Tips on preparing for your department convention

Posted On: Monday, 08 April 2024

Spring and summer signal convention season for the American Legion Auxiliary. For some departments, convention might be wrapping up, but for many of you, convention preparations are still underway. Governing documents play a lead role at convention, so we’ve come up with a quick checklist to help you prepare, conduct, and close the governance business of your 2024 convention. 

Prior to department convention:

• Review your governing documents and identify any areas that need to be updated. Be sure to check the Constitution & Bylaws section at for a list of changes to the national Constitution & Bylaws and Standing Rules since November 2023. 

• Draft your proposed changes on a three-column amendment form (found on the C&B page of the national website), including detailed rationale (reasons) for the proposed change.

• Distribute proposed amendments to membership in preparation of the department convention vote.

• Host a virtual Q&A for members to ask clarifying questions prior to the vote at department convention. This is a perfect time to get familiar with free options like Zoom.

During department convention:

• Have copies of proposed amendments on hand for members to review.

• Consider options for “live editing” on your convention screens. This allows members to see any changes made to the proposed amendments in real time.

• The chair should announce the outcome of each vote in true numbers, not percentages. For example, the chair would announce that the vote was “60 in favor” and “40 opposed.”

• Be sure to include the voting totals in the department convention meeting minutes.

After convention:

• Make all necessary updates to the governing documents following the convention votes.

• Announce any governing document amendments to all members.

• If your unit/department has a website, consider posting a list of all amendments to the governing documents and an updated version of the full document to the unit/department website so members can download the most up-to-date version.

• Have a Minutes Review Committee edit and approve the convention minutes. Make the finalized convention minutes available to members via the website or other reliable communication methods.


Get the latest version of the ALA National Constitution, Bylaws, and Standing Rules online at You can download the file from the national website for free, or purchase printed copies through American Legion 
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ALA Mission

In the spirit of Service, Not Self, the mission of the American Legion Auxiliary is to support The American Legion and to honor the sacrifice of those who serve by enhancing the lives of our veterans, military, and their families, both at home and abroad. For God and Country, we advocate for veterans, educate our citizens, mentor youth, and promote patriotism, good citizenship, peace and security.