AMWA Board Pursues Governance Updates

In 2016, the AMWA Board became aware of the need to update AMWA’s governance documents and structure to comply with state and federal laws and current best practices for nonprofit association governance. Legal requirements for nonprofit associations and governance best practices have both undergone reform during AMWA’s 75-year history. AMWA must modernize its governance structure and governing documents to keep pace with this change and to ensure its strength and nimbleness as a nonprofit association. As an important first step in updating our governance documents, on October 8, 2016 the AMWA Board of Directors voted to approve a new AMWA Constitution. AMWA’s current governing documents require approval by three-fourths of AMWA voting members who return their mail ballots within 30 days (by March 6, 2017).

The AMWA Constitution

AMWA’s current Constitution must be revised to reflect the updates in governance structure. The proposed new AMWA Constitution will strengthen the association and allow AMWA to best meet the needs of its members, as outlined below.

  • The proposed AMWA Constitution will ensure that AMWA is operating in line with best practices for nonprofit association governance.
  • The proposed AMWA Constitution provides greater clarity on the roles and responsibilities of AMWA governing bodies.
  • The proposed AMWA Constitution streamlines processes to provide greater flexibility; for instance, AMWA could permit electronic ballots in addition to mail-in paper ballots.
  • The proposed AMWA Constitution positions AMWA to effectively carry out its mission in compliance with applicable laws.

What do AMWA members need to do?

As a voting member of AMWA, your help is needed to ensure AMWA’s viability as a nonprofit association for years to come. Proposed amendments to the AMWA Constitution become effective if approved by three-fourths of the voting members who return their mail ballots within 30 days. In February 2017 members with voting rights will receive a ballot in the mail to vote for AMWA’s updated Constitution. Please review the proposed new AMWA Constitution, cast your vote, and return the ballot to AMWA HQ as soon as possible.

For a detailed timeline on the AMWA Constitution amendment process, please refer to this infographic.

For a red-lined version of the changes, please review this document.

For additional information, please see this 1-page BoardSource guide on nonprofit association governing documents. Note that AMWA’s Constitution is much like the Articles of Incorporation governing document.

For further questions, please contact us at

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