About

Vision Statement

 

Who We Are

 

Reno Freethinkers provides a welcoming and safe community to non-believers, skeptics, humanists, and others who live their lives without supernatural beliefs. We come from all walks of life and all positions on the political spectrum. We are proponents of science, rationality, open discussion, free inquiry, freedom of conscience, and sound reasoning about ethical issues. Our activities include formal meetings, social events and public outreach.

 

Freedom of Thought

 

We encourage freedom of thought, unconstrained by authority, tradition, established belief, prejudice, or dogma. We promote the use of critical thinking, reason, empirical evidence, and the scientific method to evaluate all claims.

 

Separation of Church and State

 

We support the Constitution of the United States and the First Amendment freedoms of all Americans. We support Thomas Jefferson’s position that the First Amendment was intended to erect “a wall of separation between church and state.”

 

Ethics

 

We are informed and responsible citizens that strive to build a community that aspires to reason, logic, and secularism by reinforcing humanistic values. We promote an ethical moral philosophy that stresses the inherent value of all people within a free and secular society.

 

Secular Education

 

We advocate a secular system of public education for our community. Students should learn science, critical thinking, and humanistic values.

 

Community Involvement

 

We actively seek out opportunities to benefit our communities, such as assisting local charities, sponsoring food drives, or local clean-ups. We engage our media and political leaders on issues of concern to the secular community. As there is much we share in our common humanity, we are willing work with the faith community in areas where we share common ground.

Reno Freethinkers

Mission Statement

 

Reno Freethinkers provides a friendly community that actively promotes secular values and critical thinking through social activities, education, and participation in public affairs and events.

 

Bylaws

ARTICLE 1 - ORGANIZATION

 

1.1 - Name - The name of this organization is Reno Freethinkers, Inc.

 

1.1.1 Incorporation: Reno Freethinkers Inc. (hereafter also referred to as "Reno Freethinkers") is organized exclusively for charitable, educational and/or religious and scientific purposes, including for such purposes, the making of distributions to organizations that qualify as exempt organizations under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or the corresponding section of any future federal tax code. Further information on the responsibilities of a 501(c)(3) corporation are available

as the Addendum to this document.

 

1.2 – Mission - Reno Freethinkers, Inc. provides a friendly community that actively promotes secular values and critical thinking through social activities, education, and participation in public. This organization shall operate in an open, democratic manner, without discrimination as to gender, race, age, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, ethnic origin, nationality or disability.

 

1.3 - Annual Accounting Period - The fiscal year begins on January 1 and ends on December 31.

 

1.4 - Records - Records shall be kept of official business of Reno Freethinkers, Inc. The Board of Directors (hereafter referred to as “the Board”) is responsible for keeping all documents electronically or physically which shall include copies of these Bylaws, minutes of meetings of the Board and members meetings, and a record of all financial transactions.

 

1.5 - Finances - All unemployed funds of Reno Freethinkers, Inc. shall be held at the First Independent Bank in Sparks Nevada. Maintenance, deposit, and withdrawal from the account shall be the responsibility of the Treasurer or an alternate agent as determined by the Board. Reno Freethinkers’ funds shall be held in an account structured as follows:

 

1.5.1 - Checking Account - The purpose of the checking account is to support the normal, day-to-

day activities of Reno Freethinkers, Inc. Normal flow of funds shall include, but are not limited to,

 

membership dues and donations. The Treasurer is authorized to pay routine expenditures out of this

 

ARTICLE 2 - MEMBERS

 

2.1 - Membership - Membership in this organization is open to all persons, 18 years of age or older, regardless of their state of residence, who support the purpose for which this organization is founded. No person may vote on any motion, resolution, nomination or election at any meeting or convention called by Reno Freethinkers, Inc. who is not a "voting member" of Reno Freethinkers, Inc. A voting member is one whose dues are current and has been a member for at least 30 days.

 

2.2 - Membership Verification - Anyone seeking membership in the organization shall provide their name, address, and phone number, or a valid email address, and pay their annual dues. Reno Freethinkers, Inc. shall keep accurate records of its membership. The membership roll of Reno Freethinkers, Inc. is strictly confidential; no member’s identity or information is to be made public without the express permission of that member.

 

2.3 - Termination of Membership - Anyone can resign their membership at any time for any reason. The Board may terminate an individual’s membership by letter or email stating the reasons. The member shall have a chance, within thirty (30) days, to be heard, either orally or in writing by the Board before termination takes effect. Voluntary resignation from the group will receive no refund and the dues will be considered a donation. Malicious or threatening behavior by any member shall result in immediate termination of membership with no advanced notice nor refund of membership dues paid.

 

2.4 - Membership Dues - Membership dues are $25 per year for voting members and are due between January 1 and January 31. Dues are reviewed at least once per year and may be changed by a vote of the Board. Dues may be paid in advance, and there is a one-month grace period, ending January 31, of the following year. A member may vote on issues throughout the grace period, and remains a voting member until the expiration of his membership after the grace period. The membership/donation structure is effective May 1, 2015:

Associate member: no donation/dues required

 

Memberships levels qualifying for voting privileges:

 

Voting member donation: $25.00 annual dues

 

Contributing member donation: $75.00 annual dues

 

Sagan Level donation: $100 to $150 paid annually

 

Darwin Level donation: $151.00 to $999 paid annually

 

Lifetime Membership: one-time contribution of $1,000 or above

 

Note that these donations are tax deductible under the group's 501(c)(3) status.

 

ARTICLE 3 - BOARD OF DIRECTORS

 

3.1 - Composition of the Board - The Board of Directors (hereafter referred to as the Board) shall number five (5) voting members nominated from, and elected by, the voting membership of Reno

 

3.1.1 - President - Serves as the chief executive officer of Reno Freethinkers, Inc.: Presides over each meeting of the Board or designates another Board member to preside. Coordinates all marketing, advertising and promotional activities. Assists designated spokespersons with presenting cohesive messages about RenoFreethinkers, Inc. to the media, general public, or public officials on behalf of the organization. The President must have been a voting member of Reno Freethinkers for one year (twelve consecutive months) to have been elected to the position.

 

3.1.2 - Treasurer-Secretary - Receives, disburses, and accounts for all funds of Reno Freethinkers, as required by law and by orders of the Board. Deposits Reno Freethinkers, Inc.’ funds in a safe depository approved by the Board. Has custody of and maintains the Bylaws, list of members, other records relating thereto, and prepares financial and other reports as required. Maintains minutes of Board and membership meetings, and other records as instructed by the President.

 

3.1.3 - Vice President of Membership - Works on expanding and maintaining membership in the organization. Ensures that the needs of members are being met to the extent possible by communicating with members on a regular basis and providing feedback to the Board.

 

3.1.4 - Vice President of Outreach - Coordinates educational opportunities and other programs and develops outreach programs and events for the general public. Coordinates activism opportunities for the group as they relate to the vision of Reno Freethinkers, Inc. Also coordinates social media efforts and has primary administrative access and control of Reno Freethinkers, Inc. social media accounts.

 

3.1.5 - Vice President of Philanthropy - Coordinates philanthropic projects and charitable giving opportunities for members and non-members. Leads the humanitarian efforts of Reno Freethinkers Inc., including volunteerism, charitable giving, and fundraising for worthwhile causes.

 

3.2 Board Term of Office

 

3.2.1 - Board Term of Office - All Board members are elected to serve for one year, beginning on March 1 after the election and ending on the following year on the last day of February. Board vacancies may be filled at the Board's discretion after March 1.

 

3.2.2 Board Term Limits - Any member of the Board, having been elected or officially appointed, may serve so long as he is willing and able to perform the tasks assigned to his position.

 

3.2.3 Board Resignation - Any Board member may resign from the Board at any time and for any reason.

 

3.2.4 Board Removal for Cause - Any Board member may be removed for cause by the simple majority vote of the other Board members or by 2/3 vote of the general membership.

 

3.2.5 Board Vacancy - In the event of a Board position vacancy for any reason, the remaining members of the Board may appoint a replacement to serve the remainder of the vacated position term. The replacement may be made by a simple majority vote of the remaining Board members and must have been a voting member of

Reno Freethinkers for a minimum of 30 calendar days prior to appointment of the position by the Board.

 

3.3 Board Elections

 

3.3.1 Board Elections - The Reno Freethinkers organization Board elections shall finalized and announced at the Members Meeting in February of each year.

 

3.3.2 Nominations for Board Positions - Any member who has been a voting member for a minimum of 30 calendar days may nominate another voting member, with the exception of the President who must have been a voting member for one year prior to being nominated, to any position on the Board at any time, however, the voting date will remain constant. Nominations may be made and seconded on the Social Media pages up to five days before the official vote to allow for inclusion on the ballot. It is the nominee's responsibility to notify the President and Treasurer/Secretary of his intention to run for office and to determine that he/she is officially

 

3.3.3 Election Voting and Ballot Tabulation – Only votes cast for officially nominated candidates shall be valid. Voting for each Election Year shall take place between 15 February and the February Members meeting. Ballots may be cast by electronic means established by the Reno Freethinkers Board or at the February meeting. The voting period shall be considered closed as announced by the Board member presiding at the February Members meeting. Election Ballot tabulation shall be completed at the applicable February Members meeting and the results announced prior to the end of the meeting.

 

3.4 - Powers and Responsibilities of the Board - The Board is the primary policy and decision-

making body of Reno Freethinkers. The Board members are responsible for carrying out the goals and objectives of Reno Freethinkers as set forth in these Bylaws and the Articles of Incorporation. The Board shall determine what program of activities shall be undertaken by Reno Freethinkers.

 

3.4.1 - The Board shall propose a budget for each fiscal year. The budget shall describe the activity program planned for the year and estimate the required expenses to implement the program. The budget shall state how the expenditure program shall be financed.

 

3.4.2 - After the close of each fiscal year, the Board shall present a report covering the activities of the organization for the past year including the assets and liabilities, revenue or receipts, and expenditures of the organization.

 

3.4.3 - The Board may take emergency action to respond to events in a way that supports our organizational purposes if there is insufficient time for the membership to be notified and vote at a

 

3.4.4 -The Board shall review and may approve applications for membership and may terminate membership for cause.

 

3.4.5 - No person shall communicate with the media, general public, or public officials on behalf of Reno Freethinkers who has not been authorized to do so by the Board.

 

3.4.6 - Any financial transaction over one hundred dollars ($100) shall be approved by the Board in writing. Any Board member with a potential conflict of interest concerning the transaction shall abstain from voting on that transaction.

 

3.4.7 - The Board shall have the authority to create any standing or ad hoc committees as needed by

 

3.5 - The Board members shall receive no compensation for acting as such and no Board member shall directly or indirectly receive any profit from his/her position. Board members may receive reasonable reimbursement for expenses incurred by them in the normal course of their duties as approved by the Board.

 

ARTICLE 4 - MEETINGS

 

4.1 - Member Meetings - Member meetings shall be held monthly unless determined otherwise by the Board. Meetings shall occur at a place and time determined by the Board. Special member meetings may be called by any two (2) of the Board members.

 

4.1.1 - Official Member Meetings Member meetings are for official business and are called by the

 

4.1.2 - Unofficial Meetings - Any member can suggest or schedule an informal group meeting or gathering at any time using the organization’s social media assets.

 

4.1.3 - Notice of Meetings - Members shall be notified of all regular or special member meetings at least fourteen (14) days before the date of the meeting. Notification of regular and special meetings shall be posted on the Reno Freethinkers website and by other means at the discretion of the Board.

The notice of any official meeting shall include the agenda and any matters to be voted on. Members who are absent may be allowed to vote electronically or by absentee ballot at the Board's discretion.

 

4.2 - Board Meetings - The Board shall hold regular monthly meetings unless determined otherwise by the Board. Additional meetings may be held, as scheduled by request of any two (2) Board members. Such meetings may be held in person, by telephone or Internet conference call, or by e-

 

4.3 - Quorum - A quorum is required to conduct any official business.

 

4.3.1 - Quorum for Board of Directors - A majority of the total number of Board members constitutes a quorum.

 

4.3.2 - Quorum for Member Meetings - A quorum shall consist of at least twenty percent (20%) of voting members, voting by physical presence or absentee vote.

 

4.4 - Meeting Agendas - Meeting agendas shall be prepared by the Treasurer-Secretary (or by a designated representative) and distributed electronically at least seven (7) days before each meeting. Any voting member may ask that an item be added to the agenda or make a motion that an item be put to a vote. If there is insufficient time at a meeting for the new business to be transacted, it shall

be placed on the agenda for the next regular meeting.

 

ARTICLE 5 - CHANGES TO BYLAWS

 

5.1 - Changes to Bylaws - Changes to the Bylaws shall only be made to improve the operation of Reno Freethinkers in accordance with the overarching intent of this organization as set forth in Article 1.2. The following procedure shall be used to make changes to the Bylaws:

 

5.1.1 - Proposing Changes - Any proposed amendments, additions or deletions to the Bylaws shall be proposed at a (regularly scheduled member meeting), either by the Board or a voting member.

 

5.1.2 - Voting on Proposed Changes - Changes to the Bylaws must first be approved by a vote of the Board. If approved by a majority vote of the Board the changes must then be approved by at least sixty percent (60%) of voting members who are voting by physical presence or by absentee vote.

 

5.2 – Adoption - Changes to the Bylaws shall become effective immediately upon adoption, unless specified otherwise in the motion to adopt.

 

5.3 - Technical Amendments - A “technical amendment” is a change that only affects spelling, grammar, punctuation, cosmetic, or other issues that do not change the meaning of the document. The Board may adopt technical improvements without submitting them to the general membership

 

ARTICLE 6 - CHANGES TO THE MISSION AND VISION STATEMENT

 

6.1 - MISSION STATEMENT - Should a voting member of the Reno Freethinkers wish to change the Mission Statement that member may petition the Board with the proposed change. If unanimously approved by the Board the changes must then be approved by at least sixty percent (60%) of voting members who are voting by physical presence or by absentee vote.

 

6.2 - VISION STATEMENT - Should a voting member of the Reno Freethinkers wish to change the Vision Statement, that member may petition the Board with the proposed change. If unanimously approved by the Board the changes must then be approved by at least sixty percent (60%) of voting members who are voting by physical presence or by absentee vote.

 

ARTICLE 7 - DISSOLUTION AND DISTRIBUTION OF ASSETS

 

7.1 – Dissolution - Should the Reno Freethinkers be dissolved, any assets of the organization shall be used only to further the purpose of the organization. All outstanding debts, obligations and claims must be satisfied before assets are distributed. No assets shall be distributed to individuals. A membership vote shall be held to determine charitable organization(s) to which all remaining assets shall be distributed and in accordance with rules set by the Internal Revenue Service under the 501(c)(3) structure.