Most not‑for‑profit entities have a constitution (a written set of rules) which:
- specifies how the association is to operate and what rights and duties its members must observe; and
- prescribes how the management committee must be established and how its meetings are conducted and decisions made.
Most State jurisdictions have legislation enabling the incorporation of not‑for‑profit associations and publishing model rules which may be adopted by the association.
The model rules are an attempt at “one size fits all” but as most not‑for‑profit associations are unique, the model rules should be considered as a guide only and be subject to amendment to incorporate the wishes of the association’s members.
The Constitution is a living document and as and when the association becomes more sophisticated in its business dealings and interaction with its membership, changes to the constitution may well be warranted.