PHILADELPHIA FALCONS SOCCER CLUB CONSTITUTION AND BYLAWS
ARTICLE I. NAME
- This organization will be known as the Philadelphia Falcons Soccer Club (hereafter called “the Club”). Its members will be known as Falcons.
ARTICLE II. MISSION
- The Club is formed solely for:
- Charitable, educational and outreach purposes;
- Fostering local, national and international amateur soccer competition; and
- Performing community-based missions within the bounds of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
- The Club’s main objectives are:
- To educate its members in the sport of soccer by:
- Providing competition and coaching on all levels; and
- Providing a supportive and friendly environment in all Club activities.
- To eliminate prejudice and discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender expression, and gender identity through breaking down stereotypes about LGBTQIA+ persons who participate in sports by:
- Disseminating information about the Club and its activities;
- Participating in competitions, exhibitions and /or clinics; and
- Promoting an integrated environment with people of all sexual orientations, gender expression, and gender identities.
- To foster local, national and international amateur LGBTQIA+ soccer competition by:
- Sponsoring an annual, national/international amateur LGBTQIA+ soccer competition held in Philadelphia;
- Fielding teams in national and international amateur LGBTQIA+ soccer competitions; and
- Maintaining active membership in at least one international LGBTQIA+ soccer organization to be determined by the Executive Committee.
- To engage in community outreach as determined by members of the Executive Committee based on input from members.
- No part of the Club’s activities shall consist of promoting agendas (propaganda) or otherwise attempting to influence legislation except when in accordance with Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code or the corresponding section of any future federal tax code. The Club shall not participate in any political campaign on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for public office.
ARTICLE III. MEMBERSHIP AND INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION
- Membership is open to any person interested in joining a LGBTQIA+ soccer league.
- The Club seeks to include all potential/current team members regardless of ability to pay.
- The Club will maintain a Student/Hardship policy to that effect available for open review on its website.
- The scholarship recipient is required to complete volunteer hours with the Club (e.g. leading committees, assisting at events, etc.).
- The number of recipients will be capped at two each year with additional scholarships available if funds allow.
- Non-recipients will be required to purchase their memberships.
- A Falcon is any individual who pays Club dues and is encouraged to volunteer their personal time and/or money during any of the following:
- At least one annual City of Philadelphia-sponsored LGBTQIA+ Pride events; and/or
- Any Club sanctioned fundraising or promotional activities.
- Annual dues will be set by the Executive Committee and must be paid before a club member will be allowed to represent the Club in any activity. Dues and fees to be collected as follows:
- Annual dues shall be paid in full within one month of the annual general meeting for current members.
- Any person interested in joining the Club will not be required to pay for their first pick-up session.
- Any person attending a practice session (after the two initial gratis practices) who has not paid the annual dues will be charged a standard fee to be set by the Executive Committee for each practice session attended until the annual dues are paid.
- The Club will maintain active membership in at least one international LGBTQIA+ soccer organization unless deemed inappropriate by the Executive Committee and voted as such by the majority of the Club’s membership. Membership in a LGBTQIA+ organization is annually determined by majority vote of the Executive Committee based upon an organization’s honorable standing as well as tournaments and events each organization offers that best serves the Club’s interests.
ARTICLE IV. GOVERNING BODY
- An Executive Committee will be responsible for running the Club between annual banquets. This body will consist of the following officers: President, Vice President, Secretary, Communications Officer, Treasurer, Marketing Director and Sporting Activities Officer.
- President presides over the Executive Committee meetings and delegates responsibility, as needed, to run the Club’s daily activities and plan for the Club’s future needs. The President is expected to maintain and enhance support and success of the Club by:
- Nurturing/maintaining contact with leadership/membership of similar sporting organizations locally, nationally and internationally;
- Developing new agenda items as deemed necessary by the Executive Committee;
- Insuring the image of the Club is positive by developing outreach programs in collaboration with the Vice President; and
- Coordinating with the Deputy Vice President for any requests of scholarship by potential/current members.
- Vice President is responsible for notifying all Falcons of information relating to Club activities. They maintain a working relationship with the community, including the LGBTQIA+ press. They are responsible for:
- Overseeing marketing and are expected to work with the Communications Officer on finalizing press releases;
- Assisting the President in developing outreach initiative in keeping with the Club’s mission; and
- Serving as liaison between the Communications Officer and the President to insure that all press related to the Club is salient to the Club’s overall mission.
- Setting the agenda for Club meetings and maintaining order at Club meetings; and
- Coordinating with the President for any requests of scholarship by potential/current members.
- Communications Officer is responsible for maintaining a current Club roster (to include phone number and email address). The main duties of the Communications Officer include:
- Maintaining new membership information in conjunction with the Treasurer, thereby insuring that membership contact list is comprehensive and dues are paid;
- Maintaining the Club’s internet website and distribution of the emails regarding Club activities;
- Developing press releases in conjunction with the Marketing Director; and
- Coordinates press releases with other members of the board prior to publishing; and
- Reaching out to new recruits found at local community events to advertise our events and practice schedule.
- Treasurer is charged with dues collection, Club membership roster information, accounts receivable and payable, and assets and liabilities management. The Treasurer is responsible for:
- Maintaining a list of actual and potential donors;
- Keeping an archive of the Club’s activities and an inventory of the Club’s property; and
- Providing a report on the Club’s financial status at the annual meeting and as requested by the Executive Committee.
- Marketing Director is responsible for the advertising efforts of the Club. The Marketing Director works closely with the Vice President and the Communications Officer to:
- Insure proper representation in any print or internet-based promotions;
- Organize—and prevent conflict between- fundraising efforts for tournaments, leagues and the Club;
- Review and produce artistic media being generated for the club; and
- Organizing a Falcons booth at local LGBTQIA+ events.
- Fundraising and Sponsorships Liaison is responsible for soliciting and developing new sources and contracts for annual and event sponsorship. The Fundraising and Sponsorships Liaison works closely with the Treasurer to ensure proper documentation of donations, monetary or otherwise, given to the Club. Other duties include:
- Informing sponsors that they are donating to a LGBTQIA+ soccer club;
- Obtaining written agreement regarding any financial obligations for club records;
- Ensuring collection of all donated materials and funds to Club in timely manner; and
- Working with the Treasurer to provide donors with tax exempt receipts and correspondence for financial donations.
- Secretary is responsible for administrative assistance to the Executive Committee and ensures that Club records are up to date. Duties include:
- Taking minutes at Executive Committee-sponsored Club meetings;
- Reporting meeting minutes to Executive Committee; and
- Working with membership and Treasurer to ensure all records, waivers and payments are up to date, and that members follow through on membership requirements.
- Sporting Activities Officer is responsible for coordinating soccer opportunities for current Club members. Duties include:
- Identifying external leagues and tournaments in Philadelphia as well as other cities and countries in which Club members can participate.
- Working with the Recruitment Officer to recruit captains and players for leagues and tournaments and to ensure all members have an equal opportunity to play.
- Overseeing committees that coordinate intra-Club play (e.g. Falcons Summer League, Falcons Winter League, pickups).
- Supporting initiatives within the Club for members to improve technical skills, fitness, health and good sportsmanship.
- Residing over the day-to-day running of soccer play, that is, working with members to ensure equipment is at practices and pickups, acting as a board liaison for team captains, and enlisting the support of other Executive Committee members when needed.
- Working with Captains to ensure that new recruits are being welcomed and introduced on the field.
- The President may assign other duties as necessary.
- The President, Vice President, Secretary, Communications Officer, Treasurer, Marketing Director, Fundraising and Sponsorships Liaison and Sporting Activities Officer will be elected annually by majority vote of all members who choose to vote. Their terms will begin immediately upon election and will last until the next annual banquet. A set period of time will be allotted to cast votes. To insure continuity, the first Executive Committee meeting after election should include both past and present Executive Committee members.
- In the event of a vacancy in the position of President, the Vice President will assume the position of acting President until the new President is elected by majority vote of the membership. In the event of a vacancy in the position of Vice President, Communications Officer, Treasurer, Marketing Director, Sponsorships and Fundraising Liaison, Secretary, or Sporting Activities Officer, the position will be filled for the unexpired term by a majority vote of the remaining members of the Executive Committee.
- The President will set all major Club policy based on majority vote of the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee in discussion will work out decisions. If no consensus is reached, a vote will be taken and a simple majority will carry, except when a unanimous vote is required by these bylaws.
- Meetings will be held as called by the President or upon request of a majority of the Executive Committee.
- Members of the Executive Committee can only hold one office at a time. Each Executive Committee member shall only be entitled to one vote.
- Members may hold board positions for 4 years and then must take 1 year away from the board before returning again to a position. There is no limit to how many cycles a person may perform.
ARTICLE V. ESTABLISHMENT OF TEAM(S)
- The Executive Committee may establish or disband one of more teams under the Club’s authority. In establishing teams for any tournament, preference will be given to members who regularly attend practices and have fulfilled their membership requirements.
- In the event of more than one team, each team will elect its own captain(s) and establish its own rules consistent with these bylaws.
- After approval from the Executive Committee, each team may use the name Falcons in its name and are encouraged to do so. After Executive Committee approval, and prior to establishment of a team, all team organizers must advertise their plans to form a team via social media and list the tournament or league they wish to play in.
- In order to receive funding from the Club and use the Falcons name, a team must have a roster that is at least 75% Falcons members.
- Any team under the Falcons name that raises funds must return 20% of said funds to the Club.
ARTICLE VI. ANNUAL REPORT AND FISCAL YEAR
- The Executive Committee will send out an annual report at the close of the fiscal year, before December 31st. The report will contain information about membership, finances, new initiatives and policy changes. Any changes to the bylaws will be voted on by members in a separate election, open to all members, and those changes voted into the bylaws will be noted in the annual report. All members have the right to vote and will be sent an electronic ballot. The Executive Committee will determine eligibility to vote based on Article III.
- The Executive Committee may delay sending the annual report, up until, but no later than, the transition to the new board at the first meeting of the year, provided that all members of the Club are notified.
- The Club’s fiscal year shall be January 1st through December 31st and the election of new Club officers should be complete prior to the start of the new fiscal year.
ARTICLE VII. REMOVALS AND SUSPENSIONS
- Any Club officer will be deemed removed from office upon petition signed by a unanimous executive member vote (minus said member). Example reasons why a Club officer may be deemed worthy of removal from office include, but are not limited to, failure to perform duties required by position, failing to make board meetings, failure to execute planned activities, and failure to support the Falcons community.
- Any vacancy created under this Article shall be filled in accordance with Article IV except that no Officer removed under this Article may serve on the Executive Committee until the next annual meeting.
- A member may be suspended from participation in Club activities by unanimous vote of the Executive Committee for violation of these bylaws. Depending upon the severity of the circumstances, the member may be immediately suspended or up to two warnings may be issued before a suspension is imposed. The dues of a member suspended under this Article shall be refunded on a pro rata basis. A member suspended under this Article may be reinstated only upon the approval of the Executive Committee.
- Physical violence and/or threatening language will not be accepted at any Falcons event or activity. Members of the Executive Committee may ask any member or guest to leave a club event or activity in the event that they are involved in a physical altercation or verbal confrontation.
- Any member issued a suspension has the right to appeal the decision. They will present their case in writing to the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee will decide by majority vote, upon reading the appeal, whether to remove or uphold the suspension.
ARTICLE VIII. PUBLIC POLICY
- The Falcons will be known as a LGBTQIA+ soccer club. All new members will be advised of this before dues are accepted. Those dealing with the Club will also be advised of this, unless deemed inappropriate by the Executive Committee.
- The Club’s membership list is proprietary information accessible to all members of both the Executive Committee and Election Committee in a shared document. In published writing or public speaking, no member should be identified by name without their permission, except in connection with reporting the results of a league or exhibition game. The consent form allows for a confidentiality stipulation that further safeguards the use of member names should they wish to remain completely anonymous.
- Only members of the Executive Committee may speak for the Club. The Club’s members may freely express their opinions but should realize they should be identified as personal views. Members shall not disseminate information that is malicious or grossly inaccurate.
- The method by which members, alumni and prospective members may communicate is through social media outlets.
ARTICLE IX. FUNDS
- All applications for spending the Club’s funds must be made through the Treasurer who must then consult with the President. All expenditures are subject to budget limitations adopted by the Executive Committee. Expenditures of Club funds are subject to review by the Executive Committee.
ARTICLE X. DISTRIBUTION OF ASSETS UPON DISSOLUTION
- The property of the Club is irrevocably dedicated to the purposes provided in Article II. Upon dissolution of the Club, the assets remaining after payment, or provision of payment, of the debts and liabilities of the Club shall be distributed in a manner that furthers the purpose of the Club to one or more nonprofit funds, foundations, associations or corporations that are organized and operated for charitable and educational purposes, specifically other sporting organizations that have established their tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
ARTICLE XI. ESTABLISHMENT OF SUBCOMMITTEES
- The Executive Committee may establish subcommittees based on Club need.
- Subcommittees shall have and exercise only the power and authority specifically granted by the Executive Committee in the resolutions establishing them. No subcommittee shall have the power or authority to:
- Fill vacancies in the Executive Committee;
- Adopt, amend, or repeal these bylaws; or
- Amend or repeal any resolution of the Executive Committee.
- Standard subcommittees are as follows: Election Committee, Tournament Committee, and Hall of Fame committee.
- Every subcommittee will be led by at least two members who will hold a Co-Chair or Chair and Vice Chair position. Chairs must correspond directly with the Executive Committee and provide updates on subcommittee progress.
- The Executive Committee will set forth written guidelines, deadlines and budget prior to establishment of subcommittees subject to these bylaws. The Executive Committee will announce openings for subcommittees to the Club. The Treasurer will work closely with subcommittees to provide guidelines, deadlines and budget documentation as well as names and contact information of event participants.
- Executive Committee members may hold a tournament subcommittee position. Executive Committee members may hold a Hall of Fame subcommittee position. Executive Committee members may not hold a position in the Election Committee nor count votes for an annual election.
- An Election Committee will be comprised of current year members.
- The Executive Committee is responsible for announcing annual elections and providing membership with a timeline that an Election Committee must uphold. The Executive Committee must assemble an Election Committee that represents a well-rounded membership. The Executive Committee must provide election procedures to the Election Committee. The Treasurer must provide a current year membership list to the election subcommittee.
- The annual election will be completed and the newly elected Executive Committee will be announced by the Election Committee annually by Jan 31st. The new Executive Committee will be effective immediately.
- A Hall of Fame committee will receive and review Hall of Fame nominations prior to the annual meeting.
- The Hall of Fame committee should consist of at least 3 Falcons and may consist of Club alumni and Hall of Fame members. The Hall of Fame committee may select up to two inductees each year. Hall of Fame nominees must have been an active Falcon for a minimum of five years and must have LGBTQIA+ community involvement.
ARTICLE XII. AMENDMENTS
- Amendments to these bylaws may be proposed by any member of the Club. Amendments must be submitted in writing to the President who will then present any such amendments to the Club for review.
- Enactment of any amendment will be by majority vote of all members who choose to vote and will become effective immediately afterwards.
END OF CONSTITUTION AND BYLAWS