A message from the Association Treasurer regarding the Membership Information Form
A proposal that the Association adopt a Membership Information Form to obtain basic information about its current membership was agreed at the October Management Committee meeting at Danbury. The form is especially aimed at those members elected prior to the introduction of a membership form (for voluntary completion) in 2003.
The membership of the Association is currently around 1,220. Of the current membership over 54% were elected prior to 2003, the year when voluntary completion of a membership form came into being. At best the forms use was patchy in the early years but gradually completion of the membership form has become more commonplace and as a result of the recent rule change is now mandatory.
As an Association, other than some anecdotal information, we know little about the majority of our members apart from the information that appears in the annual report.
The Charity Commission’s best practice and model constitution for charitable associations states that: “The trustees must keep a register of name and addresses of the members which must be made available to any member upon request.” This is underpinned by the statement that “It is very important for the good administration of the charity to keep the register of members up to date: failure to do so can result in a number of problems, including serious difficulties in calling annual or extraordinary meetings”. While we are able to communicate with our members via email groups, District tower correspondent groups and the website, the Association now needs to address the fundamental issue which is a lack of knowledge of its actual membership.
The Membership Information Form will obtain the same information that is requested on the current membership form while additionally requesting the age profile of individual member.
The Membership Information Form will be available from 1st January and at all District ADM’s and online. Completion of the form will be voluntary but the Management Committee hopes that as many members as possible will complete and return their forms.
Andrew Brewster, Association Treasurer