By-laws of the Michigan Germanic Genealogical Society (MIGGS)

Article I — Name
The name of the Society shall be the Michigan Germanic Genealogical Society (MIGGS).

Article II — Purpose
The Society shall be a non-profit organization. The purpose of this Society shall be:
A. To promote the study of and interest in the immigration of people of Germanic heritage to America.

B. To exchange cultural information relating to the times, life, and society of Germanic immigrants and their descendants.

C. To encourage and provide the means for members to share their genealogical findings through meetings and newsletters and to promote the collection and preservation of such materials.

Article III — Membership
A. Anyone interested in Germanic genealogical research or other related fields can become a member by paying the established annual dues. Membership categories are as follows:

  1. Regular Member
    a. U.S. member
    1) Single: Anyone who applies and pays the established annual dues.
    2) Couple: Two persons at a single address who apply and pay a set amount which is more than the single annual dues fee but less than double, as established; they receive only one set of society publications.
    b. Non-U.S. Member: Anyone residing outside the U.S. who applies and pays the established annual dues, in U.S. funds, increased to offset costs of handling, and of postal rates appropriate to the area and to the type of mail service.
  2. Honorary Member: Anyone who, because of exemplary activity related to the Society’s goals, is recommended by the President and approved by the Executive Board to receive a year’s membership in the Society without dues. In outstanding cases, Honorary Membership may be awarded for life.

B. Dues are for the fiscal year which shall be July 1 to June 30. However, persons joining the Society for the first time during the last quarter of the fiscal year will be credited in full for the following fiscal year membership dues.

Article IV — Dues
A. The annual dues shall be set by the Board of Directors and due July 1.

B. Any member delinquent after September 30 shall be dropped from the membership roll.

Article V — Officers
A. The officers of the Society shall be the President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer, to be elected bi-annually. Those officers make up the Executive Board, which may make recommendations to the Board of Directors on issues that arise between Board of Directors meetings. Such recommendations are not official unless the Board of Directors votes to make them official.

B. In addition to the officers, three directors shall be elected. Each term will be three years with the exception of those elected in the first election. The board of directors shall consist of the officers of the society and the directors.

C. Candidates for all offices shall be nominated by the Nominating Committee. Nominees will be announced at a regular society membership meeting. Nominations from the floor shall be permitted, with the consent of the candidate. Officers shall be elected by a show of hands or voice vote at the annual meeting, with the individual receiving a plurality, the highest number of votes declared, elected. In the case of offices with three or more candidates, the Society may choose, by a vote of the membership, to vote a second time, dropping the lowest vote-getter(s) from the second ballot. The installation of new officers shall take place at the Annual Meeting.

D. Should the office of the President become vacant, the Vice President shall become President for the balance of the term. Other vacancies shall be filled by appointment by the President with the approval of a majority of the Board of Directors.

E. The Society agrees to indemnify and hold harmless the Board of Directors members from any and all liabilities that may be incurred as a result of carrying out their duties and obligations to the Society, except for willful and malicious injuries to persons or property.

Article VI — Duties of the Board of Directors
A. The President shall preside over all meetings, appoint standing committee chairs and, when required, shall appoint special committee chairs. All chairpersons shall be appointed with the approval of the Board of Directors. The President shall appoint, with the approval of the Board of Directors, two members to represent the Society to the Michigan Genealogical Council and one to represent the Society to the Federation of Genealogical Societies. The President shall be empowered to disburse funds in the absence of the Treasurer. The President shall be an ex officio member of all committees without the right to vote.

B. The Vice President shall preside over meetings in the absence of the President and shall chair the Programs and Publicity Committee. The Vice President shall perform other duties as assigned by the President.

C. The Secretary shall keep records of all meetings of the Society, the Board of Directors and the Executive Board. The Secretary shall also be responsible for all correspondence with members, other groups and individuals. The Corresponding Secretary shall maintain a current list of genealogists who are willing to do research for others.

D. The Treasurer shall develop an annual budget, collect all dues and monies, attend to all disbursements and have charge of all funds of the Society. The Treasurer shall prepare a monthly financial report.

E. The Board of Directors shall approve the budget prepared by the Treasurer before the annual meeting.

F. The Board of Directors or a subcommittee thereof shall audit the financial books of the Society. The financial books of the Society shall be presented to the financial review committee after the close of the fiscal year. The financial books of the Society will undergo an internal review each time a new treasurer takes office.

G. All Board of Directors members shall attend the majority of meetings of the Society called by the President. If a director misses three consecutive meetings without good reason, he/she shall be removed from the Director position.

H. All Board of Directors members shall provide progress reports of their office or committee work at each board meeting, plus a printed annual report for the Annual Meeting.

I. All officers shall deliver to their successors at the Annual Meeting all monies, accounts, records, books, papers or other property belonging to the Society.

Article VII — Meetings
A. The meetings of this Society shall be held quarterly unless the Board of Directors votes to make an exception.

B. An Annual Meeting shall be held on a date to be determined by the Board of Directors.

C. Special meetings may be called by the President.

Article VIII — Board of Directors Meetings
A. Each officer, standing committee chair, Michigan Genealogical Council representative and Federation of Genealogical Societies representative shall have the right to make motions, contribute to discussion and vote at Board of Directors meetings. No individual shall have more than one vote, regardless of the number of officer and committee positions the individual holds.

B. The Board of Directors may participate in a meeting through the use of conference telephone, electronic video screen communication, e-mail, or other electronic transmission as long as the following apply: (i) each Board member participating in the meeting can communicate with all the other Board members at the meeting concurrently or serially, and; (ii) each Board member is provided with a means of participating in all matters before the Board, including the capacity to propose, or to interpose an objection to a specific action to be taken by the Board of Directors. Participation in a meeting pursuant to this section constitutes presence at such meeting.

Article IX — Gifts
Any item given to the Society shall become the property of the Society and shall be used as the Board of Directors deems to be in the best interests of the Society unless alternate arrangements are made prior to the receipt of the gift.

Article X — Publications
All publications compiled or written under the auspices of the Society shall become the property of the Society. All proceeds from the sale of such publications shall accrue to the Society.

Article XI —State and National Organizations
The Society may maintain memberships in the Michigan Genealogical Council, the Federation of Genealogical Societies and the International German Genealogy Partnership. The society will provide representatives as permitted by the organizations.

Article XII — Amendments
Amendments to the bylaws shall be approved by the Board of Directors and considered at a membership meeting and shall take effect upon the assent of two-thirds of the members present and voting.

Article XIII — Policies and Procedures
Specific duties of the officers and committees shall be defined in a Policies and Procedures Manual.

Article XIV — Rules of Order
The rules contained in the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised shall govern the Society in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with these bylaws and any special rules of order the Society may adopt.

Article XV — Dissolution
In the event that the Society should decide by a two-thirds vote of the entire membership to disband, such items as are in its possession or custody shall be directed to suitable public repositories by the Board of Directors.

Approved 17 March 2019