Sample Chapter Bylaws

These sample bylaws are for chapters that are adopting the traditional model of leadership. This is only a sample. Chapters have the flexibility to draft bylaws that meet their needs and structure.





Section 1 This organization shall be known as the Wisconsin Alumni Association: ________ Chapter.

Section 2 The objective of this chapter shall be similar to those of the Wisconsin Alumni Association (WAA): namely, to promote in an organized manner the best interests of the University of Wisconsin-Madison in establishing closer contact between the university and the ________ area, creating a scholarship program to assist young people in attending the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and, in general, connecting, enriching, and serving University of Wisconsin-Madison alumni.

Section 3 The chapter provides equal opportunities to all alumni and friends regardless of race, color, gender, age, creed, disability, national origin, sexual orientation, marital status, or any other basis prohibited by state or federal laws.



Section 1 Any individual who has been a student of UW-Madison or who has an interest in the university shall be entitled to membership in the chapter. This organization expressly encourages spouses of alumni or friends of the university to be included in any activity in which they wish to participate.

Section 2 Only alumni of UW-Madison shall have the right to serve as directors and officers, or to be able to nominate individuals to serve in those positions.



Section 1 The board of directors (“board”) of this chapter comprises volunteers who are formally recognized as those who are making a commitment to the governance of the organization or those who are serving as project or committee chairs.

The directors shall be elected for a term of ____ year(s). The terms of the [chapter name]________ board shall be staggered so that each year [number]____ of board members retire from the board and a like number of new directors are elected to the board. The retiring president shall serve as an ex-officio member of the board. Between annual elections, the board shall, by a majority vote of its members, fill all board vacancies that occur due to resignation or expulsion or for other reasons. All new terms begin on [date]____________.

Section 2 Board members are encouraged to attend as many meetings as possible. The board has the right to set minimal attendance expectations.

Section 3 The Board will establish project teams when deemed necessary. The board members will volunteer to oversee these project teams.

Section 4 Project teams may have co-chairs to ensure that one person is not overly burdened with any one event or project. Project co-chairs recruit team members from the general membership of the chapter. The officers will act in the capacity of resource members to the project co-chairs for whatever tasks need to be performed for the common good of the chapter.

Section 5 It is the obligation of each officer, board member, or committee member to fully disclose any direct or indirect interest in financial transactions or other issues coming before the board. Thereafter, the officer, board member, or committee member must refrain from voting on or discussing matters related to that issue so as to avoid a conflict of interest.



Section 1 The board president, as designated annually by the board, will be responsible for coordinating the organization. The president shall preside at all meetings of the board and at all chapter or special meetings when the proceedings are of a business nature. The president shall oversee all official chapter activities, finances, the board, and yearly programming.

Section 2 The vice president shall fulfill the duties of the president in case of his/her absence or disability. The vice president shall serve as chair of the program committee and shall be responsible for all chapter programs and activities.

Section 3 The secretary shall be the custodian of all permanent records of the chapter. The secretary shall prepare agendas and keep minutes of all meetings. The secretary will maintain membership records. The secretary will oversee all official newsletters and external membership mailings.

Section 4 The treasurer shall have charge of all chapter funds and shall disburse such funds as deemed necessary. The treasurer shall keep accounts in books belonging to the chapter, which at times shall be open to inspection by any member of the chapter in good standing. The treasurer will deposit all chapter funds in the name of the chapter in a bank or trust company approved by the board. The treasurer is empowered to issue and sign all checks drawn upon chapter funds, which shall then be countersigned by a co-chair. The treasurer will prepare budgets and supply the co-chair with a report of receipts and disbursements whenever required. At the expiration of the treasurer’s term of office, all funds, records, papers, and other chapter property shall be transferred to his or her successor.



Section 1 Standing and special committees shall be appointed annually by the president, subject to approval by the board. Such committees shall include fundraising, scholarship, events, athletics, and communications.

Section 2 Such other committees as the board deems necessary shall be appointed by the president as other standing or special committees.



Section 1 A minimum of three activities will be held annually, one of which must be a Founders’ Day event.

Section 2 Founders’ Day shall be observed annually with an event appropriate to the occasion.

Section 3 Regular meetings of the board shall be held at a time designated by the president and upon at least 10 days’ notice. Other meetings and activities shall be organized to coincide with the goals outlined in Article I, Section 2.



Section 1 These bylaws may be amended at any stated official chapter meeting by a two-thirds vote of the members present. Notice of proposed amendments shall be given one meeting prior to the meeting at which the amendment will be voted upon. Amendments must be submitted in writing.



Section 1 The rules contained in the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised shall be the basis of authority for the chapter and shall govern in cases not covered by the bylaws. However, if these rules hinder proceedings, members may vote to set the rules aside for greater expediency. If there are any objections to forgoing the rules, a majority of present members must agree to lay them aside.



Section 1 In the event of chapter dissolution, all of its assets and net income, current and accumulated, remaining after the payment of its debts, obligations, and claims shall be transferred to and become the property of the Wisconsin Alumni Association, a nonprofit corporation exempt from the federal income tax under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954.



Section 1 The Wisconsin Alumni Association: ________ Chapter does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, gender, sexual orientation, age, national origin, ancestry, disability, marital status, pregnancy, political affiliation, identity as a veteran, military service membership, or any other basis prohibited by state or federal laws.