Free Spirit Alliance Corporation By-Laws
(including amendments through April 1, 2007)
Section One: Membership
Individuals who participated in the vote to approve this Corporation’s Articles of Incorporation are charter members. Upon payment of the proper membership fee, they will immediately become entitled to all membership rights without need for acceptance or approval of their applications at subsequent Corporation business meetings. Their applications will not require the endorsement of other members. As of December 11, 2011, individuals who wish to join the Corporation for any given year may do so in one of three ways:
1. by registering for Free Spirit Gathering, paying a fee as determined by the Administration Board, signing the Pantheist Pledge, endorsing the Free Spirit Alliance Code of Honor, and attending one business meeting (or waiting one year). Voting privilege will be valid after attendance at one meeting. Their membership will be valid from the first day of Free Spirit Gathering the year they register until the day before the next year’s Free Spirit Gathering.
2. or by sending in their dues as determined by the Administration Board and endorsing the Free Spirit Alliance Code of Honor and Pantheist Pledge.
3. Becoming a Lifetime Voting Member by paying that level of dues once as determined by the Administration Board and endorsing the Free Spirit Alliance Code of Honor and Pantheist Pledge.
Past members would see no change in their status so long as they continued to fulfill one of the above requirements.
Any voting member has the right to request that another individual be placed on a ban list and removed from the membership roll. This would be followed by a vote at a meeting after notice has been sent to the individual. A 2/3 majority of all members in attendance, either in person or by proxy, at that meeting would be required to place an individual on the ban list. A name can be removed from the ban list by a 2/3 majority vote at a membership meeting.
Any member who has a lapse in membership can have it reinstated by simply registering for FSG or sending in their dues as determined by the Administration Board.
Section Two: Privacy
The Corporation’s membership records are its own private property. Information therein may not be sold, borrowed, or disclosed to other organizations and individuals, nor published and distributed to Corporation members without the expressed consent of each member involved.
Trustees and members of the Administrative Board, as an implicit function of their offices, may use the membership records for purposes which benefit the Corporation. All copies of these records in their possession must be returned to the Corporation upon their resignation or removal from office.
Officials of federal, state and local government agencies may examine the membership records in the normal course of their duties upon the presentation of a proper warrant or court order, or as otherwise provided by law, but will be required to show proper identification to the Corporation’s officers.
All mail from the Corporation to its members must be sealed or stapled and marked externally in a manner that does not compromise the privacy of members who prefer not to disclose their faith to others.
Section Three: Record Keeping and Finances
The Administrative Board will keep records of the Corporation’s finances in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. Financial statements must be examined by the Board of Trustees before distribution. If the trustees wish to express an opinion, the opinion must be attached to the statements. When the trustees fail to agree on an opinion, none will be attached, but the statements may not be distributed until the next Corporation business meeting.
Corporate banking and borrowing resolutions must be witnessed by at least one trustee who is not authorized by these resolutions to sign checks, notes, or other contracts with the bank. At least one trustee must witness a written contract made on behalf of the Corporation by the Administrative Board.
Upon request, the Administrative Board must make all Corporation records available for inspection by any trustee. The Administrative Board must comply with the request within 30 days.
A trustee who suspects irregularities in the Corporation’s financial records or violations of the Articles of Incorporation or the Bylaws may instruct banks to refuse withdrawals, checks, and loans until the matter can be discussed at the next Corporation business meeting. The trustee(s) who executes such authority must immediately inform all other trustees and the Administrative Board, in writing, that they have taken such action. By a majority vote of the trustees, all authority exercised by the Administrative Board can be suspended until the next Corporation business meeting, which will be presided over by the trustees.
The Administrative Board cannot suspend the membership rights of a trustee until the trustee has been removed from office.
Financial statements, bank statements, and records which do not compromise the privacy of Corporation members must be made available for inspection within 60 days upon request by any member other than a trustee.
Section Four: Advertising
The Administrative Board may distribute information for other organizations and individuals for the benefit of the Corporation’s members. The Corporation must be compensated for any commercial advertising in its publications or commercial advertising it distributes that is not part of a publication.
Section Five: Fee Schedule
Membership fees will be determined by the officers and trustees, no more frequently than annually, and announced to the membership. Changes will take effect 30 days after such announcement. Registration fees for festivals and other activities will be determined by the committees managing these activities. Editor’s note: Current fees are listed on the Membership page.
Section Six: Rights of the Corporation
The Corporation reserves the exclusive right to represent itself with the name Free Spirit Alliance. Only activities and publications sponsored by the Corporation may be advertised as such. No other individuals or organizations may claim to represent the Corporation or advertise an affiliation with the Corporation except as specifically authorized by same and with expressed permission.
Participants at any Corporation-sponsored activity are responsible for their actions. The Corporation may demand compensation for any individual whose illegal or negligent behavior causes damage for which the Corporation or its members are held accountable.
[Approved October 21, 1989, Fall general business meeting]
Section Seven: Business Meetings and General Operations of the Corporation
The agenda of the Corporation business meeting is set by the President, and is presented to the membership by the Administrative Secretary. The President may accept agenda items suggested by the members, but may, at his/her discretion, reject any of these items. Committee reports of which the President is advised before the setting of the agenda must be included in it, as well as any report by the Financial Secretary or Trustee.
Any item rejected by the President may be brought up by the members as a motion under “new business.” Motions and late-arriving committee reports brought under new business which, in the opinion of the President, require the entire membership’s opinion or consent may be postponed by the President and thereby become part of the agenda for the next business meeting.
As authorized by the Articles of Incorporation, the President presides at business meetings. Accordingly, she/he has the responsibility and authority to moderate debate and insure the rights of the members. With just cause, the President may, require a person whose behavior interferes with the rights of other members to cease and desist from such behavior. If this fails, she/he may introduce a motion to eject from a meeting any person whose behavior violates the rights of other members.
The official rules and powers of elected officers are specified in the Articles of Incorporation and additionally include the following powers and responsibilities.
· Keeps financial records.
· Refunds money to members upon presentation of receipt or other proof of funds spent on Corporation business.
· Presents financial statements as requested by the Trustees; prepares budgets as necessary for the operation of authorized committees.
· Picks up mail from Post Office.
· Keeps the mailing list.
· Supplies mailing labels to committees as necessary.
· Takes minutes at business meetings, supplying copies to the newsletter editor.
· Supports other officers by supplying membership list at events.
· Reminds the membership of dues renewal.
· Purchases office supplies.
· Copies and distributes flyers and directories.
· Holds all official Corporation documents.
· Functions in place of the President when he/she is unable to perform his/her duties.
· Assists the President in any tasks which may be delegated to him/her.
· Makes necessary purchases in accordance with a budget provided by the Financial Secretary and approved at a business meeting.
· Makes a report of these purchases at the next Corporate business meeting (a copy of this report is available to membership upon request).
· May act as official spokesperson for the Corporation.
· May delegate these tasks to others as necessary or expedient.
· Makes problem-solving decisions on behalf of the Corporation when such decisions either cannot be deferred until the next meeting or do not require approval by the members (in such cases, the President acts upon advisement of the Trustees).