A MARYLAND NONPROFIT NON-STOCK CORPORATION
ARTICLE I: NAME
This Corporation shall be known as the Maryland Geocaching Society, herein after called “Society”.
ARTICLE II: OFFICES
The principal office for the transaction of the business of this Society will be in the County of St. Mary’s, State of Maryland. This Society may also have an additional office or offices within or outside the State of Maryland as the Board of Board Members (the “Board”) may from time to time establish.
ARTICLE III: PURPOSE
Section 1. General
The purpose and objectives of this Society shall be to engage in any such social, educational, scientific, investigative, literary, historical, and community service pursuits to conform to the provision of Section 501 (c) (7) of the Internal Revenue Code
Section 2. Directives
This Society shall:
i. Provide an opportunity for its membership to gather and socialize with one another thru the organization and provision of events, meetings, and electronic forums
ii. Work as closely as possible with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR), and other property management officials to protect natural resources of the state and the rights of the Society membership to geocache in the State of Maryland, thru the education of existing regulation and best practices.
iii. Promote the “Cache in Trash Out” program to assist in the maintenance of parks and trail systems.
iv. Promote Geocaching as an existing and adventurous outdoor recreation for the whole family and gain acceptance of the game within Maryland.
Section 3. This Society is not organized, nor shall it be operated, for pecuniary gain or profit, and it does not contemplate the distribution of gains, profits, or dividends to the members thereof, or to any private individual. The property, assets, profits, and net income of this Society are irrevocably dedicated to charitable purposes and no part of the property, assets, profits, or net income of this Society shall ever inure to the benefit of any Board Member, officer, or member thereof or to the benefit of any private individual. Upon the dissolution, or upon abandonment, the assets of this Society remaining after payment of or provision for all debts and liabilities of the Society, shall be donated to such corporation or corporations, association or associations, fund or funds, or foundation or foundations having similar objectives and purposes as this Society, as the Board of this Society may designate, subject to the order of a Court as provided by law. None of such assets shall be donated to any organization other than one organized and operated exclusively for purposes as set forth in Section 501 (c) (7) of the Internal Revenue Code.
Section 4. No substantial part of the Society’s activities shall consist of carrying on propaganda, or otherwise attempting to influence legislation, nor shall the Society participate in, or intervene in (including publishing or distributing of statements), any political campaign on behalf of any candidate for public office.
ARTICLE IV: MEMBERSHIP
Membership in this Society shall remain open to all interested persons who support the purposes detailed in Article III. An active member shall be defined as an individual whom attends at least three or more club events annually or otherwise actively contributes to the club via the Website or other Society related activities.
ARTICLE V: TRANSPARENCY AND PROCEDURES
Section 1. GENERAL
This Society shall operate to the maximum extent feasible in an open and transparent manner and consistent with procedures designed to ensure fairness. In addition to the specific procedures set forth in these Bylaws, the Board shall investigate the development of additional policies and procedures designed to provide information about, and enhance the ability of interested persons to provide input to, the Board. Any such policies and procedures shall be widely publicized by the Board in draft form, on a publicly-accessible Internet World Wide Web site maintained by this Society (the “Web Site”). Any such policies and procedures may be adopted only after a process for receiving and evaluating comments and suggestions has been established by the Board, and after due consideration of any comments or suggestions received by the Board.
Section 2. ACCESS TO INFORMATION
The Board shall publish, at least annually, a report describing its activities and an audited financial statement describing any reimbursements made by this Society to the Board or any Member. Minutes shall be approved and published no later than 30 days after the meeting. All minutes of meetings of the Board and Committees of the board shall be made publicly available immediately following approval by the Board on the Web Site. Minutes shall be made available immediately following approval by the Board; provided, however, those minutes relating to personal or disciplinary matters, that this Society is prohibited by law from disclosing publicly.
For any matters that the Board determines not to disclose, the Board shall describe in generic terms the reason for such nondisclosure.
Section 3. NOTICE AND COMMENT PROVISIONS
The Board shall post on the Web Site:
periodically a calendar of scheduled meetings for the upcoming year, and
in advance of each Board meeting, a notice of the fact and time that such meeting will be held and, to the extent known, an agenda for the meeting. If reasonably practicable the Board shall post notices of special meetings of the Board at least fourteen (14) days prior to the meetings.
Prior to adoption of any policies that substantially affect the operation of this Society the Board will:
provide public notice on the Web Site explaining what policies are being considered for adoption and why;
provide a reasonable opportunity for parties to comment on the adoption of the proposed policies, to see the comments of others, and to reply to those comments; and
after a reasonable comment period, take action on the proposed policies, establishing an effective date, and publishing the reasons for the action taken.
Section 4. BOARD RECONSIDERATION
The Board shall adopt policies and procedures through which a party affected by an action of this Society, either directly or indirectly, can seek reconsideration of that action. A court of competent jurisdiction shall have the power to review claims of violation of these Bylaws and to order relief therefrom.
These policies and procedures may include threshold standards or other requirements to protect against frivolous or non-substantive use of the reconsideration process. The Board may, in its sole discretion, provide for an independent review process by a neutral third party.
Article VI: Voting
All members shall have equal voting rights, with no more than one (1) vote per member.
Proxy voting shall not be allowed for elections. Proxies may be submitted by Officers voting on Society business. Society business shall ordinarily be conducted at the monthly Meetings. At the President’s discretion, Board business that requires a vote may be conducted via telephone or electronic means for issues that require immediate action, provided that a reasonable attempt is made to notify all Board members of the vote.
Article VII: Elections
Elections shall take place as the first order of business at the last General Membership Meeting of the year. All active members may submit nominations for office. If an active member nominates an individual they will be considered a candidate for the specified office, if willing. Nominations shall be finalized at least one month prior to the conclusion of the election providing sufficient time for the list of nominees to be published on the web site. Election to a position will be by simple majority of those voting. If the first ballot fails to produce a majority for one candidate, a runoff of the two with the most votes will be conducted. If a candidate is unopposed for an office they will be placed into office by default.
Article VIII: MEETINGS
Business Meetings will be held quarterly at a minimum (four times per year), or more often if required. At these meetings all of the regular business of this Society will be conducted. The Board will be the decision making body for this business but all members are invited to attend and provide input and/or become more active in the conduct of MGS business. All meetings will be conducted in accordance with Robert’s Rules of Order, latest edition in publication prior to the elected Members taking office. Business may also be conducted by telephone or other electronic means.
General Membership Meetings will be held as often as designated by the Board. The purpose of the General Membership Meetings shall be to discuss and approve current initiatives, solicit involvement and provide a forum for the exchange of information among members. Agenda items may include cache hunts, slide shows or video tapes of Geocaching areas and activities, or educational presentations.
ARTICLE IX: POWERS
Section 1. GENERAL POWERS
Except as otherwise provided in the Articles of Incorporation or these Bylaws the powers of this Society will be exercised, its property controlled and its business and affairs conducted by or under the direction of the Board. Unless otherwise provided herein or by law, the Board, may act by a majority vote of Officers present at the meeting. Any references herein to a vote of the Board shall consider only those Officers present at the meeting unless otherwise provided herein by reference to “all of the members of the Board.” This Society shall not apply its standards, policies, procedures or practices inequitably or single out any particular member for disparate treatment unless justified by substantial and reasonable cause. This Society has no power to violate the fundamental human rights, including freedom of expression, of any person or organization, or to abridge the rights of any person or organization without due process.
ARTICLE X: STRUCTURE OF THE BOARD
Section 1. GENERAL
The board shall consist of Current Officers and a maximum of five (5) Former Officers , herein after called “Director(s)”of this Society. Only Current Officers of this Society shall retain the powers granted to the board in Article IX
Section 2. APPOINTMENT
Any Former Officer(s) may be appointed to the board as a Director(s) by a simple majority vote of all members of the Board; provided, however, that a vacancy or vacancies in the Board of Directors shall be deemed to exist pursuant to Section 5 of this Article. The appointment of the Director shall last one (1) year, at which time the Director may be retained or a new Director may be appointed to the position; there is no limit to the number of appointments a Director may receive.
Section 3. RESIGNATION
Any Director may resign at any time, either by oral tender of resignation at any meeting of the Board (followed by prompt written notice to the Secretary of the Society) or by giving written notice thereof to the President or the Secretary of the Society. Such resignation shall take effect at the time specified, and, unless otherwise specified, the acceptance of such resignation shall not be necessary to make it effective. The successor shall be appointed pursuant to Section 5 of this Article.
Section 4. REMOVAL OF A DIRECTOR
Any Director or Directors may be removed for cause following notice and a three-fourths (3/4) majority vote of all members of the Board; provided, however, that the Director or Directors who are the subject of the removal action shall not be entitled to vote on such an action or be counted as a member of the Board when calculating the required three-fourths (3/4) vote; and provided further, however, that in no event shall a Director be removed unless such removal is approved by not less than a majority of all members of the Board.
Section 5. VACANCIES
A vacancy or vacancies in the Board of Directors shall be deemed to exist in the case of the death, resignation or removal of any Director, if the authorized number of Directors is increased, or if a Director has been declared of unsound mind by a final order of court or convicted of a felony or incarcerated for more than 90 days as a result of a criminal conviction or has been found by final order or judgment of any court to have breached a fiduciary duty. Any vacancy occurring on the Board of Directors may be filled at any meeting of the Board occurring after such vacancy.
ARTICLE XI: OFFICERS
Section 1. OFFICERS
The officers of this Society will be a President, a Vice-President, a Treasurer, a Secretary, and a Public Relations Officer
Section 2. PRESIDENT
The President will be the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of this Society in charge of all of its activities and business. All other officers and staff shall report to the President or his or her delegate. The President shall be entitled to attend any meeting of the Board or of any committee. The President shall report annually to the Board on the current state of this Society and plans for the future. The President shall submit to the Board the annual budget and annual business plan of this Society for the next fiscal year at least 30 days prior to the commencement of the fiscal year. The President will be empowered to call special meetings of the Board as set forth herein, and shall discharge all other duties as may be required by these Bylaws and from time to time may be assigned by the Board.
Section 3. VICE-PRESIDENT
The Vice-President shall perform the duties of the President in the absence of the President and make arrangements for scheduling meeting dates and locations.
The Vice-President will also supervise all Committees.
Section 4. SECRETARY
The Secretary shall keep or cause to be kept the minutes of the Board in one or more books provided for that purpose, will see that all notices are duly given in accordance with the provisions of these Bylaws or as required by law, and in general perform all duties as from time to time may be prescribed by the President or the Board.
Section 5. TREASURER
The Treasurer shall have charge and custody of all the funds of this Society and shall keep or cause to be kept, in books belonging to this Society, full and accurate amounts of all receipts and disbursements, and shall deposit all money and other valuable effects in the name of this Society in such depositories as may be designated for that purpose by the Board. The Treasurer shall disburse the funds of this Society as may be ordered by the Board or the President and, whenever requested by them, shall deliver to the Board and the President an account of all his or her transactions as Treasurer and of the financial condition of this Society. The Treasurer shall be responsible for this Society’s financial planning and forecasting and shall assist the President in the preparation of this Society’s annual budget. The Treasurer shall coordinate and oversee this Society’s funding, including any audits or other reviews of this Society. The Treasurer shall be responsible for all other matters relating to the financial operation of this Society.
Section 6. PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER
The Public Relations Officer shall endeavor to present the advantages of being a member of the MGS in association with Geocaching, as a healthy and enjoyable
hobby/sport in general, utilizing all media and/or means at his disposal.
He may also coordinate games for events and be the official “Welcome Wagon” on the web site. This entails trying to keep an active participation of the website by encouraging members to post articles and forum remarks in the various threads. Work with other organizations to increase the awareness of the MGS inside of the hobby and work with organizations outside of the hobby who may acquire an interest in the relationship to Geocaching through the MGS.
He shall also inquire of the membership for potential participation in media interviews and assist the other officers in awards and ceremonies.
The Public Relations Officer or his designated representative(s) must be available to spend a great majority of events at the registration table as well as help the other officers in any presentations or themes for events.
Section 7. EXPENSES
Expenses incurred in connection with performance of their officer duties may be reimbursed to Officers upon approval of the President (in the case of Officers other than the President) or the Board.
Section 8. REMOVAL OF OFFICERS
Any Officer may be removed, with cause, by a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of all the members of the Board.
Section 9. VACANCIES
A vacancy or vacancies in the Board of Officers shall be deemed to exist in the case of the death, resignation or removal of any Officer, if the authorized number of Officers is increased, or if a Officer has been declared of unsound mind by a final order of court or convicted of a felony or incarcerated for more than 90 days as a result of a criminal conviction or has been found by final order or judgment of any court to have breached a fiduciary duty. Any vacancy occurring on the Board of Officers shall be filled at any meeting of the Board occurring after such vacancy, until such time as a successor for the office has been elected pursuant to Article VII of these bylaws.
ARTICLE XII: COMMITTEES
Section 1. COMMITTEES GENERALLY
The Board may establish one or more committees. Committees are of two kinds: those having legal authority to act for this Society, known as Committees of the Board, and those that do not have that authority, known as Advisory Committees. Except where otherwise stated in these Bylaws, committee members shall be appointed by the Board. Committee members may be removed from a committee at any time by a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of all members of the Board; provided, however, that if a Board Member or Board Members are the subject of the removal action, such Board Member or Board Members shall not be entitled to vote on such an action or be counted as a member of the Board when calculating the required two-thirds (2/3) vote; and, provided further, however, that in no event shall a Board Member be removed from a committee unless such removal is approved by not less than a majority of all members of the Board. The Board may delegate to Committees of the Board all legal authority of the Board except with respect to: The filling of vacancies on the Board or on any committee;
The amendment or repeal of Bylaws or the Articles of Incorporation or the adoption of new Bylaws or Articles of Incorporation; The amendment or repeal of any resolution of the Board which by its express terms is not so amendable or repealable;
The appointment of committees of the Board or the members thereof; or
The Board shall have the power to prescribe the manner in which proceedings of any committee shall be conducted. In the absence of any such prescription, such committee shall have the power to prescribe the manner in which its proceedings shall be conducted. Unless these Bylaws, the Board or such committee shall otherwise provide, the regular and special meetings shall be governed by the provisions of Article VIII applicable to meetings and actions of the Board. Each committee shall keep regular minutes of its proceedings and shall report the same to the Board from time to time, as the Board may require.
Section 2. COMMITTEES OF THE BOARD
Only Active Members may be appointed to a Committee of the Board. If a person appointed to a Committee of the Board ceases to be an Active Member, such person shall also cease to be a member of any Committee of the Board. Each Committee of the Board shall consist of two or more Active Members. The Board may designate one or more Active Members as alternate members of any such committee, who may replace any absent member at any meeting of the committee. The Board may terminate any Committee of the Board.
Section 3. ADVISORY COMMITTEES
The Board may appoint one or more Advisory Committees. Advisory Committee membership may consist of any member of this Society. Advisory Committees shall have no legal authority to act for this Society, but shall report their findings and recommendations to the Board.
Section 4. TERM OF OFFICE
The chairperson and each member of a committee shall serve until his or her successor is appointed, or until such committee is sooner terminated, or until he or she is removed, resigns, or otherwise ceases to qualify as a member of the committee.
Section 5. QUORUM; MEETINGS
A majority of the members of the committee shall constitute a quorum at any meeting of that committee. Each committee shall meet as often as is necessary to perform its duties.
Section 6. VACANCIES
Vacancies on any committee shall be filled in the same manner as provided in the case of original appointments.
ARTICLE XIII: GENERAL PROVISIONS
Section 1. CONTRACTS
The Board may authorize any Officer or Officers, agent or agents, to enter into any contract or execute or deliver any instrument in the name of and on behalf of this Society, and such authority may be general or confined to specific instances. In the absence of a contrary Board authorization, contracts and instruments may only be executed by the following Officers: President, Vice President, or the Treasurer. Unless authorized or ratified by the Board, no other Officer or agent shall have any power or authority to bind this Society or to render it liable for any debts or obligations.
Section 2. DEPOSITS
All funds of this Society not otherwise employed will be deposited from time to time to the credit of this Society in such banks, trust companies or other depositories as the Board may select.
Section 3. CHECKS
All checks, drafts or other orders for the payment of money, notes or other evidences of indebtedness issued in the name of this Society will be signed by such Officer or Officers, agent or agents, of this Society and in such a manner as shall from time to time be determined by resolution of the Board.
Section 4. LOANS
No loans will be made by or to this Corporation and no evidences of indebtedness will be issued in its name.
ARTICLE XIV: ACCOUNTING YEAR AND TAX AUDIT
Section 1. ACCOUNTING
The fiscal year end of this Society shall be determined by the Board.
Section 2. AUDIT
At the end of the fiscal year, the books of this Society will be closed and audited by no less than three members of this Society. The appointment of the fiscal auditors will be the responsibility of the Board. Officers shall not participate in the audit; however, the Treasurer must be present for explanation(s), should the need arise.
Section 3. ANNUAL REPORT AND ANNUAL STATEMENT
The Treasurer shall cause the annual report to be prepared and sent to each member of the Board and to such other persons as the Board may designate, no later than thirty(30) days after the close of this Society’s fiscal year. The annual report will also be made publicly available, on the Web Site.
ARTICLE XV: AMENDMENTS
The Board of this Society will be solely responsible for the bylaws of this Society. The Board may adopt, amend, or repeal the bylaws only at any Business Meeting after a minimum of 72 hours of advanced written notice providing the specific contents of the proposed action given to each Board member. The Board may then approve any proposed bylaw change with a two-thirds vote of approval. Once the board has approved the change it will be presented to the general membership for review persuent to Article(s) V and VI. If the proposed change receives a majority in favor of the change it will be adopted into official MGS bylaws.
Article XVI: NON-DISCRIMINATION Section
This Society shall not discriminate against individuals on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, or any legally protected characteristic.
Article XVII: TERMINATION
Dissolution of this Society may occur by a two-thirds vote of the Board or Membership. In the event of dissolution, all remaining assets, if any, shall be transferred to the nearest Non-Profit Geocaching-related organization approved by the Board.