Israeli nonprofit organizations (amuta in singular and amutot in plural) are required to fulfill a variety of basic functions. In this article we address issues related to an Israeli nonprofit organization’s by-laws, model by-laws and written procedures.
This Series of Posts
At our law office, Cohen, Decker, Pex & Brosh, we believe it is important for people to have a good understanding of how to manage their Israeli nonprofit organization. We specialize in Israeli nonprofit law and Israeli NGO law, and we want to help you manage your organization in the best way possible. As a result, we have written a long series of articles discussing some important aspects about the proper functioning of Israeli nonprofit organizations.
For more information on the Israeli Corporations Authority which oversees Israeli nonprofit organizations, see the government website. For more articles from an Israeli lawyer and legal advice for Israeli nonprofit organizations related to the topic of this article, see our articles about verbal reports, a certificate of proper management and an amuta's name, logo and objectives.
Nonprofit Organization (Amuta) Actions and By-Laws
Section 27 and section 9 of the law respectively require that a) Executive Board members must take actions in line with those detailed in the by-laws and b) that the by-laws serve as a contract between both the members of the Israeli nonprofit organization (amuta) and the Israeli nonprofit organization as well as between the Israeli nonprofit organization’s members themselves. Part of section 12 of the law discusses the model by-laws, and in the event that the Israeli nonprofit organization’s by-laws do not address a particular situation, then the model by-laws apply. However, model by-laws do not override the amuta’s by-laws. (Model by-laws are a standard set of supplemented by-laws that have been added over time to help govern the organization in the event the by-laws do not address a particular issue.)
It is important to note that the Israeli nonprofit organization’s by-laws govern many situations, and even if all amuta members agree on a particular issue, the issue must be compatible with the amuta’s by-laws. This can be inconvenient at times as there are situations where most amuta members might wish to simplify certain measures, but the amuta’s by-laws may prevent this.
Changing an Israeli Nonprofit Organization’s By-Laws
In order to change by-laws, the amuta must bring the issue to the General Assembly, and if it passes, then the issue must be taken to the Registrar of Amutot. The Registrar of Amutot first examines if the new resolution meets legal regulations to the satisfaction of the Registrar. If the Registrar agrees to the change, then the Registrar of Amutot will register the change, and only after this point can the resolution be considered valid. Every Israeli nonprofit organization should have an updated list of their by-laws, including any accepted changes.
Creating an Israeli Nonprofit Organization's Written Procedures
The previously discussed by-laws usually address legal definitions and standards, yet they do not address many of the operational and routine management issues within the organization, which is where the written procedures come in. As Israeli nonprofit organizations tend to specialize and focus in particular areas, in order to demonstrate professionalism and effective management, organizations must create written procedures detailing how activities should be carried out. For example, if an Israeli nonprofit organization hires employees, it should have a written procedure explaining how employees are accepted. As most organizations deal with petty cash, they should have a written procedure on the proper use and management of petty cash. The wider the Israeli nonprofit organization’s activities, the more detailed the written procedure should be. These written procedures should be approved by the Executive Board.
Advocate Joshua Pex, one of the partners at our law firm, specializes in Israeli nonprofit law. If you have any questions about Israeli nonprofit by-laws or written procedures or anything else related to Israeli nonprofit organizations, please contact us. We would be happy to help you.
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