BYLAWS FOR PA NONBELIEVERS
Article I: Name The name of this organization is PA Nonbelievers (PAN) Article II: Purposes
PA Nonbelievers is a notforprofit organization created to foster a community of atheists, agnostics, and secular humanists dedicated to improving the human condition through rational inquiry and creative thinking unfettered by superstition, religion, or any form of dogma. PAN is an affiliate of American Atheists, Inc. and works in full cooperation with the Council for Secular Humanism and is a member of the CSH Affiliates. In accordance with our purpose, we seek to UNITE all nonbelievers in these common goals:
- To EDUCATE ourselves and others in the deceptions and dangers inherent in belief inthe supernatural, and in the benefits to society, the family, and the individual that derive from rational thinking and the scientific method.
- To PROMOTE skeptical thinking and nonbelief, and the humanist values of moral excellence, altruism, integrity, honesty, and personal responsibility.
- To ADVOCATE for civil rights and for the principle of separation of church and state.
- To CHALLENGE and to confront, if necessary, those who would impose their religious values or laws on others in our society.
Article III: Elections Ultimate authority resides in the Members. The Members elect the Directors. The Directors elect the Officers. The Officers manage the prudential affairs of the organization in accordance with these bylaws.
Article IV: Members
Section 1: General Membership in the organization shall be open to all persons adherent to the purposes of Article II of the Bylaws. Types of membership shall be: Individual, Life, and Honorary. Dues shall be set by the Board. Section 2: Individual Membership Individual memberships shall be available to all duespaying persons adherent to Article II. Individual members are entitled to one vote. The Board may set a lower rate of dues for individual members who are students or on a low income.
Section 3: Life Membership Life membership can be conferred on any person who meets the dues set by the Board for life membership, and is adherent to the purposes of Article II. Life members have the same rights and privileges as individual members.
Section 4: Honorary Membership Honorary membership may be conferred on a person who has been nominated by a member and approved by twothirds of the Directors voting. Honorary members have the same rights and privileges as individual members.
Section 5: Condition of Membership Application for membership shall be made annually in writing or in electronic form. These membership applications must be approved annually by the board of directors, submitting at least name, address, and correct amount of dues, and indication of agreement in substantial part with PAN’s mission. An application may be rejected at the discretion of the Board. Membership terminates when a member fails to pay dues, resigns, dies, or is expelled. Any member – including Life or Honorary – may be expelled by a majority vote of the PAN Board for seriously obstructing the organization’s business, misappropriating the organization’s name or funds, or acting in a way that discredits the organization. Upon request, members who are expelled before the anniversary of their enrollment will receive a prorated refund of membership fees.
Article V: The Board of Directors
Section 1: Responsibilities The Board of Directors shall be responsible for the organization’s affairs and policy, and shall elect the Officers. The Board shall be subject to these Bylaws, and to any Bylaws of the Board of PAN. Section 2: Composition The Board shall consist of not less than five (5) nor more than twelve (12) members. The Officers are exofficio Members of the Board. Elected and exofficio Board Members shall have the same rights and responsibilities. Members may nominate candidates, or volunteer to be nominated as candidates. Directors are elected to a three (3) year term at the Annual membership Meeting. Directors terms are staggered so that onethird, or as close as possible to onethird, of the positions may be elected each year. Directors may be reelected.
Section 3: Identification All current and former members of the board of PAN will be reimbursed by PAN for any legal fees and legal costs incurred in a civil law suit having to do with the member acting in the normal scope of a member of the board of directors. Anyone who acts unlawfully or with gross negligence will not be eligible for reimbursement. Section 4: Removal of Director 1. A minimum twothirds majority of the Board of Directors is required to remove a Director. 2. A simple majority of the remaining Board of Directors is required to appoint a Director to replace the Director removed by way of Section 4.1. The appointed Director’s term expires at the immediately following General Meeting.
Article VI: Officers Section 1: General The organization shall have the following officers: President, VicePresident, Treasurer, and Secretary. There may also be other officers, such as Program Director, Publicity Director, etc., whose duties shall be specified by the Board. Officers shall be at least 18 years old and shall have been members for at least six months. They shall be elected by a majority of the Directors present and voting at the Board’s Annual Meeting. An officer’s term of office lasts until the next election of officers the following year. No one shall hold more than one office at a time. An officer may be removed or suspended by a majority of the board members voting. An officer may resign by notifying the President in writing. The President may resign by notifying the VicePresident in writing. If an office becomes vacant, the Board shall elect a successor to fill the unexpired term.
Section 2: The President The President shall be the Chief Executive Officer, coordinating the work of other officers and committees. The President will chair board meetings and annual meetings, and will be responsible for compiling the agenda. Other officers and committee chairpersons shall consult the president about their activities, and one month before the annual meeting they shall give the President a written report on their activities. The President shall report regularly, through the newsletter. The President will have the power to sign checks in the name of the Organization, in lieu of the Treasurer. A newly elected President will be assigned as a joint account holder within two weeks of being elected. Has the power to effect disbursements in accordance with Article 6, Section 7.
Section 3: The Vice President
The Vice President becomes the President if the President’s office becomes vacant; and assumes the office temporarily if the vacancy is temporary. The Vice President shall assist the president as requested. Section 4: The Secretary The Secretary shall: (1) record the minutes of the Organization and Board meetings; (2) handle the Organization and Board correspondence; (3) maintain a permanent file of the Organization and Board Bylaws and other documents including minutes of the Organization and Board meetings, Officers’ and Committee Chairpersons’ reports, newsletters, correspondence; (4) maintain a permanent record of the Organization and Board decisions, rules, motions made and carried.
Section 5: The Treasurer The Treasurer shall: (1) Keep records of money received and spent; (2) safeguard the Organization’s funds; (3) invest funds, with Board approval; (4) submit an annual budget to the Board; (5) submit quarterly and annual reports to the Board; (6) in conjunction with the President, manage and maintain all Organization accounts; (7) Has the power to effect disbursements in accordance with Article 6, Section 7.. Section 6: Composition “Partners” (to include spouses, engaged pairs, domestic partners, those who share a domicile or an
ongoing business relationship, and relatives of the first and second degree) shall not serve concurrently as Officers of PAN. In the event that partners run for concurrent officer positions, the existing officer shall take priority to serve, and subsequent positions must be filled by other board members otherwise qualified by Articles III and VI.
Section 7: Disbursements Disbursements may be made by president or treasurer in accordance with the organization’s needs. Disbursements over $250 must be approved in advance by a majority of the board of directors. Article VII: Meetings Section 1: Annual Meeting The Organization shall hold an Annual Meeting, at a time and site determined by the Board and in time to give the members at least 60 calendar days written notice of meeting. Any member may propose agenda items, in writing, to the president, in advance of the Meeting. At Meetings, items may be added to the agenda with approval of the majority of the members present. A quorum shall consist of the members present.
Section 2: Special meeting Any member may write the President requesting a special meeting, claiming that an emergency exists requiring immediate action. The President shall present the request to the Board. The Board shall decide, within three (3) weeks, by secret ballot, whether, when and where to hold a special meeting. The special meeting shall be held no later than six (6) weeks after the President’s initial receipt of the request. The President shall announce the special meeting to all members by letter, as soon as possible, but the letters shall be postmarked no less than 14 days before the meeting. A quorum shall consist of the members present. The agenda of the meeting shall comprise only those issues having direct bearing on the stated purpose of the meeting.
Section 3: Board of Directors Meeting The Board shall hold its Annual Board of Directors Meeting within 7 calendar days of the organization’s Annual Meeting, at a location and time to be announced at PAN’s Annual Meeting. The Board may also hold special meetings. Article VIII: Publications The organization shall publish a newsletter at regular intervals. The organization may authorize other publications.
Article IX: Voting All members shall be entitled to vote. All votes shall have equal value. In contests of more than two (2) candidates or choices, a plurality shall be sufficient. Votes must be cast in person. There shall be no votes by mail. Article X: Inurement of Income No part of the net earnings of the organization shall inure to the benefit of, or be distributable to, its members, directors, officers, or other private persons except that the organization shall be authorized and empowered to pay reasonable compensation for services rendered.
Article XI: Dissolution Clause Upon the dissolution of the organization, the Board of Directors shall, after paying or making provisions for the payment of all the liabilities of the organization, dispose of all the assets of the organization exclusively for the purpose of the organization in such manner, or to such organization or organizations operated exclusively for the purpose of charitable, educational, religious, or scientific purposes as shall at the time qualify as exempt organizations under section 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Any such assets not so disposed of shall be disposed of by the Court of Common Pleas of the county in which the principal office of the organization is then located, exclusively for such purposes or to such organizations as said court shall determine, which are organized and operated exclusively for such purposes. Article XII: Amendments to these Bylaws The Bylaws may be amended at an annual meeting or special meeting by a majority vote of those members present and voting.