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Official By Laws

The NFSS Bylaws - (Revised 12/17)

Preamble to Bylaws -The National Finch and Softbill Society is dedicated to the introduction of the enjoyment of keeping and breeding Finches and Softbills to all interested parties, enhance the knowledge of our members in keeping and care of these birds, encourage breeding programs, and cooperate with organizations for the preservation of aviculture in this country.


This organization shall be known as the National Finch and Softbill Society. It shall also be know in a more casual manner as “NFSS”, hereafter known as the Society.


The National Finch and Softbill Society, is a nonprofit organization, as described in section 501 (C) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code.


The principal office of the Society shall be specified by the Board of Directors and so publicized in the Society Journal. This address will be the official address for communicating with the Society and thus shall remain as static as possible.



The dues for membership in the Society shall be determined by the Board of Directors.


Membership is available to single members as well as dual members. Dual means any two individuals residing at the same address. Any dual membership will receive only one copy of an NFSS publication; however, dual members will count as two individual votes in regard to Society elections or other business.


Junior membership will be available at a reduced rate determined by the Board to any applicant under the age ofeighteen.


If a member’s dues remain unpaid for a period exceeding sixty days beyond written or published notice, said member’s privileges shall end.


Membership in the Society is a privilege. Any member who misrepresents the Society, holds Society property without authorization, or in any other way is injurious to this Society as defined as, but not limited to, violating the bylaws or making a flagrant action against the good of the Society, may lose his/her privileges of membership, and receive a prorated refund of his/her unused dues. In order to cause action under this paragraph, a member must file a deposit of twenty-five dollars ($25.00) with the Society Treasurer, along with papers which shall support a claim against a member of this Society. Such claim shall be taken up by the Board of Directors. If the claim is ruled legitimate and results in the removal of a member, the claimant will receive his/her deposit back. If a claim is unfounded, the deposit shall be forfeited by the claimant.



All officers are elected by the membership and shall serve for a period of two years. Each officer elected will have one vote. If a board member has assumed two positions, he/she may exercise only one vote. Appointed Manager positions, and other non-voting jobs in service of the Society are created or eliminated as needed by an action of the Board. The outgoing President of the Society shall be a non-voting member of the board for the following term.


Elections will be held every two years, with the results announced at the annual membership meeting, or as may be occasioned by death or removal of an officer (note paragraph 5 below). A ballot, either separate or included in the official journal of the Society, shall be mailed at least sixty days prior to elections. A majority of the ballots counted on the day of the annual general membership meeting shall determine the outcome of the vote. A postmark as it pertains to this paragraph may be considered an official US bulk mailing receipt.


The Board of Directors shall appoint a Nominating Committee at the 2nd Quarter Board meeting, consisting of at least three members, who must produce a slate of officers for the election. The committee shall produce at least one name, and not more than three names for each office by August 1st. A write-in space must be allowed for each office on the ballot. Nominees must be at least 18 years of age when nominated and a current member of the Society. This nominating committee is responsible for producing the ballot and sending it to the NFSS President and the editor of the NFSS Journal for printing and mailing.


All Elections of this Society shall be by secret ballot only. Ballots will be counted by an appointee of the Board of Directors. Such appointee cannot be an elected officer of the Society.

PARAGRAPH FIVE In the event an Officer, either elected or appointed, dies, resigns or is removed, the Board may appoint a Pro Tem Officer. If less than 180 days remain until the next regularly scheduled election the Pro Tem Officer will serve until that time. If more than 180 days remain until the next regularly scheduled election, the Pro Tem Officer will serve until a special election is held (not to exceed 180days).


President: The President of NFSS shall preside over all Board of Directors meetings, annual membership meetings, and attend to the day-to-day operations of the Society. He/she shall abide by the bylaws of the Society, and coordinate and delegate the activities of the other officers of NFSS.


First Vice-President (Education): Shall fill the position of the President in absentia. Shall be first in succession to fill the position of the President should the President be unable to fulfill his/her term. The First Vice-President coordinates the activities of, and is responsible for all Regional Vice- Presidents and will coordinate the educational programs of the Society. The First Vice- President also approves any checks made payable to the President.


Second Vice-President (Publications): Shall be second in succession to fill the position of President. The Second Vice-President shall chair the publishing committee and is responsible for all publications produced by the Society both in print and electronic media. This officer also supervises the NFSS website.


Third Vice-President (NFSS Finch/Softblll Save-FSS): The Finch and Softbill Save Director coordinates the activities of the NFSS Captive Breeding Program. He/she complies and assists in publishing the yearly census as well as collecting data, maintaining records and producing the FSS Newsletter for FSS participants.


Fourth Vice-President (Judges Panel/Standards/Research): This officer must be a NFSS Panel Judge, as he/she will serve as the Judges Panel Director. He/she shall also chair the Research and Standards Committee and be in charge of Specie Classifications, be responsible for shows or exhibitions of the Society and maintain the records points earned by members and birds from these exhibitions. In addition, the Fourth Vice-President represents the NFSS as liaison with both the National Cage Bird Show Board and the Great American Cage Bird Show.


Executive Secretary: This officer takes minutes during all board meetings, including those conducted electronically on the internet. The Executive Secretary, or designated representative, will have available at each meeting the most recent issue of Robert’s Rules of Order. He/She shall maintain an archive of all minutes and the Society’s official documents and assist other Board members with correspondence asnecessary.


Treasurer: The calendar year for the Society shall be from January 1st to December 31st. The Treasurer shall prepare and submit to the Board, at the 4th Quarter Board meeting, a budget to be approved by the Board, indicating proposed income and expenditures for the upcoming year. He/she is responsible for establishing and maintaining Society financial accounts and filing tax returns. All funds, records, receipts, and expenditures for the previous year or shorter period upon relief of the Treasurer, will be reviewed by two members of the Board of Directors, not to include the current Treasurer, as appointed by the Board of Directors. The results of the review will be included with the Annual budget or presented to the Board upon relief of the Treasurer.


Membership Director: Shall be responsible for receipt and processing of new and renewal membership in the Society and for the maintenance of the NFSS Membership confidentiality.


Liaison/Awards Director: Shall be responsible for club affiliations, selection of clubs hosting Regional Shows and for the processing of awards for NFSS sanctioned shows and annual awards for the Society.


Band Secretary: Shall be responsible for the ordering and issuance of official numbered closed leg bands in accordance with the policy of the Society, and maintaining the NFSS Band Secretary’s permanent band records.


Regional Vice-Presidents: Shall be responsible for encouraging membership and club affiliation in the Society within the region in which he/she resides. Regional Vice-Presidents are responsible to the First Vice-President and will serve as part of the Educational Committee. Regional Vice- Presidents are encouraged to attend the Regional Show of their area and hold at least one membership meeting annually within their region.


NFSS Journal Editor: (Responsible to the Second Vice-President and the President.) He/she is responsible for all activities related to the production of the bi-monthly NFSS JOURNAL. These include procuring articles and photographs, maintaining communication with all NFSS Board members to insure accuracy of NFSS information and forms to be included in each issue, create/edit each NFSS JOURNAL issue, deliver it to the printer in a timely manner and approve payment of printer invoice for each issue. In addition, the supervision of the Advertising and Promotion Manager is the responsibility of the NFSS JOURNAL Editor.


NFSS Website Manager: (Responsible to the Second Vice-President.) He/she is responsible for maintaining and updating the NFSS website.


Advertising and Promotion Manager: (Responsible to the NFSS JOURNAL editor and the Second Vice-President.) This officer shall design and arrange for ads to be placed in major show catalogs throughout the year and promote, determine prices, design, format, and arrange for payment for ads placed in the NFSS JOURNAL. In addition, this person cooperates with Regional Vice- Presidents in promoting Regional Shows.


Moderator of NFSS Finch/Softbill Forum: (Responsible to the President.) Acts as moderator of the NFSS Listserve, determines eligibility and approves subscribers in conjunction with the membership director. He/she writes and distributes list rules, and enforces a civil forum through thoughtful correspondence with subscribers and unsubscription of those whose contributions prevent a civil forum.


Legislative Liaison: (Responsible to the President.) Shall be responsible for the interrelationships between NFSS and other national and local avicultural organizations, investigate and report to the NFSS Board any current or proposed legislation that would affect bird owners/breeders and notify the membership of any bird related developments within other organizations through the NFSS JOURNAL and electronicmedia.


American Federation of Aviculture Representative: (Responsible to the President.) Shall be responsible for keeping the NFSS membership informed as to activities of the AFA through the NFSS JOURNAL and electronic media.


Honorary Officers: The Board of Directors may, by a majority vote, create a non-voting Board position to recognize a member’s outstanding contribution to the Society.



The Board of Directors shall consist of all elected and appointed officers of the Society.


Quorum: The Board of Directors has the sole authority to conduct the business of the Society. The regularly scheduled Board meetings will be held either in person, by mail, or electronicallyvia email on a quarterly basis as designated by the Board of Directors. The quarters shall be Calendar quarters beginning with the January -March quarter. The 4th Quarter Board Meeting will be held prior to the annual membership meeting. The Board of Directors may not occasion a meeting without first sending a notice to all Board members. Such a notice must be sent by mail or email at least ten days priorto said meeting.


Quorum: If 50% of the Board is in attendance, a director’s votes received by mail or email prior to the vote shall be valid. If 50% of the Board is not in attendance motions, discussions, 2nds, proposals, etc. may take place but a vote may not be taken. The agenda for Board meetings by mail or email shall be distributed to all Board members in advance of each Board meeting by mail or email, and interested Board members may submit written discussions of an agenda item to the President who will forward them to the Executive Secretary. Within 30 days of this Board meeting, the Executive Secretary will send an agenda, with discussions attached, to each member of the Board for a vote.


Emergency Board Meetings: These may take place without written notice when four members of the Board and the President or next officer in line of ascension deem it necessary. A quorum of 50% of the Board is required to hold an Emergency Board meeting. During an emergency meeting of the Board, no action may be taken on the removal of an officer or on an amendment to these bylaws.


Any officer of the Society found by the Board to be injurious to the Society, as defined in, but not limited to, the Membership Article 4, paragraph 5 may be removed from office by a two-thirds vote of all Directors. A written complaint against said officer must be signed by at least two Board members and must be received by the President by certified mail only in order to be considered by the wholeBoard.



The President or Board of Directors may form a committee for the purpose of carrying out the goals and administration of the Society. Standing Committees may include, but are not limited to the following:


Show Committee: The Show Committee, chaired by the Fourth Vice-President, shall be responsible for all activities required to achieve the Society’s participation in National level exhibitions.


Publishing Committee: The Publishing Committee, chaired by the Second Vice-President, shall be responsible for all publications of this Society. It shall produce and edit a bi-monthly NFSS JOURNAL and any other publications deemed necessary for the membership of the Society by the Board of Directors.


Research Committee: Shall conduct research on a given subject at the pleasure of the Board of Directors, and will assist members of the Society with matters of avicultural interest.


Education Committee: This committee will assist its chairman, the First Vice-President, in developing educational programs for the members of this Society. The membership of this Committee shall include the Regional Vice Presidents.


Standards Committees: The Standards Committees shall work with the Judges Panel and other interested parties in an ongoing effort to establish Standards of Perfection for the individual species.


Judges Panel: Shall consist of all approved judges in accordance with the standards set forth by the Society. The procedure for nominating a judge for the Judges Panel shall consist of a written application by the potential judge, who is a current member of the Society, and nomination by at least two members of the Judges Panel. Nomination to the Judges Panel may not take place until the potential judge has completed testing and apprenticeship under the formula as then required by the Board of Directors of the Society. Final approval of a new judge shall be by the Board of Directors. This will consist of a majority vote of the Board after review of all paperwork in the apprentice process excluding the test taken. A Panel judge may be either sanctioned or removed from the Judges Panel as recommended by the director of the Judges Panel and approved by the majority of the Board in accord with the most current NFSS Judges Handbook procedures.


FINCHSAVE Committee: The FINCHSAVE Committee shall assist the Director of the

program. It shall consist of Society members designated by the Director. This Committee shall help develop and preserve policy in regard to this nationwide multi-species captive breeding program. The Committee may request funds for the administration of the FINCHSAVE program only. All funds used for the program must be authorized by the Board of Directors. All data, statistics, and information collected for this program will remain the sole property of the Society.



The Society shall have an annual membership meeting held in conjunction with the National Show of the Society.


General membership votes on matters of the Society are only considered for the election of officers, the amendment of bylaws, or as otherwise set forth by the Board of Directors.


The annual membership meeting of the Society shall consist of, but is not limited to, a State of the Society report given by the President, an annual Treasurer’s report which includes a summary of the proposed budget for the next year and a summary of the review of the current year funds, awards presentation, election of officers (every odd numbered year), etc., and a longer more casual discussion period when members may make their views known to the Board of Directors.


Regional meetings may be held at the direction of the Regional Vice-Presidents. Business is not conducted at regional meetings. These meetings are for the general membership of the Society and are primarily to discuss ideas which may be presented to the Board of Directors. These meetings may also sponsor educational programs for the membership.



Should it become necessary to dissolve the Society, all properties of the Society shall be sold or auctioned off, as determined by the Board of Directors. After all debts of the Society have been fully paid, any remaining assets shall be distributed to a non-profit aviculture organization(s) with one or more exempt purposes within the meaning of section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or the corresponding section of any future federal tax code, or shall be distributed to the federal government or to a state or local government, for a public purpose. Any such assets not so disposed of shall be disposed of by a Court of Competent Jurisdiction of the county in which the principal office of the corporation is then located, exclusively for such purposes or to such organization or organizations, as said Court shall determine, which are organized and operated exclusively for such purposes.


No part of the net earnings or the Treasury of the Society shall accrue to the benefit of or be distributed to members, officers, or other private persons upon dissolution.



Amendments to the bylaws must be sponsored by at least two members of the Society and received by the President by certified mail only.


Amendments to the bylaws must be published in a newsletter of the Society at least 30 days prior to the vote, tabulated at the next Board of Directors meeting. Any amendment to the bylaws of this Society must be approved by two thirds of those responding. Any such ballot may only be opened at a regularly scheduled meeting of the Board of Directors, or at an emergency Board meeting called for thispurpose.


Urgent actions may be considered by the Board of Directors for earlier disposition. Such actions shall not constitute a change of bylaws in regard to paragraph 2 of this Article 10.


All matters of business of the Society shall be conducted in parliamentary authority of Robert’s Rules of Order (most recent edition).