Invest in Neighborhoods has developed a set of model bylaws after extensive review of Community Council bylaws and best practices.
Introduction to Model Community Council Bylaws
A Community Council is run by volunteers and organized for charitable and educational purposes, including fundraising and other activities that qualify as exempt organizations under Section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code. The mission of a Community Council is to improve the quality of life within the community by empowering the community and organizing it into a recognizable voice. Community Councils are recognized by the City of Cincinnati as the residents planning, policy and implementation organization.
In this regard, each Community Council needs to determine how its Organization and Bylaws are to be formed and operated. A goal of any Community Council is to engage as many residents, Business Owners, and Non Profit Representatives to come together in the Community to improve the quality of life. It is therefore necessary for eligible Members to have adequate notice of meetings of the Community Council and issues facing the Community. Existing Boards need to strive to obtain a cross section of participation within their community. Each Community Council will establish a procedure to communicate with all Community Stakeholders on a regular basis, which reflects the makeup of the community, and which ensures an even and fair dissemination of information. Eligible Members of the Community Council need to be solicited for Membership through a membership campaign that explains the benefits of being engaged in your community.
The purpose of the attached Model is just that, an example of what other communities have agreed to as well as requirements established by the City of Cincinnati (ORD 220-1989). As you consider creating a new set of Bylaws for your Community or amending and restating your existing Bylaws, should you need further input from Invest in Neighborhoods, please contact us