UNA-UK has recently made some exciting changes to our membership structure. We have decided that it is time to walk the talk in our commitment to inclusion and diversity, giving every person the opportunity to engage with UNA-UK and removing financial barriers to joining our people’s movement.
This page outlines the changes, what they mean for you, and answers to some frequently asked questions.
At UNA-UK we have worked hard throughout the unique circumstances of the last year to find new ways to support the future we want and the UN we need to get there - taking a lead from our grassroots network of members, supporters, and UNA Groups. We have also used this period to reflect on how we can better serve all within our network. Through surveys, regular online meetings, and our first-ever virtual Members’ Conference, we asked members, supporters, and UNA Groups what they want from UNA-UK and what they can give.
The UNA-UK Board created a Working Group to turn this feedback into proposals for action, taking into account the current situation as well as long standing trends in our network - notably, the huge growth in our supporter and donor base, which is now 30 times the size of our membership. Led by your Elected Trustees, Dorothea Christiana and Carl Wright, the Group included members from all parts of the UK as well as from our youth network.
The Working Group identified the following as key requirements for reform proposals to address:
- Simplification - Proposals for reform should simplify structures, facilitating greater levels of engagement by both members and supporters and reduce administration.
- Sustainability - Proposals for reform should increase the sustainability of engagement structures, both for UNA Groups and UNA-UK office.
- Accountability and Representation - Proposals for reform should increase grassroots representation and accountability.
- Inclusivity - Proposals for reform should recognise the various contributions UNA-UK members and supporters make, removing financial barriers to inclusion.
Capturing these four key requirements, the working group put forward a proposal to reform our membership structures. The proposal aims to enhance the UNA Groups structure and simplify national engagement by removing some of the current complexities around national membership, national supporters, and varied local membership structures and by the reducing the multiplicity of contact points and intermediary processes. It focusses on simplifying the structure by removing the current distinction between members and supporters, valuing all grassroots individuals equally; reducing current administrative processes and multiplicity of contact points, providing UNA Groups greater power to manage their local structures; and increasing available staff capacity for grassroots engagement and support, facilitating a stronger focus on our shared objectives.
The Working Group proposal consists of four main changes to our structure, which were agreed by the UNA-UK Board earlier this year:
- Sustainability and equality - valuing equally the contributions of UNA-UK members and supporters by referring to everyone as a member.
- Inclusivity and diversity - replacing, from January 2022, the national fee structure with a voluntary contribution model
- Accountability and representation - giving everyone in our network the chance to elect trustees
- Simplification and localisation - giving UNA Groups in schools, universities, communities and online greater control over their mailing lists and a mandate to recruit local members
We are excited about what we can achieve together, drawing on the strength of 30,000 UNA-UK members and our vibrant network of UNA groups. And throughout the remainder of 2021 we will be keeping you updated about our transition to this new structure via email, group calls, and through updates to this page. If you have any questions about what these changes mean for you, please consult the FAQs section below, which will be continuously updated going forward, and if you cannot find an answer to your question you can also email firstname.lastname@example.org and a member of the team will be happy to help.
FAQs Membership 2021
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why are you making changes to membership?
A: To make it easier for individuals to engage with UNA-UK and easier for us to support them.
We want to give every person the opportunity to engage with UNA-UK and remove financial barriers to joining our people’s movement. So, we have decided that it is time to walk the talk on our commitment to inclusion and diversity. For members, these changes mean greater financial flexibility to suit your circumstances and no more worries about membership renewals. For us, these changes mean lower administrative costs and more time to support our expanded membership base and UNA groups, as well as our campaigning and educational work.
Q: I am already a member of UNA-UK, will the amount I pay in membership fees be changing?
A: It’s entirely up to you!
We are replacing our national membership fee structure with a voluntary contribution model. For existing UNA-UK members like you, this means you can decide how much you contribute financially. No action is required on your part - from January 2022, we will simply treat the money you give us as a donation - unless you want to change the amount you give to us to suit your circumstances. As we prepare new programmes, on the climate crisis and global health, we would be delighted if you felt able to increase your support.
Q: Will I still be entitled to the current benefits and opportunities UNA-UK membership provides?
A: Yes and yes!
We are expanding all existing benefits and opportunities of membership to everyone in the new structure. This means our entire expanded membership, regardless of the financial contribution they choose to make, will now:
- Receive our regular newsletters and have access to UNA-UK publications
- Have the opportunity to attend UNA-UK conferences and events
- Be able to stand and vote in UNA-UK Trustee elections and in the elections for UNA-UK conference committee
Q: How will these change impact UNA Groups?
A: They devolve greater control to UNA Groups and aim to support them by reducing the administrative demands they currently face.
UNA-UK draws great strength from our network of UNA Groups across the UK and these changes have been developed with the feedback and suggestions of UNA Groups in mind. We recognise the difficulty that inaccurate and constantly changing membership lists can pose for those involved in the administration of a UNA Group; and the challenges of recruiting and retaining members, with a fee structure that is not suitable to every individual’s circumstances. These changes mean UNA groups no longer need to worry about individuals dropping-off membership lists as a result failing to renew their membership payments. These changes also allow us to provide UNA Groups greater levels of control over the membership lists they receive – so no more issues with failing to receive lists or receiving lists with apparent errors!
Q: How do I set up a regular donation?
A: The easiest way to set up a regular donation is via standing order, but you can also establish a regular Direct Debit.
A standing order is a regular payment of the same amount that’s paid on a specified date.
- Contact your bank to set up the Standing Order – each bank is different but you may have the option to do this via a banking app, online banking, by telephone or by completing a form.
- Choose the amount and frequency at which you’d like to donate to UNA-UK.
- Give UNA-UK details to your bank – United Nations Association-UK, sort code: 30-96-64, account number: 36103268
- Your standing order should appear on your bank account. You can amend the amount or frequency of your donation at any time.
A Direct Debit is where you give permission for an organisation to collect varying amounts of money from your banking account, as long as you’re given some notice of dates and amounts. Once agreed, the organisation can automatically deduct the money from your balance.
- Contact UNA-UK by emailing email@example.com and inform us that you’d like to set up a direct debit.
- We will send you a direct debit mandate to complete and sign. It includes information including your name and address, your bank or building society’s name and address, your account number and sort code.
- Once we receive your completed form, we will get in touch with your bank or building society to set up the payment.
- Your direct debit should appear on your bank account within 1-2 weeks. You can email us on firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to amend the amount of frequency of your donation.