At the upcoming Annual General Meeting on August 15, we will propose a change in our bylaws to allow us to simplify our membership structure. Based on feedback from our members and our volunteers, we propose dropping the Family and Child membership level.

Because the membership categories are included in the Society Bylaws, we require a Special Resolution at the Annual General Meeting to change them.

Background

A few years ago, we established new membership categories to include Family and Child memberships. Since then, we have found that virtually nobody has taken advantage of the Child membership, and while many have registered Family memberships, these have proven an administrative burden to our volunteers, and a source of confusion to potential members.

We are required under the Societies Act to maintain a current roster of members. When registering for a Family Membership, members frequently only give us the name of the individual doing the registration, neglecting to inform us of who the other family members are. In order to conform to the Societies Act, our volunteers must follow up with each of these cases; we feel that this isn’t necessarily the best use of our volunteers’ valuable time.

Secondly, we are very often lacking email addresses for family members outside the individual who registered the account; this means that members of a family account are unable to receive email updates, log in to our website to check their donation history, update their membership, or take advantage of member-only programs. Members who do log in are often unsure of which of the family’s multiple email addresses are the registered email for the family membership account on the website.

We feel we need to simplify the system.

We propose reducing our membership structure to Individuals (“Regular Members”), as it was in the past. Every member will have their own member account on our registry.

How does this affect current members?

Existing memberships will of course be honoured. Anyone with a Family or Child membership for 2021 will be unaffected for the rest of the calendar year (all Conservancy memberships expire at the end of each calendar year.) For 2022, we will invite all members to renew with an Individual account.

How does this affect child members?

Children will be welcome to register as individual members. Children under the age of 12 will continue to be ineligible to vote at General Meetings.

How does this affect receiving the Oystercatcher?

All members will continue to receive our monthly e-newsletter The Oystercatcher (and anyone in the community at large who wishes to receive it can simply sign up on our website).

What about organizational memberships?

Our Bylaws allow for organizational memberships; at the moment we have one or two organizational members. These memberships afford no special privileges to an organization; they allow a single vote to that organization as if they were an individual member. We propose to leave this unchanged.

What about the membership pricing structure?

We propose to leave the price of memberships unchanged, at $5 per individual or organizational member. We do not consider memberships as a primary driver of revenue; rather, we feel that memberships foster engagement with the community and allow us to pursue our mission (including fundraising) with those community members.

Special Resolution

Be it resolved that the bylaws of the Mayne Island Conservancy Society be amended to remove clauses 6(c) and 6(d) as follows:

Existing Text

Part II – Membership

6.    A person may, on payment of the prescribed fee, become a member in one of the following categories:

(a)  Regular member: – a person who has paid the membership fee, and such regular member shall be entitled to vote.

(b) Organizational member: – any corporation or business may be represented by a person authorized on behalf of the corporation who shall be entitled to vote

(c) Children’s membership: children under the age of 12 shall not be entitled to vote but shall be entitled to all other membership privileges.

(d) Family membership: individuals living in one household and defining themselves as a family. Individuals 12 years of  age and older shall be entitled to vote.

Proposed Text 

Part II – Membership

6.    A person may, on payment of the prescribed fee, become a member in one of the following categories:

(a)  Regular member: – a person who has paid the membership fee, and such regular member shall be entitled to vote. Children under the age of 12 shall not be entitled to vote but shall be entitled to all other membership privileges.

(b) Organizational member: – any corporation or business may be represented by a person authorized on behalf of the corporation who shall be entitled to vote

(End of section 6.)


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