I am the coordinator for the Douglas County Healthy Youth Coalition in Colorado. I could use some coaching/examples around creating coalition bylaws for our unique situation. We are currently not a 501©3 but, have recently discussed perusing this status. We have two fiscal agents Tri-County Health Department and the Douglas County School District who manage our Substance Abuse Mental Health Administration grant. We want to begin to develop a bylaws document that creates more space for community ownership/decision making and allows us to tackle issues in our community that stretch beyond just what funders want us to address (Mental Health) Hope this helps, we look forward to hearing from you and your team
Yes, I believe I understand the situation that you are describing, thanks for outlining your goals and your efforts.
I think that there comes a time in the trajectory of many coalitions and partnerships where questions like these come up. This can be a really helpful time to figure out if the current structure is supporting the outcomes and mission of the work or if there are changes and adjustments that would better serve you. Here in St. Louis, we have sat down with a couple of different coalition leadership groups to explore these questions. These resource can be found here (Fiscal Agent Assessment) and here (Backbone Assessment). After you've explored these questions in depth with your leaderships team, you can write bylaws that reflect both your core mission - as expected by your grant efforts - as well the expanded goals that I hear you speaking to. You may want to outline language that provide for the accountability needed for the funder along with additional language that provides room for decisionmaking and accountability to your community or other partners.
I will also refer you to the Community Toolbox's overview of By-laws which is full of great information. You may also get additional ideas here. Relatedly, this resource explores a variety of structures for a partnership. It may also apply to some of your discussions.
Wishing you the best as you explore these questions with your leadership team!