How to Remove a President From Office in a Non-Profit Organization

by Elizabeth Rayne
    The decision to remove the president generally rests with the board of directors.

    The decision to remove the president generally rests with the board of directors.

    Goodshoot/Goodshoot/Getty Images

    If the president of your nonprofit organization is ineffective or unwilling to provide dependable leadership, removing that individual from office may be in the best interests of the organization. Removing the president of a nonprofit is no different than removing any other officer or board member. In most cases, the procedure will be spelled out in the organization's bylaws and in the laws of the state where the nonprofit is organized.

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    Step 1

    Review the articles of incorporation. Depending on where your nonprofit is registered, some states allow incorporators to specify provisions in the articles on how and when an officer may be removed. For example, the articles might state that the president may only be removed "for cause."

    Step 2

    Read the bylaws. Often, a nonprofit organization's bylaws specify how an officer may be removed. A certain number of votes by the directors may be required, or the bylaws may set term limits for all officers. The process may or may not be different when the officer in question is the president.

    Step 3

    Review the board minutes to determine how the president was appointed to the position initially. Different steps may be necessary, depending on whether the individual was voted in by the board or appointed by another officer.

    Step 4

    Meet with the board members and the president. Explain why you believe the president should be removed. The president may choose to resign voluntarily if he's aware that the board is considering removal. Unless the officer resigns or a specific procedure is set forth in the bylaws, it will be up to the board to remove the president.

    Step 5

    Vote to remove the president. If the president was voted in by the board, it will be up to the board to vote the officer out. Unless otherwise specified in the bylaws, you will need at least a majority vote to remove the president.

    Step 6

    Record the decision. The board secretary will be responsible for making a record of the decision, including how many members voted in favor of removal.

    Step 7

    Vote to appoint a new president. In many states, nonprofit boards are legally required to have a president. The board must decide upon a new person to assume the position once the current president is removed.

    About the Author

    Elizabeth Rayne earned her J.D. from Penn State University and has been practicing law since 2009, advising clients on issues ranging from employment law to nonprofit management. For two years, she served as a contributing editor for the "Vermont Environmental Monitor."

    Photo Credits

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