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Oklahoma Arts CouncilOklahoma Arts Council

Nonprofit Arts
Development Guide

Chapter 3: Developing Bylaws for an Arts Council or Arts Organization

Purpose of bylaws
Bylaws are written rules and guidelines that outline how a 501 ( c ) ( 3 ) non-profit organization will operate and conduct business. The organization's board of directors and staff is expected to honor and follow the bylaws.

Why bylaws are important
Bylaws ensure the organization operates efficiently and effectively; and ensures legal, ethical and financial compliance to regulations guiding the non-profit corporation. Non-profit organizations are required to have bylaws in place prior to filing with the Internal Revenue Service for 501 (c) (3) status.

Tips for developing bylaws
Form a committee to develop the bylaws. Consider 3 to 5 people who are actively involved in the organization's development.

Setting Policies: bylaws articles
Bylaws are comprised of a series of articles that describes how the organization will operate. Examples of basic articles: Name, location, mission, purpose

Approval and adoption of the bylaws

There are numerous examples of bylaws and bylaws format on the internet, including bylaws for some local arts councils. To become familiar with formats, search the internet for more information, or acquire a sample of bylaws from another arts organization.

BoardSource is an excellent resource: www.boardsource.org