BYLAWS OF GAMBIAN AMERICAN ASSOCIATION


ARTICLE I - NAME, PURPOSE

Section 1: The name of the organization shall be

GAMBIAN AMERICAN ASSOCIATION

Section 2: Gambian American Association is organized exclusively for charitable purposes which includes but not limited to:

Ø  Creating a healthy atmosphere for dialogue.

Ø  Rendering financial assistance to Gambians and local community organizations whose various predicaments warrant such assistance.

Ø  Promoting and maintaining our cultural heritage

Ø  Promoting a good harmonious working relationship with other Gambian organizations in the United States, The Gambia and around the world.

Ø  Promoting cultural diversity;

Ø  Affiliate with other organizations with a view to promoting medical, educational, athletic, social, and cultural well-being;

Ø  Participating and promoting good citizenship in the communities we live and serve;

ARTICLE II – GENERAL MEMBERSHIP


Section 1: Membership to the organization is not a right but a privilege.  It is voluntary and open to all Gambians (by birth or naturalization) and friends of The Gambia who are willing to: share the common goals of the association, abide by the rules and regulations of the association, respect and work with fellow members, and meet all the financial obligation of the organization which include a non-refundable yearly membership fee of $100.00 for a family (parent(s) and children under the age of 18 years), and $50 for single members 18years or older.

 

 

Members who meet the above criteria shall have the right to:

 

-Nominate, be nominated, to elect and be elected to an office.

-Fully participate in all decision making which include but not limited to reviewing financial statements and other records.

Section 2: A member who willfully fails to meet the criteria stated in section 1 shall lose all membership privileges.

·         An individual ceases to be a member if he/she fails to pay monthly membership dues for six months.

·         To be reinstated such member must settle all owed arrears.

·         To be a member in current standing one must not owe more than two months of monthly membership dues.

 

ARTICLE III – MEETINGS


Section 1: General Members of the association shall meet quarterly at a venue predetermined during the previous meeting. In addition meetings can also be held via conference calls. The Secretary shall provide notice and instructions to the general members who wish to join the meetings.

 

 

Section 2Special Meetings: - Emergency Executive meetings can be called upon by the President or one-third of the Executive Members, to be communicated by the Secretary in the form of regular mail, email, telephone and/or text messages at least two days in advance.


Section 3Notice: - Scheduled meetings shall be communicated to the membership by mail, telephone, text and/or email no less than seven days before the scheduled date.

 

 

ARTICLE IV – EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

Section 1: The Executive is responsible for overall policy and direction of the association, and delegate’s responsibility for day-to-day operations to the association. The Executive shall comprise of up to ten and not less than three members at any given period. They shall receive no compensation except for preapproved reasonable expenses.


Section 2Meetings:-The Executive shall meet at least once every month, at an agreed time and place or via conference call.

Section 3Executive Committee Elections: - Election of new executive committee members or re-election of current executive committee members to a second term will occur as the first item at business meetings of the association. Executive committee members will be elected by a majority vote of the current members of association present at the election venue.
Section 4Terms: - All Executive Members shall serve a two-year term, but are eligible for re-election.

 

 

Section 5Quorum: - Business shall be transacted or motion passed only if there is a quorum; 60% of the executive Committee at any meeting, constitute a quorum.

 

Section 6Executive Committee Members and Duties: - There shall be tenExecutive Members consisting of a President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Assistant Treasurer,  Auditor, Assistant Auditor, Social Secretary Assistant Social Secretary and Public Relations Officer ( PRO). Their duties are as follows:

Ø The President

A. Shall co-ordinate and preside over all meetings of the association

B. Shall call emergency meetings for the General Membership and Executive Committee.

C. Shall be the leader and spokesman of the association.

D. Shall be a signatory to the account of the association.

E. Shall in consultation with the executive, appoint members to various committees

F. Shall delegate tasks when it becomes unclear whose purview the task is under.

G. Shall in consultation with the Executive, appoint vacant executive members on an interim basis.

H. Shall appoint members to special projects.

 

 

 

Ø The Vice President

A. Shall in the absence of the President, be vested with the powers and authority of the president, and shall perform all functions in the manner specified for the office of the president.

B. Shall be a signatory to the association’s accounts

 

Ø The Secretary

A. Shall be responsible for coordinating all meetings including putting together meeting agenda and posting it a week before a scheduled meeting

B. shall be responsible for keeping records of the association’s activities including the taking of meeting minutes, sending out meeting announcements, distributing copies of minutes and the agenda to members

C. Shall in consultation with the president, write all correspondences of the association

 D. Shall be responsible for general administration and internal and external correspondences.

E. Shall be the custodian of all documents and correspondences relating to the association 

F. Shall be copied on all correspondence.

G. Shall be a signatory to the account of the association

H. Shall be chair of the publicity and marketing committee

 

 

Ø The Treasurer

A. Shall keep all financial records and valuables of the association.

B.  Shall be responsible for collecting of funds and depositing it, with at least one other executive member, to the association account immediately and not more than 48 business hours.

C. Shall give a complete financial report at every Quarterly meeting

D. Shall be the first point of contact for the Auditor and any Audit request.

E. Shall in consultation with the finance committee be responsible for the preparation of Annual Reports.

 F. Shall be responsible for budget planning.

G. Shall be responsible for the posting of transactions.

H. Shall receive and reconcile Bank Statements every month

I. Shall coordinate all ticket sales including assigning ticket sellers at the association’s fundraising events

J. Shall be the chair of the finance committee

 

Ø The Assistant Treasurer

Shall In the absence of the Treasurer, be vested with the powers and authority of the treasurer, and shall perform all functions in the manner specified for the office of treasurer.

 

Ø The Auditor

A. Shall be responsible for all controls.

B. Shall review and audit all bank statements to include requesting significant documents if necessary

C. Shall request and receive all financial information from the Treasurer.

D. Shall provide bi-annual Audited financial report to the executive.

E. Shall audit all fundraising events and present such reports to the executive

F. Shall have unhindered access to all bank accounts and all other online/offline resources including web portals, social media etc

G. shall have the sole discretion to audit the association’s account whenever he/she deems it necessary and will have the full and unconstrained cooperation of the treasurer and executive

 

Ø Asst. Auditor

Shall In the absence of the Auditor, be vested with the powers and authority of the Auditor, and shall perform all functions in the manner specified for the office of Auditor.

 

Ø The Social Secretary

A. Shall Chair the social and programs committee

B. shall serve as the organization’s event coordinator, including overseeing and assigning responsibilities to members at all events.

C. Shall in consultation with the president, assign responsibilities to members at the association’s events

D. Shall be responsible for presenting to the executive through the finance committee fundraising budget for approval.

E. Shall be responsible for membership recruitment of the association

Ø Asst. Social Secretary

Shall In the absence of the Social secretary, be vested with the powers and authority of the Social Secretary, and shall perform all functions in the manner specified for the office of Social Secretary.

 

Ø Public Relations Officer (PRO)

A. Shall be deputy chair for publicity and marketing committee 

B. Shall be the primary spokesperson of the association in consultation with the President.

C. Shall in consultation with the secretary, be responsible for the promotional strategies of the association’s programs and objectives with members and non-members.

D. Shall be responsible for the association’s Newsletter and other publications, including social media outlets.

E. Shall serve as the head of the association’s sponsorship committee

 

Section 7Vacancies: - In the event of a  vacancy in the Executive Committee exists, the Secretary shall invite nominations to fill the open position from current Executive Members two weeks in advance of Executive Meetings. These nominations shall be communicated to Executive Members with the regular meeting announcement, to be voted upon at the next Executive Committee meeting. These vacancies will be filled only to the end of the particular Executive member's term.

 

Section 8: Qualification for election as an Executive committee member:-

·         A person must be in good standing as a member such as abiding by the bylaws and be up to date with the payment of monthly membership dues.

·         Only a member in good standing can nominate a candidate for office.

·         Each nomination must be confirmed by another member(s) of good standing.

·         A nominated member must accept nomination before he/she can be on the ballot.

Section 10Resignation, Termination, and Absences: - Resignation from the Executive Committee must be in writing and received by the Secretary. An Executive Committee Member shall be removed for, embezzlement of funds, any violation of the bylaws, excess absences that is three unexcused absences in a year from the executive member meetings. An Executive Committee member may be removed for other reasons by a three-fourths vote of the remaining Executive Members.

 

ARTICLE V – SUB- COMMITTEES


Section 1: The Executive Committee shall create sub-committees as needed, such as in fundraising, education, social services, and entertainment and sport. The General members may nominate the sub-committee members.

Section 2Finance Committee: - The Treasurer is chair of the Finance Committee, which includes three other executive committee members. The Finance Committee is responsible for developing and reviewing fiscal procedures, a fundraising plan, and annual budget with members and other executive members. The Executive Committee must approve the budget, and all expenditures must be within the budget. The Executive must approve any major change in the budget. The fiscal year shall be June 30th of the Calendar year. Annual reports are required to be submitted to the Executive showing income, expenditures and pending income. The financial records of the organization are public information and shall be made available to the general membership and public.

 

 

Ad Hoc committee(s) - As and when necessary, an ad hoc committee shall be formed to plan and execute special functions or undertake special assignments. It shall be dissolved upon    completion of such assignments.

 

 

ARTICLE VI - AMENDMENTS

Section 1: These Bylaws may be amended when necessary by the general membership or a two-thirds majority of the Executive Members. Proposed amendments must be submitted to the Secretary to be sent out with regular announcements.
These Bylaws were approved at a meeting of the Executive Members of Gambian American Association on September, 19 2010