How to create a guild

First of all, not all quilters need to be part of a guild. If you are a small group of people who like quilting, you could just decide to meet to quilt together, enjoy everyone’s company and show each other certain tricks of the trade.

However, if your group becomes larger, you may need a larger place to meet. You may also wish to perpetuate the art of quilting on a larger scale. Then starting a guild may be something you would consider. A guild is a non-profit organization of persons with related interests, goals, etc., especially one formed for mutual aid.

If you decide to start a guild, you don’t have to write out a charter but if you do, it will be a good guide for you and your members.  At the end of this document, you will find an example of a charter for a guild that you could use as a guide for your own charter.

In this example of a charter, you will see that you must first pick a name for your association. What will be the objectives of your organisation? You must decide who can join, what you want your membership to be like.

Where will you meet and at which interval. When will be your annual general meeting. You must determine the composition of your executive committee, what will be the function of each member of the Executive and how long will be their mandate. When will be your elections and how will these be held.

You should realize that an executive committee is not elected to do its’ own bidding. Its’ duties are to enforce the members’ wishes and to guide them by offering suggestions to members who then must vote on the orientation of the guild.

You will need to establish internal rules and regulations such as establishing the quorum of members to make important decisions, what happens in case an Executive member resigns, who will preside if the President is away, which period is covered by your fiscal year.

Once you have drafted a charter, it should be accepted by the majority of your members and it should be signed on the date of acceptance.

Then, you should find a meeting place, decide how many times a month you wish to meet, make a schedule to decide what you will do during the year.

Once you have become a guild, you should keep records such as minutes of meetings, resolutions adopted by members, list of members, etc. Non-profit organisations in Quebec should follow the Code Morin which refers to the text Procédures des assemblées délibérantes, first published in 1938 by Victor Morin. The Code details procedures for organizational meetings, and was inspired by Robert’s Rules of Order which are Parliamentary Procedures that are followed in Canada.  Many different aspects of the structure of meetings are discussed in the Code, including how topics are presented, how meetings are started, and how to calculate a quorum.

We hope this information will help you start your guild. Good Luck.

Charter

  • The association’s name:

NAME OF GUILD

  • Objectives of this non-profit association:
  1. To establish and maintain the art of quilting.
  2. To encourage quilting activities in order to perpetuate the art of quilting.
  3. To preserve the history of quilting and promote its artisans by holding meetings and sharing friendships.
  4. To give back to the community by making and giving some items to people in need.
  • Membership:
    1. Membership is open to anyone interested in quilting.
    2. French and English are the two official languages of the association. Women and men are eligible.
    3. Membership is limited to 60 active members subject to change.
    4. Fees are fixed by the Executive annually and cover the period of September 1st to August 31st of each year. Fees after January 15th will be half price.
  • Meetings:
    1. The association meets at regular intervals set by the Executive and accepted by the members.
    2. The Executive must meet prior to any general meeting.
    3. The annual meeting must be held on the first week of June, at which time the Executive will present their reports to be accepted by the members, followed by the election of vacated positions on the Executive.
  • Executive:
    1. President
    2. Vice-president
    3. Past President
    4. English Secretary
    5. French Secretary
    6. Treasurer

It is possible to have only one bilingual Secretary.

  • Functions of  the Executive members:
    1. President: Presides over all meetings of the Executive, prepares the agenda with the secretary and guides the association during the mandate.
    2. Vice-president: Seconds and executes all delegated charges from the President and assumes all the President’s functions in her or his absence.
    3. Past President: Acts as a consultant to the Executive.
    4. Secretary: Maintains all documents for the association, takes minutes of meetings, prepares reports, is responsible for correspondence, updates the membership list, prepares membership cards and presides meetings in the absence of the President and Vice-President.
    5. Treasurer: Is in charge of the association’s budget, deposits and debits funds authorised by the Executive, prepares the report for the annual meeting in June, hands out registration forms and collects membership fees.
  • Elections:
    1. An elections committee will be named by the Executive. This committee will receive and present nominees to the membership at the annual meeting, allowing the elections to follow.
    2. Members to the Executive are elected for a mandate of two years.
    3. No member of the Executive will hold the same position for more than two consecutive terms.
  • Finances:

Fiscal year covers the period of September 1st to August 31st of each year. All financial records of the current term must be made available to any member upon request.

  • Internal rules and regulations:
    1. The quorum at meetings is 50% of active members.
    2. Rules and regulations can be approved, changed or annulled by a vote of 2/3 of active members present at the annual meeting.
    3. If a quorum is not obtained, the vote will be at the next meeting whenever it is held or by telephone in case of an emergency.
    4. Special committees can be formed by the Executive when deemed necessary. They will be given a mandate to perform their required activities and will be under the direct guidance of the Executive.
    5. In case of the resignation of an Executive member, the position will be offered to all active members. If a member wishes to apply for the position, the Executive will accept the applicant for the end of the mandate. If there is more than one applicant, an election will be required to fill the vacant position until the end of the mandate.
    6. For an Executive meeting, the quorum is a minimum of 4 members when two (2) secretaries sit on the Executive Committee and a minimum of 3 members when there is only one bilingual secretary. Each member has one vote. The President votes to break a tie.