News & Resources

Remote Meetings for Members – New COVID-19 Relief for Nonprofit Governance

By Brad Bedingfield and Eleanor Evans

4/7/2020

On March 25, 2020, we issued an alert discussing the inability of many nonprofits with members to hold meetings during the COVID-19 crisis. In particular, Massachusetts law has long allowed directors, but not members, of nonprofits incorporated in the Commonwealth to meet remotely by teleconference or videoconference. While Massachusetts law does allow members to vote by proxy, many Massachusetts nonprofits' bylaws preclude proxy voting for members, leaving members without any legal way to make decisions during the crisis. A new emergency law provides relief to nonprofits in this situation.

On Friday, April 3, 2020, Governor Baker signed Chapter 53 of the Acts of 2020 (An Act to Address Challenges Faced By Municipalities and State Authorities Resulting From COVID-19), which includes an emergency provision (Section 16) intended to make it easier for nonprofits to function remotely for the time being. 

Continue reading to learn which actions are included and what the limitations are.

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