TGIF Bylaws

The Group in Fresno
Constitution and By-Laws

Amended 7/10/2016

​​​1. Name
The name of the organization is The Group in Fresno (“TGIF”).

2. Mission Statement
The purpose of TGIF is to promote & facilitate safe, sane & consensual BDSM for adults with those interests, by providing a discreet, safe, supportive atmosphere through education, discussion, resources and group events.

3. Privacy Statement
TGIF supports confidentiality and discretion. While some participants are open about their lifestyles in their everyday lives, others are not and could suffer harm if that lifestyle became known to others. TGIF expects that its participants will respect the privacy and identity of others in the group.

4. Group Membership
4.1. Qualifications -
TGIF membership is open to all people who have attained the age of 18 and who have not been banned from group membership by the Steering Committee. No person shall be denied membership in this organization on the basis of race, sex, color, national origin, religion, age, marital status, political views, disability, sexual orientation or kink.
4.2. Membership Process –
Candidate members will be granted membership on attendance at two munches or non-play events, a TGIF membership agreement form, and attendance at a TGIF membership orientation. Candidates must attend the two munches or non-play events before they will be allowed to attend an orientation.
4.3. Disqualification
4.3.1. Membership can be revoked upon a two-thirds vote of all seated members of the Steering Committee.
4.3.2. A member may be permanently banned from membership by a two-thirds vote of all seated members of the Steering Committee. Such ban may be removed only by a subsequent two-thirds vote of all seated members of the Steering Committee.
4.3.3. The Steering Committee cannot take action against the membership status of the current Executive Director.

5. Steering Committee
5.1. Definition –
The membership of TGIF shall annually elect a Steering Committee to determine overall policy and direction of TGIF, approve financial and contractual matters, determine and enforce group rules and policies, hear and act as an arbiter of disputes and grievances among group members and to appoint subcommittees as it deems necessary.
5.2. Composition –
The Steering Committee will consist of five members.
5.3. Eligibility –
Anyone who has been a member in good standing of TGIF for at least one year immediately prior to the beginning of the term is eligible for Steering Committee membership. However, two people in a formal relationship (i.e. marriage, master/slave, dom/sub, etc) may not be elected at the same time.
5.4. Compensation –
Steering Committee members may not receive compensation other than reasonable expenses.
5.5. Term –
The term of Steering Committee members is two years commencing on the date of the Anniversary Munch. Members may serve multiple terms.
5.6. Conflict of Interest –
Each person elected to the Steering Committee will sign a statement acknowledging his acceptance of the TGIF Conflict of Interest Policy prior to joining the Steering Committee.
5.7. Elections -
5.7.1. TGIF will conduct an election of Steering Committee members at the Anniversary Munch.
5.7.2. Procedure -
5.7.2.1. Any eligible member may declare his candidacy for the Steering Committee.
5.7.2.2. Each eligible candidate will be given the opportunity to make a three-minute statement at the Anniversary Munch prior to voting and/or post the statement to a designated electronic forum.
5.7.2.3. Voting
5.7.2.3.1. Voting will be conducted by secret ballot among the TGIF membership in attendance at the Anniversary Munch.
5.7.2.3.2. Members will vote for up to five candidates by marking their selection on a prepared ballot. These ballots will be submitted to a designated clerk, who will check the voters name on a membership list.
5.7.2.3.3. The five candidates who receive the most votes will be the winners of the election. Candidates need not receive a majority of the votes to win.
5.7.2.3.4. If two or more people in a relationship as defined in section 5.4 are among the five candidates receiving the most votes, only the person receiving the highest number of votes will be elected to the committee.
5.7.2.3.5. The designated clerk will tally the ballots and will announce the results at the anniversary munch.
5.7.2.4.The Steering Committee chairman is responsible for conducting the election, but may designate an election clerk to act in his place. If the Steering Committee chairman is on the ballot, he will designate the Executive Director as the election clerk.
5.7.3. Recall
5.7.3.1. The TGIF membership may call for new elections for the TGIF Steering Committee at any time by submitting to the Executive Director signatures from 60 percent of the members who are eligible to vote on a petition that specifically states that the signer wishes to immediately conduct a new Steering Committee election. Signatures may be collected on multiple petition forms, but each form must include identical petition language.
5.7.3.2.Upon receipt of a petition from a current member, the Executive Director will work with the Vice Chairman to validate the signatures within two weeks. Any voting member may fully participate in the validation process, though the TGIF membership rolls must remain in the possession of the Executive Director or vice chairman. If the Executive Director and vice chairman disagree on the validity of a petition, the committee will determine the validity by vote. However, the Executive Director will have a vote in this decision. In the case of a tie, the petition will be considered valid.
5.7.3.3.If a petition is determined to be valid, the Executive Director will conduct an election for Steering Committee at the next munch according to the election rules that apply to the Anniversary Munch election. If the determination is made less than 7 days prior to the date of the next munch, the election will be held at the munch the following month.
5.7.3.4.The new Steering Committee will take office immediately following the election.
5.8. Meetings -
5.8.1. The Steering Committee will meet at least bi-annually.
5.8.2. The Steering Committee will not transact business without the presence of a quorum. A quorum is defined as half of the seated members plus one.
5.8.3. The Executive Director is entitled to attend all meetings of the Steering Committee and to participate in all discussions, but is not allowed to vote on Steering Committee actions.
5.8.4. The Steering Committee chairman will establish times and places for meetings that are acceptable to the Executive Director and the largest number of committee members. The chairman will convene a meeting of the committee within 30 days if requested by the Executive Director.
5.8.5. An official Steering Committee meeting requires that committee members have notice of the meeting two days in advance.
5.8.6. The chairman of the previous year’s Steering Committee will schedule the first meeting of the new Steering Committee.
5.8.7. Meetings are to be conducted by the chairman, the vice chairman if the chairman is absent or another committee member if the chairman and vice chairman are absent.
5.9. Officers –
At its first meeting and as necessary to fill vacancies, the Steering Committee will elect officers by majority vote.
5.9.1. Chairman – It shall be the duty of the chairman to schedule and conduct meetings of the Steering Committee, notify committee members of scheduled meetings, appoint or act as an elections clerk at the Anniversary Munch, create ad hoc grievance committees as required, appoint subcommittees as necessary for the conduct of TGIF business and events and other duties as assigned by the committee.
5.9.2. Vice Chairman - The duty of the vice-chairman is to act in the stead of the chairman in case of the chairman’s absence and to serve as the membership clerk. The membership clerk will maintain the TGIF membership roll, provide membership applications forms, facilitate membership orientations and track the status of candidate members. If the committee chairman is no longer on the committee, the vice chairman will assume the role of chairman and the committee will immediately elect a new vice chairman.
5.9.3. Secretary/Treasurer – The secretary/treasurer is responsible for all TGIF financial matters, for keeping record of Steering Committee actions including overseeing the taking of meeting notes and distribution of meeting minutes to committee members, and for preparation of an annual report of TGIF business to be presented to the overall membership at the Anniversary Munch. The secretary/treasurer shall make financial information available to Steering Committee members and to the TGIF membership, and shall make a report at each Steering Committee meeting. The Secretary/Treasurer will assign day-to-day responsibility for accounting and handling of funds to the Executive Director and may rely on the Executive Director or others, including paid professionals, for completion of other financial functions, but ultimate responsibility remains with the Secretary/Treasurer.
5.9.4. Any officer of the committee may be removed from office by action of the committee. Such action will require a two-thirds vote of the sitting committee membership.
5.9.5. Any officer of the committee may resign by submitting their resignation in writing to the Steering Committee.
5.10. Vacancies –
In the event of a vacancy on the Steering Committee, the remaining members will immediately choose a person from the eligible members of TGIF to serve the remainder of the term.
5.11. Attendance –
A committee member who fails to appear for three consecutive
meetings will be deemed to have resigned from the committee.

6. Executive Director
6.1. The Steering Committee shall appoint an Executive Director.
There are no qualifications for the Executive Director other than that he must be a current member of TGIF at all times. The Executive Director may not be a member of the Steering Committee.
6.2. Except for duties specifically assigned to the Steering Committee and its officers
by these by-laws, the Executive Director shall have sole authority and responsibility to carry out the operations of TGIF. The Executive Director serves at the pleasure of the board, but once appointed continues in his position indefinitely unless four of five Steering Committee members votes to remove him or until he resigns. Failure to maintain membership in TGIF will be considered resignation. The Steering Committee must have five seated members to conduct a vote to remove the Executive Director.
6.3. The Executive Director may establish committees and appoint managers or directors for specific tasks
 as he or she deems necessary and may draw from the Steering Committee members, the general group membership or any other person he deems appropriate for these roles. Should the Executive Director appoint a Steering Committee member to such a position, ultimate authority shall remain with the Executive Director, except as specified in these by-laws.
6.4. Should the Executive Director resign or be removed from office,
he or she will immediately surrender to the Steering Committee chairman, all group property, including money, financial instruments and financial records.
6.5. In the event of a vacancy in the position of Executive Director,
the Steering Committee may appoint an interim director, but must select a permanent replacement within 30 days. The interim director may be a committee member.

7.1. Non-Profit Status
7.1.1. TGIF is organized as a non-profit social club under the definition provided by United States Internal Revenue Code Section 501(C)(7).
7.1.2. TGIF may collect money from its members or others for the purposes of funding its operations, but all fund-raising will be conducted according to the requirements of the IRS Section 501(C)(7).
7.1.3. All TGIF expenditures shall be in keeping with the requirements of IRS Section 501(C)(7).
7.2. At its first meeting and at any time thereafter,
the Steering Committee will set a maximum amount that the Executive Director may spend without pre-approval. This amount may not be less than $150 per expenditure and $1,000 total between Steering Committee meetings.
7.3. Bank Accounts
7.3.1. The Executive Director will maintain bank accounts in the name of The Group in Fresno with the group’s IRS taxpayer ID number and shall promptly deposit all group funds into those accounts.
7.3.2. Checks may be written on TGIF accounts with a single authorized signature. The Executive Director will be an authorized signer on the accounts and either the chairman, secretary/treasurer, or both, will be made authorized signers while in office.
7.3.3. The Executive Director may issue checks up to the amount that does not require Steering Committee pre-approval, for amounts in budgets approved by the Steering Committee, or for amounts specifically approved by the Steering Committee.
7.3.4. At each committee meeting, the Executive Director, in conjunction with the Secretary/Treasurer, shall submit for approval all checks written since the committee’s last meeting.
7.4. The Executive Director may prepare and submit budgets
to the Steering Committee to secure pre-approval for expenditures beyond the spending authority granted to the Executive Director at its first meeting. These budgets may be for specific TGIF functions or for general operations. All budget approvals expire when a new Steering Committee is seated or if more than two committee members have been replaced since initial approval.

8. Grievances
8.1. Any group member may bring grievances against another member
to the chairman of the Steering Committee. Such grievances will be submitted in detailed written form.
8.2. Upon receipt of a grievance,
the Steering Committee chairman will within two days establish an ad hoc Grievance Subcommittee consisting of two members of the Steering Committee selected by random drawing.
8.3. The Grievance Subcommittee will within 14 days
of its commission hear, consider and, if possible, mediate the grievance. Its consideration will include no less than acceptance of a rebuttal from the alleged offender, assuming that said rebuttal is submitted in a timely fashion.
8.4. If the Grievance Subcommittee is unable to resolve
the grievance through mediation, it will refer the matter with its recommendations for sanction or other action to the Steering Committee.
8.5. On receipt of a recommendation from a Grievance Subcommittee,
the Steering Committee may impose any sanction or take other action at its discretion. The decision of the Steering Committee will include a decision as to whether the grievance and any sanction are to be publicized to group members or to be kept confidential.
8.6. The decision of the Steering Committee is final.
8.7. The Steering Committee will keep all records relating to grievances on file for three years.

9. Adoption and Amendment of By-Laws
9.1. Adoption –
These by-laws shall take effect upon approval by a vote of three-quarters of the seated members of the Steering Committee.
9.2. Amendment –
The Steering Committee may amend these by-laws.
9.2.1. Amending the by-laws requires two votes by the Steering Committee. Following initial approval of proposed amendments by a majority vote of the Steering Committee members present at a meeting, at least four members of the Steering Committee must vote to enact the amendment at a second meeting that is not less than 30 days after the initial vote.
9.2.2. The Steering Committee may not amend the by-laws unless it has at least four seated members.
9.2.3. If the TGIF membership petitions for new Steering Committee elections, the Steering Committee may not enact amendments to the by-laws until such vote is held.