Your bylaws are the governing document for your nonprofit. They serve as your
operating manual and should be consistent with your articles of incorporation and
the law. When your
Board of Directors meets for the first time, you’ll review and ratify the bylaws and
they will be a
roadmap for governance from there.
At the same time, you’ll also want to create and adopt a conflict of interest policy.
A conflict of
interest is when someone in a key position in your nonprofit has competing interests
and is making
choices that could benefit themselves to the harm of the organization. Personal
interests should be
set aside and organizational interests prioritized. If a conflict of interest does
arise, it should
be disclosed immediately.
Your application to the IRS for 501(c)(3) exemption will require that both the bylaws
conflict of interest policy are approved and adopted. Once they’ve been adopted,
safely store them
in your Nonprofit Records Kit.