Twelve members of Friends of John Muir’s Birthplace (FoJMB) attended the Extraordinary General Meeting on 14th August 2019. Nine members presented their apologies and, of these, six had given written permission to have the Chair, or a named attendee, to cast a proxy vote on their behalf.
Prior to the vote I explained that should the motion be carried it would mean that paid membership would cease and that anyone wishing to become a member of FoJMB would, in effect, simply let the charity know their contact details and give their permission to be contacted with news about the activities of the charity. Consequently, the arrangement whereby a 10% discount would apply to sales from the Birthplace ‘shop’ for members would no longer apply.
The motion to waive membership dues was proposed by Liz McLean and seconded by Ross Combe. The motion was carried unanimously.
This means that members no longer need to pay membership dues and since October is the month where the majority of dues are renewed there is ample time to cancel standing orders before that payment is taken. Of course, should members wish to continue such payments as donations to the charity we would be very grateful for that income stream.
A specific reason for opening up membership to anyone that gives their permission to be contacted with news about the activities of the charity is that FoJMB can, hopefully, reverse the trend of members ‘leaving’ if they don’t renew their paid membership and, therefore, build up the numbers of supporters (Friends) and to then approach them when a specific project – such as an exhibition – needs donations to help fund it.
Given the outcome of the EGM there will now be a renewed effort to engage with potential supporters and to introduce some convenient methods for them to ‘sign up’. In the first instance this could be as simple as emailing email@example.com with contact details and a confirmation that it is OK to hold these details on record for the legitimate purposes of the charity. In a subsequent reply to this request to join the following text will confirm our compliance with GDPR:
In compliance with General Data Protection Regulation (EU 2016/679), the information provided will be used solely for the legitimate purposes of the Charity. Any personal details gathered will be used solely by FoJMB and will not be provided to any third parties outwith the Charity.
After the business of the EGM, I gave a short presentation about the achievements and milestones of DJMA/FoJMB over the past 25 years. This was followed by a short discussion – to be continued at a later date – about future plans and aspirations for our Charity.
Duncan Smeed, FoJMB Convener