Bylaws: the biggest hurdle to starting your nonprofit
The average American will never write bylaws. But you’re not average. You’re a leader.
Within your sphere of influence, you’re seeing gaps not being filled. There’s a problem in your community and you can’t look away. You have what it takes to change your world. You’re smart enough. You’re good looking enough. Your personality is enough, and the money will come in!
But you still don’t know how to write bylaws.
Imagine you’re creating a video game and it’s up to you to define everything in that world – will there be gravity? a light source? people? will they have feelings? what will they value? is there good? evil? what happens when somebody does good? what if they’re evil? what will they do with all of their time? what’s the point of being alive? is there one?
If you can think up a video game, you can write bylaws.
In my book, Starting Your Nonprofit: A Workbook to Guide You Through a Million Exciting Tasks, I teach future nonprofit founders the 11 steps to launch an organization. Last month, I started working with a new client in Studio City, California and I’ve been blogging about each step. Here’s where we are so far:
Step 1: Reserve Your Nonprofit Name (completed)
Step 2: Draft Your Articles of Incorporation (completed)
Step 3: Write Your Bylaws
After working with nonprofit founders throughout the country, I’ve come to realize the biggest hurdle to starting a nonprofit is writing the bylaws. Why? It’s easier to copy than create. Think about the last pair of jeans you bought – what influenced you to make that particular purchase? Did you see somebody you respect wearing something similar? Did you see it advertised on a commercial? a billboard?
We spend most of our lives copying others. Today will be no different.
Not knowing how to write bylaws confirms this. There are no commercials, billboards, or advertisements influencing us to write bylaws. So what happens now? Copy the bylaws I used to launch Idle Tuesdays Recording Studio!
Download Sample Nonprofit Bylaws
Look specifically for the parts I’ve highlighted in red – these are the areas you’ll need to edit/add your own details. Closely review the entire document and edit as needed. It took me about 55 hours to draft these bylaws…you’ll be able to make most edits in about 5 minutes! We all need to catch a break sometimes.
Doing good should be easy. So should starting a nonprofit. Jump this hurdle, enter your destiny, start your nonprofit and be the solution!