Chapter Formation

The advantages of becoming a chapter of the Washington Tilth Association include:
  • Ability to apply for funding from sources that serve nonprofit organizations;
  • Opportunity to focus on issues on a local level;
  • Networking with other chapters and sustainable agriculture organizations.

  • We welcome you to fill out the application form (see below) as well as to send us the following:
  • Letter of intent;
  • Copy of your proposed bylaws or policies;
  • Roster of current members;
  • Any documentation you think may be pertinent.

Washington Tilth is an educational and research association, the purpose of which is to support and promote biologically sound and socially equitable agriculture.

Washington Tilth is organized for purposes under the United States Internal Revenue Code of 1954 Section 501(c)3. Washington Tilth Association is also a registered nonprofit corporation in the state of Washington.

The purposes of the Washington Tilth Association are to maintain the organization’s federal and state nonprofit tax status, to enable chapters to function autonomously, and to promote communication among chapters.

Washington Tilth Association is governed by its bylaws and all chapters must meet the bylaws mandate for local chapter organization. The following has been excerpted from the bylaws in order to clarify information needed to complete the chapter application.


Section A. Washington Tilth Association will be organized in local chapters made up of members in good standing devoted to furthering the purposes of the organization.

Section. B. New Chapters
1. A group or organization wishing to become a chapter of Washington Tilth Association shall:
a. Demonstrate that its purpose and activities are congruent with the purpose of Washington Tilth Association.
b. Have a minimum of five members, and at least three officers - President Secretary and Treasurer (or equivalent titles).
c. Define its own geographic area insofar as it does not duplicate the area of an existing chapter, choose its own name, and be responsible for its own internal procedures and policies as long as they are consistent with the bylaws of this organization
d. Have a financial base adequate for its obligations and a bookkeeping system that conforms to generally accepted bookkeeping practices, including the ability to provide Washington Tilth Association with an annual balance sheet and statement of profit and loss.

2. A qualifying group may apply to Washington Tilth Association by submitting:
a. A Washington Tilth Association Chapter Membership Application form.
b. A copy of its Articles of Incorporation and bylaws for an incorporated organization, or a copy of the group’s policies and procedures for an unincorporated group.
c. A roster of officers and members of the board of trustees

3. The decision to accept or reject an application for chapter status shall be made by majority vote of the existing chapters’ representatives at any regularly scheduled or special meeting of Washington Tilth Association or by mailed ballot.

Section C. Rights and responsibilities of chapters
1. Chapters shall accept members who support and endorse the purposes of the Washington Tilth Association and the local chapter. Chapters shall not deny membership to individuals on the basis of race, color, creed, gender, sexual orientation, disability, or age.

2. Membership dues
Each local chapter shall set its own dues, and determine the basic units (by individual, family, farm, etc) to which those dues apply.

3. Voting
Each local chapter may choose whether voting shall be one vote per individual, even in a family or farm membership, or one vote per membership unit. Chapters shall also set their own rules as to what constitutes membership in good standing.

4. Meetings
Local chapters may set their own schedule for regular meetings, and their own procedures for calling special meetings. Local chapters shall also define the number of members in good standing necessary to constitute a quorum.

5. Accountability
Each chapter will maintain a bookkeeping system approved by the Washington Tilth Board of Trustees and will provide to Washington Tilth Association any required financial reports.

6. Chapter Suspension
a. Grounds for chapter suspension:
1. Failure to operate as a nonprofit organization as defined under Section 501(c)3 of the IRS Code.
2. Failure to operate in a financially responsible manner and/or failure to provide Washington Tilth Association complete and accurate financial reports as required by law.
3. Failure to adhere to the purpose of Washington Tilth as stated in Article Two.
b. Any chapter failing to comply with the above criteria may be suspended by a majority vote of the Washington Tilth Board of Trustees at any regular or special meeting of the Board. The suspension shall be in effect until the chapter complies with the criteria.
c. Representatives of a chapter that has been suspended may participate in all meetings of the Board of Trustees but shall not have a vote during the suspension period.

7. Chapter Revocation or Reinstatement
a. A chapter may not be reinstated until it has corrected the circumstances which let to its suspension.
b. Compliance of a suspended chapter shall be reviewed by the Executive Committee upon petition by the suspended chapter. The Executive Committee shall review the petition and make a recommendation to the Board of Trustees within 30 days.
c. Any chapter which has been suspended must be either terminated or reinstated by a majority vote of the Board of Trustees at a regular or special meeting of the board, or by mailed ballot.

There are a few other bylaw directives that affect each chapter:


Section A. Board of Trustees (of Washington Tilth Association)
1. General Authority
The Board of Trustees shall be vested with the management of the affairs of this organization.

2. Election, Number, and qualifications
a. The Board of Trustees shall consist of two representatives from each recognized chapter.
b. All members of the Board must be members in good standing of the one or more local chapters.
c. Board members representing local chapters shall be elected by their respective chapters, excepting that no person shall represent more than one chapter.
d. Chapters may at their discretion elect alternates to their elected board representatives.
e. Each representative on the Board of Trustees (or duly authorized alternate) shall have one vote on any and all matters submitted for a vote of the board of trustees.

3. Tenure
To assure continuity, the first year half of the board of trustees shall serve for one year and the other half shall serve for two years. Thereafter each representative shall be elected to two year terms.

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