FARNHAM INDEPENDENT NETWORKING (FIN) CONSTITUTION & POLICIES
1. The main purpose of Farnham Independent Networking (FIN or “the group”) is to promote the businesses of its members and to encourage business recommendations of those members to outside contacts.
2. The group is to be run by the members for the benefit of its members as a non-profit organisation.
3. Day to day running and administration of the group shall be by the Committee and by members asked to help by the Committee.
4. No more than one person from each profession or trade (“designation”) is allowed to be member of FIN. The Committee has final say in respect of potential or actual conflicts.
5. If a member wishes to change their designation, they must complete a new membership application and obtain approval from the Committee for the change.
Meetings and what’s expected of members
6. Meetings shall take place weekly and shall last approximately 90 Minutes, with extra networking time available before and afterwards. Members must arrive on time and stay for the whole meeting.
7. Good attendance is essential. A member is allowed three absences in any twelve month period before review of their continuing membership. If anyone cannot attend, they should send a substitute to represent their business. This will not be counted as an absence. However, there should be a maximum of three uses of substitutes in any six month period.
8. It is vital to the functioning and purpose of the group that members bring real business recommendations or referrals and/or visitors to the group. If a member fails to contribute adequately in these ways, the Committee may at its discretion implement Farewell Procedures.
9. Visitors may attend FIN meetings up to two times before deciding whether to apply for membership.
10. No extended absence is acceptable other than for exceptional medical circumstances. A member may take up to two months medical leave with prior approval of the Committee’s but they should attempt to arrange for someone stand in for them during the medical leave.
11. A member can belong to another referral-type business networking group, subject to the agreement of the Committee.
12. The Committee shall consist of a maximum of 9 and a minimum of 5 persons.
13. Officers shall be appointed by the members of the Committee and shall include the positions of Chairman and Treasurer. Particular emphasis will be given to marketing and growing the group, and members may be named to fulfil this responsibility.
14. Tenure of office shall be for six months, and election of officers shall be accepted by nomination one month before expiry and voted upon by group majority. The six months shall commence on 1 January and 1 July each year.
15. The Committee shall have responsibility for organising and administering the affairs of the group, including the appointment of new members to itself and to the group.
16. The Committee shall maintain records of attendance, visitors and contributions in order to monitor progress and promote the group.
17. Notice of two weeks shall be given for meetings of the Committee, although this may be waived by a simple majority of members eligible to attend.
18. Decisions shall be taken by simple majority (unless otherwise stated) of a quorate meeting, where quorum shall be not less than 50% of current members of the Committee.
Joining and leaving the group
19. Applications to join the group shall be made in writing on the form provided. They will include 2 references, which will be checked by the Committee. Upon approval, the membership fee will be payable and membership shall commence at the start of the month following when this is credited to the bank account of the group.
20. It is a member’s responsibility to notify the Committee of any concern if a visitor appears to conflict with their designation. This needs to be done before approval of membership for the newcomer. If nobody complains, the Committee may assume consent.
21. A member may leave the group at any time without notice. However, it is expected that a leaving member will notify the Committee of their decision as soon as possible.
22. Farewell procedures, whereby a member may be asked to leave the group, may be implemented at the discretion of the Committee by a properly reached decision. This would normally be as a result of the member failing to contribute positively to the group or otherwise failing to comply with the policies of FIN. The procedures consist of a verbal warning, or in writing if the member cannot be otherwise contacted, followed 2 weeks later (or less in the case of severe misconduct) by termination of the membership if the member has not resolved the issues to the satisfaction of the Committee.
23. Dissolution of the group may not be implemented without a 75% majority vote of the Committee.
Money and fees
24. There is no initial registration fee, but an annual membership fee of £100 (or such other sum as may be subsequently agreed by the Committee) is payable.
25. Membership fees are payable two weeks before the expiry date. If payment after the expiry date is not made, the member will be liable to an extra £10 charge. If fees are not paid within 15 days of expiry, membership will be terminated without need for the farewell procedures.
26. No refunds of membership fees will be made upon early termination of membership, but prepayments of meeting fees will be refunded upon request.
27. Fees may be transferred from one person to another within the same company, but re-application will be required.
28. As mentioned above, FIN is a non-profit organisation, run for the benefit of its members. All funds remain the property of the group collectively until expended for the benefit of the group.
29. On dissolution of the group, the remaining funds shall be distributed among current members in proportion to their length of membership and unexpired membership fees. The apportionment shall be calculated by the Treasurer and agreed by a simple majority of the Committee.
FIN Constitution & Policies July 2011