – should be allowed if you  are not very keen on having the decision power under your control and you want things to be decided by what majority wants.

Membership provision without voting rights – should be considered if you cater to a large section of people (say – you work with students in school) but the decision power and voting rights vests with the board of directors.

P.S Generally speaking, If the members are likely to bring in more administrative prowess, the organization should have members with voting rights. If the members are more in kind of beneficiaries or volunteers of the project, membership without voting rights should be preferred.

No – member – An organization can opt for not allowing membership if it does not see the need for involving too many people.

Proceed to Conclusion

Start all over again

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About the Author:


Adrian B. Bennett is an attorney and nonprofit consultant by profession. He provides development sector legal services in areas of formation of nonprofit organizations, choice of entity, tax exemption, private foundation tax law, corporate governance and advocacy. He serves as a legal adviser to several non profit organizations in and around Florida.

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