Bylaws of the NFB of Missouri

Adopted by the NFB of Missouri Board of Directors on January 13, 2018.

Ratified by the Convention of the NFB of Missouri on April 8,2018.


1.00 Parliamentary and General Membership.


1.01 Except as provided herein and in the constitution, Robert's Rules of Order shall be used for the conduct of meetings. Though these will be our guidelines, parliamentary procedure will not be used to block the clear intent of the membership to discuss or decide any issue.


1.02 The chair of any committee shall only vote in case of a tie except for the nominating, tenBroek award, and resolutions committee. In these cases each chapter gets a vote regardless of who is chair.


1.03 The membership dues are set by the membership at the annual state convention.


1.04 The board of directors shall review and approve the convention minutes at its next meeting following the convention. This does not prevent the reading of the minutes at the next convention or prevent the convention from ratifying or modifying the previous convention minutes.


1.05 When minutes are corrected, they will be reissued to replace the modified version.


1.06 The maximum amount of money allotted for the John and Rhoda Dower Scholarship depends on the authorization by the convention or the board of directors in addition to funds provided by other sources. Scholarship funds may be given entirely to one individual or divided in any manner amongst several individuals as the scholarship committee may determine.


2.00 Responsibilities of the board and individual officers.


2.01 The board of directors will hold regular quarterly meetings in June, September or October, January or February, and with one of the four being in conjunction with the annual state convention.


2.02 Action points will be distributed by the recording secretary within a week of a board meeting and the state convention. They will be re-sent monthly between meetings. The Recording Secretary shall issue minutes for all regular and special board meetings within 20 days. Minutes of the state convention shall be issued within 30 days of the end of convention. The Recording Secretary shall provide minutes upon request to any member.


2.03 The treasurer and corresponding secretary shall jointly maintain a list of members at-large and annually send renewal notices to these members.


2.04 The treasurer and the president shall issue payment for reimbursement requests within twenty days of the request received by the president. While twenty days is our guarantee, we realize that taking this long will cause problems for those paying NFB expenses out of pocket or on charge cards. The president and the treasurer each shall endeavor to turn around requests within seven days.


2.05 Checks not cashed within ninety days of the issue date are void.


2.06 Deposits shall be made by the treasurer within ten days of receipt.


2.07 All committees and members handling funds of the organization need to be mindful of our accountability. Projects of the organization can extend over a number of months, and events that bring us together as a body are spread out. All persons in possession of funds belonging to the organization shall turn them in promptly to the committee chair handling the project or directly to the treasurer. It is not necessary for a project to be completed before funds can be turned in and deposited. In no case shall the time between the receipt of money and its being turned over to the chair or the treasurer exceed two weeks. A notation of the total amount being turned in, which includes a breakdown of the source and amount for each category, [change and to is] and important, and appreciated.


2.08 When the convention votes to make a contribution or expenditure, a reimbursement request is completed by the president and the convention minutes are the supporting documentation allowing the treasurer to issue the check.


2.09 The chair of any committee making financial decisions, i.e., Scholarship, Rittgers, Good Works, etc., must complete a payment authorization and submit it to the president for authorization before the treasurer can issue checks on behalf of that committee. While the amount needed may be determined at the event, the completed authorization still must come before the check or checks are presented to the committee chair for distribution.


2.10 The president shall keep the bonding certificate for the affiliate in her/his possession. He/she shall also have evidence that the annual cost has been paid, and a copy of the bond shall also reside with the treasurer and first vice president.


2.11 Financial records are to be kept for at least five years.


2.12 The treasurer shall submit the financial report at least five days prior to regular quarterly board meetings.


3.00 Responsibilities of Chapters and Divisions.


3.01 The chapters shall submit appointments to the president before December 1 of each year for the resolutions committee, nominating committee, and tenBroek award committee. If they are not received by that date the president may make the appointments.


3.02 The president and treasurer will prepare a financial reporting form which will outline the financial responsibilities each chapter and division has to the state organization. This form will be presented to current chapter presidents, chapter treasurers, division presidents, and division treasurers by the end of each year. The materials required shall be provided by chapters no later than February 1 and by divisions no later than fifteen days following the state convention.


3.03 Chapters and divisions of the state will closely monitor the amount of funds held in their accounts to ensure that the total does not exceed $5,000.00 at any time. Any funds in excess of $5,000.00 shall be transferred to the state affiliate. Such funds will be granted back to the chapter upon request when needed to carry out its programs.


3.04 To be considered for the title of Grand Chapter or to win the Roy Zuvers Traveling Trophy, funds must be received by the treasurer at least fifteen days prior to the state convention.


3.05 Chapters and divisions not having a member on the state board are entitled to send a representative to all board meetings. This representative shall have the right to speak on any issue but shall not vote. The representative is entitled to reasonable reimbursement of expenses in the same manner as the board.


4.00 Reimbursement Policies.


4.01 The president has the ultimate authority to authorize any expense he/she feels reasonable given a particular situation, whether or not it would normally be approved under these guidelines. Any expenditure in excess of $5,000 must be approved by the board of directors.


4.02 Whenever possible, members are encouraged to use volunteer help and lower cost alternatives.


4.03 Mileage reimbursement, when requested, shall be paid at no more than the rate the state of Missouri reimburses its employees.


4.04 Whenever it is necessary to hire someone to drive, efforts shall be made to negotiate the lowest possible payment. Members shall endeavor to be fair both to the person they need to hire and to the limited and charitably contributed funds of the Federation.


4.05 When taking public transit of any type, the cheapest reasonable alternative shall be used and at the lowest rate available for that mode of transportation. For example, if a member is eligible for discounts because of age, student status, employment, or membership in AAA, AARP, or other groups, they should take advantage of these opportunities.


4.06 The organization will not pay for first-class or other ticket upgrades unless there are no alternatives.


4.07 If the affiliate is paying for a planned meal, reimbursement will not be provided for that meal.


4.08 Members should seek moderate to lower-priced restaurants when reimbursement is to be requested and should strive to keep the bill at or below a medium point on the menu. In no event will reimbursement for meals exceed $40 per day. Alcoholic beverages will never be reimbursed.


4.09 When lodging is required, the organization will attempt to do group bookings; however, if no group arrangement is made, consult the president for prior approval of room charges.


4.10 Sharing is caring: Members shall car pool and share lodging anytime it is feasible.


4.11 To request payment of expenses incurred on behalf of the National Federation of the Blind of Missouri, the person incurring the expense shall complete a reimbursement request along with appropriate receipts and submit them to the president. Upon approval, the president will sign the expense reimbursement form and forward it to the treasurer along with the receipts which have been submitted to the president. Expense reimbursement forms may be obtained upon request from either the president or the treasurer.


4.12 Expenses must be submitted within thirty days of when the expenditure is incurred. This does not mean waiting for a credit card bill, since the credit card bill does not serve as a receipt unless the president has been given good reason why an original receipt cannot be provided.


4.13 Expense reimbursement forms with appropriate receipts must be submitted to the president since she/he must approve the expense before the treasurer can issue funds. Forms sent directly to the treasurer without appropriate authorization will be returned to the sender.


4.14 Expense reimbursement requested by the president shall be sent for approval to the first vice president along with appropriate receipts to document the expenses for which reimbursement is requested.


4.15 When advance payment is issued, the recipient must provide receipts for expenses within fifteen days of the conclusion of the event. In addition, they must be accompanied by any funds advanced but not spent on the event. Persons not providing such receipts shall not be granted advance payment in the future unless an exception is granted by the president in extraordinary circumstances. The treasurer shall maintain a list of advances made for which no receipts were provided.


5.00 George and Gwen Rittger’s Stipends for state convention


5.01. The state board will allocate the maximum amount to be used from the fund by January 31 of each year.


5.02 An individual application must be made 30 days before the beginning of convention by the person requesting the funds, or by their chapter president, which explains the reason for the request.


5.03 It is not intended that these funds pay the entire cost of convention attendance, and the committee is only to allocate funds based on need and will not use the entire allocated amount unless recipients needs justify it.


5.04 The state president may authorize funding after the deadline in extraordinary circumstances if funds remain in the allocation.


5.05 Whenever practical, funds will be directly paid either to cover hotel costs or convention registration and meals.


5.06 New or perspective members will be given highest priority in their request.


5.07 Persons who have previously attended a Missouri convention will then be given consideration.


5.08. No person shall receive funds a second or subsequent time unless they experience an unexpected financial crisis that would otherwise prevent their attendance.


5.09 Each chapter is encouraged to contribute at least $50 annually to the George and Gwen Rittgers Fund.


5.10 The chair of the Rittgers committee shall send out notice via Email and on the affiliate website at least 60 days prior to the annual convention.


5.20 National Convention stipends


5.21 The state convention shall determine if stipends should be allocated to help persons to attend our annual National Convention, as well as, the amount available if any to be allocated.


5.22 If funds are available, the Rittgers Committee will accept the applications and determine the individual allocations.


5.23 The application deadline shall be May 15 of each year.


5.24 Allocations shall be based on need, and first time national convention attendees shall be given priority.


6.00 Affiliate Awards


6.01 The affiliate shall recognize persons or groups that have made a positive contribution to the lives of blind people in Missouri.


6.02 These awards shall only be presented when a worthy recipient is identified.


6.03 These awards shall include but are not limited to the Kenneth Jernigan Award, the Jacobus tenBroek Award, and the Gary L. Wunder Award.


6.10 The Kenneth Jernigan Award


6.11 The Jernigan Award is presented by the Missouri Affiliate of the National Federation of the Blind to a Federationist who has performed outstanding service to his fellow blind over a prolonged period of time. A recipient of this award shall be a resident of the State of Missouri.


6.13 The recipient of this award shall be an active member of the National Federation of the Blind's Missouri Affiliate.


6.14 The committee charged with selecting recipients of the award shall consist of the most recent three recipients of the award. If, for whatever reason, one or more of the past recipients cannot serve, the committee shall be composed of recipients from previous years with the selection proceeding in reverse chronological order until three committee members are seated.


6.15 The Jernigan Award shall be presented to one individual. Awards to families and couples shall be prohibited.


6.16 The most recent recipient of the Jernigan Award shall serve as the Chairman of the Jernigan Award Committee. If, for whatever reason, this person cannot serve on the committee, the office of chairperson shall fall to the most recent recipient available.


6.17 This award is presented only as often as the committee deems that a deserving person is available.


6.18 All nominations shall be in writing and distributed to all committee members by the chairperson.


6.19 A copy of these standards shall be forwarded by the President of the Missouri Affiliate to the chairman of the Jernigan Award Committee who shall send it to each member of the committee.


6.20 Jacobus tenBroek Award

6.21 The tenBroek award shall be presented to a sighted person who has demonstrated a longstanding commitment to improving the quality of life for the blind.


6.22 The recipient of the tenBroek Award shall be a resident of the State of Missouri.


6.23 The committee to select the recipient shall be comprised of a representative of each local chapter. This representative may be selected by the chapter president or elected by the chapter membership depending on the desires of the local chapter.


6.24 The chairperson of this committee shall be selected by the State President and shall be one of the representatives designated by the chapters.


6.25 This award is presented only so often as the committee deems that a deserving person is available.


6.26 A copy of this policy statement shall be distributed to each member of the committee by the chairperson prior to the selection of a recipient. The state president shall be responsible for providing this statement to the chairperson at the time of appointment.


6.27) All nominations shall be in writing and distributed to all committee members by the chairperson.


6.30 The Gary L. Wunder Award


6.31 The Gary L. Wunder award replaces the awards previously known as the Missouri Affiliate Award and Rittgers Award.


6.32 This award is presented at the discretion of the State president to any individual or group she/he deems worthy.


6.33 Members of the affiliate may submit nominations to the state president for consideration.