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Proposed Updates to the RCMG Bylaws

8/24/2023

Bringing changes to the Ramsey County Master Gardeners nonprofit

A subcommittee of the RCMG Board of Directors has been working diligently since December 2022 on revising the bylaws to better suit the current needs of our 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation.


Ramsey County Master Gardeners; a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation

While all volunteers here are part of the University of Minnesota, Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Program for Ramsey County, they are also part of a separate nonprofit corporation was formed in 1995 called the Ramsey County Master Gardeners. (We recognize that the similarities of the names can make this confusing!) It was incorporated as a means to control and manage the funds donated to the organization and the monies earned via fundraising activities like the plant sale.


The mission of the nonprofit is to support the activities of the Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Program for Ramsey County. Ours is the only county in Minnesota that has a separate nonprofit corporation, making us unique among the Master Gardener Volunteer Program chapters.


Updating the Bylaws

Minnesota nonprofit bylaws are an internal document with the rules and procedures that the nonprofit follows. Bylaws lay out the exact processes for actions such as quorums, director responsibilities and tenure, and emergency protocols.


The last time the Ramsey County Master Gardeners 501(c)(3) bylaws were successfully updated was 2013. A lot has changed since then. At this point, they are outdated and not functioning as well as they could be.


Our Update Process

The RCMG subcommittee, consisting of Sandy McDonald, Julie Bechtold, Karen Randall, Alex Meyer, Brianna Gohde and Darren Lochner reviewed existing documents, researched the history of the nonprofit corporation, interviewed members of previous Boards of Directors, and drafted many versions and developed helpful internal structure charts in order to recommend updates that will better serve the future of the Ramsey County Master Gardeners; a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.


In July 2023, the RCMG Board of Directors held a retreat to discuss the proposed bylaws revisions and receive feedback on the proposed revisions. The retreat included not only current Board of Directors but also previous Board Chairs, Nate Galloway, Susan Mitchell, and Frank Dolejsi.


In August 2023, the RCMG Board of Directors approved the amended version to present to membership. This means YOU!


In September 2023, RCMG Board presented the amended and approved Bylaws Revisions at the September Member Meeting. Physical copies of both the current 2013 bylaws and the proposed 2023 bylaws were provided available to members attending in-person and links were provided to at-home participants. (See Reference Links below)


The approval process includes a comment period, during which you are invited to review the changes and offer your feedback. Then we will ask all members to vote Yay or Nay and the results will be presented at the November Member Meeting. If the proposed bylaws are accepted, they will go into effect on January 1, 2024.


Next Steps

  • September 20th—October 3rd: Comment Period This is your chance to closely review the proposed bylaws. Digital copies of both the 2013 & 2023 bylaws are available, as well as links to the September meeting slideshow. There will be two Zoom meetings to discuss your thoughts about the proposed changes. Board members will be available to address any questions or concerns. You can also submit comments using a Google Form.

    • The first on Saturday, September 23rd from 9AM to 10:30AM.

    • The second on Tuesday, September 26th from6:30PM to 8PM.

    • Click this Zoom link to join (Meeting ID: 882 6197 1906)

  • October 17th: Presentation of Amended Bylaws A second reading of the proposed bylaws will happen at the October member meeting. This will include any amendments and revisions made based on comments received during the comment period. After a brief time for additional questions, the voting process will be explained.

  • October 18th—31st: Voting Membership will vote on the proposed bylaws via a digital link provided to you through email.

  • November 21st: Announcement of Results Results of the member vote will be announced at the November member meeting, also known as the Annual Meeting.

Reference Links

Questions & Comments

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Chair Sandy McDonald (samcd34@gmail.com) or Vice Chair Julie Bechtold (juliebechtold@gmail.com).


Sandy McDonald

RCMG Board of Directors

Chair—2023


Julie Bechtold

RCMG Board of Directors

Vice Chair—2023


 

2023 Board Leadership: Sandy McDonald (Chair), Julie Bechtold (Vice-Chair), Gretchen Hesli (Secretary), Kathy Passe, (Treasurer), Jane Carlstrom (Education Chair), Simba Blood (Education Co-Chair), Judi Ginter (Membership Chair), Karen Randall (Membership Co-Chair), Stacy Sola (Communication Chair), Nanette Boudreau (Communication Co-Chair), Darren Lochner (Program Coordinator).

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