Download: BeVolunteer Rules and Regulations
BeVolunteer is mainly defined by its official statutes. The rules and regulations clarify and further specify some points defined in the statutes as well as set some rules to enhance the management of the organization.
Given this dependency, any rules contradicting the statutes are invalid.
Reminder of the Article 7 of the Statutes: “Rules and regulations will be established by the Board of Directors and approved by the General Assembly in order to define the method of execution of the present statutes. These regulations apply to all the members of the association.” It means that the Board of Directors can at any moment change these rules, which become effective after approval by General Assembly.
This refers to Article 6 of the statutes: membership.
- Membership of BeVolunteer is not required to be a BeWelcome volunteer.
In order for a person to become a member of BeVolunteer, the following guidelines will be considered. The person should:
- have been an active BeWelcome member for 3 months.
- have been volunteering for BeWelcome for 3 months.
- agree to grant to BeVolunteer a right forever to use the work done for BeVolunteer during the membership of BeVolunteer. This covers work done for BeVolunteer and any and all projects of Bevolunteer, such as BeWelcome.
- write an adequate application for membership and send it to the BeVolunteer board.
- Accept the Statutes and the Rules and regulations of the association.
The board will, upon receiving applications for membership, as per the Statutes, either approve it or reject it. If, for any reason, you don’t correspond to this profile but believe that your application should be approved, be welcome to apply, the BoD will consider it.
Approval/rejection of membership
After receiving an application, the board should during its first upcoming meeting decide on the issue of this application. In case the board confirms the application, it will send a welcoming message to the new member. In case of a rejection, the board should explain the concerns to the member. A notice must be posted in the following BoD report, mentioning no personal information, explaining the reasons for the rejection. In either case, the message should be sent before the next meeting of the board.
As per the statutes, members fall into two groups:
a) active members
b) benefactor and honorary members
a) Active members: these are physical persons who have been accepted as members of BeVolunteer. The membership bestows upon them the following rights:
- During the first three months: The member is not given the right to vote at a general assembly during this period, and neither can the member be elected to the board. Note that this does not exclude the member from participating in a general assembly.
- During the following nine months: given that the member still qualifies as a BeVolunteer member (i.e. follows the spirit of the Statutes and the rules and regulations), they are then granted the right to vote at the GA as well as the right to be elected for Board of Directors. However, the member is not permitted to vote on topics related to article 10 of the present Statutes.
- After the first 12 months of membership: given that the member still qualifies for membership, they are then given all rights defined in the Statutes and the rules and regulations.
At each of these transitions, the board can postpone the member’s transition or cancel the membership, if the conditions for membership are not fulfilled anymore or if the member has been inactive.
b) Benefactor and honorary members: From time to time, benefactor members or honorary members may be appointed. Such appointments may be made
- by agreement at a General Assembly or
- by a decision of the BoD as part of their general business.
Proposals for such appointments should be made in writing and can come from individual or groups of active members, or from the persons concerned themselves (e.g. active members wishing to withdraw from activity but retain a membership of BV). Proposed applicants may be previous or existing active BV members, or may be outside individuals with a connection to BV’s aims or activities.
Suggested applicants must meet the criteria for these classes of membership.
To be granted benefactor membership, the applicant must have made a defined monetary contribution to BV.
For honorary membership it is necessary to demonstrate that such membership would be appropriate (e.g. by a commitment to BW or the wider hospex/similar movement).
These classes of membership are non-voting, confer no rights or privileges and may be withdrawn, by decision of the BoD or GA, if the member no longer meets the relevant criteria.
Termination of Membership
In accordance with Article 6.3 of the Statutes, membership terminates by
a) the death of the member;
b) resignation in writing to the Board; or
c) expulsion for a ‘serious cause’.
Examples of ‘serious cause’ can include activity which is illegal, in violation of the non-disclosure agreement or damaging for BeVolunteer, or a significant period of inactivity, together with a repeated failure to respond to contacts, as it can threaten the association’s ability to reach the required quorum and to function in accordance with the Statutes.
(last updated: October 2016)
Rules pertaining to the ordinary general assemblies: article 8 of the Statutes
The BoD shall organize an ordinary general assembly on a regular basis, not less than once every calendar year. All members defined in Article 6 in the Statutes shall be given timeous notification. An ordinary general assembly shall be deemed quorate and capable of taking decisions providing that at least one quarter of the current voting membership – or 6 persons, whichever is the larger – are present or represented. All decisions at an ordinary general assembly will be made by a absolute majority of votes, with the exception of those items where the quorum and/or majority are specifically defined in the Statutes.
Definition of absolute majority (as of October 2016): the majority (50% + 1) of all members who joined the group specifically created for that General Assembly
- At least 1 month in advance an invitation must be published by the BoD that mentions location and time. It is up to the Board of Directors (BoD) to determine the most appropriate means of communication, but it must be adequate in terms of notifying the largest amount of members in due time. Possible means of communication are (but are not limited to): publishing the invitation on the BeVolunteer website/wiki, sending invitations by email, using instant messaging, etc.
- The Board of Directors defines the way the assembly is held. In any case it must be ensured that members who have the right to vote are able to do so.
- The Secretary Delegate is responsible for taking meeting minutes. These are validated by the coming board and published on the BeVolunteer website at the latest one month after the general assembly.
- An identification process for managing the votes is defined by the Board of Directors (BoD) for each GA to ensure the best process in function of the organization.
Rules pertaining to the extraordinary general assemblies: article 8.1.2 of the Statutes
- In case the extraordinary assembly is an online event, a notice must be sent to all BV members 2 week in advance.
- The form adopted by this online event is left to the appreciation of the members organizing it. However it must allow for logged discussion, instant discussion and summaries to be produced.
Board of Directors
Number of members
- The Board of Directors has a minimum of three seats, and a maximum of 12 seats. Both numbers include the seats of the three delegates. The number of seats are equal to the number of elected candidates for the board, unless there are fewer than three or more than 12 elected.
- Each member present at the general assembly, who is allowed to vote, is given a number of votes equal to the amounts of candidates running for board. The members choose themselves how many votes they will cast, however, they are only allowed to vote once for each candidate (hence, even if you have 10 votes, you are only allowed to use one of those per candidate).
- Election for Board of Directors is held using a single ballot displaying the list of candidates and a box next to each name. Ticking or crossing the box signifies casting a vote for the candidate.
Rules of organising board meetings
The BoD can meet at any time and through any means convenient to them. However, in order to take official BoD decision such as editing this document or validating a BV membership application, an official BoD meeting must be organised following the guidelines exposed below:
- The secretary of the Board must publish the agenda at least 1 week in advance to the BV and the BW members.
- At least half of the BoD members should be present to take decisions. When less than half the BoD members are present, the meeting can still take place for discussing and brainstorming, but will not be allowed to take official action.
- The board meeting report has to be approved by at least two board members (other than the moderator of the respective meeting) and published publicly in order to be valid.
- A report must be published at least once a month.
- Any decision that is not the prerogative of the BoD or the GA can be taken within the BV group.
- The decision override abilities in BV follow thus: GA > BoD > BV group. That way, the BV community controls through the GA the controlling entity (BoD).
- The decisions taken by each entity is valid as long as no overriding entity is against it.
- Decisions must be communicated visibly to all active BV members.
(New since March 2014:)
When making informal decisions, and deciding on BeVolunteer membership applications, the following process will be used by email or on the BoD group:
- Once a simple majority of 51% has been reached: wait for two more days to give everybody the chance to speak up / vote
- Once a majority of 70 %: wait one more day
- Once a majority of 80 %: we can proceed immediately
Remark: (BV membership applications will still need formal approval in the next BoD meeting, but applicants can already be contacted)
Official voice of BeVolunteer
The official voice of BV is the executive delgate of the BoD.
Confidentiality of information
Every member is obliged to keep all information about BeVolunteer and its members confidential, i.e. within the circle of BeVolunteer members. Divulging information can cause penalties defined by the Board of Directors. This does not extend to include information defined as publicly available. Public information about BeVolunteer is exactly the official information as defined by the board or the general assembly and published on the website of BeVolunteer.