Bylaws AND POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
The Bylaws and the Policies and Procedures for the Interfaith Fellowship of Augusta were approved by a quorum of the members on Tuesday January 19, 2016.
To join IFFA as a member, please download the Membership Agreement and send it to the indicated address.
Fostering friendships across world religions, celebrating diversity, promoting peace. The Interfaith Fellowship of Augusta brings together people of diverse faiths to facilitate building respectful relationships among our members, to promote understanding of diverse religious traditions, to provide mutual support, and to express our common religious values through community action.
ARTICLE ONE: Name
The name of the organization is the Interfaith Fellowship of Augusta (IFFA).
ARTICLE TWO: Membership
The IFFA welcomes new members, and strives to have members of all world religions active in the Augusta area. [See Policies and Procedures, Procedures for admission of new members.]
ARTICLE THREE: Officers/ Coordinating Committee
The officers of the IFFA are President, Vice-President, Recording Secretary, Membership Secretary, and Financial Secretary. Any member in good standing is eligible to be elected to office.
These five officers are elected for two-year terms by a simple majority of the membership at the annual meeting, at which a quorum must be present. Together these officers make up the Coordinating Committee. Officers may be re-elected to the same office for no more than one successive two-year term.
Three officers constitute a quorum for a meeting of the Coordinating Committee.
The Coordinating Committee is entrusted to carry out the business of the IFFA on behalf of the membership, including appointing a nominating committee for elections, approving expenditures, arranging meeting agenda, initiating programs, and making contracts for services.
The President is responsible for calling meetings and serving as moderator, organizes the work of the Coordinating Committee, may appoint working groups and name their conveners, and performs other duties appropriate to a presiding officer.
Only the President and her/his designees may speak to the media on behalf of the IFFA.
The Vice-President fulfills the President’s duties in his/her absence. The Vice-President is also responsible for initiation, planning and oversight of programs.
The Recording Secretary keeps minutes, handles correspondence and announcements, and oversees the management of the IFFA social media and Internet presence.
The Financial Secretary makes disbursements, collects membership dues, donations and deposits funds, acknowledges gifts/donations, makes available the financial balance at regular IFFA meetings, and makes a full financial report at the annual meeting.
The Membership Secretary coordinates invitations and inquiries for membership, and keeps contact information current for all IFFA members.
Officers or members may be removed with cause (whether or not publicly disclosed) by a 2/3 vote at a general meeting held with a minimum of two weeks’ notice, with the agenda item of replacing an officer or removing a member stated explicitly in the meeting notice.
In the case of a member leaving office before completion of their two-year term, or in the case that no nominee is in place for an office at the time of the election, the Coordinating Committee may enlist a candidate to serve in that office, to be approved at a regular IFFA meeting, until a new election is held at the next annual meeting. Notice of the nomination should be given in the announcement of the next scheduled meeting.
ARTICLE FOUR: Meetings
The President shall call the annual meeting giving at least four weeks’ notice to members.
The notice shall include a call for nominations for any offices.
The notice shall include an agenda and a description of business to be conducted.
The Financial Secretary shall provide a full financial statement.
Thirty percent of membership, including at least two officers, shall constitute a quorum for the annual meeting or for any official business to be conducted at a regular (usually monthly) meeting.
The President may call meetings of the Coordinating Committee, and these meetings may coincide with the regular IFFA members meetings.
The President shall also call a regular meeting when requested by at least five IFFA members or two members of the Coordinating Committee.
Regular meetings of the IFFA membership are for members. A request to bring a guest to a regular meeting must be addressed in advance to the president.
ARTICLE FIVE: Finances
There are annual dues for individual members. The amount is set by the Coordinating Committee and approved at the annual meeting.
The Coordinating Committee may ask for donations, request offerings, and receive contributions on behalf of the IFFA (for example, at its events or programs).
The Coordinating Committee shall approve all fund dispersals.
There are no paid staff members or officers.
The Financial Secretary shall secure and maintain a tax identification number from the Georgia Secretary of State.
The Financial Secretary may apply for and maintain a checking/savings account with an FDIC financial institution, using the Coordinating Committee officers as agents to secure the account as needed by bank policy and/or by law and as check signers on the account.
The Financial Secretary is responsible for depositing any funds received by the IFFA.
The Financial Secretary may disperse funds as authorized by the Coordinating Committee.
Checks for amounts greater than $250 must be signed by both the Financial Secretary and another officer.
The Financial Secretary should be prepared to state the balance on the account at any regular IFFA meeting and give a full financial report at the annual meeting.
Financial information may be examined by any officer at one week’s notice.
The Coordinating Committee shall select two persons, not including the Financial Secretary, to conduct a review of the accounts at year-end.
ARTICLE SIX: By-law revisions and repeal
These By-laws can be amended or repealed at an annual meeting of the IFFA by a majority vote of all of the members present, provided that at such a meeting a quorum is present and that written copies of the proposed changes were provided to each member at least thirty (30) days prior to the meeting at which the changes proposed are to be acted upon.
The Recording Secretary should keep a copy of the original By-laws and a master copy that shows the amendments and the date of their acceptance in addition to maintaining the current constituted by-laws.
POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
Procedures for admission of new members
The Interfaith Fellowship of Augusta welcomes new members. Eligible candidates for membership shall be:
1) Clergy and leaders of religious bodies;
2) Or others in religious or spiritual fellowships who seek peace and unity with, within, and among religions (as per Appendix 1).
All requests for membership shall be conveyed to the Membership Secretary.
Upon signing an Agreement of Membership [see Appendix 1], and upon payment of dues, members are received by a simple majority affirmative vote of the Coordinating Committee. The Coordinating Committee may suspend membership of any individual by a 2/3 vote pending removal as defined in Article 3 of the Bylaws.
Dues of $30 per year for each individual member.
Sponsorship of Events
Donations toward our scheduled events are welcome, from individuals, congregations, or other organizations.
The Nominating Committee shall be appointed by the Coordinating Committee. It shall consist of three members, one of which shall be a member of the Coordinating Committee (representation to be decided among the Coordinating Committee members).
The Nominating Committee has responsibility for ensuring that candidates for office represent diversity among faith traditions. Members are encouraged to submit names for office to the Committee. The slate of candidates shall be known in advance; additional nominees may be accepted by a petition with three (3) signatures from members in good standing and delivered to the Nominating Committee one (1) week before the election, which will occur in the first quarter of the year. All nominees must give consent to serve.
Respect and diversity within the IFFA
Members are expected to be able to articulate the teachings and beliefs of their own faith traditions and to listen respectfully to those of others, to be ambassadors in the larger community advocating respect for diverse religious traditions and for interfaith dialogue, and to be able to speak to the mission and vision statements of the IFFA.
The IFFA is a fellowship that coheres through respectful discussion and dialog, the sharing of values and the building of community.
A core value is to embrace religious diversity in the IFFA and in society, with a mission to foster harmony and respect through its purpose and values.
The IFFA values diversity of viewpoints among members and serves as a safe space for the respectful sharing of ideas, beliefs and opinions.
One person speaks at a time; no side conversations;
Raise hand to be recognized by Moderator;
All will share ideas in order;
Stay on topic and keep comments brief;
Questions may be asked to clarify ideas;
Speak and listen with respect for all ideas and opinions;
Ideas may be reviewed to look for themes;
Feelings may be expressed. They are not to be sloughed off or denied;
No one may criticize another;
Assume the best in each; give the benefit of the doubt; each has gifts to share;
Discussions are about issues, not personalities;
Establish and honor group decision rules;
Focus on ‘us’ over ‘me’; we might achieve more than we dreamed.
Share meeting ground rules with participants;
Act as the neutral person, refrain from giving a personal opinion;
Maintain a positive group atmosphere;
Allow thinking time.
The Moderator may invoke Robert’s Rules of Order when appropriate.
Changes to these Policies and Procedures
The Policies and Procedures of the IFFA may be changed with two weeks prior notice, at a meeting of the IFFA at which a quorum is present, by majority of those members voting.
Interfaith Fellowship of Augusta Bylaws, Policies and Procedures
Appendix 1: Statement of Agreement and Membership
The IFFA is a nonpartisan interfaith organization created to build bridges among, and respect for, diverse faith traditions in the Augusta area.
Seeking membership in the IFFA,
I agree to support it in educating the community about other faiths, and specifically about how the positive role of religion can heal rather than divide people.
I agree to better the community by expressing IFFA values through action:
Our values include respect (we facilitate respectful communication among diverse faith communities), understanding (we promote further education about and knowledge of diverse faith traditions), and compassion (we support each other in times of discrimination).
Dues submitted __________________