26. Members

Who are the members?

You may not have members, it depends on how your organisation is structured. If you have members you should define them clearly in writing ideally in the constitution, standing orders or member’s handbook. Bear in mind that in company law members are generally referred to as ‘subscribers’.

What do we need to think about when defining membership?

1. How you become a member

2. Membership Criteria – such as:
a) Geographical (i.e. live in a particular neighbourhood, county, estate etc)
b) Status (i.e. single parents if you’re a singe parent group)
c) Age (i.e. pensioners for a pensioner group)
d) and a whole range of other criteria i.e. those with a disability, users of a particular facility, parents of children at a play group etc etc.
e) Any exceptions to the above (for instance you might want the ability to co-opt 1 or 2 others – your choice will be limited if all criteria have to apply to them.)

3. If there are annual subs and if so how much and when they are collected.
4. What members do (i.e. vote in the committee, approve the annual accounts etc)
5. How you stop being a member. (Removal, retirement, resignation etc)

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A Word About Words

This site is aimed at those who govern (control) small organisations - whether they are charities, companies, both or neither. Those who govern them may be called a variety of names. We have chosen to use mainly 'management committee' and occasionally 'committee member' or 'trustee'. more...
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