BECOME A MEMBER GROUP

WHAT MEMBERSHIP MEANS

The Community Action Groups Project Oxfordshire (CAG Oxfordshire) is a Community Benefit Society, which is a type of member-owned cooperative society. 

To be considered a “CAG” and a part of the CAG Oxfordshire network, your organisation should become a member of the Community Benefit Society. 

 

MEMBERSHIP BENEFITS

The CAG Oxfordshire team provide free, day-to-day support to network members including advice on how to set up your group and develop projects

  • assistance with insurance

  • access to funding

  • communications assistance

  • training and skill sharing

  • access to resources and facilitating work with local and national government

 

Our collaborate groups connect members and interested external organisations and individuals working on similar themes to facilitate collective action.

Democratic participation: As a member you have ownership of the society and a role in steering through:

  • Voting at annual Annual General Meetings (AGMs)

  • Electing members to serve on the board of directors. 

 

The CAG Project’s offer to members is:

  • Advice, expertise and mentoring to set up, maintain and develop organisations/groups, projects, events and activities through face-to-face and phone contact.

  • Support with meeting/workshop facilitation and mediation.

  • Support with health & safety compliance

  • Low income groups may receive financial support towards insurance costs (subject to availability)

  • Access to Special Project Grants and other fundraising support

  • Press, media and communications coordination via our communication channels and communications advice.

  • Access to free and paid-for training, skill sharing and networking events and opportunities.

  • Access to a network of other CAGs.

  • Support with monitoring and evaluation and provision of a coordinated framework.

  • Access to a bank of materials and resources. 

  • Signposting to other organisations and bodies for advice and partnerships building.

  • Facilitating work with local and national government.

CRITERIA FOR MEMBERSHIP

Eligibility: To be eligible for membership, your organisation should:

  • Support the CAG Oxfordshire Network’s vision, mission and values as outlined in our strategy (see here).

  • Be based in Oxfordshire.

  • Have a governing document* (e.g. a constitution / articles of association / terms of reference / primary rules) which outlines the group’s own purpose, roles and decision-making structures.

*If your group doesn’t yet have a governing document we can help you create one with your group!

  • Be non-profit distributing (e.g. using any surplus to achieve its purposes rather than distributing it to shareholders etc.) and that this is outlined in the governance document.

  • Be community-led (e.g. be able to demonstrate how the organisation is accountable and the community/participants are involved in making decisions).

  • Be open for anyone to join in with the activities of the group.

  • Be focused on activities which create practical social and environmental change 

  • Not engage in any party political activity.

  • Be willing to actively participate in and contribute to the operation and development of the society and the wider network activity, including attending and voting at general meetings.

  • Be willing to purchase a £1 nominal share.

  • Be 3 members or more

Your Contribution: As a member we ask you to:

  • Inform the CAG Project of any changes in key contact information

  • Inform the CAG Project is there are any changes that affect the organisations eligibility for membership or if the organisation is disbanded.

  • Complete appropriate risk assessments and have relevant health and safety policies and procedures in place (please note that The CAG Project does not ask for these to be submitted but each CAG is responsible for keeping these on file and up to date in case of an insurance claim).

  • Share monitoring and evaluation information in order for the CAG Project to assess the collective impact of the network, including sharing the annual income of the organisation. 

  • Be responsible for own financial compliance e.g. completing annual accounts and submitting them to the relevant registrar where appropriate (please note that while the CAG Project can provide advice on financial management, it is not a formal registrar and therefore cannot be held responsible for auditing or accountable for any financial mismanagement by members). 

  • Be willing to share skills, resources and best practice with The CAG Project and other CAGs.

  • Send a representative to general meetings.

MEMBERSHIP PROCESS

Application:

  • Prospective members should read and understand this “Becoming a Member” briefing document

  • If membership is right for your group, you should complete a membership form click here and submit to CAG Oxfordshire. 

  • Membership will be approved by staff members with the board’s oversight. At each AGM a list of new members will be made available and the board and members have a right to query or challenge any new members.

Shares:

  • Co-operatives have a principle of user or “member” ownership. Holding a share essentially entitles the member to ownership of the cooperative. 

  • Each member can only hold one share. 

  • The shares have a “nominal” value of £1. So members must pay £1 to CAG Oxfordshire on becoming a member in cash or by bank transfer.

  • Members will be issued a share certificate.

  • The “nominal” value means they don’t have any real market value and so don’t receive an interest, dividend or bonus. They are also not withdrawable or transferable, so if a member stops being a member their share is cancelled but they do not receive the £1 back. 

  • The financial and legal liability of a member is limited to £1.

Nominees:

  • If your CAG is “unincorporated” (e.g. groups that are not legal entities as they haven’t registered with either the charity commission, the FCA or companies house) it cannot become a member in its own right. 

  • Therefore your CAG should appoint / elect an individual named “nominee”. The group will not be listed in the members register by its group name but by the individual nominees name. This individual must be over 16 years old. You will be asked to provide their name on the form.

  • This nominee will participate in the general meetings and vote on behalf of the group. 

  • Only the group nominee can stand for election on the board, no other members of an unincorporated group will be eligible. 

  • This nominee can be changed, by notifying The CAG Oxfordshire staff team, who will then make changes and update your records.

TERMINATION OF MEMBERSHIP

Termination of Membership

Members stop being members if they:

  • Resign in writing to the board of directors

  • Do not hold a share

  • Do not pay the subscription / membership fee

  • Are closed or declared bankrupt

  • Are expelled for misconduct

  • Cannot be traced

For further information please contact our network support coordinators:

Anaïs Bozetine or Christabel Buchanan.