Currently we have a board divided on whether or not we should have term limits for board members.
Should the board of directors of a nonprofit homeschool organization decide if the board should have term limits, or does that decision belong to the general membership?
Thank you for guiding me to a resource.
Usually your organization’s bylaws set term limits for the board members. The bylaws also set what topics members can vote on. Some groups do not give members a vote, some don’t even have voting members; the board decides everything. Finally, the bylaws should state how they can be amended, either by a vote of the members or the board only.
So to answer your question, my answer is: look to your organization’s bylaws.
But you probably already did that!
If the bylaws are silent on term limits, then state laws prevail. Sometimes the state is silent on term limits as well! Here’s a resource I use to see what each state says about nonprofit boards. https://www.harborcompliance.com/information/nonprofit-governance-by-state. This site will also lead you to the nonprofit statues for your state.
In general for homeschool organizations, especially those that are member-based, term limits should be set. That is because the board members come from the membership at large. The board can become too self-serving and not representative of the membership at large without term limits.
I find that 2 or 3 year terms to be most common.
Other nonprofits like charities that serve the public could operate without term limits because they are less likely to become self-serving. The nature of a charity is that it serves others outside the group.
Homeschool groups are not like that; in essence they serve themselves. That means term limits are recommended to better represent the members at large.
Carol Topp, CPA
Helping Homeschool Leaders