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Region/NA/Network Mailings – March 2020

20 March 2020

SIGBI News Briefing – 20 March 2020

SIGBI WEBSITE ISSUES – Due to circumstances beyond our control, we have experienced technical issues with the new website, and have had to withdraw it.  When you go to www.sigbi.org you will see the old website. The issues are connected with the hosting on the Amazon Cloud Network and were not evident until the website went live. We apologise for any inconvenience caused. It will take a further two weeks to resolve the issues, so we ask for your forbearance whilst this is being dealt with.

We hope to have it back up and running, without any issues, by Friday 3 April 2020.

Please do not try to make any changes to your website during this time. The next two webinars that were scheduled for 26 March and 2 April 2020 have been postponed, and we will advise of new dates in due course. The one scheduled for 9 April 2020 will go ahead. Please send any questions you have by Monday 6 April 2020.

Please accept our sincere apologies. We will keep you informed as soon as we have any updates.  

CLUB ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING – SIGBI recommends that, where possible, Clubs hold their AGM electronically, using Skype or similar system. There is a “How To . . .” Guide on setting up and using Skype, but this does apply to PCs rather than phones. There is a Skype App on phones. Everyone who takes part in the meeting will need to have set up an account (which is free) and will need to be listed as a contact on the organiser’s Skype account. You can set up a group containing all your Members, so they can be Skyped simultaneously when the meeting takes place. Please see the guide below.

You can hold Club Ballots by email for the election of Officers, and the Treasurer’s Report can be circulated, and email approval obtained. Please note that there was an error in the letter dated 13 March 2020, which stated that 75% of votes were needed to carry a resolution or ballot. A simple majority is required at an AGM.

We know that many Clubs have a Change of Insignia ceremony for the President, and unfortunately this will not be possible.  However, the new President can still take office. You could consider having a Change of Insignia ceremony later in the year when Clubs are able to meet again.

Please see item below about the payment of Membership Fees in 2020.

We hope that all members keep safe and well during this crisis.

CLUB MEMBERSHIP FEES – As Clubs have cancelled their meetings, including the AGM at which Membership Fees would usually be collected, SIGBI has extended the deadline for payment to 31 August 2020. We would be grateful if, where possible, Clubs were able to pay their fees by end May 2020, but understand that in some cases this will not be possible. We would encourage members to pay their fees to the Club by electronic means where possible, and for Clubs to likewise pay SIGBI by internet banking rather than cheque. Please try to submit your Annual Return by end May, by asking your members to confirm their continued membership by email.

For Clubs paying by Standing Order, please adhere to the same deadlines—2 months’ membership fees plus public liability insurance of £14.50 by end May, followed by 10 equal payments. If your Club did not pay by standing order last year, why not give it a go? Contact SIGBI HQ for details.

Membership Fees 2020-2021: www.sigbi.org/members/files/Membership-Fees-Schedule-New-Members-2020-2021-monthly-payments.pdf

FRIENDSHIP LINK REQUEST – SI Burdwan (chartered in 1987) in India is looking for a Friendship Link with an European club.  Please do write to Bhaswati Biswas sigbifriendshiplink.bhaswati@gmail.com  if you are interested in establishing a Link.

Friendship Link Register Form 2020 is available on the friendship link page of the SIGBI Website. Clubs are requested to fill in the relevant portion and mail/post to Bhaswati by 31st May, 2020.

16 March 2020 – additional Club Mailing

LETTER FROM PRESIDENT ISOBEL SMITH RE COVID-19 – This is a follow up letter regarding the Coronavirus and important information for Clubs.

13 March 2020 – additional Club Mailing

LETTER FROM PRESIDENT ISOBEL SMITH RE COVID-19 (CORONAVIRUS) – The first attachment is a letter from President Isobel Smith, which gives some important information on how COVID-19 may affect SIGBI and our Members:

MATERIALS CONCERNING LAUNCH OF NEW WEBSITE – 16 MARCH 2020 – Attachments 2-4 are concerning the launch of the new website. The letter is for the Club Executive and Members, including the Club Website Editor, and attachments 3 & 4 are for the Club Website Editor. Please ensure that you send these documents to your Club Website Editor as soon as you receive them. Please note that the Club Editor’s Guide and Best Practice Guide will be updated from time to time, and we will inform Clubs when they have been updated. It is recommended to consult the online version rather than store a copy on your computer, as the online version will be kept updated:

6 March 2020

SIGBI News Briefing – 6 March 2020

INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY SURVEY – Please can you complete our survey after International Women’s Day, and before the closing date of 16 March 2020, to help us assess the impact of our social media campaigns. We know that International Women’s Day isn’t all about Social Media, but it’s a measurement that we can make.

Please do send your high resolution photographs and descriptions of your International Women’s Day events to sally@sigbi.org.  The best ones will be used in the May 2020 issue of Soroptimist News :

TOP TIPS TO MAKE YOUR WEBSITE WORK FOR YOU– The third Top Tips focusses on the use of images and PDFs on websites, and how important it is to use keywords to help Google index your images:

CONFERENCE SURVEY – A Conference Survey is included in the SIGBI News Briefing, but we need your help to make sure that members complete it. It’s not just for members who have attended one or more conferences, we need to hear from those who have never attended conference before as well. Please include an item on your Club Meeting Agenda before the closing date of 29 March 2020, and encourage members to complete the form. Allow them time to do so at the meeting, and those without computers can share (and be helped) by those with computers to complete the survey. Thank you.

FRIENDSHIP LINK REGISTER – The Friendship Link Register form has been simplified. Joint Project information is no longer required, and you only need to complete the form if you have one or more changes to report. If your friendship link information remains unchanged from last year, there is no need to return it. If you do have a change to report, in any of the sections, then please send it to Bhaswati Biswas sigbifriendshiplink.bhaswati@gmail.com by 31 May 2020. Thank you. The Friendship Link Application Form is also included below, for your use if required.

BANK FRAUD – A Club has reported that someone tried to instigate an international outward payment from their bank account. A paper International Payments Form was completed, with the correct bank account number and sort code. Even one of the signatories was correct, although the second was not. They had used the SIGBI HQ address rather than the Club Address. The bank alerted the Club because the address was incorrect, the amount of money requested was too large and there was not sufficient in the account and they also have a block on international payments.

This may not be a widespread issue, but we wanted to bring it to your attention so that you can be alert. SIGBI thinks it’s a good idea, unless you regularly make International Payments, to ensure that International Payments cannot be made from your bank account.

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