Association for Community Organization & Social Administration

  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size
Facebook Link LinkedIn Link Twitter Link You Tube Link



October 25, 2014


1.1 The Association for Community Organization and Social Administration (ACOSA) is an interdisciplinary professional association grounded in the social work profession. It is committed to the development of knowledge in the areas of community practice, community organizing, planning, social administration, organizational and community development, policy practice, and social change.

1.2 No part of the net earnings of the Association shall benefit or be distributed to its members, board, officers, or other private persons, except that the Association shall be authorized and empowered to pay reasonable compensation for services rendered and to make payments and distributions in furtherance of the purposes set forth in the Association’s purposes. No substantial part of the activities of the Association shall be the carrying on of propaganda, or otherwise attempting to influence legislation, and the Association shall not participate or intervene in any political campaign on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for public office. Notwithstanding any other provisions of these articles, the corporation shall not carry on any other activities not permitted to be carried on by any other organization exempt from federal income tax under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code or corresponding section of any future federal tax code.

1.3 Upon the dissolution of the Association, assets shall be distributed for one or more exempt purposes within the meaning of section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.


Section 1 – Purpose

The purpose for which ACOSA is organized is to promote teaching, research, and social work practice in the areas of community practice, community organizing, planning, social administration, organizational and community development, policy practice, and social change.

The purposes of ACOSA also include contributing to the growth of global perspectives in social work and social welfare policy, promoting social justice, and advancing the social and economic well-being of disenfranchised, oppressed, and vulnerable people and communities.

Section 2 – Goals

In order to promote teaching, research, and social work practice in the areas of community practice, community organizing, planning, social administration, organizational and community development, policy practice, and social change, the goals of ACOSA are:

2.2.1 To facilitate and support an annual national symposium;

2.2.2 To provide a forum for sharing information on teaching materials, literature, models, theory, research, and practice issues;

2.2.3 To facilitate networking activities among educators, practitioners, and students;

2.2.4 To encourage the development of teaching materials;

2.2.5 To stimulate the development of research;

2.2.6 To encourage the publication of literature;

2.2.7 To influence other professional associations, decision-makers, funders, and the general public to support community practice, community organizing, planning, social administration, organizational and community development, policy practice, and social change.


Section 1 - Eligibility

Membership in ACOSA shall consist of all persons who submit a membership application and pay the required dues.

Section 2 - Setting of Dues

Dues shall be established by the ACOSA Board of Directors and guided by the twin principles of accessibility and organizational sustainability.

Section 3 - Requirements and Dates

Persons wishing to become members of ACOSA must submit a membership application and payment of the annual membership dues, as determined by the Board of Directors. Membership is renewable annually and extends from January 1 to December 31 each year.


Section 1 - General Powers

All the business of the Association shall be governed by the Board of Directors, although the Board is accountable to report to and consult with the Membership in its Annual Meeting.

Section 2 - Number, Nomination, and Election

4.2.1 The Board of Directors shall consist of twenty (20) voting members. Each board member is elected for a three (3) year term, with the exception of the Chairperson who has a two (2) year term and the Chairperson Elect whose term is one (1) year. References to the Chairperson Elect in the remainder of this document apply only in the years that the Association has a Chairperson Elect (i.e. every other year in the 2nd year of a Chairperson’s two-year term of office). International board members are elected at-large from countries outside of the United States and its Territories. Terms are staggered so that about thirty-three percent (33%) of the board is elected each year.

4.2.2 Voting members of the board are as follows: Chairperson (2 year term), Chairperson Elect (1-year term), Secretary, Treasurer, and sixteen (16) representatives - two (2) from each of the eight (8) regions.

4.2.3 The eight (8) regions are:

(1) NORTHEAST: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York; Rhode Island, Vermont;


(2) MID-ATLANTIC: Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia, District of Columbia


(3) SOUTHEAST: North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, US Territories in the Atlantic;

(4) NORTH CENTRAL: Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Indiana;

(5) SOUTH CENTRAL: Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas;


(6) NORTHWEST: Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Alaska;


(7) SOUTHWEST: Arizona, Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Nevada, California, Hawaii, U.S. Territories in the Pacific;

(8) INTERNATIONAL: Two (2) representatives elected at-large from outside the United States and its territories.

As the transition to these new regions takes place beginning January 1, 2015, membership records will come to reflect the new regional alignments at the time of membership renewals and as new members join. Further, current regional representatives to the Board will continue serving until the end of their elected terms of office. Representatives for regions without current Board representation will be nominated and elected in a one-time special election, with the understanding that there will temporarily be an increased number of Directors until current members leave the Board through attrition as their terms of office come to an end.

4.2.4 The terms of Board members shall begin on January 1 and end three years later on December 31. Board members, with the exception of the chair and chair-elect (see 4.2.1 above), may serve for two consecutive three (3) year terms. After serving for two consecutive terms, Board members must resign from the Board for at least one (1) three-year term, but may be re-elected to the Board following at least one (1) term off the Board.

4.2.5 Nominations to all Board positions shall be made by a Nominations Committee, a standing committee of the Board. The Nominations Committee shall consist of at least three members representing at least three regions, who will be appointed by the Chairperson and the Chairperson Elect collaboratively. The Nominations Committee shall meet with the Chairperson and the Chairperson Elect before the annual board and general membership meetings to conduct their responsibilities. Ballots shall be emailed by the Board Secretary in mid-November of each year in which there are Board members to be elected or Board positions to be filled to ensure that the results are returned no later than December 15th. Additional nominations may be made by petition of at least five (5) ACOSA members.

4.2.6 Ex-officio members of the Board, without formal voting powers, shall include the immediate past chairperson of the Board, the Coordinator of the ACOSA Symposium, the editors of the Journal of Community Practice, and the ACOSA newsletter editor.

Section 3 – Responsibilities of Members of the Board of Directors

4.3.1 Each Board member serves as an officer or member of at least one standing committee.

4.3.2 By mutual agreement, one regional representative will actively recruit ACOSA members from the region. This includes outreach to potential individual and organizational members. The second regional representative will serve as liaison between ACOSA and other associations and organizations that have macro practice goals. This includes identifying and building connections with related local, regional, and national organizations with headquarters in the region.

Section 4 - Meetings of the Board

The Board of Directors shall meet at least once annually in conjunction with the ACOSA Symposium. Additional meetings may be called by the Chairperson as deemed appropriate. At least two weeks notice shall be given for special Board meetings. Telephone or web-based conferences are acceptable alternatives to face -to-face meetings.

Section 5 – Quorum

A majority (50% plus one vote) of the elected members of the Board (11) shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of any official business. All members of the board must be contacted for telephone or web-based conferences.

Section 6 - Vacancies

A Director may resign by giving written notice to all Board members. This resignation is effective immediately and does not require action by the Board. The Board Chairperson may appoint an appropriate person to complete the term of office of the resigned director, in consultation with the other officers.

Section 7 – Affirming Board Diversity

It is the goal of ACOSA to achieve and maintain a diverse Board. The Secretary shall annually report progress on the diversity of the board to the Board and membership.

Section 8 - Financial Responsibilities of Board Members

The financial management of the Association is the Board’s responsibility. The Board should exercise oversight over all financial activities of the Association. At a minimum the Board will:

a. Arrange for an annual audit of the financial records of the Association. The Board shall determine whether an internal or external audit will be performed.

b. The Board shall approve an annual budget for the Association. It may, at its discretion, delegate the preparation of the budget to the Chair or other Board members that it may designate.



Section 1 - General

The officers of the Board are the Chairperson, Chairperson Elect, Secretary, and Treasurer. These officers are elected directly by the ACOSA membership at the Annual Meeting. Officers are elected for a three (3) year term with the exception of Chairperson and Chairperson-Elect (see 4.2.1 above). The Chairperson-Elect has a one-year term that begins at the start of the last year of the Chairperson’s two-year term. At the end of this one-year term, the Chairperson-Elect transitions to the position of Chairperson for a two-year term. This is designed to ensure a smooth transition in leadership.

Section 2 - Chairperson

The Chairperson shall preside at all the meetings of the Board. S/he shall be authorized to take official action in contracts and agreements on behalf of the Board. The Chairperson shall ensure that the goals of ACOSA are addressed, and can appoint individuals and committees to carry out the work of ACOSA. The Chairperson provides supervision, guidance, and support to the ACOSA members who are selected by the Board to lead the ACOSA Symposium.

Section 3 - Chairperson Elect

A Chairperson Elect will be elected one year before the end of the two-year term of the Chairperson. The Chairperson-Elect will become the Chairperson after the end of the one-year term. The current Chairperson can also be Chairperson-Elect, but will only have one vote on the Board. The Chairperson-Elect shall chair Board meetings in the absence of the Chairperson, and shall accept additional duties as assigned by the Chairperson.

Section 4 - Secretary of the Board

5.4.1 The Secretary is a member of the Nominating Committee with the responsibility for communicating to members about nominations to the Board and for preparing, mailing, and tabulating the results of each election ballot.

5.4.2 The Secretary shall also ensure that members are kept informed about ACOSA activities and decisions. The Board may authorize the production of the ACOSA newsletter, in which case, the Secretary will provide the supervision, guidance, and support to an appointed editor.

5.4.3 The Secretary shall work closely with the Chairperson of the Association to ensure regular communication with the membership, Board and other entities as the Chairperson may direct.

Section 5 - Treasurer

5.5.1 The Treasurer shall be responsible for the care and custody of all the funds in the name of ACOSA in a bank or other financial institution as selected by the Board of Directors. The Treasurer shall ensure that the financial management policies as established by the Board are carried out in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. The Treasurer may delegate fiscal responsibilities, including any and all responsibilities listed below, to a designee selected by the Board. The Treasurer shall work with the Chairperson to oversee the designee and the Association’s overall fiscal management.

5.5.2 The Treasurer shall receive all dues and other revenues of the Association.

5.5.3 The Treasurer will maintain the membership records of the Association.

5.5.4 The Treasurer will provide the publisher of the Journal of Community Practice the necessary membership information the publisher needs to enter a journal subscription for the member. Simultaneously, the Treasurer shall disburse funds to pay for the subscription.

5.5.5 The Treasurer will serve as a liaison between ACOSA and the publisher of the Journal of Community Practice.

5.5.6 The Treasurer will maintain the Association’s financial records in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. The financial records will be maintained on an accrual basis. The Treasurer shall prepare and submit to the Board annually a statement of financial condition within 60 days after the completion the Association’s fiscal year. The statement will contain a balance sheet and a statement of income and expenses.

5.5.7 The Treasurer shall submit to the Board Secretary copies of the following records within 60 days of completion of the Association’s fiscal year: 1) a printed general ledger, 2) a balance sheet, 3) a statement of income and expenses, and 4) a chart of accounts. The Secretary will include these documents in the documents to be permanently saved for the Association.


6.1 ACOSA standing committees include the following: Nominating, Award, Journal Advisory, Symposium, Resource Development and Communications & Media. Ad hoc committees can be established by a majority vote of the Board.

6.2 Committees serve an advisory function. Committees make recommendations to the Board. The Board has decision-making power.

6.3 Both Board and general members may be members of standing or ad hoc committees. At the annual Board Meeting, the Chairperson and Chairperson Elect shall collaboratively appoint members to standing committees. At the annual Membership Meeting, the Chairperson or the Chairperson Elect will announce members of each committee.

6.4 Ad hoc committees may be formed by the Chairperson and the Chairperson Elect collaboratively at any time. Ad hoc committees are formed for a specific, time-limited purpose. Each ad hoc committee will be dissolved once its purpose has been met.


7.1 The Board of Directors is responsible for the planning and execution of an Annual ACOSA Symposium. The Board of Directors may establish the position of Annual Symposium Coordinator. The Symposium Coordinator shall act as an ongoing liaison between ACOSA Board and the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) to plan and coordinate the Annual Symposium. If they Symposium Coordinator is not a current Board member, s/he r is a non-voting, ex-officio member of the Board of Directors.

7.2 The Chairperson, in consultation with the Symposium Coordinator, will select Symposium Co- Chairs two years in advance of the Annual Symposium from the Board or general membership. One (1) of the Symposium Co-Chairs will be selected from the geographic region of the country where the Annual Symposium will be held.


The Board of Directors may authorize a member newsletter, and the Chairperson may appoint a Newsletter Editor. If so, the Newsletter Editor will be supervised by the Board Secretary. If the Editor is not a current Board member, s/he will be a non-voting ex-officio member of the Board of Directors.


The Board of Directors may authorize the preparation and production of a professional peer reviewed journal, titled Journal of Community Practice, to further the purposes and goals of the Association. The Board shall elect the Journal Editor or Editors. The Journal Editors are non-voting ex-officio members of the Board of Directors.


10.1 These Articles of Association must be reviewed by an ad hoc Bylaws Committee of the Board at a minimum of every five (5) years.

10.2 These Articles of Association may be revised and/or amended by a two-thirds vote of all members present at the Annual Meeting of the Board of Directors. The proposed amendment shall first receive the endorsement in writing of a minimum of four elected members of the Board of Directors. It shall then be communicated to all ACOSA members and Board members at least one month prior to the Annual Meeting.


These articles represent an amendment “of the whole” of the original bylaws which were approved by a vote of the membership, on 3/8/87.

The bylaws, as revised on 2/28/2000, incorporate all amendments approved by the membership on:







The bylaws, as revised on 10/25/14, incorporate all amendments approved by the membership since the revisions to the bylaws dated 2/28/00.