The Twin Lakes Audubon Society has operated under a constitution adopted from the National Audubon Society for nearly 15 years. This constitution does not reflect how our organization is currently run. I have created an amended constitution that supposes a membership run organization without a board of directors. We have been voting on issues in general meetings and have not done much business behind closed doors. I think this version enshrines the spirit of TLAS within our governing document.
Please review our old constitution and the new one. I have also created a PDF that shows the exact changes made to the documents.
In addition to this we need to think about becoming a nonprofit corporation in Texas. This would be a one-time fee of $35 and require an update to the Secretary of State about every 4 years. It would not require any accounting beyond what we already do for National Audubon. This could shield members from individual liability and allow for our group to receive discounts and not pay sales tax when interacting with businesses.
Finally we were at one point a 501(c)3 organization. This meant that we were registered with the IRS as a nonprofit entity, which allowed people to confirm our nonprofit status with the IRS, and once again can make conducting business as a nonprofit easier. For example, when people donate to the group it makes it easier for them to deduct this as a charitable expense. Our 501(c)3 status has lapsed though and would require re-application. This also would require very little effort. The biggest issue is that it would be a one-time fee of $400. Every year there is a post card the group is supposed to send to the IRS, which indicates our revenue. This would require a postage stamp.
The incorporation and 501(c)3 status may not seem important now but if we need them in the future, they would require some time to be obtained. Having and maintaining theses statuses in addition to modernizing our constitution is important to create a foundation for the group’s continued growth.
We will vote on these issues at the November 14th, 2017 meeting. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any concerns or questions.