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Become a Member Club

Interested in Becoming a Member Club?

Thank you for your interest in becoming a member club of Oregon Youth Soccer Association!

This page outlines resources to assist you in becoming a member club. Any group interested in becoming a member must first be organized as an Oregon nonprofit, public benefit corporation, with members.

Applying for Membership

Nonprofit corporations that have adopted appropriate bylaws may apply for membership to Oregon Youth Soccer Association.

In addition to the application form and documents listed in the application form, new clubs should submit a letter outlining the club’s programs and the players who will be served. If an organization is applying to be recognized as a club in a geographic area that is already being served by an OYSA member club, the letter should explain how the prospective club’s programs will coordinate with the existing club to increase overall membership in the association—by reaching new players, providing new programs, or otherwise attracting players who would not otherwise be participating in OYSA. The letter to OYSA should also document contacts with the existing club(s) in the area to be served by the new club.

The prospective member club must provide documentation that it has fields for practices and games. If the organization does not own facilities, it should provide a letter or contract with the owner of facilities confirming an agreement to allow the use of fields for practices and games. If the club is seeking a waiver of any requirements, the letter submitted to OYSA should state which requirements the club is asking to be waived and the reasons for requesting the waiver(s).

Apply for a Full Club Membership

Apply for an Affiliate Club Membership

Forming a Corporation

A corporation is formed by filing Articles of Incorporation (Articles) with the Corporation Division of the Oregon Secretary of State. While you may have a lawyer prepare Articles for your group, a form that meets all of the requirements for incorporation is available on the Corporation Division website. Once the Articles have been filed, the incorporators (the persons who signed the Articles) need to meet to elect the initial slate of officers and directors. The newly created Board of Directors then adopts Bylaws and Policies to govern the club.

Bylaws provide basic governance structure for the corporation, defining who are the members, what officers and directors the corporation will have, who may vote for officers and directors and when elections will occur, etc. Bylaws are usually intended to give broad guidance to a club. After an initial set of bylaws is adopted by the Board of Directors, Bylaws are usually only subject to modification by a vote of the members.

OYSA requires a member club’s Bylaws to include:

  • A statement of affiliation with OYSA
  • A statement of non-discrimination
  • Distribution of assets on dissolution that meets IRS requirements for a tax exempt organization
  • At least 5 directors
  • Grievance, protest, and appeal provisions that provide due process for handling member complaints
  • Risk management provisions that comply with OYSA risk management policy

Policies are more specific instructions to the Club’s officers and staff that cover recurring operational issues. Policies should be adopted by the board and, in most cases, should only be subject to modification by the Board. Policies should be used to provide written instructions for recurring issues such as team formation, coach selection, financial operations, and the like. OYSA has sample policies for recreational team formation, competitive team formation, club financial policies, refund policies, coaching selection policies, and codes of conduct.

Registering with DOJ

Nonprofit organizations that are organized as Public Benefit corporations are required to register with the Oregon Department of Justice (DOJ). Download the registration form from the DOJ website. A registered charity is required to submit an annual report to the DOJ about its activities. The annual report form is also available on the DOJ website.

The DOJ website also has a great deal of helpful information for charitable organizations and persons who may be interested in making charitable donations. Clubs that are considering using raffles, bingo, or other charitable gaming activities for fund-raising will find the charitable gaming information especially helpful.

Applying for Tax-Exempt Status

Non-profit corporations are not automatically tax-exempt. Exemption from payment of income taxes can only be obtained by submitting an application to the IRS. Most public benefit corporations that obtain their financial support from a combination of membership dues and donations will qualify for tax exempt status. Obtaining tax exempt status can be very helpful to an organization’s fundraising efforts. Many grants are only given to exempt organizations.

The IRS has a large number of resources to assist organizations in choosing whether to file for exempt status, and how to maintain that status. Links to many of those resources are collected in Tax information for Charitable Organizations. The application for exemption under section 501(c)(3) is Form 1023. The form, instructions, informational publications, and an online course about applying for exempt status are all available on the IRS website. Another excellent resource for beginning and maintaining exempt status is the IRS Stay Exempt website which has information and instructional videos covering how an organization can become exempt and then maintain exempt status.


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