Talk:Membership

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Age limit

Copy of posting to the list:

Thanks for putting up these draft rules on meta, Mike - I think they're a great basis to start work on and are good for drawing out the key issues we need to discuss.

I wanted to suggest a few changes on different topics and though it might be useful to fork off into different threads to cover the different areas.

First - age.

The draft rules say:

> Guarantor Membership is open to all ... that are over the age of 16 > Details required on the Application Form ... Date of Birth (required) ... If under 18, then signature of parent or guardian (required if under 18)

I posted a message on this list about some previous research I had done into under 18 members. (here) In essence it says that if a person under 18 became a guarantor member and the company went under it would be unable to claim the £1 from that person as the contract would be "voidable" - hence why a counter-signature is needed.

I would like to propose three changes, the first similar to Tom Dalton's comment:

First, remove the limit of 16. I think if someone under 16 wants to join I'm not sure why we should prevent them and I don't see the advantage in restricting membership like this.

Second, rather than requiring the counter-signature of a parent, I suggest we just require a counter-signature of someone over 18. I don't think it needs to be a parent - it's only £1 and as long as someone is happy to cough up that should be fine.

Finally, if the first change is adopted, I don't see the need to ask for a date of birth. Of course this is needed for directors but otherwise I think it is unnecessary. It would also be better from a child protection point of view meaning that someone who gained access to the membership lists wouldn't be able to immediately identify minors. It would also help guard against ID fraud given that they often need dates of birth. AndrewRT 23:56, 30 October 2008 (UTC)

Again, I was under the impression that this was a legal requirement for a guarantor member. If not, then I have no objections to removing the age requirement. I would disagree with the second, though - the signature of a parent or guarantor is the standard way of making sure that the child has the permission and support of their legal guardian. If someone else signs it, then I think we're in muddy water.
With respect to the date of birth, perhaps this could simply be replaced with a checkbox saying that the person is over the age of 18.
Mike Peel 00:14, 31 October 2008 (UTC)
I don't know why we would require the "permission and support" of the parent, although I can see hwo this would be a good idea to get. I think a check box saying I'm under/over 18 would be a good solution. AndrewRT 01:11, 31 October 2008 (UTC)
In such an organisation as we are proposing, where "Membership is open to all" is a primary aim, it is important to attempt to foresee and remove any bars to membership and attempt to be as inclusive as possible. I see Mike uses the phrase "the signature of a parent or guarantor is the standard way ...". It may well be (although the proposed rules use "parent or guardian", rather than guarantor), but it is not necessarily as inclusive as possible. We could consider, for example, the case of a 17 year-old married woman. I see no muddy water in having anyone competent act as guarantor for any minor - such guarantor doesn't have to be parent/guardian in other circumstances. That's all we need to meet the requirements of the law and anything more is likely to produce exclusions that we didn't intend. --RexxS 02:44, 9 November 2008 (UTC)

UK residents

The draft currently restricts this to UK residents. I suggest this is removed, to allow, for instance, non-residents, former residents and UK citizens to be accepted at the discretion of the Board. AndrewRT 23:57, 30 October 2008 (UTC)

I was under the impression that this was a legal requirement; if that is not the case, then great. Perhaps I misunderstood before: is that only a requirement for directors? Mike Peel 00:08, 31 October 2008 (UTC)
Members can certainly be non-residents - otherwise microsoft (for instance) wouldn't be able to set up a subsidiary company in Britain. AndrewRT 01:10, 31 October 2008 (UTC)
OK, great. I obviously got the requirements for directors confused with that for members. I've removed this restriction from the page. Thanks. Mike Peel 09:46, 31 October 2008 (UTC)

Membership fee

"annual fee, to be decided by the next Board at the first General Meeting"

The next Board wont exist until after the first AGM! At the very least, the initial Board should propose a fee to be ratified by the first AGM. Personally, I support charging a fee from the offset, although having the AGM set future fees. AndrewRT 00:00, 31 October 2008 (UTC)

As per the discussion at the last board meeting, I'll be sending around a message to everyone that's shown an interest in WMUK2 to ask them what the membership fees should be. The consensus so far has been that we should charge a membership fee from the start, which should be for the period of 1 year. The next board can increase or decrease this as they want - if increase, then early members effectively get a discount, and if decrease then early members could be credited/partially refunded.

In a discussion on the mailing list, two suggestions were put forward: Geni suggested an amount of £10, while Thomas Dalton suggested £10 for consessions with the regular amount being £20. Andrew Turvey suggested that "we should charge a minimum fee of about GBP2 but also set a recommended fee of GBP15."

Please leave your thoughts on the fee below. Thanks. Mike Peel 09:58, 8 November 2008 (UTC)

I won't comment on the fee just yet, but will board members also be obliged to pay it? Scarian 20:09, 8 November 2008 (UTC)
It hasn't been discussed, but my belief is that we should unless members say otherwise. Mike Peel 20:19, 8 November 2008 (UTC)
You need to be a member to be a board member, so yes. There's no reason the fee can't be waived for certain people, but I think there's a clear conflict of interest in the board making that decision, so it would need to be proposed as a motion at an general meeting. --Tango 20:23, 8 November 2008 (UTC)
I stand my suggestion mentioned above (£10/£20), although I do see the benefit to a system like Andrew suggests. I would suggest a slightly higher minimum (say £5) since having a pay a significant sum ensures a certain level of commitment before you can be involved in the decision making. One option is to waive (or reduce) the fee for people that are involved in chapter activities since they contribute in that way rather than financially. It becomes a little difficult to organise, though, especially since people would generally join before getting involved. The board could consider requests for free or discounted membership on a case-by-case basis, though. I suggest a preliminary rate be set (fairly low - maybe £5/£10) and then have a vote on several options at the AGM (no preference voting or you're pretty much guaranteed to get the middle option!). If the AGM chooses a higher rate, existing members just end up getting a discount (no bad thing), trying to charge top-up fees wouldn't work. --Tango 20:23, 8 November 2008 (UTC)
Can I suggest that you stick to figures divisible by 12 and encourage monthly direct debits, e.g. minimum £12, suggested £24 for people in employment or whatever? --BozMo 22:14, 8 November 2008 (UTC)
Direct debits would be great, but I don't think we're in a position to accept them yet. There are all kinds of hoops to jump through before you can do direct debits. Making the fee divisible by 12 so that we're ready once we are set up for direct debits might be a good idea, though. --Tango 22:24, 8 November 2008 (UTC)
Having been through the process, I can confirm that receiving direct debits is not the easiest of things to set up. If you wish to retain membership then either monthly or annual standing orders are the best compromise. Sending out reminders and chasing cheque payments is a time-consuming process and best avoided if possible. The only problem with standing orders is when the fee changes - what do you do with part-paid members who forget to change their standing orders? In any case, if you want to make sure nobody is barred from membership solely for financial reasons, then make it as easy to pay as possible: monthly SO's really ought to be available, so a fee divisible by 12 makes sense. For similar reasons, I'd suggest that the fee structure should have two levels: "unwaged" - perhaps as low as £3 p.a. and "waged" - £12 p.a. or £24 p.a. if that much income is really needed. You'll need to work out some idea of likely expenditure and income before deciding that. I realise that only honesty would determine whether a member pays the lower or higher fee, but my experience is that it works for voluntary organisations anyway. --RexxS 03:05, 9 November 2008 (UTC)
Before the first AGM, I think that we want to stick with cheques, cash or bank transfers, rather than direct debit - not only for time reasons with setting up a direct debit, but also because whatever membership fee we establish now will be revisited at the next AGM, and I would be unsurprised if it were changed.
I'm not sure whether we want to do monthly direct debits rather than yearly - it's easier for both sides to keep track of yearly payments, and I think monthly payments is an unusual way to do it (every society and charity I'm a member of does things yearly).
Something to bear in mind is that we can always ask for donations on the membership application. So my personal inclination would be to go with a fixed amount - say £5-6 for unwaged and £10-12 for waged - and then ask for a donation (either one-off or annually) of some amount (say £5/10/20/any other amount chosen by the applicant). Mike Peel 10:28, 9 November 2008 (UTC)
Monthly direct debits make things sound cheaper - a good example is the NSPCC's £2 a month campaign. People are often more willing to pay £2 a month than £24 a year, it's also easier for people on low incomes to manage their finances if they have the same expenses every month rather than having to remember to save up the £2 each month so they have the £24 available at the end of the year. I would go with a standard definition for the concessions rate - under 18's, full time students and OAPs. "Waged" and "unwaged" are far too vague terms. I see no reason not to just trust people to tell the truth about their eligibility for concessions, although it's easy enough to verify if we ever have a need to. We should make the application form as flexible as possible, giving people as many options for what to pay and how to pay as we can (membership for just this year or recurring? monthly or annually? addition donation? if so, one-off or recurring? if recurring, how often? etc.). Having suggested amounts for the additional donation is good, I suggest the smallest be equal to the full membership fee (ie. encourage people to pay double). There should also be a "I am eligible for the concession rate but will pay the full rate anyway" option to encourage people to do that. --Tango 15:10, 9 November 2008 (UTC)

i'm not sure divisible by 12 is a good idea. if we started at £12, the only possible way to increase the membership fee would be doubling it to £24. this is not very flexible. it should be fine to make sure the fee divides well (e.g. £18 / 12 = £1.50). Kate

Indeed, but £12 is much better than £10 in that respect, with only a slight difference in value. We won't be able to stick to exact multiples of 12, necessarily, but we should try to avoid really weird monthly rates (£10/12=83.3p). We should at least try and keep the monthly rates as multiples of 5p which means annual rates being multiples of 60p. However, we probably want the annual rate to be a multiple of 50p rather than something more obscure, so that gives us options of any multiple of £3. So that gives £12/£6 as a good rate to start off with. We could increase that to £18/£9 if it turns out we need more money, but I think donations will be our main source of income, membership fees should be kept low. --Tango 23:36, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
In terms of amount, I'm fairly flexible. Work out what you need as operating capital for the work you intend to carry out and go from there. In terms of membership tiers though, I have a couple of questions. Firstly, what are your forecasts for membership take-up, and will offering a tiered membership approach increase that take-up? Secondly, what tiers are you contemplating - will you have a full-rate regular membership and a half-rate concessionary/student/unemployed rate, or are you planning further rate points? Sorry to leap in halfway through a discussion, but those are what came to mind as I was reading this thread. Gazimoff 21:35, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
The plan is for just a full rate and a concession rate. They aren't different tiers of membership, just of membership fees. I would hope for 100-300 members within 2 years, judging by what other chapters have managed. Membership fees will be a fairly small portion of our revenue though, I'd expect - the majority will probably come from donations. --Tango 23:55, 12 December 2008 (UTC)

Rejected memberships

The articles already specify:

2.3(a) The Directors may only refuse an application for membership if, acting reasonably and properly, they consider it to be in the best interests of the charity to refuse the application.

This strikes me as fairly broad but also means the Board will need a good reason to reject an applicant.

My reading of these draft rules are that they would further restrict the Board's discretion on these matters. Is this the intention? I certainly agree that the membership form should explicitly require an applicant to state that they support the charity's Object and wont bring it into disrepute but I'm not sure it's a good idea to restrict the Board like this.

It then goes on to say:

"Invalid reasons for rejecting membership include behaviour, activity or inactivity on the Wikipedia Foundation websites"

What if, say a repeat sock-puppet or vandal applied to join the charity? Would their membership help us achieve our Object or would it hinder us? What if they had disrupted, say, discussions on these meta pages or the email list? Both these examples could be legitimate reasons for refusing membership. Restricting the Board as proposed could end up causing real problems for a Board that wanted to bar a disruptive applicant but found they couldn't. AndrewRT 00:12, 31 October 2008 (UTC)

Register of Members

I've done some investigation into the legal requirements for the Register of Members.

Secton 113 of the Companies Act 2006 requires us to keep a register showing, for each member:

  • their name
  • their address
  • the date they started being a member
  • the date they finished being a member
  • the class of membership they hold (if more than one class exists)

Entries may be removed ten years after a person ceases to be a member. (20 years under the Companies Act 1985)

The register must be indexed if we have more than 50 members.

The register must be kept available for inspection at the Registered Office or at an alternative address registered with Companies House. The details used to be shown on the Annual Return filed with Companies House, but this now only shows the names of members and not the addresses.

Anyone - member or nonmember - may demand to inspect the Register if they give notice stating their own name, address and the purpose of the request. A nonmember may be charged a fee for complying. The charity must either comply with the request within five days or may apply to a court if they think the purpose is "not proper".

Whilst we may include more information in our records (e.g. a person's username) we don't have to include that in the disclosed register.

I have looked into what is valid as an "address" for a member. It is usual for this to be person's usual residential address. We will be covered by the Companies Act 1985 until 1 October 09 when the relevant sections of the 2006 Act come into place. Sections 1141-2 of the 2006 Act state:

1142 Requirement to give service address

Any obligation under the Companies Acts to give a person’s address is, unless otherwise expressly provided, to give a service address for that person.

1141 Service addresses

(1) In the Companies Acts a “service address”, in relation to a person, means an address at which documents may be effectively served on that person.

(2) The Secretary of State may by regulations specify conditions with which a service address must comply.

I'm going to look into whether we can use service addresses for members and get back. AndrewRT 01:08, 31 October 2008 (UTC)

Gift Aid info

Should we collect/record extra info relating to Gift Aid from the outset? Eg willingness to use gift aid, and the info on the model gift aid form like HMRC tax status. Rwendland 23:59, 8 November 2008 (UTC)

I'm not sure that we can ask for gift aid before we're registered with HMRC... The example gift aid form has an option for "Please treat All gifts of money that I have made in the past 6 years and all future gifts of money that I make from the date of this declaration as Gift Aid donations", so gift aid could be recovered from payments made now without it, and I'd expect that the initial members will be some of the most eager to see WMUK2 do well, so would probably fill in a retroactive gift aid form if we asked them (and if they pay sufficient tax for them to do so). Mike Peel 10:32, 9 November 2008 (UTC)
I think that's correct. However, registering with HMRC should only take a week or two (you can send the letter as soon as you hear back from Companies House), so it might be worth waiting until you have that done before accepting membership applications. --Tango 15:00, 9 November 2008 (UTC)
I was just thinking of collecting the relevant data from initial members (and allowing for it in any database/spreadsheets & Data Protection declartions), to minimise hassle later when the registration is done. e.g. note whatever data would be needed in the "Data retention" section of this article. Rwendland 16:03, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
The model form doesn't include any information we wouldn't already be collecting anyway. The only extra bit is the bit agreeing to them being gift aid donations, and that's the bit we can't do yet. --Tango 16:13, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

Form

Is it possible to turn the pdf into a form someone can fill in online which is automatically emailed to the MemSec? AndrewRT 20:34, 29 November 2008 (UTC)

The form requires a signature - doing it by email wouldn't allow that (digital signatures aren't much use). --Tango 21:24, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
Tango's right: submitting the application form needs to be done by paper. The same would apply for standing orders and gift aid. Most renewals should be done by email, though. Mike Peel 22:24, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
We are talking about entering into a contract online - something that people do every time they buy something over the net. Just put a box that you have to cross to indicate acceptance and use that as evidence. Looking on the internet I found this guidance here which may help on the legal principles. Forcing applicants to print forms and post them means we will get fewer members! Surely we should be doing everything we can to make it as easy as possible for people to join? AndrewRT 23:13, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
We're not talking about buying something, we're talking about joining a company, which has much longer lasting implications. I'm very wary of relying on a random website for legal advice about this. Has this been tested in a court of law?
Another thing to bear in mind is that online forms are very easy to automatically fill in with false information, including payment information. Also, if someone is really interested in supporting and helping a charity, then filling in a paper form and posting it is hardly onerous. Mike Peel 23:36, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
While we don't want to make it unnecessarily difficult for people to join, we do need to make sure people take it seriously because it is a very serious thing. Requiring them to put an actual signature on a piece of paper is a very good way of doing that. --Tango 00:00, 30 November 2008 (UTC)

Email

Couple of things I noticed:

First, we can only give formal notices via email if the member has explicitly consented (see Wikimedia_UK_v2.0/AoA#Interpretation) Should we include this consent on the application form?

Second, where we give notices by email the CSA guidelines suggest we tell them member that "the company’s obligation is satisfied when it transmits an electronic message and that it cannot be held responsible for a failure in transmission beyond its control" (see Wikimedia_UK_v2.0/AoA#Notices AndrewRT 16:42, 30 November 2008 (UTC)

The form makes it clear that if you give an email address it will be used as the primary means of contacting you, so giving an email address could be considered implicit consent. It wouldn't hurt to make that consent explicit, though. You could add a disclaimer to that effect to the standard footer giving the registered address, etc. --Tango 17:12, 30 November 2008 (UTC)

Rights of Membership

From the email list (thanks Tom Dalton!):

"while the responsibilities are there, the rights aren't - if and when a new version is created, it should probably mention that all members are entitled to attend and vote at AGMs and EGMs."

AndrewRT 19:13, 3 December 2008 (UTC)

That's a very good point; I'll add a mention of that on the application form the next time we update it (probably once we have the bank account). Mike Peel 09:00, 4 December 2008 (UTC)
The newsletter ([1]) had some good text you could use as a start: "Members will have the right to elect the Board, submit motions and vote at AGMs, thereby playing a central role in determining the activities of the organisation."AndrewRT 19:12, 4 December 2008 (UTC)
My current draft is "Being a member gives you a say in the running of the company, the election of board members and the right to attend, submit motions and vote at Annual and Extraordinary General Meetings (AGMs and EGMs)." Mike Peel 21:12, 4 December 2008 (UTC)
There's also written resolutions, but I don't know if they're worth mentioning. Oh, and you're missing a "to" after "submit motions". --Tango 13:42, 5 December 2008 (UTC)

Corporate members

What do people think about corporate members? I think there are three issues to decide: 1) Should there be corporate members at all? 2) If so, should they have voting rights? And if so, how many votes? 3) What should the membership fee be? 4) Should they be eligible to join the board? (The law requires at least one natural person on the board, the rest can be companies, if memory serves.) I think having corporate members in some form is a good idea, there are all kinds of ways we can work with companies to further our goals and it may well be good to have those companies as members. I think the bare minimum membership fee for companies should be the full fee for natural persons times the number of votes (anything less than that is ridiculous). It might make sense for corporate membership to be decided on a case by case basis (companies are different sizes so it doesn't necessarily make sense for them all the pay the same and have the same number of votes) - a company approaches the board and the board decides (after consultation with the company in question, and perhaps the membership if it's going to be a large number of votes) on a fair fee and number of votes. I think if they have voting rights they might as well be eligible for the board, if they can win an election, then the membership clearly wants them to be on the board, so why not? Obviously it would be important to keep the number of votes for any company to a fairly small proportion of the total votes (10% absolute maximum, I'd say, I'd be happier with 5%). I do think voting rights is a good idea for corporate members since it allows them to be properly involved with what's going on which may make them more willing to work with us. So, what do other people think? --Tango 16:56, 6 December 2008 (UTC)

It makes sense to have corporate members. I'd be inclined to suggest that we have a standard fee for them, possibly with concessions for charities/non-profits/etc., which say comes with one representative + one vote. We could then deal with special cases as and when they arrive (assuming that the membership class can be general enough to abstract the number of people/votes).
I'd be wary about allowing a company to be on the board; corporate takeover is the first thing that springs to mind (although I don't know how likely that would be). Plus, if a company holds the seat, then they could conceivably replace their representative (e.g. if they leave/are fired/change department) with someone who the membership hasn't voted on. Both of those can be dealt with, but they still make me wary. Mike Peel 08:36, 7 December 2008 (UTC)
I don't see how a corporate takeover could work without a vote at a general meeting - the board doesn't have that kind of power. Also, taking over a charity is pretty pointless - it's non-profit, so you can't get any money out of it and without the support of the membership it basically ceases to have any function. As for changing representatives, that's a natural part of a corporate director - the director is the company, not the representative, and it's the company that has been voted on. Whether the membership would ever elect a company as director, I don't know, but it might be worth giving them the choice. --Tango 14:01, 7 December 2008 (UTC)
We should ask companies to nominate a contact person, and they would be eligible to stand for election to represent the company on the board. We would need to specify what happens if the person ceases to be able to represent the company (does the company nominate a new person, does the board member retain the seat as an individual, or would the seat become available?) Warofdreams 19:08, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
Statute says how corporate membership and corporate trustees work. I'm pretty sure companies can change their representative at will. If someone from a company joins the board as an individual they would be obliged to do what they think best, not what their company thinks best, so that's not equivalent to having a company as trustee. --Tango 19:28, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
The board of an organisation I worked for had a set-up which worked pretty well, and that's where I'm taking the example from. Each corporate member nominated a single contact person. They could be elected to the board, and an agreement was sought that the contact person would be the one sent to attend board meetings (this would typically be mentioned when election statements were circulated to the membership). This contact person was typically someone fairly senior, so they had a good idea of what their company's interests were, and they acted in them.
Some smaller companies chose an alternative set-up, where an employee would join as an individual member and be elected as an individual. It might be easier for drafting regulations, but larger companies would probably be unlikely to follow this path. Warofdreams 21:53, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
That's pretty much how corporate membership and directors work, yes, although it's not the contact that is elected to the board, it's the company, the contact just represents them. I guess there could be a contract between the charity and the company regarding changing the contact, I'm not sure how that would work. --Tango 23:58, 12 December 2008 (UTC)

Honorary members

I think we ought to have a category for honorary members. It could be granted to people from WMF or other chapters (or possibly even the WMF or the chapters as corporate bodies - I'm not sure how that works for foreign companies, it's certainly possible though otherwise foreign subsidiaries wouldn't be possible) and to people that have played a major part in WMUK itself. It would carry no fee and no voting rights (whether it should be legal membership of the company or not, I'm not sure, it doesn't make a great deal of difference). They would be entitled to receive all notifications, newsletters, etc. that members receive and could attend meetings. They could hold regular membership at the same time if they wished to have a vote. For people from WMUK it would be life membership, for people involved in WMF or other chapters it could be life membership or could be just while they hold their position in that organisation (I think corporate membership would be a better choice if we want the latter). One question to be decided is whether it is granted by the board or the membership - my feeling is that people from WMUK should be honoured by the membership (especially if they are board members or former board members), but it probably doesn't make sense for the membership to vote on other chapters being granted honorary membership (it's not really an honour, it's just diplomacy), so perhaps make it that individual honorary membership is granted by ordinary resolution, corporate honorary membership is granted by the board. Comments? --Tango 17:07, 6 December 2008 (UTC)

What would be the difference between this and just adding them to a contact list to receive newsletters and announcements, which we could do without formally calling them honorary members? Mike Peel 08:29, 7 December 2008 (UTC)
For people involved in WMUK it's just a way of honouring them. For external people it's just politics - making your counterparts honorary members is a good way to open up a dialogue and show how you respect them and want to work with them. --Tango 14:03, 7 December 2008 (UTC)

pay online

No-one uses cheques much nowadays, couldn't you make an online form people can fill in, and use paypal, or a debit card or something? It could be over a secure page and so be safe. Presumably this is accepted for donations, so it could be done for this? Sticky Parkin 01:07, 18 January 2009 (UTC)

Hello and welcome, hope you decide to stay. As a bit of background: Wikimedia UK has only just been set up, we were formally recognized by the Wikimedia Foundation (WMF) last week, and we're currently negotiating the agreement between us and the WMF. Once we've got that signed (hopefully very soon), then we'll be able to open a bank account and get things going properly.
So far, due to the lack of a bank account, cheques have been the best option as we can receive them and hold them until we can process them. When we have the bank account, we'll be able to accept standing orders and direct bank transfers. We'll also hopefully use Paypal etc. as well, although these charge a fee for money transfers so we'll probably have to add the fee on top of the membership fee. Mike Peel 09:39, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
Whilst echoing everything Mike says - one step at a time and all that - I definitely agree that online membership application and payments is the way to go! AndrewRT 00:16, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
I doubt we'll have the same problems this time around (god willing.) :) Sticky Parkin 23:27, 21 January 2009 (UTC)
Just to update - the bank account is now open and payment is now accepted by bank transfer as well as cheque. As soon as our charity status is confirmed we will be accepting PayPal as well, so hope this will make joining easier. AndrewRT 16:15, 17 April 2009 (UTC)

Fee?

Surely the idea of having a membership fee goes against the entire idea of a "free wiki". Why is there a fee, what does it go towards, and what do members get in return?Tivedshambo 13:35, 17 April 2009 (UTC)

Most Wikimedia chapters charge a fee for membership. The chapter has certain running costs that need to be paid - such as accounting fees, registration fees, meeting costs and Board member travel costs. We hope that the modest fee charged will cover those costs so that all donations - as well as any surplus on the subscription fees - can be dedicated to supporting the projects we are running and hope to run in the future. What do members get? Above all, they know that the fees help the chapter to exist and to run our projects in support of Wikipedia and the other Wikimedia websites. In practical terms, members also get to vote on the Board members, resolutions and to influence the priorities of the chapter. AndrewRT 16:21, 17 April 2009 (UTC)
Since members get to decide how the chapter is run, it makes sense to require something from them in return for that - they need to show that they do support us and our cause, if they don't then they might vote for things that harm out goals. The simplest way for them to do that is to pay a small fee. I expect the fee would be waived if someone that supports the chapter in another way (by donating their time/skills, most likely) wanted to be a member but couldn't afford the fee. Not requiring any kind of contribution would basically remove the concept of membership and allow anyone that wants to to vote at our meetings - just as countries don't allow anyone in the world to vote in their elections, we don't want to do that. --Tango 19:14, 17 April 2009 (UTC)
Sorry, but I already give my own time and effort to improve Wikipedia. I also go out to take photographs for articles, sometimes driving over 100 miles. I don't claim travelling expenses for that, not do I expect them. If some people feel they have a right to be paid for what others do for nothing, that's up to them, but I won't be supporting them I'm afraid.Tivedshambo 08:52, 4 May 2009 (UTC)
Most of what the chapter will achieve will be due to volunteers donating their time and expertese - I hope you will be able to help us in that way. You can still keep in touch via the newsletter, email list, wiki and IRC and your suggestions will still be listened to regardless of whether you're a member or not. Hope you'll also come along to our Wikimedia Conference, we're planning for early next year. AndrewRT 11:17, 4 May 2009 (UTC)

Forrester

Is James Forrester still part of the UK chapter? The membership list isn't clearly available here. 81.129.201.110 21:27, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

The membership list is private and I'm afraid we're unable to confirm whether Forrester is a member or not of the chapter. Please ask him directly. He isn't a Board member (I understand he was of WMUKv1). AndrewRT 15:18, 22 May 2009 (UTC) (Secretary, Wikimedia UK)

How OSm do it

http://www.osmfoundation.org/wiki/Join/UK_Bank_Account

Interesting comparison - they seem to have a much easier process for joining. AndrewRT 23:18, 6 October 2009 (UTC)

I can't seem to find the membership application form - do they simply not have one, and if so, how do they maintain a register of members?
We've talked about putting the bank account details online before, but were thinking that it would be a bad idea to to the potential misuse of the details. It might be a good time to revisit that. Mike Peel 08:50, 7 October 2009 (UTC)

Mixup

I'm confused about how much membership costs. On the "about" page it says that it is £12 for adulats and £6 for concessions per year. Here, though, it says £5. Which is right? If you reply, please noitfy on my talk page. Thanks, Rock drum (talkcontribs) 17:38, 22 September 2010 (UTC)

Hi Rock Drum. Sorry for the confusion - the membership fee used to be £12/£6, but we reduced it to £5 earlier this year. I've updated the about page accordingly. We look forward to having you as a member. :-) Thanks. Mike Peel 08:08, 23 September 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for that, are there any other pages where this error may occur? I can fix some of them if you want. Thanks, Rock drum (talkcontribs) 17:00, 23 September 2010 (UTC)