A thoughtful update on our plans and a discussion on Associate Membership
Please note that this meeting will be held at Bangor Golf Club.
Lunch: Sausages, mash and onion gravy
Information on Associate Membership from Rotary Website
What is Associate Membership?
The Rotary GB&I Associate Membership Pilot Programme allows an individual to become associated and acquainted with a Rotary Club, its members, its programmes and projects and the expectations of club membership with the intent of becoming an active member within a designated period of time.
Is there an established membership approval process to be used by clubs in Rotary GB&I?
No, it is up to each club to decide what this process should be. It is best to develop this process before inviting individuals to join as associate members.
Is this type of membership the same as being ‘A Friend of Rotary’?
Many clubs do have supporters who are considered Friends of Rotary but no official programme is in place. Many of the friends turn up to support clubs at events rather than have an interest in joining. The Associate Membership pilot is in place to give people the opportunity to experience at first hand the work and fellowship of Rotary without the need to become an active member. It can easily work alongside any programme that a club has with Friends. As a simple comparison a ‘Friend of Rotary’ is more likely to be a valued supporter but is unlikely to become an active member whereas an associate member is a potential active member.
How does the Rotary club approve prospective members?
This is for each club to decide. Processes may vary from club to club but it will be helpful if that process is shown to prospective members. The process can be informal or a more formal ‘Seven day letter’ method.
Does the associate member have a classification?
The classification of the associate member will be established by the club. Because the associate member is not an official member of the Rotary club this classification does not count towards the classification limits set out in Article 8 of The Standard Rotary GB&I Club Constitution.
What are the attendance requirements of an associate member?
It is for the club to decide the attendance requirements of an associate member as well as what is expected in club-sponsored service projects and club social events. Make-ups should be determined by the club.
Are associate members registered with RI?
At present associate members are not listed on the RI database as official members of Rotary. It may be possible to register them on club or district databases depending on which type of database is in use.
Do associate members wear badges?
Yes, if the club wishes this. It is up to the club to consider what references should be on the badge in line with the club traditions. Some Rotary suppliers have associate member badges available.
Do associate members have a vote on club matters?
For the purpose of general meetings it is up to the club to decide whether an associate member may vote on club matters. Because associate members are not official members of Rotary International they cannot take part in RI or Rotary GB&I voting. Districts have the right to decide whether they will accept an associate member as a voting member of a club.
Can an associate member hold office in the Rotary club?
Associate members are not entitled to hold any club officer position but they are encouraged to work with club committees.
What are the fees for an associate member?
There are no RI or Rotary GB&I dues for an associate member. Districts may decide if they wish to charge a fee. Clubs may also decide if they want to charge a fee. It is acceptable that fees vary from club to club as they do with active members.
Will an associate member have to pay the Rotary GB&I affiliation fee?
No. Associate members are not official members and do not pay the affiliation fee.
Can an associate member convert to active membership?
Yes, this can be done at any time and the club should determine a process of how this can be achieved and record this. This will take into consideration the way in which the associate member was introduced to the club in the first place. For example, if the club used the ‘seven day letter’ process it may not wish to go through the full process again. On conversion to active membership an affiliation fee is payable to Rotary GB&I as with all new active members. This is £15 in 2015-2016.
Can an active member of the club convert his/her membership to associate?
No. This pilot is about ways in which new members may be introduced to Rotary. Under the pilot it is not permissible to convert from active to associate.
Is there a process for terminating the membership of an associate member?
The club should consider a process for terminating membership. Article 12 of The Standard Rotary GB&I Club Constitution may be helpful.
Is there a designated time for an individual to be an associate member?
It is for clubs to decide. However, the purpose of this pilot is to encourage new active membership so clubs may wish to consider how long active membership should continue to maintain this goal. Six months to two years is a suggested guide.
It seems that clubs can make a number of decisions about the processes they use with regard to associate members. Surely, it would be better if Rotary GB&I agreed upon these processes?
We are still at the stage of piloting these processes within Rotary GB&I. In due course, an evaluation will be carried out and good practices from that may be spread to clubs.
Do clubs need to record the way in which they are introducing pilots for their own purposes?
There is no instruction to do this. However, for clarity and so that all understand the way a pilot is conducted clubs may wish to consider adding short Standing Orders to their Club Constitution.