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How do I keep control of nonprofit?

Your Legal Questions Answered

How do I keep control of nonprofit?

I have been president of a nonprofit for over 20 years that produces our local 4th of July Celebration. Our only paid staff, a long-time office manager, has retired, and I stepped in to take on these duties until a replacement is found. This has made me rethink my future.  I would like to retire from my current job (executive director of a 501(c)(6) organization) and continue with this organization. However, I wish to be compensated. How do we restructure the bylaws in order for me to continue as President and be paid?  This is my passion and I do not wish to relinquish control (so to speak) after all these years.  

Most states have no prohibition in their nonprofit corporation laws against having the president of the board also function as a compensated chief executive officer.  Check your state law to see if it would be a problem for you.  If it would, you can probably revise the bylaws to have a different person function as chair of the board while you continue to function as a paid president and CEO.  If the prohibition exists in your bylaws, but not in the state law, change the bylaws to allow you to do what you want to do.

Assuming you can make it work legally, you may want to consider whether you are willing to jump from a position that may have relatively good job security to one working for what might be a more phlegmatic board with less interest or commitment to the program, a board that might clash with you over your intense interest in the direction of the organization.  Whether or not you think that is an issue, you might want to get a multi-year employment contract with the organization before you make the leap.

Tuesday, July 26, 2022


I very much value your advice

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