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This page details the application process and handling of memberships.
Once we have received an application, the process will be aas follows:
As soon as the application is received:
- The date of receipt, and whether payment was enclosed with a postal application, will be recorded;
- The applicant will be sent an acknowledgment email (making sure the email goes through), and the date will be recorded.
- The Chief Executive approves the membership
- The applicant is informed.
At the next available Board Meeting:
- The list of new members is presented to the board.
When "approve" has been decided:
- Payment will be put into bank account (or requested);
- If payment does not clear, then the applicant will be sent an email saying that their membership application was approved, but has not been accepted due to issues with the payment. Application will be held pending receipt of payment, and will be brought up at intervening board meetings;
- When payment has cleared, the member will be accepted.
- Their name and information will be entered on the Register of Members.
- The applicant will be sent a congratulations email.
- The applicant will be subscribed to the email newsletter.
If "reject" has been decided:
- The applicant will be informed by email (if they have provided their email address; otherwise by post) that their application has been refused, with the reasons for the refusal given.
- The applicant may send the charity any written representations about the decision that they want to, and this will be considered by the Board.
- If the Board decides "disapprove", then the application will be notified (again by email if provided, otherwise by post) what the Board's final decision is.
Possible reasons for rejection of application
Membership applications may be rejected if it is considered by the Board to be in the best interests of the charity to do so - note that they must have a good reason for rejecting the application. Possible reasons for rejecting applications include (but are not limited to):
- Applicant has not provided, or has obviously fabricated, any of the required details on the application form;
- Applicant does not agree to support the Object of the charity (indicated by signing the application form);
- Applicant does not agree to not bring the charity into disrepute (indicated by signing the application form);
- Applicant indicates that they are under 18 but form has not been signed by a parent or guardian;
- Applicant has not provided payment of the appropriate membership fee.
Invalid reasons for outright rejection of a membership application include behaviour, activity or inactivity on the Wikimedia Foundation's websites. This limitation does not include the sections used by WMUK that are hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation, i.e. (currently) the Meta pages, the mailing list and the IRC channels; the applicant's behaviour on these may be considered.
All rejected membership applications should be raised and discussed at the next available General Meeting (subject to the Data Protection Act).
Membership details will be recorded in our CiviCRM single digital database of supporters. Some details will additionally be part of the Register of Members, as below, and these will be available to enquirers in certain limited circumstances.
The database will contain:
- Full address, including postcode
- Country of residence
- Email address (if provided)
- Class of membership
- Date of receipt of application and (if appropriate) end of membership
- Date up to which their membership dues have been paid.
These details will be part of the Register of Members:
- Membership number
- Name and full address
- Date of approval of membership and (if applicable) end of membership.
The Register of Members may be inspected, and a copy taken of, by any member without charge, and anyone can make a request to inspect and/or take a copy of it subject to a fee if they have reasonable grounds. The latter can be refused only by application to the court (see Chapter 2 of the Companies Act 2006, section 113 onwards). In practice we have never had any application for access to the Register of Members and would always seek alternative ways to fulfill a request rather than disclose members details, for instance, by offering to circulate a statement to members.
The master copy of the database, including the Register of Members, is held at the Registered Office. A working copy of the database will also be held by the Membership Secretary, and copies may be held by any board member. The legal requirement is that member's names will stay on the register for at least 10 years from the date at which they cease to be a member.
In addition, successful membership applications will retained by the Membership Secretary until a year after the applicant ceases to be a member. Unsuccessful applications will be retained until after the General Meeting at which they are discussed.