Starting an NGO:
Develop the NGO's Bye-laws

Cover page:
Starting an NGO

Bylaws are the set of rules under which the organization will operate. They typically include such items as (a) number of members, term length, nomination process, committees, and meetings; (b) fiscal year/accounting cycles, committees, and officers' responsibilities; (c) methodologies, tools, and strategies, monitoring and evaluation etc.; and (d) how to amend the bylaws themselves.

Note that Bye-laws can also be called the NGO's "constitution" , "article of association" or "statues", depending ont he law of a particular country.

Typical bye-laws of an NGO will contain the following information:

  • Preamble
  • Organization name and acronym
  • Organizational logo
  • Basic aim and purpose of organization
  • Mission statement
  • Functions
  • Membership (types, conditions/qualifications of members, status, length of service, procedure to become members, rights and obligations, termination)
  • Advisory board (role and functions, qualitifications of board members, authority, elections, members)
  • Organizational structure
  • Asset mamagement (Finance and property, membership fees)
  • Legal status
  • Contact address
  • Dissolution of NGO
  • Ammendments, modifications, revisions of bye-laws

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Comments and suggestions:
Hari Srinivas - hsrinivas@gdrc.org