Information & Documentation

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Contains information of interest to individual Members, including Membership Statement, New Members' Pack, how to apply for a Memorial Fund Award, Grants of Friendship/Invitations, and Membership Matters.

Contains all the information you need for the running of a Club, eg Membership Forms, Annual Returns, Club Governance, How to Start a New Club.

Contains information related to running a Region/National Association/Network, eg the purpose of Regions/National Associations/Networks, and Region/NA/Network governance documents

Contains documentation to help you communicate your activities, eg Template Press Releases, SIGBI Brand Guidelines and Logos, good examples of Club Promotional Material, How To Guides.

Contains information related to Programme Activities, eg a page for each Programme Area, Commission on the Status of Women, SIGBI Programme Database.

Contains documentation related to the running of the Federation, eg SIGBI Governance, Vision 2021.

Clubs FAQs

Several of the answers below make reference to the SIGBI Club Constitution, which may be found on the Club Resource Centre/Club Governance page of this website.

Starting a Club

I would like to start a new Soroptimist Club in SIGBI.  How do I go about it?

Easy, if you are a Soroptimist Member, go to the Starting a new Club page, which contains the guides on starting a new Club and all the forms you will need.  For additional information or assistance please contact SIGBI HQ.

How many Members are required to Charter a Soroptimist Club?

Twelve founder Members of a Club are required, although it is good practice to have more than this if possible to ensure the sustainability of the Club.

I have established a prospective club, and we have the right number of members.  How do I go about Chartering the Club?

You need to complete a Petition Form (on the Starting a New Club page) with the details of all your founder Members, and send this with the minutes of your meetings held so far and details of the programme work already done and planned by the Club, to SIGBI HQ..  The Directors of Membership and Organisational Development need to approve that the Club can be chartered before you make any first arrangements. There is an Easy Stages Guide on Chartering a new Club, which will help with making the arrangements.

Who will Charter the new Club?

This will be decided once the Petition to Charter has been approved.   Federation Office will liaise with the prospective Club to try to arrange a mutually suitable date, so that the Federation President, a Member of the Federation Management Board, a Region/NA/Network President or a Councillor may attend to act as Chartering Officer.

Do we have to pay expenses for a Member of SIGBI to charter the new Club?

The prospective Club or respective Region/NA/Network will not be expected to pay travelling expenses, but will be required to provide accommodation where necessary.  This can be either at a hotel, or at the home of a member of the prospective Club, and Federation will not pay for this.  If the visit is outside the Chartering Officer’s normal country of residence, the stay may be for several days, which the Club should budget for.  Full details of the accommodation arrangements should be supplied to SIGBI HQ, who will notify the Chartering Officer.

What sort of event has to be organised for the Charter Ceremony?

It is up to the prospective Club to decide where to hold the Charter Ceremony and the sort of occasion it will be (once the date has been agreed with SIGBI HQ and it is known who the Chartering Officer will be) Some Chartering Ceremonies are held in the morning, followed by lunch; others in the evening followed by dinner or during the weekend, followed by a visit to a project.  Again there is an Easy Stages Guide to a Charter Event.

If I am involved in the chartering of a new Club, am I allowed to be a Member of my existing Club, plus the new one?

No.  The SIGBI Constitution, Clause 3.2, states a Member may belong to one Club only.  However, if on or after chartering, you wish to transfer to the new Club, you may do so.

Will Members be required to pay capitation fees immediately?

Yes, depending on the time of year Members will be required to pay full, half or quarter fees.  The fees payable at the time of joining are shown on the Annual Returns page, which will be sent to them immediately after being chartered.

Does the Federation provide Regalia for Clubs?

No.  It is up to the Club what type of regalia it requires, whether it is a simple badge or a chain of office.  Either way, the Club has to pay for its own regalia and insure it if required.

What does the Federation provide?

On the day the Club is chartered, it will receive a Charter Certificate and name badges for all members listed on the Club’s Petition.  The Club will also be supported by SIGBI HQ, which Members should contact at any time for information.  The normal office opening hours are 08.00 hrs to 16.00 hrs Monday to Thursday and 08.00 to 15.30 hrs on a Friday.

Club Meetings

How many meetings should my Club hold per annum?

It is up to the Club how many meetings to hold during a year.  Some Clubs hold one business meeting per month (some hold two), but there may be other meetings arranged, eg speaker meetings, programme meetings, events.

What if I cannot meet the attendance requirement of my Club?

Members who are unable to fulfil the attendance requirements for a short period of time, for whatever reason, should inform the Club Executive Committee why she is not able to fulfil the attendance requirements and ascertain how her Membership may be continued during this period.  If a Member is unable to fulfil the attendance requirements over a longer period, she may ask the Club Executive Committee for a leave of absence, which may be granted for periods of up to one year at a time, with additional extensions, as agreed by the Club Executive Committee.  She still needs to pay her capitation fee to Federation, and Region/NA/Network fees.

Is my Club required to hold an Annual General Meeting?

The SIGBI Club Constitution, Clause 13.1 states “An Annual General Meeting (AGM) shall be held before the end of April each year, at which the Club Officers, CEC members and representatives to the Region/National Association (NA)/Network Council are elected.

In my country the financial year is January to December and local legislation for NGOs means we have to follow this.  What can we do?

Subject to the approval of the Federation Management Board (FMB), the Club may formulate Byelaws to the SIGBI Club Constitution (see Clause 1.6 of the SIGBI Club Constitution).  You should put your case in writing, together with a copy of the proposed Byelaws for the FMB to consider.  After a period of consideration, the FMB will vote on a ballot to accept the Byelaws.

How much notice do I have to give to members of the date of the AGM?

At least twenty eight days notice is required and the agenda circulated.

What is an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM)?

An Extraordinary General Meeting, commonly abbreviated to EGM is normally held when an issue arises of a serious or urgent matter, which requires the input of the entire membership and cannot wait until the next AGM.

Who may call for an EGM to be held?

The SIGBI Club Constitution, Clause 13.3, states an EGM may be called at the written request of not less than six members in good standing, or at the request of the Region/ National Association/Network Council, or at the request of the Federation Management Board.

How much notice do I have to give members of the date of an EGM?

At least twenty eight days notice of an EGM and the agenda circulated.

School Clubs

How do I start a School Club?

Read the School Clubs Guide, which is on the School Clubs Page of this website.

You may have been involved with a school for some time, and may want to approach them to see if they are interested in starting a Soroptimist School Club on the premises.  Being involved with projects to improve the lives of women and girls may start a life-long interest in charitable work, and these girls may be the Soroptimists of the Future!

A Club who sets up a School Club is known as the Sponsoring Club.

Is there a fee for a School Club?

The fee has been set at £20 per annum, to cover the administration costs and there are certain items that they receive without extra charge.

What does a School Club receive?

A School Club will receive a Soroptimist School Club Membership Certificate, a PDF to produce individual Member Certificates for the students in the Club and 25 gold dynamic ‘S’ badges.  Further badges may be purchased at the cost of £2 each.

Does a School Club need to sign an Agreement?

There is a standard Agreement that has been drawn up, which needs to be signed by the School Club, the Sponsoring Club and the SIGBI President.  However, individual Schools can request changes to the Agreement if required, and if SIGBI agree with the amendments they will be made before the signatures are obtained.

Do SIGBI request names of the students who are Members of the School Club?

The only names and contact details that SIGBI require are the contact of the Sponsoring Club who is the “liaison” with the School, and the Teacher who will be in charge of the School Club.  No individual students’ details are requested or stored.