Organization Sample Constitution and Bylaws

Policy Title: Organization Sample Constitution and Bylaws

Policy Number: AU190

Effective Date: 11-10-06

Last Revision: 12-5-16

Sample guidelines for organizations which do not have an approved Constitution and By-Laws on file with the AU.

Introduction. This policy section provides an example and guideline for AU organizations (Club, Combine, Concourses, Federations, Association, etc.) to use in the creation of a platform of ground rules for pigeon organizations, which will reduce misunderstandings, conflicts, and improve the retention of both old and new members in the sport of pigeon racing. The word 'organization' may be exchanged with Club, Combine, Concourse, etc. to fit the size of the organization as defined in AU100 and AU110.

(Name of Organization)



Section 1. Name & Location. The name of this organization shall be the (name), located in the (city or area). Note: As a club, you may restrict membership to a certain geographic area or have a boundary. This should be described here. Any members that are in good standings when boundaries are adopted are automatically "grand fathered in." Members cannot be excluded because they have been successful in competition.

Note: If Concourses, etc. are comprised of clubs, and accept clubs and all their members regardless of geographic boundaries.

Section 2. Affiliation. The Organization shall be chartered with the American Racing Pigeon Union (AU), (List Concourse, State Assoc., etc. Be sure to use the appropriate organizational descriptor as outlined in the National Database guidelines). It will compete and conduct its activities in compliance with the AU rules and Competition Standards. Members may affiliate with any other club or national organization as an individual as desired.

Section 3. Purpose. The Purpose of this Organization is to engage in the friendly competition of racing registered Homing Pigeons and to foster a positive social

environment for members and their families while promoting the Sport of Racing Pigeons.

Section 4. Motto. (optional but handy in keeping your group focused.) Our Motto shall be: "Competition is for testing Pigeons, not relationships." (create your own)

Section 5. Sportsmanship. Members of the (organization) agree to conduct themselves in the spirit of friendly sportsmanship, fairness and in accordance with the AU Code of Ethics. (Recommend that you attach a copy of the AU Policy 310 when distributing to membership.)


Section 1. Active Members: Any homing pigeon fancier who has participated in at least (Select number - must be at least) race(s) during the previous year, and is current in all dues and fees of the (organization) and national organizations is considered an active flying member. All other members who are current of all dues and fees and did not fly are considered by the (organization) as active members. Members must be of good character and have never been expelled by a recognized national racing pigeon organization.

Section 2. New Members: Recommendations of individuals as new members in the (organizational name) may be made by any active member of the club. A prospective member who has never been a member shall be eligible for membership if he is eligible to be an AU member. Membership shall not be denied based on anyone's sex, race, creed or religion. Acceptance of the applicant as a member is constituted by a majority vote in favor by those current members present and voting.

Section 3. Invitational Membership: (Optional) If a club chooses to be an invitational (club), membership would be available in the club by invitation. A simply majority of current or active members must vote on the invited prospect to be accepted. (Note, Combines and other organizations usually accept membership by written application.)

Section 4. Probationary Membership: (Optional) Any new member duly accepted by the (organization), shall be a probationary member for twelve (12) months upon being accepted. During the probationary period, the new member has full entitlement to participate in races and other activities sponsored by the (organization). Probationary members may have limited (describe "limits") rights and voting privileges during this period. At the first regular meeting following completion of the member's probationary period, they shall stand for voting into full active member status. A simple majority of active members present may vote to install full active membership status. Once a new member has completed this probationary membership period, the organization shall vote on them prior to conducting any other business and the new member shall be entitled to vote on all items of business considered at the meeting.

Section 5. Junior Membership in the (organization) is defined as any person less than eighteen (17) years of age and accepted by the majority vote of the active members present. (Junior members may or may not be allowed or have limited voting privileges, depending on the wishes of the club. (Outline any such restrictions in this section.)

Section 6. Associate Membership is defined as any former flying member of the (organization) who is not presently engaged in racing pigeons. Associates and Junior

members are (or not) eligible to vote on (organizational) business, (or, define specifically if they can only vote on certain sections of organizational business).

Section 7. Partnership lofts shall be limited to one (1) vote each. (Partnership lofts may also be limited by the club to number of teams or birds that can be entered from one physical or postal address.)

Section 8. Family Lofts shall be considered a partnership except that special consideration might be given to junior members and the loft may be limited to number of votes at the discretion of the club.

ARTICLE III- GOVERNMENT Proxy voting shall not be allowed by any Organization affiliated with the AU.

Section 1. Voting: A 2/3 vote of the active members present is required to amend or delete any provisions of articles I, II, III. A majority vote of the members present is required on any other issue such as race schedules, race rules, shipping and the election of officers of the (organization), except where otherwise noted. All Active members shall have the right to make and second motions from the floor. (Note, if using a board or Delegates, modify to reflect this form of government See Section 3)

1. Governing by Delegates. (OPTIONAL) Delegates may be elected or appointed by the President, as required and allowable with one alternate member. Delegates shall secure the wishes of the members of the (club) members and communicate these to the (organization) to the best of their ability. Compromise should always be in the best interests of the Sport in general. (Club) Concourse delegates must have attended the previous regular scheduled club meeting in order to represent the club.

2. Executive Committee. (OPTIONAL) is made up of the elected officers of the Organization and is chaired by the President. Additional members may be added to the Executive Committee as appointed by the President. (Executive committees are usually reserved for the largest organizations.)

Section 2. Election of officers: Officers of the (organization) shall include a President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer and a Race Secretary. Election of officers shall take place at the annual (organization) meeting during the month of November. Nominations will be made from the floor of the meeting and upon being made, the President shall order that they be added to the list of nominees. All nominees shall have the privilege to decline nomination. Newly elected officers will take charge of their office at the January meeting. All terms are for one year and no person shall hold more than one office at a time. Should an office become open during the year due to resignation or any other cause, the President will appoint a replacement.

Proxy voting shall not be allowed by any Organization affiliated with the AU.

Section 3. Duty of Officers.

a. President: The President shall preside over all regular or special meetings and in such a manner as to transact all business. The President shall only vote to break tie votes and shall automatically be on all committees in an advisory capacity. He is the spokesman for the (organization), and will meet the public and be the spokesman for the organization should the need arise.

b. Vice-President: The Vice-President will preside at all meetings in the absence of the President, and heads up special committees as appointed by the president, (i.e. publicity or Race committee) The Vice President may also serve as the (organization) Constitution & Bylaws Advisor to make sure the (organization) operates as intended, and it's constitution and bylaws are kept up to date.

c. Secretary: The Secretary shall issue notices of all (organization) meetings at least a week in advance, and shall attend and keep the complete minutes of same. It is the Secretary who will order and issue the bands, and keep the records in accordance with the policies of the AU. The Secretary is responsible for keeping the (organization) by-laws and Race Rules current and issues all revisions to the members. It is the responsibility of the Secretary to make sure the AU secretary kits with band or diploma orders are returned to the national office in a timely manner.

d. Treasurer. The Treasurer is responsible for the financial assets of the (organization). The Treasurer will submit a financial accounting to the membership quarterly, or as directed by the President. The Treasurer shall keep the president informed as to any delinquent member accounts, and shall pay the (organization's) bills with the President's co-signature on all checks exceeding $500. The Treasurer shall keep in his custody all books and records pertaining to the (organization) and deposit all monies received for dues, bands, surplus received from shipping or any other sources into the (organization's) official bank account, in a timely manner. The Treasurer will be sure that bank account signature cards are kept current.

At the termination of his office, the Treasurer shall immediately surrender to the President or new Treasurer, all books, records, and related papers together with such funds or monies in his possession. An audit shall always be made by the incoming Treasurer and two (2) members of the (organization) as appointed by the President.

e. Race Secretary: The Race Secretary is responsible for the conduct of the (organization's) races. He/she shall chair the Race Committee, consisting also of

members (at least two), appointed by the President and recorded in the minutes The Race secretary is responsible for conduction and maintaining a record of all loft surveys and shall coordinate the race liberations and make provisions for notifying (organization) members of release times . He shall manage all race-figuring activities, and is responsible for publishing race results and distributing diplomas and awards. The race secretary will also chair the Loft Registration committee.

ARTICLE IV- AMENDMENTS: Amendments to the Constitution and Bylaws can only be acted upon at the annual meeting. A two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of the active members in attendance shall be required for adoption.

Proxy voting shall not be allowed by any Organization affiliated with the AU.

ARTICLE V- DISPUTES: Disputes (other than race disputes, which are to be handled by the Race Secretary,) are to be settled as follows: They shall first be referred to the (organization's) President for settlement. If his decision is appealed by either party in the dispute, the matter shall be taken up by the Organization's officers for settlement.

If their decision is appealed by either party in the dispute, the entire Organization membership, other than the parties in the dispute, shall decide the issues by majority vote. If the dispute cannot be remedied through the local organization or its affiliates,( i.e., Club to Combine/Concourse, Center, State Organization), and an AU rule is involved, then a complaint may be filed with the AU national office.

A. Member leaving club. When a member leaves a functioning AU club, for any reason, all physical or financial assets, shall remain with the club, unless specified in a written agreement made, dated and signed, between the member(s) leaving and remaining club membership. (Added 11-06)

ARTICLE VI- EXPULSION/ SUSPENSION: A member accused of dishonorable conduct as outlined by the AU Rules of Conduct (see AU Bylaw14.), shall be notified to appear before the officers of the (organization), who will investigate the charges. Such notification to appear shall be in writing at least seven (7) days before the date of the hearing and shall specify the charges. As a result of the investigation, the officers shall present their findings to the membership of the (organization) at the next regular meeting or at a special meeting. A secret written ballot will be taken, and a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of all active members would be required to expel or suspend a member. The hearing must follow procedures outlined in the AU's Constitution and Bylaws (see Sec. 15 Disciplinary Rules), and must assure the charged individual is afforded "due process." An expelled or suspended member shall forfeit all privileges and claims against the organization.

Proxy voting shall not be allowed by any Organization affiliated with the AU.

ARTICLE VII- DISSOLUTION OF ASSOCIATION: The (organization) shall not be dissolved without the consent, in writing, of two-thirds (2/3) of its active members,

obtained in one and confirmed in another special meeting convened for consideration of such dissolution. Upon dissolution, the property of the (organization) shall be disposed of, to the best advantage, and the proceeds, after all bills and obligations have been paid, shall be equally divided among the whole of the membership in good standing as of the date of the initial dissolution meeting (or as provided in that organization's specific Constitution & Bylaws).

Proxy voting shall not be allowed by any Organization affiliated with the AU.

1.00 MEETINGS: The order for all meetings should be by Agenda, which should be distributed to all attending the meeting at the beginning (or prior to the meeting). Items may be added to the agenda from the floor, prior to the meeting being called to order (or as time permits at the conclusion). Meetings should start and end promptly on time.

1.01 QUORUM: One Third (1/3) of the active members shall constitute a quorum at any meeting.

1.02 Annual meeting: The annual meeting shall be held in (select month). The business of that meeting shall include the election of officers, consideration of any changes to the Constitution and Bylaws; and payment of dues. All members shall be provided written notice of the annual meeting at least seven (7) days prior to the meeting.

Proxy voting shall not be allowed by any Organization affiliated with the AU.

1.03 Regular Meetings: Regularly scheduled meetings shall be held not less than quarterly, or as voted by the membership.

1.04 Special meetings may be called by the President or in his absence the Vice-President, if deemed necessary.

Notice of such meeting shall be given each member at least one week in advance of the date of the meeting either in writing, personal contact, or by a direct phone call to the member.

The President shall call a special meeting within 10 days of receipt of a signed request from 25% or more of the active members of the club.

1.05 Order of Business: The normal agenda of business at regular (organization's) meetings shall include:

Roll Call; Minutes of Previous Meeting; Proposals for Membership

Financial Report; Committee Reports; Communications

Unfinished Business; New Business; Date of next meeting

Good of the Sport; Adjournment

1.06 MEETING DECORUM: Meetings should always be conducted in an orderly manner, without side talking or distractions during the regular course of the meeting. Drinking of alcohol beverages during any meeting, shipping or closing a race should be prohibited until the meeting is adjourned or business at hand is complete. Exceptions could be special events (shows, auctions, futurities, etc.)

2.00 MEMBERSHIP DUES: Annual dues for members shall be determined at the annual meeting (select month), by a majority vote of the active members present. (Organization) dues, as well as those associated with other organizations, which the (organization) is affiliated, are due, and payable at the annual meeting. Members are not allowed to race or purchase bands until dues have been paid. (Some clubs also include specific work parties or events as part of the membership "Obligation," and charge additional fees if a member does not participate).


2.01 Annual Dues shall be used for affiliation dues, and all other necessary operating expenses.

2.02 Partnership lofts shall each pay dues per year in the same manner provided above. Each individual composing the partnership shall each be assessed the annual dues as per AU membership policy. (Whether partnerships pay organization dues individually or as one loft is up to the organization as how they are allowed to vote.)

2.03 Junior members are those members who have not reached their 18th birthday. He/she shall pay the prescribed AU dues for juniors and whatever portion of the (organization) dues that the regular members decide. (Many organizations waive this expense or greatly reduce the dues for junior members. A club may want to also stipulate that a junior must participate at shipping and handle birds. A Junior member characteristic definition should be placed here.)

2.04 Pro-rated Dues Members joining after July 1 of the year are required to pay full AU Dues, plus any Late Fees, and the pro-rated amount of (organization) dues assessed for that year. The fiscal year for the (organization) dues shall begin January 1st and end on December 31st of each year.

3.00 RACE RULES: Race rules, special races, diplomas, trophies and other prizes shall be left to the wishes of the current membership provided they do not conflict with the Official AU Competition Standards.

No changes shall be made during the race season in which the above mentioned items are initiated unless approved by 2/3 of the actively flying members. Race rules, schedules and release times will be reviewed at the annual meeting. A copy of the rules and race schedule shall be given to each member annually.

4.00 COMMITTEES. Regular and temporary committees shall be appointed by the President who shall designate a chairman of each.

4.01 Race Committee. The Race Secretary will chair the Race Committee, consisting also of at least two (2) members, appointed by the President and recorded in the minutes. This committee shall have charge of all race details and shall conduct every race according to these by-laws, and AU Competition Standards as well as any additional rules the (organization) has. It will also resolve all questions and disputes regarding racing or competition ensure that racing supplies are adequately maintained, and manage all race-figuring activities.

4.02 Loft Certification Committee. The race secretary will also chair the Loft Certification Committee, with a minimum of one other member, to inspect, photograph, and survey members lofts and file with the national office. Forms may be downloaded from the AU web site.

5.00 RESIGNATION Any member wishing to resign from the organization must tender his or her resignation in writing to the Secretary-Treasurer and must pay all indebtedness which may be due the organization by them, and will forfeit all rights and claims to the (organization's) property.

6.00 SHORTAGE OF OPERATING FUNDS (club) Any shortages of funds shall be assessed equally to all members and restored to the Club treasury. In the event of an assessment of over (select amount), each member may be given the opportunity to pay their portion of the assessment in three or more installments. Any agreement to money given, invested, or loaned to the club must be recorded in the minutes and a written agreement or contract provided, as appropriate, signed by the Club's officers.

Note: These guidelines are provided in an effort to assist AU clubs and organizations with ideas as to the management and government of their organization. It is not intended to be complete, nor will it cover specific requirement that some organizations may require.

Note: It is a requirement for an AU Charter, and required practice to file a current copy of your Organizations C&BL with the AU National Office should the organizations' copy be lost or misplaced.

7.00 ADVERTISING AND PUBLICITY: By joining the Club, Members (or Junior Members' parents or legal guardians) agree to grant the Club a waiver for all rights and privileges to the members' images and/or likeness for the Club's use in promotions, advertising, website, publications, social media, or other media used to promote the Club or in the Club's interest.