Membership

I. Member Recruitment and Retention

A. Local Leagues are required by LWVUS to have in place a membership retention and recruitment program.

B. Generally this is produced by a member of the Local League's board whose title is "Membership Chair."

C. The proposed program is presented to the Local League board at the start of the Local League's year for discussion and adoption.

D. At each subsequent board meeting, the Local League Board receives a report about activities and successes with the adopted program as well as plans for the future.

II. Per Membership Payments (PMP)

A. Local Leagues make per member payments (PMPs) for each member as adopted at LWVUS and LWVMD Conventions and LWVUS and LWVMD Councils.

B. Additional household members are charged one-half the PMP of initial household members by both LWVUS and LWVMD. (See LWVMD Bylaws Article XI, Section 2b.)

C. PMPs are not charged for life members.

D. PMPs for student members are waived through January 2021.

E. LWVUS and LWVMD charge PMP based on the member roster in the LWVUS database as of January 31.

III. Establishment of Dues by Local Leagues

A. Local Leagues establish their own dues for their local members.

B. Local Leagues must assure that memberships are current with both LWVUS and LWVMD by making per member payments.

C. There can be no members who are members of the LL only.

D. All League members must be members of LWVUS and a state League.

IV. Location of Local League Membership

A. Members of the League of Women Voters are entitled to be members in any location of their choosing but only one.

B. Generally membership is in the jurisdiction of residence.

V.  Benefits of Membership

A. Members will be subscribed to all LWVMD and LWVUS online communications, and may receive print copies upon request.

B. When a fee is charged for a LWVMD event or publication, members will receive a discount over non-members.

VI. LWVUS/LWVMD Member Roster

A. It is paramount that LLs maintain a current online membership roster to ensure members receive communications on  a timely basis and are treated appropriately by LWVUS and LWVMD. In Maryland, LLs have the option of maintaining membership records in the LWVMD NationBuilder (NB) database or the LWVUS Salesforce (SF) database.

B. LWVUS uses SF for communications with members; LWVMD uses NB for communications with members.

C. LWVMD keeps the LWVUS roster current for MALs and LLs that maintain member records in NB.  

D. LWVMD periodically updates the NB database for LLs that maintain member records in SF.

E. To avoid delay in members receiving information, each LL is encouraged to subscribe new members to the subscription lists promptly and to regularly review their lists for accuracy.

VII. Gift Memberships

A. Anyone wishing to gift a one-year Maryland MAL or local League membership may purchase a uniform gift certificate through the LWVMD website or administrative office.

B. The price of the certificate will be recommended by the Membership Chair and approved by the Board, and will equal or exceed the amount of annual dues charged by each of the local Leagues.

C. All gift memberships will be redeemed through the state office.

D. To activate the gift membership, the recipient will contact the Administrative Director who will connect them with the membership chair of the local League of their choice.

E. The local League will request payment of annual dues for the new member from the LWVMD Treasurer.

F. The gifted membership will be active for one year from date of redemption.

G. If unredeemed, the gift certificate will expire one year from its purchase date, and the funds will be treated as a donation to the LWVMD Operating Fund. 

H. LWVMD will keep any excess over the MAL or local League membership dues to compensate for administrative costs.

I. The gift certificate's date of purchase and authorization code will be tracked through NationBuilder.

VIII. Members-at-Large (MALs)

A. The Member-at-Large (MAL) membership category was approved by the League of Women Voters of the United States in May, 1994.

B. It was designed to reach and serve those members who reside in an area NOT served by a LL including those areas in which there was a LL that had dissolved.

C. Benefits and Services to Members-at-Large

1. MALs belong directly to LWVMD. Particular efforts will be made by the LWVMD to keep MALs informed of League activities. LWVMD services to MALs will vary depending on whether they belong to a MAL Unit and the service the MAL Unit provides to its members. (See next section for discussion of MAL Units.)

2. All MALs will be represented on the LWVMD Board by a Board member responsible for MAL services and communications.

3. All MALs will receive the Maryland Voter and the State Board Letter. Upon joining, they will receive a welcoming letter from the LWVMD President and other mailings of LWVMD. MALs are full-fledged LWVUS members and will receive LWVUS mailings.

4. MALs are eligible for LWVMD board service as well as LWVMD committee assignments.

D. MAL Dues

1. Dues for MALs, including those of members of a MAL Unit, are set in the LWVMD budget that is adopted at LWVMD Convention or Council.

2. These dues are paid to LWVMD that pays LWVUS and LWVMD PMPs and insurance for each MAL.

3. MAL memberships expire on the anniversary of the date the member joined or renewed. MALS are sent renewal notices through NationBuilder, and may pay dues online or by mail.

4. If a MAL Unit collects dues, it shall forward the dues to LWVMD.

IX. Member-at-Large (MAL) Units

A. Member-at-Large (MAL) Units are designed to accommodate groups of MALs who wish to organize in jurisdictions where there is no LL.

B. MAL Units in Maryland are called state League Affiliates.

C. An Affiliate's members may choose to maintain their MAL status indefinitely or apply to become an local League.

D. Prerequisites for Recognition of Affiliate by LWVMD

1. Eight current LWVMD members-at-large with a stated interest in forming an Affiliate in a jurisdiction not served by a local League.

2. A leadership group, including a chair/spokesperson and at least two others.

3. Adoption of the LWVMD nonpartisanship policy by the Affiliate members.

4. Affiliate members’ knowledge of, and adherence to, approved use of League name, logo and positions.

5. Agreement to respect the jurisdictions of other Affiliates and Leagues.

6. Submission to the LWVMD Board of a written request for Affiliate status, including signed Memorandum of Understanding, leadership list and membership list.

D. Benefits and Services

1.  A member of the LWVMD Board will serve as liaison to the Affiliate, providing information and guidance and helping the Affiliate pursue local League status, if desired.

2. The LWVMD Board will be responsible for managing the Affiliate's finances and membership roster, for providing the Affiliate with insurance and a communication platform, and for other major administrative functions.

E. Members of Affiliates have the same rights, privileges and responsibilities as members of local Leagues, such as:

1. Attend LWVMD Convention/Council as voting delegates.

2. Participate in LWVMD meetings, workshops, conferences, events.

3. Assist with Voter Service activities and other statewide initiatives as required by the LWVMD Board.

4. Distribute LWVUS and LWVMD action alerts to the membership.

5. Participate in LWVUS and LWVMD consensus and concurrence studies.

6. Develop local programs consistent with the LWV mission and principles. 

F. The Affiliate will abide by all Affiliate recognition requirements and review the MOU with LWVMD annually.

X. Requirements to Become a Local League

A. Recognition as a Local League is conferred by the League of Women Voters of the United States with the recommendation of the Board of Directors of its State League.

B. The LWVUS has established requirements for LL status. State Leagues also establish requirements for recommending the Affiliate to LWVUS for LL status.

C. Requirements by LWVUS to Become a Local League

1. Have bylaws, the first three articles of which must be consistent with the LWVUS bylaws. The remaining articles must provide for democratic procedures

2. Establish and maintain a nonpartisanship policy

3. Hold an annual business meeting of the membership

4. Hold regular board meetings

5. Meet its financial obligations to the national and state levels of the League

6. Have a plan for membership growth and retention that encourages a membership as diverse as the community

7. When pursuing advocacy, be consistent with League principles, positions and policies

8. Present a balanced budget

9. Provide a fundraising plan

10. Program work, voters service activities and future plans"

11. The LWVUS also requires with the packet containing exhibits of the above items, a membership list, a list of municipalities and unincorporated town names contained in the Affiliate's jurisdiction, and a list of zip codes within the Affiliate's jurisdiction.

12. All MALs including those in Affiliates are listed in the LWVUS Membership Roster of their state. The LWVUS staff will establish a LWVUS Membership Roster for the new LL and the information provided in the packet by the petitioning Affiliate assists LWVUS staff to place those on the LWVUS Membership Roster for Maryland into the new Roster for the LL.

D. Requirements of LWVMD to Recommend an Affiliate to LWVUS for Local League Status

1. Maintain "Prerequisites for Recognition of Affiliate by LWVMD"

2. Have bylaws ratified by the LWVMD Board

3. Elect leadership consistent with the petitioning LL's bylaws

4. Maintain non-partisan policy approved by LWVMD board

5. Have at least 30 members.

6. Prepare on-line voters guides for upcoming federal, state and local elections

7. Meet requirements of LWVUS to become a LL

8. Prepare in duplicate and submit to the LWVMD board for recommendation and forwarding to LWVUS the documents for LL status as required by LWVUS.