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Forsyth Dawson Lumpkin BYLAWS

 I. Name

  1. The name of the organization shall be NAMI Forsyth, Dawson, Lumpkin, also known as NAMI FDL.
  2. NAMI FDL is an affiliate of the state organization NAMI Georgia Inc., an exempt organization under Internal Revenue Code section 501 (c)(3). By virtue of affiliation with NAMI       Georgia, NAMI FDL is a part of the national organization the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)

II. Mission

NAMI FDL’s mission is

  1. To provide support, education and advocacy for people with mental illness and their families.
  2. To promote better quality of care, rights and interests of people with mental illness, particularly of those who cannot speak for themselves, and to advocate policies at the local, state and national levels to accomplish these objectives.
  3. To educate professionals, providers and the general public about serious mental illness.
  4. To reduce the stigma of mental illness.

III. Membership

  1. Membership is composed of people with mental illness, their families, friends, mental health providers, mental health professionals, and people in the community interested in supporting NAMI’s mission.
  2. Affiliate membership includes membership in NAMI Georgia and NAMI National.
  3. Members in good standing shall be eligible to serve on the Board of Directors or designated committees and vote in person or by proxy on all motions considered at general membership meetings.
  4. Membership data shall not be released to anyone outside of the NAMI organization without the member’s full knowledge and consent.

IV. Dues

  1. The Board of Directors shall establish the dues rate for all members except those who join or rejoin via NAMI National’s online system. Affiliate dues for regular as well as open door members shall include amounts required to be paid to NAMI Georgia and NAMI National.
  2. Membership dues shall be paid on an annual basis. Membership terms and expiration dates shall correlate with NAMI National’s membership data.
  3. NAMI FDL may pay the annual dues, at the Open Door membership level, for members who cannot pay because of financial hardship.

V. Officers and Board of Directors

  1. The officers of NAMI FDL elected by the Membership shall be president (or co-presidents), vice president, secretary, treasurer and membership chairman and such other officers as the Board of Directors may designate.
  2. The Board of Directors will have no more than nine (9) members including the NAMI FDL officers. The additional board members will be elected by the Membership during the affiliate annual meeting.
  3. The Board of Directors may replace any director or officer who has failed to attend three consecutive board meetings. After giving reasonable notice to the director or officer involved, the Board may declare the office vacant.
  4. For the transaction of board business, a quorum consisting of a majority of the voting board members must be present.

VI. Advisory Board

A nonvoting Advisory Board comprised of not less than two persons shall be appointed by the Board. Membership in NAMI is not a prerequisite for serving on the Advisory Board.

VII. Term of Office

  1. A complete term for an officer or board member shall be defined as one (1) year to begin on May 1 and to end April 30 of the following year.
  2. An elected officer may not serve more than three consecutive elected terms in the same office. An officer who assumes his/her position by a midterm appointment shall be subject to these term limits if he/she assumed the position with more than one half of the term remaining.
  3. All vacant elected Board of Directors or officer positions may be filled/ appointed at the discretion of the Board of Directors.
  4. The term of office for nonvoting Advisory Board members shall coincide with that of the elected officers and board. Advisory Board members may not serve more than five years.

VIII. Duties of Officers

  1. President: The President schedules, coordinates and presides at all meetings of the members and the Board of Directors and acts as the affiliate’s executive officer and, in general, performs the duties usually associated with the office of president. The President shall appoint, with the approval of the Board, standing committees and chairpersons as needed and oversee their work.
  2. Vice President: The Vice President shall serve as presiding officer in the event the President is absent or unable to serve and shall assume such other duties as may be delegated by the President. The Vice President succeeds the President in case of a vacancy in that office.
  3. Secretary: The Secretary is responsible for recording minutes of all Board of Directors meetings including conference calls, retaining the minutes as records of the organization and handling correspondence for the affiliate. The Secretary shall send out proxies when necessary.
  4. Treasurer: The Treasurer receives and disburses all affiliate funds and maintains a complete and accurate account of all funds. The Treasurer maintains both paper and digital files. The Treasurer provides the Board of Directors with a financial report listing all receipts and disbursements on a monthly basis. The Treasurer is authorized to provide a copy of these records to any affiliate member in good standing upon their request.
  5. Membership Chairman: The Membership Chair is responsible for maintaining membership records which include recording membership dues received, updating the affiliate and national membership database, and providing current membership name and address information to the newsletter editor or other affiliate committees for the purposes of mailing or e-mailing the membership. The Membership Chair shall also notify members thirty days (30) in advance of their membership expiration dates and encourage them to keep their membership current.

IX. Elections

  1. Board members and officers are nominated by a three-member nominating committee appointed by the President in January. The President shall notify the Membership when the nominating committee is chosen.
  2. After securing the consent of the nominees to serve if elected, the Nominating Committee prepares a slate of candidates for election as officers and board members.
  3. Nominations for new board members and officers shall be sent to the membership in writing by mail or email at least twenty-one (21) days before the annual meeting.
  4. Voting for election of officers and board members shall take place at the March educational meeting. Nominations are permitted from the floor if the candidate is a member in good standing and has agreed to serve if elected.
  5. For election voting purposes, a quorum for the election of officers shall consist of all of NAMI FDL affiliate members in good standing who are present at the meeting. Both partners/spouses in a membership in good standing are entitled to a vote. A simple majority of eligible votes is required for a candidate to be elected. The President or other officer presiding over the elections is authorized to ask for a vote on all offices by acclamation.
  6. Installation of officers and board shall take place at the affiliate’s April educational meeting.

X. Meetings

  1. Meetings of the Board of Directors shall be held monthly before each educational program/meeting or whenever action items require resolution. These meetings are open to the public but can be closed to the public and members when sensitive personnel issues are under consideration. Non-board members must make prior arrangements to be included on the meeting agenda before addressing the Board.
  2. Members of the Board, or any committee designated by such Board, may participate in a meeting of the Board by means of conference telephone or similar communications equipment, by means of which all persons participating in the meeting can hear and meaningfully participate with one another. Such participation in a meeting shall constitute presence in person at the meeting.
  3. Action may be taken by the Board or any committee thereof without a meeting if there is consent in writing of the Board, the action requested is specifically set forth, and an email exchange for direction and approval is adequate and sufficient for the action to be taken by the Board.
  4. The President with the concurrence of the Board may cancel meetings or change the date or time of meetings or programs under special circumstances, provided that adequate notice is given to the Membership.
  5. The March membership meeting is designated as the Annual Meeting for the election of officers and the Board of Directors.

XI. Programs

  1. An educational program/meeting will be held once a month. The purpose of these meetings will be to inform the members as well as the general public about issues relating to mental illness and allied subjects of interest.
  2. Support groups for consumers and family members will be held at least once a month contingent upon availability of volunteer facilitators.
  3. Other NAMI signature programs such as Family-to-Family will be offered.
  4. Programs, regardless of point of origin or delivery, shall include an explicit invitation for audience members to become NAMI members.
  5. Each person representing NAMI FDL by facilitating support groups, teaching classes, giving presentations or providing other NAMI services:
    • must be a current NAMI member
    • must receive the appropriate training
    • must conform to NAMI standards and fidelity.

XII. Affiliate Funds

  1. All affiliate funds shall be held in financial accounts named NAMI Forsyth Dawson Lumpkin or NAMI FDL. No affiliate funds shall be held in any member’s personal banking account.
  2. The Treasurer is authorized to pay as much as $300 in a given month for any valid office expenses for supplies, printing or postage without prior approval of the Board of Directors but will submit an expense report with supporting documentation.
  3. Disbursements for operating expenses above the $300 limit must be approved in advance by the Board of Directors.
  4. Disbursements, resulting from a Board of Directors’ vote, do not require any further approval regardless of amount but do need supporting documentation.
  5. Dues collected by the affiliate payable to NAMI National and NAMI Georgia are not subject to a monetary limit and do not require Board approval for disbursement.
  6. Authorized signers on NAMI FDL financial accounts (checking, money market, certificates of deposit, etc.) shall be the President and the Treasurer. In the event one or more of the authorized signatories is unable to disburse funds or carry out any other functions requiring his/her signature, the Board of Directors is authorized to appoint another Board member to assume this responsibility on an interim basis.

XIII. Parliamentary Authority

  1. A current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order shall govern the conduct of business in all cases in which they are applicable and not in conflict with the bylaws.
  2. For any conflicts between Robert’s Rules of Order and the bylaws which are not addressed in these bylaws, a third party mediator shall be brought in to assist with obtaining a resolution.

XIV. Fiscal Year

Because NAMI FDL works under the umbrella of NAMI Georgia, the fiscal year begins May 1 and ends April 30, which is the same as NAMI Georgia’s.

  1. NAMI Name and Logo
  1. NAMI FDL acknowledges that NAMI National controls the use of the name, acronym and logo of NAMI and that their uses by this affiliate shall be in accordance with NAMI policy and NAMI identity/style guidelines. The affiliate shall protect and build the NAMI brand.
  2. Upon termination of affiliation with or charter by NAMI, the uses of these names, acronyms and logo by this affiliate member shall cease.
  3. NAMI FDL neither endorses, nor allows the perception that it endorses, any products, devices or services.

XVI. Non-Discrimination

NAMI FDL shall not discriminate against any person or group of persons on the basis of race, disability, creed, sex, religion, age, sexual orientation, or national origin in the requirements for membership, its policies, or actions.

XVII. Limitations on Political Activity

  1. Activities of the affiliate shall be consistent with the Internal Revenue Code governing political activity for nonprofits. No substantial part of the activities of this organization shall be for the purpose of carrying on propaganda or otherwise attempting to influence legislation. None of the activities of this organization shall consist of participation in or intervening in any political campaign (including publishing or distributing statements) on behalf of any candidate for public office.
  2. If NAMI FDL forms any public positions on federal, state or local legislative policy issues, the positions must be consistent with NAMI National’s Public Policy platform.

XVIII. Executive Director

An Executive Director may be employed by the Board of Directors and shall have general direction of and supervision over the day-to-day affairs of the organization. The Executive Director shall exercise such authority and perform such duties as the Board of Directors may from time to time assign to the Executive Director.

XIX. Amendments

These bylaws may be revised, amended or repealed, and new bylaws may be adopted. Any NAMI FDL member may propose revisions or amendments. Any such proposed changes shall be submitted in writing to the Board not less than sixty (60) days prior to the date of the next annual or special meeting of the membership. All proposed changes shall be reviewed and commented upon by the NAMI FDL Board of Directors. The proposed changes, along with comments by the Board of Directors, shall be communicated to each voting member, either personally by mail, email, or made available on the NAMI FDL website, not less than fourteen (14) days prior to the same meeting. A simple majority of the members casting votes at the meeting shall be required to revise or amend the Bylaws. Amendments to the NAMI FDL Bylaws shall become effective immediately after the meeting in which such amendments are approved.

Passed by the Board of Directors on January 27, 2011

Faye Taylor, president

Bill Csuk, vice-president

Pearl Blackburn, treasurer

Dan Manke, member at large


Amended and Restated Bylaw Dated Dec. 6, 2012

  1. Officers and Board of Directors
  1. The Board of Directors will have no more than twelve (12) members including the NAMI FDL officers. The additional board members will be elected by the Membership during the affiliate annual meeting.

Voted on by membership Dec. 6, 2012

Carol LaBranche, president

Linda Fitzwater, vice-president

Susan Gates, secretary

Dolores Browning, treasurer


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