Download PDF: Rules of BeVolunteer, Version 7, 11/2018
BeVolunteer (BV) is the association that manages BeWelcome. BV is a voluntary association, registered in France according to the French law of July 1, 1901 and the decree of August 16, 1901. BV is governed by its Statutes, a copy of which can be found at http://www.bevolunteer.org/about-bevolunteer/statutes/
The Statutes are the primary governance document of BeVolunteer, and the Rules exist to provide more detail and, in some cases, an explanation of how the Statutes will operate in practice.
The Rules define the method of execution of the Statutes and, in any conflict between the Statutes and the Rules, the Statutes will prevail.Any Rules that contradict theStatutes are invalid.
2.0 Membership of BeVolunteer
In accordance with Article 6 of the Statutes, any person contributing to the objectives of BeVolunteer or one of its projects, such as BeWelcome, may apply to become a member of BeVolunteer. Membership ofBeVolunteer is not required to become a BeWelcome volunteer.
2.1 Applications for Membership
In order for a person to become a member of BeVolunteer, the person should normally:
a) have been an active BeWelcome member for at least 3 months; and b) have been volunteering for BeWelcome for at least 3 months.
At the discretion of the Board of Directors (BoD) applications may also be considered from persons who can demonstrate a commitment to BeVolunteer or BeWelcome in other ways.
The applicant must make a written membership request to the Board of Directors (BoD), (insert contactdetails) stating the reasons for wanting to become a BeVolunteer member. Applicants must also accept the Statutes and the Rules of the association, and agree to grant to BeVolunteer a right forever to use the work done for BeVolunteer during the membership. This covers work done for BeVolunteer and any and all of its projects, such as BeWelcome.
After receiving an application, the BoD should, during its next meeting, decide whether to accept or reject this application. If the BoD confirms the application, it will send a welcoming message to the new member. In case of a rejection, the BoD should explain the concerns to the member, and a notice must be posted in the following BoD report, mentioning no personal information, explaining the reasons for therejection. In either case, the message should be sent before the next meeting of the board.
During the first three months of membership, new members cannot vote at a General Assembly or be elected to the Board of Directors. During the first twelve months of membership New Members cannot vote in the General Assembly on Articles 12 [Modification of the Statutes] or 13 [Dissolution] of the present Statutes.
2.2 Loss of Membership
In accordance with Article 6.5 of the Statutes, membership may end by:
a) Death or incapacity of the member.
b) Written resignation sent to the Board of Directors.
c) Failure to renew membership for two consecutive years. (See Section 2.3 of these Rules.)
d) failure to renew voluntary suspension for two consecutive years. (See Section 2.4 of these Rules.)
e) exclusion for serious cause. (Examples of ‘serious cause’ can include activity which is illegal, in violation of the non-disclosure agreement or damaging for BeVolunteer.)
Exclusion for serious cause is effective immediately upon notification by the Board of Directors. The member concerned has the right of appeal to a subsequent General Assembly, where appeals will be considered as the first item of GA business. If their appeal is successful, the member is reinstated immediately, and regains all their previous rights in BeVolunteer.
2.3 Maintaining Membership
In accordance with Article 6.3 of the Statutes, in order to maintain Full Membership, continuing contribution to the objectives of BeVolunteer must be made, consisting at least of participating in GA voting or some minimal level of volunteering.
In addition, once a year, before the annual Ordinary General Assembly, Full Members will be asked if they wish to maintain Full Membership with the right to participate in GA votes, suspend their membership, or resign. If no reply is received from the member, and the member does not register for the GA, membership will be suspended. If the same member does not renew membership again next year, the membership may be lost.
2.4 Suspension of Membership
At any time, members can voluntarily suspend their membership by simple notification to the Board of Directors in writing, including by electronic means. The suspension takes effect immediately.
The member can lift an automatic or voluntary suspension at any time by simple notification of the BoD. Every 12 months, the member must notify the BoD whether they wish to renew the voluntary suspensionfor a further 12 months. If the voluntary suspension is neither lifted nor renewed by the member during a period of 2 consecutive years (24 months)the membership may be lost, in accordance with Article 6.5 of the Statutes.If this happens, the member can apply again for membership, under a simplified process defined in Section 2.5 of these Rules.
Membership can also be suspended by the BoD or GA, if the conditions in Section 2.3 of these Rules are not met.
Members on suspension, whether voluntary or imposed, have no voting rights in BeVolunteer; are not counted when calculating any quorum; and cannot be elected to the BoD.
In accordance with Article 6.4 of the Statutes, where a membership has been lost because a voluntary suspension was neither lifted nor renewed, the person concerned may apply again for membership, under a simplified process. In this case, the requirements for a minimum level of volunteering and to state the reasons for wanting membership will be waived. The applicant needs only to send a written request to the BoD. In their next meeting the BoD should decide whether to approve or reject the re-application. In case of rejection the same procedure will be followed as in 2.1 Applications for Membership and the appeals process is as set out in 2.6 Appeals.
Applicants and members have the right to appeal decisions concerning their membership to the General Assembly (GA). Any such appeals should be made in writing to the Secretary of BeVolunteer.
Appeals to the General Assembly for refusal, suspension, or loss of membership will be the first order of business, allowing reinstated members to exercise their membership rights. Appeals will be decided by an absolute majority (more than 50%) of those BV members eligible to vote who are participating or represented at the GA.
Any GA decisions on appeals become effective immediately. Membership first granted under appeal begins upon approval by the GA.
3.0 General Assemblies
The General Assembly (GA) is the supreme organ of BeVolunteer. BV holds an Ordinary General Assembly at least once a year and may, under certain circumstances, hold an Emergency General Assembly (see Article 9.4 of the Statutes). GAs are open to all members of BV and, whenever possible, members of BeWelcome, though only BV Full Members (as defined in Article 6.2 of the Statutes) can vote.
The preparation and organisation of a GA is the responsibility of the Board of Directors. A GA can meet physically and/or via other means of communication, includingonline attendance and voting. The BoD 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.
At least 1 month in advance, an invitation must be published by the BoD giving the location and time of the GA. It is up to the 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 requirements for a quorum and the voting majority needed to make decisions at the GAs are set out in Article 9 of the Statutes. Unless otherwise stated in the Statutes, all decisions will be made by absolute majority. In other words, for a proposal to pass it will need the approval of more than 50% of those BeVolunteer members eligible to vote and who are present or represented. The number of eligible members present or represented will be determined, independently for each vote, by the sum of votes and ‘abstentions‘ (those notifying that they are present or represented but not voting).
The outgoing BoD will appoint one of their number to take meeting minutes. These must be validated by the next BoD and published at the latest one month after the General Assembly.
4.0 Board of Directors
The Board of Directors [BoD] is the executive organ of BeVolunteer. The activities of BeVolunteer, and any projects such as BeWelcome, are managed by the BoD. The Board of Directors is elected annually by the General Assembly, from among the members of BeVolunteer, to serve until the next BoD is elected by the GA.
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 officialBoD meeting must be organised following the guidelines below:
a) Any BeVolunteer member can propose topics to the BoD agenda and the Board has to consider these proposals.Any such proposals should be given to the Secretary at least 24 hoursin advance of the meeting.
b) 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.
c) The board meeting minutes have to be approved by at least two board members (other than the minute-takerof the respective meeting) and published publicly in order to be valid.
d) The minutes of any Board meetings must be published before the next meeting of the BoD.
5.0 BeVolunteer Assets
Certain assets of BeVolunteer, and projects such as BeWelcome, are inalienable.That is to say,they cannot be sold or transferred in any way to another party, except as defined in Article 13 of the Statutes [Dissolution]. These same assets cannot be shared with any outside party, except in the case ofspecific limited data having a direct bearing on safety or security.
6.0 Changes to These Rules
The Board of Directors (BoD) are responsible for establishing and agreeing any changes to these Rules. Any changes to the Rules take effect as soon as they are published by the Board of Directors. At the next General Assembly, these changes will be submitted for approval. If neither the changes nor an alternative text are approved, the Rules revert to the most recent versionpreviously approved by a GA.