Sample Society Bylaws

Sample Society Bylaws


Organizations differ and each society should write basic bylaws that best describe its structure and method of transacting business. The person responsible for drafting the society’s bylaws may contact the Oregon District Structure Committee chairman for help and information as needed. On this and the following pages are simple bylaws societies may adapt to fit their particular situations. Articles on object, membership, and parliamentary authority must conform to LWML Bylaws.

Bylaws should include a Title page and Table of Contents. Pages should be labeled at the bottom of each page with the name of the Society, the date, and the Page number.


(Name of the Organization)


The name of this organization shall be ______Society, (hereinafter referred to as Society); of ______Church, ( City ), ( State ) of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (hereinafter referred to as LCMS); ______Zone (hereinafter referred to as Zone); Oregon District (hereinafter referred to as District); Lutheran Women’s Missionary League (hereinafter referred to as LWML).


The object of the Society shall be:

  1. to develop and maintain a greater mission awareness among the women of (congregation’s name);
  2. to provide opportunities for spiritual growth and Christian fellowship among the women of the congregation;
  3. to gather funds for mission grants;
  4. to assist (name of congregation) in its ministry to build the Kingdom of God;
  5. to foster and support the program of the LWML.


Any woman who is a communicant member of (name of congregation), who expresses a desire to join and has made the object of the Society her own, is eligible for membership.


Section 1 – Zone

All members of the Society may attend Zone meetings and have the privilege of vote as stipulated in the Zone Bylaws.

Section 2 – District

  1. All members of the Society may attend the District Convention, held biennially in even-numbered years. A delegate and alternate shall be elected to represent the Society and have the privilege of vote at District Convention.
  2. Society members may be elected officers of the District or appointed Standing Committee Chairs and have the privilege of vote at the Zone Board of Directors meetings.
  3. Societies may extend invitations for hosting District Conventions. Invitations shall be sent to the


  1. District President by November 1 in the odd-numbered years, at least three (3) years prior to the proposed date of the convention.

Section 3 – LWML (national)

The Society is represented at LWML Convention through its Zone certified delegate(s).

[Societies using alternative structures such as the circle plan should insert a different “ARTICLE IV—STRUCTURE” at this point and describe the organizational plan, then renumber the subsequent articles.]


Section 1

The elected officers shall be: President, Secretary, Treasurer (may be combined with office of Secretary as Secretary-Treasurer). A Vice President may also be included.

Section 2

A nominating committee shall present a slate of candidates at the (insert month) meeting following which elections shall be held. This committee shall be appointed by the President.

Section 3

These officers shall be elected by ballot at the (month) meeting to serve for a term of one (1) year (or two (2) years, or three (3) years, etc.) or until their successors are elected and shall be eligible for reelection. If there is only one (1) candidate per office, a voice vote may be taken. A majority vote shall elect.

Section 4

Newly-elected officers shall assume their duties at the close of the meeting in which they are elected (or insert date).


Section 1

The President shall:

  1. preside at all regular and special meetings, or arrange for someone to do so;
  2. be authorized to sign checks in the event of an emergency;
  3. appoint the Nominating Committee with the approval of the Society members;
  4. appoint standing committee chairmen and special committees;
  5. be ex-officio member of all committees except the Nominating Committee;
  6. oversee the election of the delegate and alternate to the District Convention by the set deadline and submit to the Zone President;
  7. keep a simplified record of activities to pass on to her successor within thirty (30) days following election;
  8. perform such other duties as the Society, Zone or District may prescribe.

Section 2

The Vice President shall:

  1. assist the President, as needed;


  1. perform the duties of the President in her absence, at the President’s request, or upon vacancy in this office;
  2. keep a simplified record of activities to pass on to her successor within thirty (30) days following election;
  3. perform other duties that the Society or President may request.

The Secretary shall:

  1. keep minutes and attendance records of all regular and special meetings of the Society;
  2. conduct needed correspondence;
  3. keep current names, addresses, telephone numbers, and email addresses of Society officers and contact person and notify Zone Secretary of the same;
  4. keep records of current Society Bylaws and Standing Rules;
  5. keep a simplified record of activities to pass on to her successor within sixty (60) days of election;
  6. perform such other duties as the Society, Zone or District may prescribe.

Section 3

The Treasurer shall:

  1. receive all moneys and deposit them in a financial institution approved by the members;
  2. keep an itemized account of all receipts and disbursements;
  3. make all authorized disbursements;
  4. regularly remit Mite Box offerings to the designated District financial officer;
  5. use the District EIN # 23-7540669 on all transactions;
  6. submit a financial report at each Society meeting;
  7. submit records for financial review at the close of the fiscal year and with the change of officers;
  8. keep a simplified record of activities to pass on to her successor within sixty (60) days of election;

ARTICLE VII – Pastoral Counselor

The Pastoral Counselor shall be the pastor of (insert name of congregation), (insert city and state), and shall serve the Society in an advisory capacity.


Meetings shall be held as specified by the members. Special meetings may be called by the President or at the request of (insert number) members. (*Specific day and/or time should be in the Standing Rules.)

The members present at any duly called meeting shall constitute a quorum.


Section 1

There shall be no dues, but voluntary offerings may be accepted at each regular meeting.

Section 2

Mite Box offerings shall be gathered regularly and submitted to the designated District financial officer.


Section 3

An annual assessment based on active membership shall be sent to the District Financial Secretary to help defray expenses for District and LWML Convention delegates.


The fiscal year shall be from (month,day) to (month,day) inclusive.


The rules contained in the latest edition of ROBERT’S RULES OF ORDER, NEWLY REVISED, shall govern the proceedings of this Society in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with the Bylaws, Standing Rules, or Christian principles.


Section 1

These Bylaws may be amended by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the members present and voting at a regular meeting. Amendments shall be submitted to the District Structure Committee for approval before adoption by the Society.

Section 2

Upon adoption by the Society, a corrected copy (if sent by email) or four (4) copies (if sent through the postal system) shall be submitted to the District Structure Committee for filing with the District.

Section 3

The Society shall review and/or update their Bylaws at least every two (2) years.


In the event the Society shall for any reason dissolve, the property of the Society shall become the property of (insert church name), (insert city, state).

Date organization became an LWML Society______

Date of original Bylaws______

Date of last amendments to Bylaws______


(NAME OF SOCIETY) STANDING RULES: (Standing Rules need not be approved by the District Structure Committee. They are for Society business not regulated by the Bylaws) EXAMPLES:

  1. [Establish time and day of meeting.]
  2. Appointment of someone to do the article for the church newsletter.
  3. Amount of offering to be sent to each Zone Rally.
  4. Delegate’s registration fee for District Conventions shall be paid by the Society, if funds are available.