ACFW Local Chapter Bylaws
Executive Board is the ACFW national Executive Board
Local Chapter is ACFW Virginia
Local Chapter Board of Directors consists of ACFW Virginia officers – a President, a Vice-President, a Secretary, and a Treasurer.
ARTICLE I – NAME
This chapter shall be known as ACFW – Virginia CHAPTER. All chapters will be known by the location; i.e., ACFW Indiana or ACFW Chicago.
ARTICLE II – PURPOSE
As a local chapter of American Christian Fiction Writers, a national non-profit corporation, the purpose of this chapter shall be to raise and maintain a level of high quality inspirational writing in all genres; to stimulate interest in and appreciation for the art of writing; and to facilitate dissemination of information concerning activities in the field of inspirational writing.
ARTICLE III- MEMBERSHIP
SECTION 1. Open to all persons seriously pursuing a publishing career in the inspirational genre, as well as other related professionals who voluntarily embrace the by-laws of ACFW.
SECTION 2. Membership in the local chapter shall be granted ONLY after approval of an appropriate application and payment to National ACFW, and after approval of an appropriate application and dues payment to the local chapter. No person shall be denied membership because of race, color, sex, religion, or national origin. Failure to maintain financial obligations to the chapter or to ACFW shall result in the immediate loss of chapter privileges and membership without refund of local chapter dues. All regular members shall be eligible for any official chapter publications and attendance at and participation in the chapter meetings, and such other rights, privileges and benefits as may be provided from time to time by the chapter.
SECTION 3. Visitors may attend two meetings before deciding to become a member. At the third meeting, the visitor will be asked to complete an application form and pay dues to both ACFW national and the Local Chapter. Membership in the chapter will not be considered final until verification of the payment of National dues.
SECTION 4. If a member does not renew their national ACFW membership, they must also be removed from the local chapter and any Zone or local e-loop. The Zone Coordinator will send out periodic purge lists, as they are received from ACFW national membership. The appropriate zone personnel will handle the removal. The ZD will remove the member from the Zone Loop, the AC will remove the member from any regional or area loop, and the LCP will remove the member from the local chapter and any local loop.
ARTICLE IV – BOARD OF DIRECTORS
SECTION 1. The affairs of the local chapter shall be managed by its Board of Directors and the Board shall make policy in accordance with the ACFW requirements and generally shall be responsible for the affairs of the chapter between meetings of the membership.
SECTION 2. The local Chapter Board of Directors shall contain three or more members. Each Director shall hold office until his/her successor shall have been elected and qualified. The Board of Directors shall be composed of members in good standing for at least 6 months and who have been elected to the offices of President, Vice-President, Secretary, and Treasurer. Any of the foregoing offices may be combined if the Board of Directors decides it is appropriate and the Board contains the minimum of three members.
SECTION 3. The immediate past president shall be available to the new president as an advisor, as needed, for a period of one year, shall receive notice and have the right to attend all meetings, but shall not have the right to vote, unless the immediate past President has been elected to another Director position.
SECTION 4. The Board of Directors shall meet at least once a year at a time and place set by the President. The minutes of the meeting will be included with that month’s chapter report.
SECTION 5. Two-thirds of the members of the Board of Directors shall constitute a quorum at any regular or special meeting of the Board.
SECTION 6. Business of the Board of Directors may be conducted by mail, phone, or e-mail. Proxy voting by the Board is prohibited.
SECTION 7. An officer of the Local Chapter Board may be removed from office by the ACFW Executive Board or Executive Director for conduct in violation of ACFW guidelines as set forth in Article V, Section 3. All officers of the board are required to maintain the chapter bylaws. Any infractions, concerns and/or violations must be reported to the Zone Coordinator.
ARTICLE V – OFFICERS AND DUTIES
SECTION 1. The officers of the association shall be the President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, and any other officers the membership deems necessary, who shall constitute the Board of Directors. These officers shall be elected as provided in Article VI hereof.
SECTION 2. Duties of the Officers.
- President – shall oversee the other officers, moderate the chapter e-mail list, directs meetings, sends e-newsletter to group each month, chair the Newsletter Committee, chairs the Speaker Selection Committee, serve as the Critique Group Liaison, serve as ex-officio member of all committees, execute chapter business as specified by the Board of Directors and established policy of ACFW, and coordinate all activities. In the event of a tie vote on the Board of Directors, the President shall cast the deciding vote.
- Vice-President – Serves President in his/her capacity, co-moderate the local e-mail list, directs meetings in absence of President, chairs the Fund Raising Committee, sit on Speaker Selection Committee, and any other duties as assigned or voted on by the chapter Board of Directors.
- Secretary – shall be responsible for Recording minutes of each board meeting and filing a monthly chapter report with the Zone Coordinator no later than one (1) week after the chapter meets. If the chapter did not meet in any given month, the Secretary shall send an email to the Zone Coordinator, stating the chapter did not meet that month. The Secretary will also maintain meeting calendar, maintain critique calendar (optional), mail welcome letters to new members, maintain Member roster, chair Event Publicity Committee, maintain media/industry mailing list. Failure to turn in reports can result in chapter dissolution.
- Treasurer – shall not be sole signatory on the bank account. Two (2) or three (3) board officers will be signatories on the account, approved by the Zone Director. At no time with there be only one (1) officer having control over the bank account. Process new member applications and dues, maintain account for group dues and other monies, disperse monies as voted on by officers, report account balance and membership numbers at monthly meetings, submit new member information to secretary, remind members about annual dues, chair Finance Committee, and sit on Fund Raising Committee. The treasurer will send the chapter’s dues to national and file an annual financial report (official form provided by ACFW) with the Zone Coordinator no later than January 31st of each year. Should the chapter dissolve, a complete and full and detailed financial report will be provided to the ACFW Treasurer and Zone Coordinator. Failure to file the annual financial report can result in chapter dissolution.
- No officer or member of the chapter will use the member roster to glean email addresses for their personal newsletter.
ARTICLE VI – ELECTIONS
SECTION 1. Annual elections shall be held as follows:
- On or before November 1st of each year, nominations shall be taken for the offices of President, Vice-President, Secretary, and Treasurer. Report new officers to your Area Coordinator or Zone Director if you don’t have an Area Coordinator.
- Prior to December 15th, a vote shall be taken on the nominations for these positions. However, if the Board of Directors deems it appropriate, the vote shall be handled via an on-line, secure vote. Report the new officers to your Area Coordinator or Zone Director if you don’t have an Area Coordinator.
- Results will be announced before the first regular meeting in January of each year.
- Mail-in or electronic ballots are allowed, but they must be received by the Secretary no later than the date set by the board of directors. Nominations or ballots received after the dates herein specified shall not be opened, counted, or considered. Any challenges to the election procedure or the results of the elections must be filed with the Board of Directors no later than thirty (30) days after the announcement of the results. The duly elected officers and members of the Board shall take office in the month following their election.
- Terms for offices shall be for one (1) year and an officer may not serve for more than four (4) consecutive terms in any one office.
- Any vacancy occurring on the Board for any reason shall be filled by the Board, and such appointee shall serve the remaining term.
ARTICLE VII – COMMITTEE CHAIRPERSONS AND DUTIES
SECTION 1. After taking office, the President, with the consent of the Board, may appoint any committee chairperson as the Board, the President, and the members see the need.
SECTION 2. The chairpersons of all the various committees shall present plans of work (and budgets, if necessary) to the President who will, in turn, present them to the Board; no activity shall be undertaken by any committee without the specific approval of the Board.
ARTICLE VIII – MEETINGS
SECTION 1. Local Chapter meetings shall be held on a regular basis, monthly or bi-monthly. Larger state-wide chapters may meet on a quarterly basis or bi-annual basis with cluster groups meeting monthly or bi-monthly.
ARTICLE IX – DUES
SECTION 1. The annual dues for the chapter are $25, due in January each year. The first year of charter, the dues will be prorated at a per month rate (see the Chapter Manual).
SECTION 2: The local chapter membership dues shall be no less than $10 and no more than the national membership renewal fee. Any changes in the annual dues shall be determined by a vote of the membership. New member dues may be prorated at: full dues for JAN-JUN, and half the annual dues for JUL-DEC.
SECTION 3. Failure to pay annual national ACFW dues, or to pay chapter membership dues within 60 days shall result in withdrawal of membership.
ARTICLE X – FINANCES
SECTION 1. The fiscal year of the chapter shall be concurrent with ACFW national and not by the date chartered. The accounts of the chapter shall be audited not less than annually by a two-person committee appointed by the President and approved by the Board.
SECTION 2. An annual financial report will be filed with the Zone Coordinator at the end of each fiscal year. Any chapter failing to file their financial report with the Zone Coordinator by Jan 31st of each year will be in jeopardy of losing their charter. If the chapter refuses to cooperate with the Bylaws, the Zone Coordinator will take the issue to the ACFW Executive Board for a vote to remove the charter. During the pendency of the national board the chapter will be on probation.
SECTION 3. Funds shall be deposited in an acceptable bank account as designated by the Board. The chapter must provide ACFW with the following information so ACFW’s accountant can complete an EIN application for the Chapter: The Chapter Name, address (usually the President’s), the principal officer’s (usually the president) name, SS#, and phone #.
SECTION 4. The chapter shall adopt an acceptable accounting system with the appropriate checks and balances to safeguard chapter funds. A quarterly report shall be available at general chapter meetings.
SECTION 5. This corporation shall keep correct and complete books and records of accounts as well as minutes of membership proceedings or proceedings of the Board and Committees. In addition to maintaining the books and records, the corporation must also maintain at its registered or principal office a record of the names and addresses of members entitled to vote.
SECTION 6: ACFW has been granted 501(c)6 tax exempt status by the IRS. Because ACFW has completed a Group Exemption Application with the IRS, duly chartered chapters may file under the Group Exemption so long as they provide the proper information at the correct times. Each year, no later than September 1st, the LCP will provide the Zone Coordinator with the name and address of the chapter contact (president or treasurer) and any other information that might be needed. If that deadline is missed, the chapter will have its charter revoked.
SECTION 7: Chapters will be required to apply for approval for any special event or contest, whether online or a physical venue, 6 weeks prior to the event. Chapters will be required to contribute 10% of the gross receipts received from conferences or special events where attendees pay a fee. An emailed report of income received should be submitted to the ACFW National Treasurer (email@example.com) within 5 days of the event along with a check for 10% of the gross income of the event should be mailed to the ACFW bookkeeper at ACFW, PO Box 101066, Palm Bay, FL 32910-1066. A complete financial report of income and expenses to be emailed to the Zone Coordinator (firstname.lastname@example.org) and the National Treasurer (email@example.com) within 15 days of contest/conference.
If the Chapter pays a speaker a fee of $600 or more (travel reimbursement or expenses does not count as pay) they need to do the following:
- Have speaker go to http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fw9.pdf where they can fill out a W9 online, print, sign and send to you. If it is an individual they will enter a SS# on the form, and you need to send them a 1099 misc if you pay them a speaker fee of $600 or more. If they are incorporated they will enter an EIN on the form, and a 1099 is not required. Reimbursement for travel or expenses is not pay, and should not be included in a 1099.
- You must file 1099s by January 31st. Go to http://www.filetaxes.com/default.aspx and follow the instructions to set up an account using your chapter EIN. You will need a credit card. After setting up your account just follow the instructions to file your 1099 misc. Filetaxes will remember your company and payee info for future logins. Each 1099 costs about $5 to file, and once you are set up, it should only take a few minutes. Filetaxes will send a copy to each 1099 recipient as well as filing a 1096 electronically with the IRS for all of your 1099s.
- A copy of the W9 and the 1099 must be sent to the Zone Coordinator.
ARTICLE XI – TITLE AND ROSTER
The title and roster of the chapter may be used to promote or stimulate interest in the chapter only. The roster is considered confidential information and may not be given to anyone but paid members except by action of the Board. It may not be used for the monetary gain of any individual member.
ARTICLE XII – RULES AND REGULATIONS
SECTION 1. Rules and regulations not in conflict with these by-laws, embodying additional provisions for the chapter, may be adopted by the Board and shall be considered official policy. These may be published in a POLICY AND PROCEDURE MANUAL, which will be available to future chapter officers.
ARTICLE XIII – AMENDMENTS
Suggestions for amendments, revisions or repealing of these bylaws may be proposed by a majority of 2/3 of the voting members of a chapter and submitted to the Zone Coordinator who will then submit to ACFW’s Executive Board. The proposed amendment/revision/repeal will be considered by the ACFW Executive Board and a decision handed down within 90 days. If approved by the Executive Board, the bylaw change may be approved by a simple majority of the Chapter membership. Electronic voting is acceptable if at least one week’s notice is provided to all voting members. Otherwise, voting shall occur at the next duly held Chapter meeting.
ARTICLE XIV – DISSOLUTION
Upon dissolution of the chapter, its property and assets shall be distributed as follows:
- All liabilities and obligations of the organization shall be paid, satisfied, and discharged, or adequate provisions shall be made therefore.
- Assets held by the chapter upon condition requiring return, transfer, or conveyance, which condition occurs by reason of the dissolution, shall be returned, transferred, or conveyed in accordance with such requirements.
- Any remaining assets shall be distributed to National ACFW for scholarships to the National Conference. All dues collected and other income of the chapter must be used for the purpose of the chapter and shall not be to the benefit of any individual member.
The above by-laws were accepted by the local chapter board of directors this 23rd day of September, 2020.
“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” 1 PETER 2:9 (NIV)