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Steve in Kent
09-26-2016, 11:45 PM
Hi guys,

Our club has gone from strength to strength under the leadership of the great George Bartle, (all of Renaissance Uke Man, and one half of the original Opera-Lele (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UZ2ftzxUwQs))

It's grown from 6 members to over 50, so it has become time to form a proper club with committee etc.

We thought it best to start off with a constitution so has anybody gone through this process themselves that would be willing to share theirs please?

Steve

jimavery
09-27-2016, 02:38 AM
It's been a long while since I did such a thing, so I don't have a sample for you unfortunately. I used a book called "Voluntary But Not Amateur" (https://www.waterstones.com/book/voluntary-but-not-amateur-in-association-with-bates-wells-and-braithwaite-solicitors-pt-1-2/ruth-hayes/jacki-reason/9781906294076). It was a good book, but to be honest it was probably way more detailed than what we needed.

If I were doing the same again, I would start by becoming a member of "Making Music" to make use of their resources and online forum. I see they have an example constitution on there (available to members only), and advice on whether to set up as a charity etc,.

https://www.makingmusic.org.uk/

Steve in Kent
09-27-2016, 03:29 AM
It's been a long while since I did such a thing, so I don't have a sample for you unfortunately. I used a book called "Voluntary But Not Amateur" (https://www.waterstones.com/book/voluntary-but-not-amateur-in-association-with-bates-wells-and-braithwaite-solicitors-pt-1-2/ruth-hayes/jacki-reason/9781906294076). It was a good book, but to be honest it was probably way more detailed than what we needed.

If I were doing the same again, I would start by becoming a member of "Making Music" to make use of their resources and online forum. I see they have an example constitution on there (available to members only), and advice on whether to set up as a charity etc,.

https://www.makingmusic.org.uk/

Thanks for that, I'll take a look at Making Music

Rllink
09-27-2016, 04:04 AM
Looks like a pretty nice club. Your songbooks are treasures of fun songs to sing and play. If you don't mind, I'll steal a couple of them.

jollyboy
09-27-2016, 04:33 AM
A while ago I looked into the possibilty of accessing some public funding for a community project I was involved in. Anyway, long story short a requirement is that your organisation has a formal constitution. There are several 'model' documents online to look at such as this one (http://www.communityimpactbucks.org.uk/data/files/Self_Help_Guides/Sample_Constitutions/CIB_Sample_Constitution.pdf). This guide is pretty useful too (http://www.resourcecentre.org.uk/information/constitutions/). Hope this helps :)

Steve in Kent
09-27-2016, 05:49 AM
Looks like a pretty nice club. Your songbooks are treasures of fun songs to sing and play. If you don't mind, I'll steal a couple of them.

No worries, where do you think we got them...

Jim Yates
09-27-2016, 09:03 AM
94625

This is the Ukulele Benediction read at each meeting of the Corktown Ukulele Jam in Toronto. It was written by David Newland.

Steve in Kent
09-27-2016, 11:20 AM
A while ago I looked into the possibilty of accessing some public funding for a community project I was involved in. Anyway, long story short a requirement is that your organisation has a formal constitution. There are several 'model' documents online to look at such as this one (http://www.communityimpactbucks.org.uk/data/files/Self_Help_Guides/Sample_Constitutions/CIB_Sample_Constitution.pdf). This guide is pretty useful too (http://www.resourcecentre.org.uk/information/constitutions/). Hope this helps :)

Great resource, thanks for the links.

ricdoug
09-28-2016, 10:03 AM
This as an old copy from March, 1996. It's been revised several times, since:

Approved and adopted by unanimous voice vote of general membership vote on the 26th of March, 2009.


Article I
NAME
As stated in the Article of Incorporation, the name of this non-profit organization, hereafter referred to as “the USA Group”, is the Ukulele Society of America in Carlsbad, CA.


Article II
VISION AND MISSION
1. Our Vision.
Reaching hearts, one ‘ukulele at a time.
2. Our Mission.
To serve and support the special group of people (Eia he pu`u hulu) of the ‘Ukulele Society of America; By furthering the highest standards of conduct and music; By seeking out, informing, and assisting outstanding men and women to master playing the ‘ukulele; and, By initiating and sponsoring activities which will perpetuate the history, traditions, memories, and growth of the ‘ukulele and bind members together in support of ‘ukulele music.


Article III
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
1. Term.
The seven (7) members Board of Directors, whose terms shall run from May 1 of the year elected through April 30 of the following year, shall consist of present officers, the outgoing President, and a sufficient number of members elected at large to bring the board to a total of 7 persons.

2. Nominating committee.
A nominating committee, consisting of the Vice-President as chairman and at least two (2) other board members appointed by the President, shall place in nomination for the elective board members the names of not less than ten (10) nominees. All nominees shall possess current USA membership. No member of the nominating committee shall nominate a member of that committee. The committee shall be formed at the March meeting and shall present its recommendations for the board approval at the April meeting. An election ballot will be sent to all members, accompanying the renewal of membership form, to be returned by the last day of April.
3. Nomination by petition.
In addition to nomination by committee, any member’s name may be placed in nomination by a petition signed by fifteen (15) active members. To be valid such petition shall:
a. Be received by the chairman of the nominating committee no later than the first day of April.
b. Contain legible signatures and dates of signatures indicating that the signatures were obtained during the immediately prior six month period.
c. Indicate the originator of the petition and be for an individual candidate only.
4. Meetings.
The board shall meet at least three (3) times each year at a time and location to be determined: All meetings of the board shall be open to any active member. Twice each year, the board shall meet, with notices having been emailed and posted on the USA web site for at least three (3) consecutive weeks prior to the meetings. In addition, meetings of the board may be called from time to time by the President upon giving each Director not less than one (1) week’s notice of said meeting. These additional meetings may be held at any convenient location.
5. Quorum.
A quorum shall consist of five (5) members of the Board of Directors.
6. Responsibilities of Directors.
Directors shall maintain their club memberships in good standing at all times. Failure of a Director to renew his membership by the date of the April meeting will result in replacement of said Director at that meeting. Replacement will be made at the discretion of the Board of Directors, with consideration of unsuccessful candidates in the immediately preceding election. Any Director failing to attend at least two of the three annual meetings of any one year without having reported acceptable extenuating circumstances which preclude their attendance shall be replaced at the time of the April meeting in the manner described above.
7. Amendment of by-laws.
The board may amend the by-laws by an affirmation vote of not less than five (5) members of the full Board of Directors (7).


Article IV
OFFICERS
The Group’s officers shall consist of a President, a Vice President, a Secretary/Treasurer, and a Sergeant at Arms who shall be elected annually by a majority vote of the Board of Directors from members of that body on the April meeting. Their term of office shall run from May 1 to April 30. An officer who fails to carry out his duties to the satisfaction of the board may be replaced by a 2/3 vote of the board at the regular or special meeting of the board to which all board members must have been sent written notice of such intended action.
1. President (Pelekikena)
The duties of the President shall be to:
a. Preside over all meetings of the Board of Directors as chairperson with voting privileges.
b. Sign as President all contracts and other instruments which have been approved by the board.
c. Call all the officers together whenever he deems it necessary and generally discharge such other duties as may be required of him by the by-laws of the club.
d. The President shall assign club duties to members to act as group web site Moderator, Kokua Team Leader, Kokua Team, and Special Event Coordinators as necessary to meet the USA group Vision and Mission.
e. The President will coordinate with the group Conductor to encourage the development and growth of other ‘ukulele groups in support of the USA group Vision and Mission.
2. Vice-President (Hope Pelekikena).
If at any time the President shall be unable to act, or in his absence, all duties shall be performed and his powers exercised by the Vice-President.

3. Secretary/Treasurer (Kuhina).
The Secretary/Treasurer shall keep a record of all meetings and serve all notices required by the by-laws of the USA group. Further, the Secretary/Treasurer oversees the funds of the USA group in a banking account properly identified as the USA group account with record of all receipts and disbursements. All checks must be signed by two authorized, duly elected board members.
4. Sergeant at Arms (Kakiana).
The Sergeant at Arms shall assist the President while presiding over meetings to preserve order and assure that proper procedure and decorum is followed at all times. Further, the Sergeant At Arms will convey to all members of the Board of Director what is reasonably expected of them.


Article V
CONDUCTOR (ALAKA’I)
1. Eligibility.
Any person who has a bona-fide interest in the ‘Ukulele Society of America, that can play the ‘ukulele at an advanced level, that can teach how to play the ‘ukulele, that can lead the musical development of the group, and that can conduct the group in Song (Kanikapila).
2. Selection
The Board of Directors will seek out the best qualified candidates, then select and appoint the Conductor by majority vote.
3. Membership fee.
Membership fees shall be waived for the Conductor (Alaka’i). The Conductor may be compensated for services as determined by the Board of Directors in such amounts as, in their judgment, is for the best interest of the USA group.
4. Responsibilities of Conductor (Alaka’i).
The Conductor (Alaka’i) shall play the ‘ukulele and sing, prepare and manage the Kanikapila schedule, teach ‘ukulele techniques and concepts, approve and assign Guest Conductors, review and approve music for the club Music Book, act as principal advisor the President, and make recommendations to the Board of Directors to advance the USA group Vision and Mission.

ricdoug
09-28-2016, 10:04 AM
Article VI
MEMBERS
1. Eligibility.
Any person who has a bona-fide interest in the ‘ukulele and who has an interest in the operations and development of the ‘Ukulele Society of America may become a member.
2. Membership fee.
Membership fees shall be fixed by the board from year to year in such amounts as in their judgment is for the best interest of the USA group. Admittance to membership is the full and sole consideration for the payment of the membership fee. A weekly fee may be collected at Kanikapila from non-annual members.
3. Rights of members.
Each member shall, upon request, be furnished a copy of these by-laws and changes thereto, and shall be bound by and subject to them.
4. Liability (Hold Harmless).
Any member, member of his family, guest, or other person who in any manner makes use of or accepts the use of any facility, privilege, or engages in any game, contest, competition, or other group activity shall do so at his own risk, and shall hold the facility owner, the USA group, its officers, and board members harmless from any loss, injury, damage, or liability resulting there from. A “hold harmless” waiver to this effect shall be included on the membership renewal form.
5. Conduct.
All members, their families, guests, or other persons participating in activities of the ‘ukulele group shall carry out all orders given by the State of California, the officers of the USA group, the owners of the kanikapila facility, or USA Board designees in compliance will all applicable rules and regulations. Failure to carry out such orders shall have the same effect as any infraction of these by-laws.
6. Termination of membership.
The Board of Directors may suspend or terminate any membership without recourse on the part of the member for any act in violation of the by-laws.
7. Honorary memberships.
Past Presidents and Conductors (Alaka’i) of the USA group shall be awarded an honorary membership for life in recognition of services performed on behalf of the USA group. Such members shall be exempt from payment of membership dues.

Article VII
FUNDS
All funds received into the treasury with the exception of those required for operations shall be used for the advancement of the vision and mission of the ‘ukulele group. In addition, funds may be used for Group sponsored activities. Expenditures shall be in accordance with the operating budget adopted by the Board of Directors for each fiscal year. All non-budget or over-budget expenses must be approved by a majority vote of the Board of Directors. Financial records of the USA group may be audited by a certified public accountant.


Article VIII
ASSETS
In the event of dissolution, either voluntary or involuntary, the assets of the USA group, if any, shall be distributed to a tax exempt or non-profit organization decided upon by the Board of Directors of the club at the time of dissolution.


Article IX
CONFLICT OF INTEREST
Any member of the Board of Directors shall be disqualified from voting on any proposal or move in which a conflict of interest might be involved. A question as to whether a conflict of interest exists or not shall be determined by a majority vote of the other members of the board not so involved.

Steve in Kent
09-28-2016, 11:24 AM
Wow,

That is just brilliant, thank you.

Steve

ProfChris
09-28-2016, 11:57 AM
Steve, don't adopt anything like that document. If you do you will find you have amateur constitutional lawyers in your midst, and meetings will become arguments. US groups might need a constitution because they sue each other. Brits deal with these issues by grumbling a lot.

A proper British constitution should read:

1. The group will meet in a pub.

2. We'll elect a Chair once a year.

3. Decisions will be by consensus, unless there is real disagreement. In that case the Chair will decide, and those who don't like it can sit in the corner until they feel more cheerful.

4. Group funds will be looked after by X because we trust her/him.

If serious money or assets become involved you do need something more formal, which should concentrate on those aspects. If so George knows how to contact me and I'll happily review the document from a legal perspective.

If not, drink beer and keep playing!

kohanmike
09-28-2016, 08:33 PM
To present another perspective, I'm a member of The CC Strummers in Culver City, California in the Los Angeles area. In actuality, it's ukulele classes conducted under the auspices of the Culver City Senior Center, lead by Cali Rose. We have to be a member of the center ($18 a year including parking privileges), and we meet for one hour twice a week, beginners Monday at 3:30 PM, intermediate Thursday at 10 AM. Attendance is usually 30-40 a day and we contribute $3 each session for Cali and to cover paper costs for her lead sheets. It's been going on for about six years.

We don't have by-laws or elections, Cali is the leader and she makes all the decisions. Even though formally it's classes, we look at ourselves as a performance group that does gigs about 6-8 times a year; senior groups, day care centers, and we're about to set up playing for the UCLA/Mattel Children's hospital music therapy program, to which we donated 9 ukuleles through The Ukulele Kids Club.

(As I re-read this, I'm not sure it will help you, just thought I'd let you know how we're set up.)