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Is It Time for a Post-pandemic Bylaws Review?

Some associations aren't structured well for the electronic age

Among the many things the pandemic has exposed are problems with association bylaws. Meetings were upended and the makeup of membership changed, but an association’s governing documents haven’t always adapted to that new reality.

“Some [associations] have realized that their current structure is not well suited for a more electronic age, where everybody’s not traveling or wanting to travel as much as they used to,” says Jim Slaughter, a parliamentarian and attorney specializing in bylaws revisions and amendments. “For others, it’s an opportunity to look at their governing documents and see what can be done to modernize them.”

Like car tune-ups and physicals, bylaws review can feel like an unpleasant but necessary process. But it’s also an opportunity for an association to take a serious look at what is and isn’t working about its structure and to take the temperature of its membership. Slaughter shared four points about what to look for when revisiting bylaws and how to make sure they stay relevant.

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