You are on page 1of 24

JCI National Organization

Constitution Guide

JCI National Organization


Constitution Guide
Version 01-2013

JCI Official Publication


JCI National Organization Constitution Guide

JCI National Organization


Constitution Guide
JCI Vision
.
To be the leading global network of young active
citizens.
JCI Mission
To provide development opportunities that
empower young people to create positive change.
About JCI
JCI is a membership-based nonprofit organization of
young active citizens ages 18 to 40 in more than 100
countries who are dedicated to creating positive change
in their communities. Each JCI member shares the belief
that in order to create lasting positive change, we must
improve ourselves and the world around us. JCI
members take ownership of their communities by
identifying problems and creating targeted solutions to
create impact.

For a National Organization member to satisfy the


requirements of JCI, it must have a Constitution, which
embodies the regulations and reflects the principles of
the JCI Constitution. If this is to be achieved
satisfactorily, a number of requirements must be
identified at each level, i.e., local, national, and
international.
This publication suggests a framework that provides a
degree of standardization on which National
Organization Constitutions can be based. It does not
pretend to be exhaustive, nor is it intended that it should
be followed rigidly. In this regard, some comments have
been made to assist in making the most appropriate
decisions whenever there are alternatives. Clearly, each
Constitution must be drafted in a manner, which makes
allowances for local conditions. If, however, a degree of
uniformity among National Organization Constitutions
can be achieved in a manner which ensures that the
principle points in these notes are incorporated, there
can be no doubt that the administration of the JCI
organization, as a whole, will benefit.
National Organization Constitution Guide is just one of
the several publications prepared by the JCI World
Headquarters. It is our hope that you will find these
guides valuable in your efforts to make the national
administration more effective, easily managed, and be in
accordance with JCIs recommended structure.

Copyright by JCI: All rights reserved.


This manual is for the exclusive use of JCI members and
can only be reproduced for this purpose.
This publication or parts of it may not be translated in
any other language without the express permission of
the JCI Secretary General.
Published by

We welcome your comments, criticisms, and


suggestions so that we may continually improve our
services to you. Let us know your other needs, and our
professional staff will be happy to assist you. Please be
specific in your requests so that we can provide you with
pertinent suggestions, publications, and advice. We are
here to help you in whatever way we can.

Edson A. Kodama
JCI Secretary General

Junior Chamber International (JCI), Inc.


15645 Olive Boulevard
Chesterfield, MO 63017, U.S.A.
Tel: +1 (636) 449 3100
Toll free (from USA only): 1 800 905 5499
Fax: +1 (636) 449 3107
E-Mail: training@jci.cc - Website: www.jci.cc
Introduction
2

JCI National Organization Constitution Guide

JCI National Organization


Constitution Guide
Table of Contents
Introduction.............................................................................................................................................................................. 2
The Purpose of a Constitution................................................................................................................................................. 4
Organizational Structure of a JCI National Organization ........................................................................................................ 4
Specimen Constitution of a JCI National Organization ........................................................................................................... 5
Chapter I

Name ................................................................................................................................................ 5

Chapter II

Emblem ............................................................................................................................................ 5

Chapter III

Affiliation ........................................................................................................................................... 5

Chapter IV

Vision and Mission ........................................................................................................................... 6

Chapter V

Membership ..................................................................................................................................... 7

Chapter VI

General Assembly ............................................................................................................................ 8

Chapter VII

National Convention ....................................................................................................................... 10

Chapter VIII

National Officers............................................................................................................................. 11

Chapter IX

Board of Directors .......................................................................................................................... 14

Chapter X

Duties of the Members of the Board of Directors ........................................................................... 15

Chapter XI

Activities ......................................................................................................................................... 16

Chapter XII

Finances ......................................................................................................................................... 17

Chapter XIII

Dues ............................................................................................................................................... 17

Chapter XIV

Senators ......................................................................................................................................... 18

Chapter XV

Principal Office ............................................................................................................................... 18

Chapter XVI

Rules of Procedure ........................................................................................................................ 18

Chapter XVII

Amendments .................................................................................................................................. 18

The question of dues at national level .................................................................................................................................. 20


Standard National Organizational structure .......................................................................................................................... 22

JCI National Organization Constitution Guide

JCI National Organization


Constitution Guide
The Purpose of a Constitution
A Constitution is not effective if it attempts to cover matters concerning the day-to-day management of the organization.
Such matters can be covered by a Policy Manual. The test of a Constitutions worth is its effectiveness in giving
prospective members a proper understanding of the nature, aims and purposes of the organization.
1.

The objectives of a Constitution are:


a.
To name the organization
b.
To define the Vision, Mission and Values of the organization
c.
To state who is eligible for membership
d.
To proscribe how the organization shall be governed by covering such matters as:
i. What shall be the supreme authority, how it shall be composed, and when it shall meet
ii. What Officers it shall have, who shall elect or appoint them, and how they shall be elected or appointed
iii. How the policies shall be implemented, and who shall be responsible for seeing that this work is fulfilled
e.
To determine the method by which the organization shall be financed
f.
To define parliamentary authority
g.
To outline methods for amending the Constitution

2.

The Constitution may be composed of:


a.

Articles: The Articles of a Constitution are those separately marked sections or clauses, which specify the
purpose or other terms and conditions of the organization. The Articles are the rules and regulations by which
the organization will work.

b.

Bylaws: The purpose of the Bylaws is to help define the rules and regulations. As such, they are subsidiary to
the Articles of the Constitution and must be drafted in a manner which, in the opinion of the organization,
seems best suited to meet its requirements.

The specimen Constitution that follows is intended only as a guide. In drafting or reviewing its Constitution, a Local
Organization should bear in mind its own particular needs and circumstances.
Anyone using this document to draft or review a Constitution should also bear in mind that this sample Constitution, its
guidelines and comments reflect the official basic standards of JCI. Therefore, changes, additions or deletions should not
be in conflict with the JCI Constitution.
Note: The comments made in the sample Constitution (typeset in italics) are not part of the Constitution and should not be
included in your Constitution as such.

Organizational Structure of a JCI National Organization


The organizational structure of a National Organization must be planned in a manner best suited to meet its own needs.
There are, nonetheless, certain aspects of an organization, which should be present in any National Organization. These
are:
1. General Assembly: It is through this body that the control and direction of the National Organization are exercised.
The General Assembly is composed by the Local Presidents who vote representing their members and should meet
once a year to discuss and vote on Plan of Action, Budget, election of officers and amendments of the Constitution.
2. Board of Directors: The function of the Board of Directors is to facilitate the administration of the National
Organization. The Board of Directors is composed by the elected officers and should meet two or three times during
the year to discuss management and leadership issues, services to the Local Organizations and activities. The local
presidents are not part of the Board and dont need to attend these meetings because their reports are presented by
the Vice Presidents.
4

JCI National Organization Constitution Guide

JCI National Organization


Constitution Guide
Sample Constitution of a JCI National Organization
CHAPTER I: NAME
ARTICLE 1-1.

NAME:

The Association shall be known as JCI (name of the country) and hereinafter in this Constitution shall be referred to as the
National Organization.
CHAPTER II: EMBLEM
ARTICLE 2-1.

EMBLEM:

If any, the emblem of the National Organization shall consist of the emblem of JCI with the name of the country under the
logo, which shall be reproduced as below:

Name of Country
BYLAW 2-2.

RESTRICTIVE USE:

The use of the name, initials and emblem of the National Organization and those of JCI shall be restricted to properly
affiliated members of the National Organization and shall not be used by others without the written consent of the National
President.
CHAPTER III: AFFILIATION
ARTICLE 3-1.

AFFILIATION:

The National Organization shall be affiliated with Junior Chamber International, hereinafter referred to as JCI and this
shall involve:
1.

Acceptance of the JCI Declaration of Principles and Purposes, which reads as follows:
"We believe:

2.

That faith in God gives meaning and purpose to human life;


That the brotherhood of man transcends the sovereignty of nations;
That economic justice can best be won by free men through free enterprise;
That government should be of laws rather than of men;
That earth's great treasure lies in human personality;
And that service to humanity is the best work of life."

Compliance with the Constitution of JCI insofar as this affects the National Organization.

JCI National Organization Constitution Guide

JCI National Organization


Constitution Guide
CHAPTER IV: VISION AND MISSION
ARTICLE 4-1.

JCI VISION:

JCI Vision is to be the leading global network of young active citizens.


ARTICLE 4-2.

JCI MISSION:

JCI Mission is to provide development opportunities that empower young people to create positive change.
ARTICLE 4-3.

PURPOSES OF THE NATIONAL ORGANIZATION:

The purposes of the National Organization shall be:


1.
2.
3.
4.

Promote the awareness and acceptance of the responsibilities of active citizenship among members.
Promote the Vision, Mission and Values of JCI.
Promote active participation of the members in planning and executing projects for the development of their
leadership potential and for a better community.
Promote the understanding, goodwill and cooperation among all peoples.

COMMENTS ON ARTICLE 4-3:


Purpose of a National Organization: It is important to consider that the purpose of the National Board is to lead the
organization, handle the management issues, promote concepts and provide services that will enable the Local
Organizations to conduct the projects and activities. The National Organization should not compete with its affiliates by
conducting projects.
ARTICLE 4-4.

POLITICS:

This National Organization shall refrain from any partisan political activity, and its members will avoid mixing their personal
activities with their JCI activities in the sense that the general public might infer that the organization is politically oriented
in one way or another.
ARTICLE 4-5.

RELIGION:

This National Organization shall refrain from sectarian or religious activities, and its members will avoid mixing their
personal activities with their JCI activities in the sense that the general public might infer that the organization is religiously
oriented in one way or another.
ARTICLE 4-6.

HUMAN RIGHTS:

This National Organization, in affirming the JCI Declaration of Principles, subscribes to the Universal Declaration of
Human Rights as an example of the promotion of universal respect for, and observance of, human rights, freedoms and
equality.
ARTICLE 4-7.

RIGHTS OF THE CHILD:

This National Organization, recognizing and supporting the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of the Child, shall
conduct permanent and continuing programs that assist with providing for one or more of the basic needs of children as
set out in the Declaration.
ARTICLE 4-8.

WORLD PEACE:

This National Organization, recognizing the fundamental goal of the founder, Henry Giessenbier, Jr., shall commit itself to
strive for a true and everlasting world peace.
6

JCI National Organization Constitution Guide

JCI National Organization


Constitution Guide
CHAPTER V: MEMBERSHIP
ARTICLE 5-1.

DEFINITION:

Local Organizations whose objectives and activities are in accordance with the purposes of JCI and the National
Organization, and which are formally affiliated to the National Organization, shall be members of the National
Organization.
ARTICLE 5-2.

QUALIFICATIONS:

Membership of the National Organization shall be open to Local Organizations in the geographical area of the National
Organization provided that such organizations:
1.
2.
3.
4.

Must comply with the requirements of the National Organization as laid down in this Constitution.
Have objectives and policies, which are consistent with the purposes of the National Organization and JCI.
Maintain age limits as per Article 5-6 of the present Constitution.
Maintain a minimum membership of twenty five (25) members for a fully affiliated Local Organization.

BYLAW 5-3.

REQUIREMENTS:

Applications for membership in the National Organization shall be lodged in writing with the Secretary General at least
thirty (30) days prior to the Annual Meeting of the General Assembly where the application will be voted. Such
applications must be accompanied by:
1.
2.
3.

A copy of the applicants Constitution


The applicable National Organization and JCI dues for the subsequent fiscal year
The Plan of Action for the ensuing year

The Local Organization applying for membership must also comply with the following requirements:
1.
2.

Have the records of all its members in the JCI database.


Have listed the current local officers in the JCI online Directory.

COMMENTS ON ARTICLE 5-3:


National Organizations should not have Potential and Provisional Local Organizations because a group can either be in
the formation stage (having less than 25 members) or ready to me a fully affiliated Local Organization.
ARTICLE 5-4.

PROCEDURE:

Every application for membership in the National Organization, which meets the requirements of Article 5-2 and Bylaw
5-3, shall be accepted upon approval by a two-thirds (2/3) majority of the General Assembly.
BYLAW 5-5.

PROBATIONARY PERIOD:

During the first six (6) months of its affiliation, a Local Organization will be provisional. During this period, it can participate
in all National Organization meetings but will not have voting rights. After the six months the Board of Directors will decide
if the Local Organization fulfilled all requirements for full affiliation or if it should continue in the provisional status.
COMMENTS ON ARTICLE 5-5:
Not allowing voting rights to newly affiliated Local Organizations at the same General Assembly where they are affiliated
will avoid affiliations for pure voting purposes.

JCI National Organization Constitution Guide

JCI National Organization


Constitution Guide
ARTICLE 5-6.

AGE LIMIT:

Local Organization members shall maintain age limits of not less than eighteen (18) and not more than forty (40) years for
individual members, provided that membership may continue until the end of the calendar year in which the person
reaches the age of forty (40) years, except for the Immediate Past President, who may serve in that capacity for not more
than one (1) year.
ARTICLE 5-7.

RESIGNATION:

Any Local Organization may terminate its association with the National Organization and may cease to be associated
immediately upon its lodging notice with the President of its wish to do so accompanied by all monies it owes to the
National Organization.
ARTICLE 5-8.

DISQUALIFICATION:

Where two-thirds (2/3) of the members of the Board of Directors are of the opinion that a Local Organization is no longer
qualified for membership in the National Organization due to the violation of Article 5-2, the membership of that Local
Organization may be suspended or terminated subject to ratification by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of General Assembly.
CHAPTER VI: GENERAL ASSEMBLY
ARTICLE 6-1.

SUPREME AUTHORITY:

The General Assembly shall constitute the supreme authority of the National Organization. It shall direct the affairs of the
National Organization and shall retain all rights and privileges not specifically assigned to the Board of Directors, the
President, or any other National Organization officer.
BYLAW 6-2.

EXCLUSIVE PREROGATIVES:

The General Assembly shall have the exclusive prerogative to vote on any and all of the following matters:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.

Election of all Elective National Officers.


Approval of appointments of non-elected members of the Board of Directors.
Affiliation and disqualification of Local Organizations.
Approval of the National Plan of Action for the ensuing year.
Approval of the National budget for the ensuing year.
Determination of the National Organization Convention site.
Approval of the Strategic Plan and reports.

COMMENTS ON BYLAW 6-2:


1.
2.

No one can serve as a member of this Board of Directors without having been elected or approved by the General
Assembly.
The President may appoint other special assistants or directors without the approval of the General Assembly, but
those appointees cannot be Officers of the National Organization or members of the Board of Directors.

BYLAW 6-3.

SPECIFIC RESPONSIBILITIES:

The General Assembly shall receive and act upon reports and recommendations referred to it by the Board of Directors or
any member of that body.
ARTICLE 6-4.

COMPOSITION:

The General Assembly shall be composed of:


8

JCI National Organization Constitution Guide

JCI National Organization


Constitution Guide
1.
2.

The Board of Directors


The President of each affiliated Local Organization.

In the event that a Local President is unable to attend a meeting of the General Assembly, he shall notify the Secretary
General in writing of his designated representative who must be a member of the Board of Directors of said Local
Organization.
Each Local Organization should have one seat in General Assembly and an additional seat, without voting or speaking
rights, for the next years Local President listed in the JCI online Directory.
ARTICLE 6-5.

VOTING:

In any vote by the General Assembly, all Local Organizations whose current dues are paid as prescribed by the
Constitution shall have a number of votes based on the following schedule:
Membership

Votes

Minimum 25
30 members
40 members
55 members
75 members
100 members
150 members
200 members
300 members
450 members

1 vote
2 votes
3 votes
4 votes
5 votes
6 votes
7 votes
8 votes
9 votes
10 votes

No Local Organization should have more than 10 votes.


Members of the Board of Directors shall have the right to speak and to move and second motions in a meeting of the
General Assembly but shall have no vote.
BYLAW 6-6.

VOTING STRENGTH:

For the purpose of Article 6-5, the voting strength shall be based on declared and paid-up membership of the Local
Organizations recorded in JCI database at the time of any vote.
ARTICLE 6-7.

PROXIES:

Proxies shall not be recognized.


BYLAW 6-8.

CASTING VOTE:

The National President shall have the casting vote in cases of equality votes, except in the case of election of National
Organization Officers and the selection of the National Organization Convention Site.
ARTICLE 6-9.

QUORUM:

A quorum for the General Assembly shall comprise Local Organization Presidents (or their authorized representatives)
having fifty-one (51) percent of the total possible votes provided by Article 6-5.
ARTICLE 6-10.

MEETINGS:

The Annual Meeting of the General Assembly shall be held at the National Convention. An additional General Assembly
JCI National Organization Constitution Guide

JCI National Organization


Constitution Guide
meeting will be held during the month of January or February to receive and vote the financial report from the previous
year Board of Directors. The location of this meeting will be decided at the General Assembly of the previous National
Convention. Special meetings may be called by the President, the Board of Directors or by 1/3 of the votes of the General
Assembly on a mail ballot.
COMMENTS ON BYLAW 6-10:
Because the Annual Report or accounts will not be completed by the time the National Convention occurs (about three (3)
months before the years end), it is then recommended that a special meeting of the General Assembly be scheduled for
some time in January of February, so the outgoing National Board can present its full report and accounts and perhaps
receive a final discharge from General Assembly at this time.
CHAPTER VII: NATIONAL CONVENTION
ARTICLE 7-1.

PURPOSE:

The purpose and business of the National Organization Convention shall be:
1.
2.
3.
4
5.
6.

To receive the report of the Board of Directors


To elect Officers for the ensuing year
To approve the appointment of the non-elected members of the Board of Directors
To approve the National Organization Plan of Action for the ensuing year
To approve the budget for the ensuing year
To transact any other business appropriate to a National Convention including training for National and Local
Officers and general membership as well.

ARTICLE 7-2.

PROGRAM:

The National Convention program shall include meetings of the General Assembly and the incoming and outgoing Boards
of Directors.
BYLAW 7-3.

DATE AND PLACE:

The Convention shall take place each year during the month of October. The date and place shall be decided upon by a
majority vote of the General Assembly at the Convention two years prior thereto.
COMMENTS ON BYLAW 7-3:
By having the National Organization Convention in October, there is plenty of time for the incoming National Organization
Officers to be fully prepared for their term and to attend the JCI World Congress entirely aware of what these duties will
be.
BYLAW 7-4.

CANCELLATION:

The Convention can only be canceled for unexpected events occurring within the area of the National Organization. The
Convention must be rescheduled as soon as possible after the initial date.
BYLAW 7-5.

BUSINESS:

The supervision of meeting arrangements and general programs for the Convention shall be the responsibility of the
Board of Directors or any person appointed by the Board of Directors upon proposal made by the National President.

10

JCI National Organization Constitution Guide

JCI National Organization


Constitution Guide
CHAPTER VIII: NATIONAL OFFICERS
ARTICLE 8-1.

ELECTED OFFICERS:

The elected Officers of the National Organization shall be:


1.
2.
3.

President.
Executive Vice President. When the National Organization reaches de number of five (5) Vice Presidents and an
additional Executive Vice President for each additional five (5) Vice Presidents.
One Vice President for every group of five (5) fully affiliated Local Organizations.

COMMENTS ON ARTICLE 8-1:


1. The number of Executive Vice Presidents depends on the size of the National Organization and the number of Vice
Presidents. Because the role of the Executive Vice President is to supervise Vice Presidents, the position should only
be created when the number of Vice Presidents becomes too big to be supervised by the National President.
2. The role of Vice Presidents is to provide services and help Local Organizations and one Vice President should not
have more than five (5) Local Organizations assigned.
ARTICLE 8-2.

APPOINTED OFFICERS:

The appointed Officers of the National Organization shall be:


1.
2.
3.

General Legal Counsel


Treasurer
Secretary General.

If the National Organization has only five (5) Local Organizations or less, the positions of Secretary and Treasurer will be
combined and only one officer will be appointed and the position of General Legal Counsel will not be appointed and the
task will be assigned to the Immediate Past President.
COMMENTS ON ARTICLE 8-2:
Supervision and reporting system: To ensure an efficient management, the number of national officers must be
realistic with the needs. A small National Organization with a few Local Organizations doesnt require much work so the
officers should be kept to the minimum. The number of officers will only increase when the number of Local Organizations
increases, creating the need for more Vice Presidents to provide the services to the Local Organizations. When the
number of officers increases a supervision and reporting system should be implemented. For example, when the number
of Vice Presidents becomes too big to be supervised by the President, an Executive Vice President should be created to
supervise the Vice Presidents and report their actions to the President.
The size of the National Organization Board depends on different factors, such as the distance between Local
Organizations, the size of the National Organization and the country, and the budget and needs of the National
Organization, but the number of elected and appointed members of the National Board should never exceed fifty percent
(50%) of the number of Local Organizations because these national Board members come from the membership of the
Local Organizations and only past Local Presidents should seek national leadership positions because all other members
are still needed by Local Organization to lead and conduct activities and projects.
ARTICLE 8-3.

IMMEDIATE PAST PRESIDENT:

In addition to the elected Officers and the appointed Officers, the Immediate Past President shall be an Officer of the
National Organization.

JCI National Organization Constitution Guide

11

JCI National Organization


Constitution Guide
ARTICLE 8-4.

DUTIES:

The Officers of the National Organization shall carry out duties assigned by the President or as stipulated in this
Constitution.
ARTICLE 8-5.

SELECTION:

Each Officer designated in Article 8-1 must be elected by a majority of votes cast at a General Assembly Meeting during
the National Convention.
ARTICLE 8-6.

APPROVAL OF APPOINTMENTS:

The appointment of each Officer to be a member of the Board of Directors, as designated in Article 8-2, must be approved
by a majority of votes cast by the General Assembly during the National Organization Convention or any meeting as
specified in Article 6-10, or by mail ballot no later than thirty (30) days after the appointment by the Board of Directors.
ARTICLE 8-7.

PERIOD OF OFFICE:

Elected Officers shall hold office for a period of one (1) year commencing the first day of January following their election.
Appointed Officers can hold the office for the period of one (1) year commencing the first day of January following their
appointment or can serve a shorter period depending on the task or responsibility, except for the Secretary General who
can serve for a longer period. In the case of appointment after the first day of January, the period of office will only be for
the remaining part of the year of operation.
ARTICLE 8-8.

SUCCESSION:

No Officer may hold the same office twice. However, at the discretion of the President, an Officer shall be permitted to be
elected or appointed to a full term in the same office if:
1.

That Officer was appointed to the office during the year and will not have served more than four (4) months in such
office prior to December 31.

2.

For a valid reason accepted by the President, that Officer was obliged to resign before completing four (4) months
of his term of office.

BYLAW 8-9.

EMERGENCY:

In the event of the cancellation of an Annual Convention, the Officers may remain in office beyond the term set out in
Bylaw 8-6 until elections can be held.
BYLAW 8-10.

VACANCIES:

Section 1. Vacancies in all offices other than that of President may be filled through appointment by the President,
subject to the approval of the General Assembly by mail ballot.
Section 2. Upon the death, disability, resignation or other disposition that shall prevent the President from serving, the
Executive Vice President with the longest uninterrupted affiliation to JCI will assume the presidency for the duration of the
term for which the President had been elected, subject to the approval of the General Assembly. If the National
Organization does not have the position of Executive Vice President, the rule applies to the position of Vice President.
ARTICLE 8-11.

CONFLICTING OFFICE:

No elected or appointed Officer of the National Organization shall hold office in a Local Organization, with the exception
that the Immediate Past President of a Local Organization shall not be considered an Officer of a Local Organization for
12

JCI National Organization Constitution Guide

JCI National Organization


Constitution Guide
the purpose of this bylaw.
BYLAW 8-12.

NOMINATIONS:

Section 1. Deadline: All nominations for elective offices must be made on the prescribed form and forwarded by Local
Organizations to the Secretary General to arrive at least sixty (60) days prior to the opening of the Convention. The
Secretary General shall, within fifteen (15) days after the deadline date for nominations, forward to all Local Organizations
a list of nominees together with the essential curriculum vitae of the candidates.
Section 2. Extension Of Deadline: In the event that fewer candidates than existing positions are received, the President
may extend the time for the filing of nominations for that office for a period to expire no later than 09:00 hours of the day
marking the first General Assembly of the Annual National Convention.
Section 3. Approval: Every nomination shall be subject to written approval by the Local Organization of the nominee.
Where a nominee is himself the Local President, his nomination form shall be signed by a senior elected Officer other
than the nominee.
BYLAW 8-13.

NOMINATIONS COMMITTEE:

Subject to the approval of the Board of Directors, the President shall appoint a Nominations Committee to examine the
eligibility and qualifications of each nominee for the particular office sought. The Committee, consisting of Past Presidents,
shall be chaired by the Immediate Past President and shall report its findings to the General Assembly.
BYLAW 8-14.

PROCEDURE:

Each nominee shall appear personally before the Nominations Committee.


BYLAW 8-15.

QUALIFICATIONS:

Section 1. Age: No person shall be elected or appointed who will reach his fortieth (40th) birthday prior to assuming
office.
Section 2. Member: Every nominee for election and every appointed Officer shall be an individual member of a Local
Organization, and, at the time of the election or appointment, the Local Organization must be current in the payment of
dues to the National Organization.
Section 3. Convention Attendance: Unless he is excused by the President for valid reasons, every nominee for election
shall be registered and in attendance at the National Convention at which he is a nominee.
Section 4. Specific Qualifications for the candidate for National President: The candidate for National President shall
have served at least one of the last five (5) years on the Board of Directors in an elected position.
COMMENTS ON BYLAW 8-15, SECTION 4:
This section is obviously inapplicable to the first year of existence of a National Organization. It is suggested to include it,
but to ask the General Assembly to waive this section at the time of the elections.
BYLAW 8-16.

CONTINUED MEMBERSHIP:

All Officers must remain individual members of their Local Organizations throughout their term of office; also, their Local
Organizations must remain affiliated with the National Organization throughout the term of their office. Otherwise, Officers
shall automatically lose office (unless they change their membership to another Local Organization).
BYLAW 8-17.

OATH:
JCI National Organization Constitution Guide

13

JCI National Organization


Constitution Guide
All elected or appointed Officers shall take the following Oath or Solemn Declaration of Office to be administered by the
President at the Annual Convention or, if necessary, as soon thereafter as possible:
I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of (title) of (name of National Organization) and will, to the
best of my ability, serve as a living example of this organizations philosophy and belief, and will uphold and enforce
the Constitution of the National Organization and JCI at all times.
BYLAW 8-18.

REMUNERATION:

All Officers shall serve without financial remuneration.


CHAPTER IX: BOARD OF DIRECTORS
ARTICLE 9-1.

COMPOSITION:

The President, the Vice President(s), the Immediate Past President, the Secretary General (or Secretary), the Treasurer
and the General Legal Counsel shall comprise the Board of Directors.
ARTICLE 9-2. DUTIES:
The Board of Directors shall:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.

Manage the affairs of the National Organization within the powers vested in it by the Constitution and the General
Assembly.
Implement the action decided upon by the General Assembly.
Coordinate the activities of all Officers in their duties
Plan and coordinate National Organization activities
Receive reports from its members.
Propose, receive or consider constitutional amendments; endorse, recommend against, or request changes to
them.
Recommend the affiliation of Local Organizations to the General Assembly
Be empowered by a vote of two-thirds (2/3) of its members to dismiss any Officer who does not fulfill the duties of
the office.
Upon recommendation of the President, set the duties and composition of a Strategic Planning Committee and
appoint its members.

BYLAW 9-3.

MEETINGS:

Section 1. The Board of Directors shall meet a minimum of four (4) times a year at the National Organization Secretariat
or any place and time set by the a majority of its members.
Section 2. Meeting at National Organization Convention:
1. The Board of Directors shall meet prior to the meeting of the General Assembly.
2. A joint meeting of the newly elected Board of Directors and the outgoing Board of Directors shall be held at the
National Organization Convention following the adjournment of the General Assembly.
BYLAW 9-4.

QUORUM:

A quorum of the Executive Committee shall comprise a majority of its members.


BYLAW 9-5.
1.
2.
14

VOTING:

At all meetings of the Board of Directors, each member shall have one vote.
Voting shall be determined by a show of hands unless decided otherwise at the Presidents own discretion or by a
JCI National Organization Constitution Guide

JCI National Organization


Constitution Guide
majority of two-thirds (2/3) of the members present at the meeting.
CHAPTER X: DUTIES OF MEMBERS OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
PRESIDENT
BYLAW 10-1.

DUTIES:

The President shall:


1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

Be the official representative of the National Organization


Serve as the Chief Executive Officer of the National Organization
Preside at all meetings of the General Assembly and the Board of Directors
Supervise the overall operations of the National Organization and travel on its behalf
Report to the General Assembly and Board of Directors
VICE PRESIDENT

BYLAW 11-2.

DUTIES:

The Vice President shall:


1.
2.

Carry out such duties as may be assigned by the President, particularly to monitor, coordinate and promote the
growth and development activities in his assigned Local Organizations.
Visit, communicate, and work with the Local Organizations assigned by the President to:
a.
b.
c.
d.
e.
f.

Promote the purposes of JCI


Guide and assist Local Organizations Officers in the development of their Local Organizations.
Give advice to officers in Local Organization management.
Promote and give guidance in executing planned extensions.
Ensure effective communications between assigned Local Organizations and the National Organization
Promote among assigned Local Organizations the implementation of community projects and programs
adopted by the National Organization.
SECRETARY GENERAL

BYLAW 10-3.

DUTIES:

The Secretary General shall:


a.
b.
c.
d.
e.

Be the administrative Officer of the National Organization responsible directly to the President.
Be responsible for the operation of the Secretariat and the implementation of policies according to the direction of
the President.
Give notice to the members of all meetings of the General Assembly and Board of Directors.
Be responsible for keeping a permanent record of the minutes of such meetings; these records shall be open to
inspection by members at all reasonable times.
Be responsible for the preparation of an Annual Report on the activities and programs of the National Organization.
TREASURER

BYLAW 10-4.

DUTIES:

The Treasurer shall:


a.

Issue notices of dues payable


JCI National Organization Constitution Guide

15

JCI National Organization


Constitution Guide
b.
c.
d.
e.

Be responsible for their collection and keep books of accounts of the National Organization
Be responsible for the disbursement of monies at the direction of the Board of Directors
Be responsible for the preparation of an Annual Report on the financial affairs of the organization and for the
quarterly financial statements which should be distributed to all Local Organizations
Prepare and submit a proposed budget for the National Organization

All checks and other orders relating to the banking accounts of the National Organization shall be signed by the President
or the Secretary General and shall be countersigned by the Treasurer.
GENERAL LEGAL COUNSEL
BYLAW 10-5.

DUTIES:

The General Legal Counsel shall:


a.
b.
c.
d.
e.

Serve as Parliamentarian to the Board of Directors and the General Assembly


Rule on matters of parliamentary procedure at the request of the presiding Officer
Make sure that the JCI and National Organization Constitutions are respected at all times
Propose amendments to the National Organization Constitution if necessary
Review and approve the Local Organization Constitutions

COMMENTS ON BYLAW 9-6:


In very small National Organizations, the immediate Past President can serve as General Legal Counsel.
BYLAW 10-6.

PARLIAMENTARIAN:

In the absence of the General Legal Counsel, the President with the concurrence of the meeting shall appoint a
Parliamentarian who shall serve for the period of the meeting.
DIRECTORS
BYLAW 10-7.

DUTIES:

The Directors shall:


a.
b.
c.

Promote, coordinate, and supervise program or project activities within the terms of reference of their assigned
responsibilities.
Study information received relating to their responsibilities and recommend suitable action to the Board of Directors.
The Directors will Report to a member of the Board of Directors, depending on the task they are responsible for.
CHAPTER XII: ACTIVITIES

BYLAW 11-1.

NATIONAL PROJECTS:

The National Organization shall promote community projects conducted by the Local Organizations and only establish
national endorsed projects when the subject of the project affects all or most communities in the country.
BYLAW 11-2.

JCI-ENDORSED AND NATIONAL PROGRAMS:

Where possible, the National Organization shall also promote the adoption of JCI-endorsed and national programs among
the Local Organizations as long as these programs dont interfere or reduce the local community projects.
BYLAW 11-3.
16

AWARDS:
JCI National Organization Constitution Guide

JCI National Organization


Constitution Guide
The National Organization shall set an Awards Program to recognize and honor outstanding achievement in the fulfillment
of the JCI Mission by Local Organizations and individual members, and possibly appoint a national Board member to act
as Awards Manager.
CHAPTER XII: FINANCES
ARTICLE 12-1.

FINANCIAL YEAR:

The financial year of the National Organization shall be the calendar year.
BYLAW 12-2.

BOOKKEEPING:

The cashbook, ledger and other bookkeeping records of the National Organization shall be maintained by the Treasurer
under the supervision of the Board of Directors.
BYLAW 12-3.

BUDGET:

The Treasurer shall submit a proposed budget for the ensuing year to the Board of Directors at its meeting during the
National Convention for its consideration. The proposed budget, with the recommendations of the Board of Directors, shall
then be submitted for its approval to the General Assembly at the Convention.
CHAPTER XIII: DUES
ARTICLE 13-1.

PAYMENT:

Local Organization members shall pay annual dues approved by the General Assembly to the National Organization for
every active member:
Note:

General comments on this Article can be found The Question of Dues at National Organization Level.

BYLAW 13-2.

DUE DATE:

Dues for the current year shall be payable annually by March 31.
COMMENTS ON BYLAW 14-2:
1.
2.
3.

Dues could be payable to the National Organization at once or in several installments according to Local
Organization membership declarations.
It is suggested to have no more than two (2) membership declarations and, as a result, no more than two (2) dues
payment dates.
It is suggested that the payments of dues be made at the same time as the membership declaration.

ARTICLE 13-3.

COLLECTION OF DUES IN TRUST:

All payments made by individual members and/or Local Organizations for JCI dues shall be held in trust by the Local
Organizations and the National Organization, be included in the next membership registration and remitted in full to JCI by
the National Organization with its next dues payment
COMMENTS ON ARTICLE 14-3:
This article must be included in the National Organizations Constitution, as dues collected or remitted in the name of JCI
(or any level of the organization) is to be held in trust and remitted in full to JCI regardless of where collected. Every Local
Organization and National Organization is obligated to enforce this policy to ensure accurate membership declaration and
avoid Local or National Organizations collecting JCI dues from members and failing to send it to JCI.
JCI National Organization Constitution Guide

17

JCI National Organization


Constitution Guide
BYLAW 13-4.

SUSPENSION:

Local Organizations whose dues payments are more than three (3) months in arrears shall be automatically suspended
from membership in the National Organization and shall lose all voting rights until such dues have been paid.
BYLAW 13-5.

TERMINATION:

Local Organizations whose dues payments are more than twelve (12) months in arrears shall cease to be affiliated to the
National Organization. Such disaffiliation shall be subject to ratification by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of General Assembly
upon proposal of the Board of Directors.
CHAPTER XIV: SENATORS
ARTICLE 14-1.

DEFINITION:

An award entitled JCI Senatorship, granting life membership in the organization and in the JCI Senate, may be awarded
to individual members or past members to honor them for rendering outstanding service to JCI. The awarding of such
status shall not exempt the member from paying regular dues to the organization.
ARTICLE 14-2

APPLICATION:

The Senatorship application shall be submitted by the Local Organization President to the National Organization
President to confirm the qualifications. All Senatorship applications shall be approved and endorsed by the National
Organization President before being presented to JCI.
BYLAW 14-3.

REVOCATION:

The Board of Directors may recommend to the JCI President that a Senatorship be revoked, temporarily suspended, or
withdrawn if the Senator has not conducted himself in a manner worthy of a Senator, or if the actions of the Senator are
not in the best interests of the organization.
CHAPTER XV: PRINCIPAL OFFICE
ARTICLE 15-1.

PLACE:

The principal office of the Local Organization shall be located at (the legal and physical location of the National Office).
CHAPTER XVI: RULES OF PROCEDURE
ARTICLE 16-1.

DESIGNATION:

The meetings of this National Organization shall be conducted according to this Constitution and, where not otherwise
provided, to Roberts Rules of Order Revised.
ARTICLE 16-2.

WAIVER:

Articles and Bylaws of this Constitution may be waived by a unanimous vote of members at the Annual General Meeting
provided that four-fifths (4/5) of the total voting strength in attendance participate in the vote.
CHAPTER XVII: AMENDMENTS
ARTICLE 17-1.

ARTICLES:

Articles may be amended by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the General Assembly members present and voting at the National
Organization Convention, provided that written notice of the proposed amendment is given to each Local Organization
18

JCI National Organization Constitution Guide

JCI National Organization


Constitution Guide
thirty (30) days prior to the National Organization Convention.
ARTICLE 17-2.

BYLAWS:

Bylaws may be amended by a simple majority vote of the General Assembly members present and voting, provided that
written notice of the proposed amendment is given to each Local Organization sixty (60) days prior to the Convention.
ARTICLE 17-3.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

This Constitution shall take effect immediately on approval by a two-thirds (2/3) majority of members at a National
Organization Convention. Any amendments to Articles or Bylaws will take effect on the 1st of January of the year following
the National Organization Convention at which they have been voted upon.

JCI National Organization Constitution Guide

19

JCI National Organization


Constitution Guide
The Question of Dues at National Organization Level
Due to the major differences between various countries in terms of economy, purchasing power, and membership
recruitment, it is impossible to provide National Organizations or potential National Organizations with anything other than
general remarks on how to handle the question of dues.
First of all, there is evidence of a lack of understanding of the organizations structure. The dues that an individual
member pays to the Local Organization are financial resources not only for the Local Organization but also for the
National Organization and JCI. Neither a Local Organization nor a National Organization is as strong on its own as it is
within an international organization; consequently, every member or prospective member should be informed of this basic
principle. Ideally, the individual will understand that the payment of dues grants membership of not only a Local or
National Organization but also of JCI.
Secondly, dues paid by the members are not supposed to finance community development projects or any related matters
or programs which are supposed to be financed by fund-raising projects or sponsorships. Dues are to finance the
administrative functioning of the Local Organization and, as a result, the administrative functioning of the National
Organization and JCI.
Before determining the dues that the Local Organizations will pay to the National Organization, the National Organization
must first set the standards of dues to be paid by the members to the Local Organizations. This is based on the
fundamental point that it is necessary that the basic dues paid by the members be enough to pay the JCI dues through
the National Organization, and that the remaining partat National Organization and Local Organization levelswill be
sufficient to finance the functioning of the National Organization and Local Organization satisfactorily.
Other factors to be considered are:
1.

The kind of members the National Organization wants (quality versus quantity; young people versus old people;
beginners in the work field versus well-established managers or self-employed business people, etc.)

2.

The kind and level of services the National Organization intends to provide to its members. (Volunteer Secretary
General working alone to fully equipped secretariat with paid Secretary General and permanent staff, etc.)

The above-mentioned remarks show how difficult it is to determine a dues level. Two very important observations are
apparent:
1.

When a philosophy is set, it is difficult to change it, i.e., if you decide on low-level dues and then determine to raise
it, you will probably encounter members fighting against the raise and possibly leaving the organization. But
experience shows that the opposite is likely as well: if the dues level is high and the National Organization decides
to reduce it because it feels this will open the doors more widely to new members, members will also be lost.

2.

Instead of letting Local Organizations first fix the dues to be paid them by their membersand then trying to
determine how to pay dues to the National Organization yet keep enough for the Local Organization to function
adequatelythe National Organization should work the opposite way. (By doing so, Local Organizations would
leave to the National Organization Officer the burden of finding money to pay dues to JCI yet still permit the
National Organization to function properly.) It is therefore preferable to ask: What do we have to pay to JCI? What
does our National Organization need to function properly and to provide a satisfactory service to members? And,
finally, what amount should the members pay to their Local Organizations to reach the overall goal? This is working
by addition rather than subtraction and deficit.

Finally, the minimum dues to be paid by a National Organization to JCI is $1,417.50 per year (Based on a 135 members
paying $10.50), and the basic dues to be paid to JCI per each member is $10.50 per year.
But this takes care of the JCI dues only. What about the National Organization and Local Organization financing? It is
suggested that the members should pay their Local Organizations at least four (4) times what is due to JCI, 50 percent
20

JCI National Organization Constitution Guide

JCI National Organization


Constitution Guide
remaining at Local Organization level, 50 percent being remitted to the National Organization, out of which the National
Organization will pay the JCI dues. In other words, the National Organization will get 25 percent of the members dues
paid to the Local Organizations.
That is theory. Facts must be based on a careful and comprehensive study.

JCI National Organization Constitution Guide

21

JCI National Organization


Constitution Guide
Administrative Structure of the National Organization
For a National Organization to be efficient, it needs to have efficient people for the right positions. When the Local
Organizations work according to the structure suggested by JCI, the past local Presidents are the ideal candidates for the
national positions. However, not all local Presidents want or can be a candidate for national officer, because of age, work,
Family or other reasons.
For this reason, the national structure cannot be too big because every year a limited number of past local presidents run
for national positions. If the national structure is too large, with too many positions, the National Organization will be forced
to look for candidates who have not yet completed their cycle with the Local Organization and still have some years of
contribution to offer at local level.
If the National Organization takes these members from the local environment and work, it will only debilitate the activities
and leadership of the Local Organization and this is exactly the opposite of what a National Organization should be doing.
Appoint directors for every simple and easy task just to please members of campaign committees will create two
problems, will steal the active member who can still be useful at the local activities and will substantially increase the size
of the national Board with positions that have little or no learning value through participation. Instead of having the best
members working on local projects, the National Organization gives them a position that will only help the ego or to thank
for some support.
To ensure that the organization Works best, offering the outstanding service with experienced officers, the administrative
structure should follow these criteria:
Elect one (1) Vice President for each group of 5 to 10 Local Organizations. The number can change according to
geographic conditions of the country or distance the Vice President must travel to visit the assigned Local Organizations.
Elect one (1) Executive Vice President for each group of 5 Vice Presidents. When the position of Executive Vice
President is created, a National Executive Committee must also be created. The Vice Presidents will not be part of the
Executive Committee because they are represented in that body by their direct supervisor(s), the Executive Vice
President(s).
If the National Organization has less than ten (10) Local Organizations, one or two Vice Presidents are enough for the
development work and in this case, there is no need for a supervisor (the Executive Vice President) because the
President can easily supervise one or two Vice Presidents and the other two members of the National Board (Treasurer
and Legal Counsel).
The Past National President can also be the Legal Counsel in organization with less than 10 Local Organizations. The
Past National President should also be the National Senate Director.
The creation of positions for the dedicated members, who cannot leave JCI activities even after having held almost all
positions, should also be avoided. A member who passes year after year changing positions at the national Board is only
taking the seat of those who would like to learn something they can apply in their personal lives and in the community.
The role of JCI is to create active citizens who will lead and create impact in the community and if a member cannot be
active to work and make the community a better place, he or she should not take the opportunities of the positions at the
national (or local) board that are reserved for the members who want to learn and develop themselves and become more
active citizens.
On the next page we offer a sample of structure for National Organizations with less than 5 and more than 40 Local
Organizations.

22

JCI National Organization Constitution Guide

JCI National Organization


Constitution Guide
Structure for National Organizations with
LESS THAN 5 Local Organizations
National President

Past President and Legal Counsel

Secretary and Treasurer

Vice President

Structure for National Organizations with


MORE THAN 5 and LESS THAN 10 Local Organizations
National President

Vice President

Treasurer

Past President and Legal Counsel

Secretary

Vice President

Structure for National Organizations with


MORE THAN 10 and LESS THAN 20 Local Organizations
National President

Vice
President

Vice
President

Vice
President

Past President and


Director of the Senate

Secretary
General

Treasurer

Legal
Counsel

Structure for National Organizations with


MORE THAN 20 and LESS THAN 40 Local Organizations
National President

Secretary
General

Vice
President

Executive Vice
President

Vice
President

Past President and


Director of the Senate

Vice
President

Vice
President

Treasurer

Vice
President

Executive Vice
President

Vice
President

JCI National Organization Constitution Guide

Vice
President

Legal
Counsel

Vice
President

23

JCI Vision
.
To be the leading global network of young active citizens.
JCI Mission
To provide development opportunities that empower young people to create positive change.
About JCI
JCI is a membership-based nonprofit organization of young active citizens ages 18 to 40 in more than 100
countries who are dedicated to creating positive change in their communities. Each JCI member shares the
belief that in order to create lasting positive change, we must improve ourselves and the world around us. JCI
members take ownership of their communities by identifying problems and creating targeted solutions to create
impact.

24