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By Laws
By Laws

Bylaws of Village Garden Club of Dennis

(Approved by the VGCD Membership at Annual Meeting on June 7, 2023



The name of this organization shall be VILLAGE GARDEN CLUB OF DENNIS, located in Dennis, Massachusetts and hereafter referred to as VGCD.


The mission of the club shall be to provide a common meeting ground for all interested in gardening, conservation, horticulture, and flower arranging. To encourage the beautification of our community; to promote the conservation and preservation of our natural beauty and resources; and to encourage a knowledge of horticulture, environmental science, or allied fields of by means of scholarships and community service.


A. Membership is open to any person interested in gardening, conservation, horticulture, and flower arranging.

1. The club shall be limited to town regulations and meeting facilities regulations and guidelines.

2. Applications for Membership may be obtained from the membership chairs(s), or on-line at the VGCD

3. Applicants may become members upon completion of an application, approval of the full Board and the payment of dues.

4. If needed, a waiting list for membership will be maintained by the Membership Committee. A member in good standing in a Federated Garden Club, and applies to become a member of the VGCD will be placed at the top of the waiting list. The order of the waiting list for Federated Garden Club applicants is dependent upon the date of the application. A letter of recommendation is required from the applicant’s previous Federated Garden Club.

B. Membership Requirements

1. An Active Member is required to attend four (4) general monthly meetings.

2. Every Active Member is required to be a member of at least one (1) standing committee, shall participate on the Hospitality Committee for one (1) general meeting and contribute plants to the annual plant sale.

3. Every Active Member must be an active participant in special events. Active participation includes involvement in planning, set up and on-site support as necessary. A special event may include, but not be limited to, the Plant Sale, Wreath Decorating Workshop, Garden Tour, House Tour, Standard Flower Show, or other club sponsored special events. The number of special events required for participation will vary each year dependent upon the number of Special Events planned for that particular year.

4. Although Associate Memberships are no longer an option, members who have been Associate Members in good standing as of the end of June, may retain their current Associate Membership standing. They will be voting members, must pay their annual dues and attend three (3) meetings. They are encouraged to participate in club activities and contribute to the Hospitality Committee at one General meeting.

5. Should health, physical limitations or family issues occur that preclude a member in good standing from participation in club duties, they shall be excused.  The member should send a notification to the Membership chairs(s) requesting a Leave of Absence (LOA) status.

6. Honorary Membership shall be proposed by the Full Board and voted upon by the membership. Honorary members shall be chosen in recognition of their past service to the club. They will not be required to pay dues and therefore will not have voting privileges.

7. Resignations must be submitted in writing to the Membership Chair (s).


A. The amount of the annual, nonrefundable dues shall be recommended by the Full Board and approved by a majority vote of the members present. Dues must be received by May 30th. If still delinquent by June 30th, membership will be forfeited.

B. Any proposed change of dues shall be recommended by the Full Board, presented to the membership for consideration, and approved at the next General meeting by a majority vote.



A. The regular meetings shall be held on the first Wednesday of each month from September through June unless otherwise stated. Additional programs and workshops will be held at various times throughout the club year.

B. the Annual Meeting shall be held in June, at which time the election of officers for the ensuing term will take place. Past presidents and Honorary Members are welcome to attend.

C. One third of the membership shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.

D. For meeting obligation purposes, the VGCD calendar year begins on July 1st and runs through June 30th of the following year.

E. Members may bring guests to meetings. No guest may attend more than twice during the club year. Guests may not attend the December Holiday luncheon or the Annual meeting. Applicants who are on the waiting list may attend an unlimited number of General Meetings but may not attend the December Holiday Luncheon or the Annual Meeting.

F. Meetings shall be conducted under Robert’s Rules of Order.


A. The Executive Board of the VGCD shall consist of a President, or two Co-Presidents, a Vice President or two Co-Vice Presidents, Recording Secretary, Corresponding Secretary, Treasurer and Assistant Treasurer. Co-Presidents and Co-Vice Presidents may serve a period of two consecutive years or longer depending on the discretion of the board to fill these roles as needed.  The Treasurer and Assistant Treasurer may serve for four (4) consecutive years or more as needed.

B. The Full Board consists of the Executive Board and Chairs of Standing Committees. The Full Board will meet monthly from August to June on a date and time determined by the Full Board.


A. Co-Presidents 

1.  Co-Presidents shall preside at all meetings.

2.  To carry out the VGCD mission, as defined in Article II of this document, Co-Presidents may appoint appropriate committees.

3.  Co-Presidents shall be an ex-officio member of all committees.

4.  By January of the last term of office, Co-Presidents shall appoint a Nominating Committee consisting of at least a minimum of three (3) members-at-large.

5.  Prior to the Annual June meeting, Co-Presidents shall appoint an auditor to review the club’s financial records for the Annual Meeting.

6.  Should a vacancy occur on the Executive Board, Co-Presidents may appoint a member to complete the unexpired term.


B. Co-Vice Presidents

  1. In the event of the absence of the one Co-President in meetings or events, the alternative Co-President, shall assume the duties which are normally jointly shared.

  2. The Co-Vice Presidents shall be the primary liaison with new members.

  3. The Co-Vice Presidents shall serve as Chair of the Finance Committee and work closely with committees involved in club fundraising and expenditures.

  4. To maintain continuity of club objectives, as defined in Article II of these by laws, the Co-Vice Presidents shall assume the Office of President upon the expiration of the current President’s term, or any unforeseen event that prohibits the current President from completing their term of office.


C. Recording Secretary

  1. The Recording Secretary shall keep minutes of all Board and General Meetings of the VGCD.

  2. At the Annual Meeting, the Recording Secretary shall make available the Summary reports of Committee Chairs.

  3. The Recording Secretary shall submit all minutes of the Executive Board and Full Board to the Archives at the end of each term of office.


D. Corresponding Secretary

  1. The Corresponding Secretary shall handle all correspondence of the club and send notes and cards as needed.

  2. In the absence of the Recording Secretary, the Corresponding Secretary shall assume the responsibilities of the recording Secretary.


E. Treasurer

  1. The Treasurer will handle all monies, pay all authorized bills, and give a monthly report of same.

  2. The Treasurer will submit a budget to the full board for approval prior to presentation at the Annual Meeting for a vote by the membership. A two thirds (2/3) vote of those present is required to accept the budget as presented.

  3. The Treasurer will submit books and records for audit after the close of the fiscal year which is from July 1st through June 30th.

  4. The Scholarship Fund is a budgeted designated account to be used for scholarships, tool-ships, and educational outreach awards. Revenue will be transferred from the general fund into the Scholarship Fund at the Scholarship Committee's request to disburse scholarships, tool-ships, educational outreach awards.

  5. Each committee has an approved budget. Any committee expense over $100 requires full board approval of the budgeted amount. If the full board is unable to meet the President may pool the executive committee by email for approval.

  6. Proceeds from a special event are to be submitted to the Treasurer within three (3) days following the close of the event.  Financial results will be reported within one week after all expenses have been accounted for and submitted for processing. Results will be shared in an upcoming VGCD Board Meeting, and a recap will be presented in the next General Meeting.

  7. The Treasurer is responsible for the yearly renewal of liability insurance.

  8. The Treasurer is responsible for the filing of all require taxes and renewal of 501 C(3) status.


F. Assistant Treasurer

  1. The Assistant Treasurer shall assist the Treasurer at all club functions.

  2. In the absence of the Treasurer, the Assistant Treasurer shall assume the duties of the Treasurer.

  3. The Assistant Treasurer is responsible for planning the Annual Luncheon and extending invitations to Honorary Members and special guests.

  4. The Assistant Treasurer is responsible for the collection of all monies collected from annual dues and the Annual Luncheon.

  5. Upon the Treasurer’s completion of term, the Assistant Treasurer shall move into the position of Treasurer.



A. Finance Committee

  1. The Vice President will chair this committee which will be comprised of, but not limited to President, Treasurer, Assistant Treasurer, as well as representatives from club committees as needed.

  2. The committee will meet at least two (2) times a year.


B. Standing Committees

  1. To implement the mission, stated in Article II of this document, The VGCD has established a Standing committee structure which may include, but not be limited to: Advertising and Public relations, Civic Beautification, Environment, Flower and Plant Display, Garden Therapy, Garden / House Tours, Grapevine Editor, Horticulture, Hospitality, Junior Gardening, Membership, Program, Scholarship and Community Outreach, Standard Flower Show, Technology, and Yearbook Editor.

  2. Standing Committees may be appointed or dissolved by the Full Board as needed.

  3. Committees may be created and dissolved at the discretion of the President for specific events for education, fundraising, and/or club collaboration.



The by-laws shall be reviewed every five years and revised as necessary. Revisions may be made in the interim if necessary. Proposed changes will be presented to the full board for approval. The bylaws will be amended by presenting the proposed changes at the next General Meeting. Approval will be by two thirds (2/3) vote at the next General Meeting.



In conducting club affairs, the Village Garden Club of Dennis shall not permit any restriction or limitation whatsoever based upon race, color, creed, gender, national origin, or employment status.



In the event of dissolution, all of the remaining assets and property of the organization shall, after payment of necessary expenses, be distributed to such organization as shall qualify under Section 501 C (3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, or corresponding provisions of any subsequent Federal Tax Law or to the Federal Government, State of Local Government for public purpose, subject to the approval of a court or competent jurisdiction within he Commonwealth of Massachusetts.



The Village Garden Club of Dennis supports and maintains a conflict-of-interest policy. The Conflict-of-interest policy requires disclosure of known and / or potential conflict of any VGCD board member. Additionally, the member is prohibited from voting on any matter in which there is known or potential conflict. The VGCD will pool the members as needed in an effort to capture and disclose any conflict of interest that exists or could possibly exist in the future.

Club Policies 
Club Policies
  •  All club meetings will be held at Northside United Methodist Church in Brewster at 12:00 Noon, on the first Wednesday of the month, unless otherwise stated. 

  • The VGC calendar runs from July 1st —June 30th.

  • All board meetings will begin at 9:30 A.M. on the 3rd  Wednesday of the month at Dennis Memorial Library, unless otherwise stated.

  • Club meetings and workshops are cancelled when schools are closed in Dennis due to weather conditions.

  • Each Active Member is required to attend FOUR regular meetings per year. Each grand-fathered Associate Member is required to attend THREE regular meetings per year. 

  • Each Active Member is required to serve on the Hospitality Committee for  one meeting during the year.  

  • Each Active Member must participate in one Special Club Function. The 2 special functions for 2024-2025 are:   

    • Wreath Decorating — Dec 3rd

    • Plant Sale—May 16th (setup) -17th (sale day) 

  • Each Active Member is responsible for contributing 10 plants to the plant sale.  If you do not have plants of your own, the committee will decide and announce whether they would like a monetary donation from you so they may purchase plants to sell or have you purchase plants in lieu of bringing plants from your garden.  

  • Each Active member must actively participate on a standing committee throughout the year.

  • Members on any committee unable to fulfill their obligation must find a replacement and notify the committee chair.  Should circumstances put you in jeopardy of not fulfilling your membership requirements, please notify Membership Chair:  Joanne Mockler          

  • Changes in personal information should be submitted to the Membership Committee 

  • The Yearbook is for the sole use of members for club business. 

  • The club will pay for registration and lunch for the President and one other member to attend the Federation Fall Conference, the Federation Annual Meeting and the District Annual Meeting. If unable to attend, the President may appoint an alternate. 

Standard Operating Procedures
 Standard Operating Procedures

A. Welcoming New Members​ - last revised Feb 2023

1. The application for new membership will be prepared by the Membership Committee and approved by both the President and Vice President.

2. Completed applications for membership will be delivered to and vetted by the Membership Committee. **The annual dues, $35, pro-rated $20 for January through June should accompany the application (per board decision Spring ’23).

3. The Membership Committee Chair will present the application to the VGCD Full Board for welcoming.

4. The Membership Committee Chair will notify the new member to confirm membership. The new member’s contact information will be sent to club officers, club members and the chairs of all the appropriate committees.

5. The Membership Committee will be responsible for ensuring that the new member has a mentor who will perform the following duties:

a. Introduce the new member to other members.

b. Remind the new member of meeting dates and times.

c. Explain various functions and responsibilities as questions arise.

6. The Membership Committee Chair will be responsible for introducing new members and their mentors at the first regular meeting and for ensuring new members are made to feel welcome. The Membership Committee will be responsible for buying an appropriate gift/plant for the new member.

7. The Membership Committee will be responsible for meeting with the new member(s) and mentor(s) to explain the objectives of the club, as well as the requirements to remain an active member. They will also provide details on the various help the new member select where to serve.

8. At an appropriate time, the Membership Committee should bring together new members and their mentors, the Executive Board, and other members for a small social gathering, such as a coffee/tea to give the new member an opportunity to ask any questions that they have, as well as provide them with an opportunity to get to know other members better.



B. Introducing and Planning a Social Event

The main purpose of a social event is to create a fun environment for the members of VGCD. A social event may turn out to be a

fundraiser as well, but should break even eventually, so as not to deplete the VGCD treasury. The following are guidelines for how

to plan and present a new idea for a social event to the Board and general membership.

1. The proposal must be presented to the Board for discussion and approval. Once the proposal is approved by the Board, a chair-person will need to be appointed.

2. The chairperson will need to recommend the number of committee members required to help with planning and implementation of the event. The estimated budget will need to be determined and should include venue costs, remuneration fees for speakers/entertainers, suggested ticket prices, and a suggested break-even point. All details must be presented to the Full Board for approval.

3. The chairperson will then present the proposal at the next General Meeting for membership discussion and approval.

4. If agreed upon by the General Membership, planning and implementation may begin. The ideal time for presentation and approval would be the end of the fiscal year so the event may be included in the Yearbook for the following year. There may be

times when new proposals might be presented during the year and the Full Board will need to consider the proposal for addition to the schedule for the present or following fiscal year.

C. Membership Renewal and Yearbook Processing - last revised Feb 2023

  1. March – Forms that require updating should be discussed at this time. Committee chairs for following fiscal year should be decided for update of the Membership Renewal Form.

  2. April - Membership Committee should update the form for printing and distribution to all members at the April meeting.  Membership committee (or other) will print labels for verification of all personal information to be attached to each renewal form. Forms should be distributed at the April General Meeting. Forms not picked up at that meeting should be mailed to each member after the April general meeting.

  3. May - Renewal forms are to be returned to the Membership committee who will then vet the forms as they are received to ensure that all information needed is filled out (committee choice, hospitality, tea table, etc). If forms are incomplete or not returned, they will notify member of missing information or will call the member to remind them to send in the form.

  4. May/June - All received forms should be labeled with date received. The Membership Committee will then record the member choices in a spreadsheet for committee vetting during the June meeting. Hospitality will review monthly assignments and call members to be reassigned if needed. Finalized committee choices will be posted on a large poster board for viewing at the June meeting. At this time, changes to committee choices can be agreed upon by club members and committee chairs.

  5. June - Updated spreadsheet with membership list and committee choices are handed over to Yearbook Committee chair for yearbook updates. Yearbook input needed from President and various committees.  June board meeting should provide the following for yearbook processing:

    • New Presidents Message & Picture

    • Committee choices

    • Updated committee descriptions

    • Hospitality Schedule

    • Floribunda award winner picture and write-up

    • Program descriptions and presenters for each month

    • All meeting dates and locations including Plant Sale, special events, board meetings, etc. need to decided

    • Any new Honorary membership designations

    • Get photos of all new members at the June meeting if possible

  6. June/July - Yearbook is updated and created by Yearbook chair and submitted for review by end of July to all committee chairs for proofreading. Any errors, omissions or changes are sent to yearbook chair for update.

  7. August - Yearbook chair will distribute yearbook to board members for proof reading. Once approved, chair will bring yearbook to printer for completion of printing by early August.  Yearbook labels with NAME ONLY must be printed to attach to each member’s yearbook. Another set of labels must be printed to attach to envelopes for mailing of yearbook to entire membership.  Yearbooks should be mailed in time for members to receive them prior to the first August Board Meeting.  


D. Guidelines for Financial Transactions

1. Expense Reimbursements – All requests for expense reimbursements must be documented on an expense reimbursement form with the original receipts attached. Forms and receipts should be forwarded to the committee chair for approval, who in turn, will forward it to the Treasurer. If an expense is charged to a business, the same procedure must be followed before the business can be paid. Please do not send forms directly to the treasurer.

2. Deposits – All monies collected should be submitted to the Treasurer with a deposit form, signed by the money holder and theTreasurer. Monies should be accounted for within 3 days of receipt.

3. Cash Advance – Request for a cash advance should be submitted on the cash advance form, signed by the committee chair and sent to the Treasurer.

 E. Donations 

  • Donations can be either in the form of cash, check, gift card or vendor card.    

  • All donations should be brought to the Board's attention for their vote and acceptance.

  • If not specified, the donor should be asked how they would like to direct their donation, i.e., civic beautification, scholarship.

  • Gift cards and vendor cards should be held by a member of the Executive Board. The balances will be part of the Treasurer's account report.  Any committee chair who would like to use the funds should request their use at a Board meeting.

  • An acknowledgement letter detailing how the funds are applied should be sent by the Corresponding Secretary to the donor within 30 days of receipt of the funds

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