TEXAS VOLUNTARY ORGANIZATIONS ACTIVE IN DISASTER
TEXAS VOAD BYLAWS
I. Name and Jurisdiction
The name of the organization is the Texas Voluntary Organizations Active in disaster (TEXAS VOAD). TEXAS VOAD is the state counterpart to the National voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD). The Jurisdiction is the State of Texas.
TEXAS VOAD is a humanitarian association of independent voluntary organizations who may be active in all phases of disaster. Its mission is to foster efficient, streamlined service delivery to people affected by disaster, while eliminating unnecessary duplication of effort, through cooperation in the four phases of disaster: preparation, response, recovery, and mitigation.
TEXAS VOAD is not a competing or exclusionary organization. TEXAS VOAD is intended to be a network for organizations active in disaster. Each TEXAS VOAD member organization will maintain its own identity and independence while closely collaborating with other TEXAS VOAD member organizations, inter-faiths, and local, state, or federal authorities.
TEXAS VOAD accomplishes its mission by adhering to the following principles:
Cooperation: Foster cooperation among TEXAS VOAD member organizations at all levels and in all phases of disaster.
Coordination: Coordinate the development of TEXAS VOAD policies and procedures, and the implementation of services among TEXAS VOAD member organizations. TEXAS VOAD may also provide links to national and international disaster relief organizations. TEXAS VOAD serves as advocate and liaisons between member agencies and the State of Texas.
Communication: Exchange and disseminate information among TEXAS VOAD member organizations and the public, as well as local, state and federal agencies, in conjunction with the individual TEXAS VOAD members.
Collaboration: We dedicate ourselves to work together to achieve specific goals and to undertake specific projects at disaster sites. We form partnerships during the disaster response.
A. Categories of Membership
1. Partner – Organizations, which meet all of the following criteria, are eligible for the partner category of membership in the TEXAS VOAD. The Partner membership is the voting membership.
o Organization must qualify as not-for-profit under IRS Code 501(c)(3), with voluntary memberships and constituencies.
o Organizations must have a disaster response program and policy for commitment of resources to meet the needs of people affected by disaster without discrimination.
o Organizations must be statewide in scope.
2. Associate – The Associate category of membership may be granted to organizations, government agencies, or businesses with disaster planning operations responsibilities or capabilities that do not meet all of the criteria for Partner membership.
o Organization must have a disaster response program and policy for commitment of resources to meet the needs of people affected by disaster without discrimination.
o Organization need not be statewide in scope.
3. Affiliate – The Affiliate category of membership may be granted to smaller, emerging or spontaneous organizations of all categories that does not meet the criteria for partner or Associate membership and have a disaster response capability. Candidates for Affiliate membership shall apply in the usual manner except during disaster response and recovery events.
o Affiliate members shall be mentored by the TEXAS VOAD organizations.
o Affiliate members may apply for Partner or Associate membership as their organization matures.
o Affiliate memberships shall be reviewed annually.
o During disaster response or recovery events, a limited Affiliate membership may be granted to an emergent or spontaneous group by consensus of the current active members without formal application to the TEXAS VOAD Executive committee. Such membership is valid for six months or the life of the response & recovery effort whichever comes first.
B. Conditions of Membership
o Meet the membership criteria of the TEXAS VOAD.
o Agree with the mission of the TEXAS VOAD.
o Designate an authorized representative to attend TEXAS VOAD business and special meetings.
C. Membership Application Procedures
1. Organizations requesting membership will apply by letter to the TEXAS VOAD describing their intended commitment to the TEXAS VOAD. Candidate organizations are encouraged to send a representative to attend TEXAS VOAD meetings while the application is pending.
2. The TEXAS VOAD Executive Committee (TEC) will determine category eligibility of the candidate organization using the TEXAS VOAD bylaws and will present the application for discussion at the next business meeting.
3. The Authorized Representative of each Member Organization will vote after the application is presented and discussed to extend or deny an offer of membership to the candidate organization.
D. Responsibilities of Membership
1. The leadership of each TEXAS VOAD member organization must be committed to sending knowledgeable and authoritative representatives to attend TEXAS VOAD meetings. Each TEXAS VOAD member organization shall designate one Authorized Representative and one alternate representative in a letter to the TEXAS VOAD Executive Committee.
2. Each Authorized Representative must have access to the resources of his/her organization to service the needs of disaster victims.
3. An Authorized Representative who misses 50 percent of the business and special meetings in a twelve-month period shall receive a reminder letter from the Secretary/Treasurer. A copy of the reminder letter shall be sent simultaneously to the leadership of the Authorized Representative’s organization. The reminder letter shall state the importance of each organization’s participation and shall request a statement as to the intentions of the Authorized Representative as well as that of his/her organization to actively participate in the future. If the organization or the Authorized Representative fails to respond to the reminder letter within thirty days or accumulated two additional unexcused absences the Secretary/Treasurer shall recommend a vote to reduce, or, terminate the status of the organization.
E. Termination of Membership
Membership may be terminated by the following means:
v TEXAS VOAD member organizations may voluntarily withdraw by submission of a letter of separation to the TEXAS VOAD Executive Committee.
o Membership may be terminated at any time for any reason by a four-fifths vote. Consistent failure to meet the conditions and responsibilities of membership may lead to a vote of termination.
The meetings of the TEXAS VOAD shall be guided by the current version of Roberts Rules of Order except as otherwise provided for in these bylaws. TEXAS VOAD business meetings are open to the public.
A. Business Meetings
1. Business meetings will be held at least two (2) times a year on a schedule set by the TEXAS VOAD.
2. Written notice, including a meeting agenda, shall be sent to all members at least fourteen days prior to any business meeting.
3. Other business may be considered by a simple majority vote of members present.
4. The Authorized Representative or designated alternate has voice for and votes for his/her organization have voice, when recognized by, and, at the discretion of the Chair, but may not vote. The intent is that there be a reasonable exchange of ideas in a timely fashion without monopoly by multiple representatives of a single agency.
B. Special Meetings
1. Any member of the TEXAS VOAD Executive Committee may call a special meeting when necessary. A special meeting may be called at the request of ten percent of the TEXAS VOAD Partners or Associates.
2. Written notice shall be sent to all members electronically, and/or by first class mail postmarked at least five (5) days prior or, verbal notice given at least two (2) days prior to any special meeting and shall specify the purpose of such a meeting.
3. No business other than that for which the special meeting was called may be considered except by unanimous consent of the entire voting membership of the TEXAS VOAD. Such consent may be obtained either before or after such special meeting, but until such consent is obtained action on matters not identified in the purpose of the special meeting shall not be valid.
C. Emergency Meetings
1. Emergency meetings to meet the needs of disaster events (or drills) can be called at any time by the TEXAS VOAD Executive Committee with minimal notice.
2. Teleconferencing may be used for emergency meetings to facilitate the work of the TEXAS VOAD.
3. Emergency meetings are open to members and those agencies with specific response & recovery responsibilities that concern TEXAS VOAD members.
D. Committee Meetings
1. Committee meetings may be attended only by committee members.
2. Technical advisors may attend committee meetings at the request of the chairperson.
VI. Executive Committee Officers
Nominations – Individuals not organizations are nominated as Candidates. Candidates are nominated in the odd year preceding the even year where elections are to occur. Nominations must be made during a regular general meeting, or a special meeting, in November. This provides a two month nomination period prior to the officer election in January even year. The nominations will be called to close at the first business meeting of the even year in January. The nominations are closed by a motion made by a Partner Member, seconded by a Partner Member and then nominations are closed by a quorum vote in the affirmative of Partner Members.
Election and Term - Individuals not organizations are elected to Executive Committee Officer positions. Qualified candidates must be a representative of a Partner Member organization. The term of each Officer office is a two year term that spans even year to even year. Their term of office begins at the conclusion of the election meeting which are conducted in January of each even year.
A list of the accepted nominees must appear on the agenda for the last meeting of the last quarter of the odd year. No single agency will be allowed to hold more than one officer position. When an officer’s position is vacated the President shall call for nominations and an election within the next business meeting to serve the un-expired term.
The Executive Committee (EC) consists of the following officers.
Function: Presides at meetings, acts as spokesperson and represents Texas State VOAD in all speaking engagements and meetings requiring senior leadership representation from the State VOAD. The President delegates tasks relative to State VOAD business, convenes meetings and provides leadership. Nominates committee members, or special task forces, to be voted on by the EC. With quorum consent of the Partner Members, the President may engage in external contracts. The President is responsible for establishing and maintaining the Mission of the Texas State VOAD, establishing its priorities and managing the expectations of its stakeholders and partners.
Function: Acts on behalf of the President in the absence of or at the request of the President. The V.P. will also be responsible for the State Operations Center State VOAD Liaison recruiting, training, and retention of the VOAD Liaison volunteer team. The V.P. will, when necessary and appropriate, appoint planning and operations task forces to plan for SOC Liaison activities, and ensure communication and coordination with the State Mass Care Lead/ESF6.
The V.P. is also responsible for developing the State VOAD Education Program and Training Schedules for its Membership and for ensuring that State VOAD meets the minimum training requirements as defined in the National Response Framework, NIMS training criteria.
C. Secretary Treasurer
Function: Acts as VOAD Librarian and Historian with the maintenance of any organizational records, distributes email to the VOAD membership, maintains minutes of meetings. The Secretary Treasurer will maintain any financial records, National VOAD dues records, any dues remittance activities, and also maintain the State VOAD membership directory, email listserve/distribution lists, and maintain the State VOAD web site with updates, meeting minutes and other tasks assigned to the Secretary by the V.P. and/or President accordingly.
VII. Standing Committees
The following Standing Committees will be appointed by the TEXAS VOAD Executive Committee. Committees shall be representative of the TEXAS VOAD member organizations.
o Advisory Committee: Representative from Each Member Organization
o Education & Training
o Finance Committee
1. Each Partner organization is entitled to one vote.
2. Voting by proxy shall not be permitted.
3. Five members present at a meeting for which proper notice has been given shall constitute a quorum to do business.
4. All voting except as otherwise provided for in these bylaws shall be a simple majority vote.
5. All votes (formal or consensus reached) will be recorded in the meeting minutes.
6. An individual or Authorized Representative may represent more than one organization. However an individual/Authorized Representative has one vote regardless of the number of organizations he/she may represent.
A. TEXAS VOAD shall not be a fund raising organization. Sources of income shall include, but are not limited to, annual dues from partner organizations.
B. Donations to TEXAS VOAD will be accepted.
C. TEXAS VOAD shall require the signature of one Executive Committee member on all checks issued with the approval for the expense given by the Executive Committee.
D. The Secretary/Treasurer will be authorized to spend up to fifty dollars without approval for routine expenses on behalf of TEXAS VOAD.
Amendments to these bylaws may be made by a two-thirds majority vote. Amendments must be moved and seconded at a properly noticed business or special meeting to be voted on at the following business meetings.