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Non-Profit Toolkit Blog Series: Part 3E - Operating Procedures: The Everyday Guide

While bylaws establish the essential framework for your non-profit's governance, they don't cover every detail of your day-to-day operations. This is where additional operating procedures come into play, often working in conjunction with your bylaws to provide clear and practical guidance for your team.

Beyond the Bylaws: Refining Your Operations

Here's a glimpse into how different elements work together to ensure smooth and effective daily operations:

  • Fundraising:  Bylaws may establish basic fundraising principles, such as requiring board approval for major fundraising initiatives. However, additional policies might delve deeper, detailing acceptable fundraising methods, record-keeping procedures, and conflict of interest guidelines for fundraising activities.

  • Program Management:  Bylaws may not specify program specifics, but they might require the board to approve program budgets and establish oversight mechanisms. More detailed day-to-day program management procedures, such as program implementation, staff roles, and evaluation processes, would likely be outlined in separate documents.

  • Conflict Resolution:  Bylaws often outline procedures for addressing conflicts within the organization, such as between board members or staff. Separate conflict resolution policies might detail protocols for handling complaints from donors, beneficiaries, or the public. These policies ensure a fair and consistent approach to resolving issues.

  • Human Resources:  While not always included in bylaws, some non-profits might establish basic HR principles in their bylaws, such as requiring the development of separate policies on staff recruitment, compensation, and performance management. These comprehensive HR policies create a framework for building a strong and engaged team.

Developing and Maintaining Effective Operating Procedures

By creating clear and well-defined operating procedures, you empower your staff and volunteers to understand expectations, make informed decisions, and contribute effectively to the organization's mission.

In the next blog post, we'll conclude our exploration of legal and governance by providing a valuable resource directory to connect you with non-profit legal guidance.  Stay tuned for part four: Building a Strong Legal Toolkit – A Non-Profit Legal Resources Directory!

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