Membership Frequently Asked Questions

MEMBERSHIP QUESTIONS

 

Why are you now charging for services?

Like many of our members, our funding has reduced and we cannot afford to offer all our services free.  Where charges are made, we have ensured that members will pay reduced rate compared to non-members. On funding advice, we have decided to give all members up to 3 hours free (worth £90) rather than offering different rates. For many of our members we hope this will be enough. We also want to make sure we share our time as fairly as possible across all members who need help. For those who need extensive help, and are heavy users of a scarce resource, it seems fair they should pay.

 

How do I join the CVS?

By completing the registration form that can be either completed through our website, downloaded from our website or emailed to you.  If the form has been downloaded or emailed to you, please complete and return it (preferably by email) to membership@communities1st.org.uk  Please also send a cheque for the correct amount or you can pay with a credit/debit card via our website www.communities1st.org.uk/payments.  The amount your group needs to pay should become clear through completing the membership form. There are also details on our website.

 

How do I join the Volunteer Centre? / Do I need to pay to use the Vol Centre?

If you only want to advertise your volunteering opportunities you will need to register your volunteering opportunity which can be downloaded from our website

communities1st.org.uk/need-a-volunteer  or emailed to you, and, then return it (by email).  You will then need to complete a New Opportunity form for each of your volunteering opportunities.

 

Advertising volunteering vacancies is free when you join as a member.  If you only want to advertise volunteering opportunities and not become a member, then it will cost £15 per vacancy.

 

Can I use your services without being a member?

Yes, you are welcome to do that but you will pay a higher rate for some services than members, and you will not be eligible for all our benefits (e.g. you will not be eligible for Dragons’ Apprentice or to advertise volunteer roles without a charge)

 

Can I still join your CVS if I am based outside St Albans and Hertsmere Districts?

Yes, you will need to pay £60 membership unless you provide services to people in the Districts.  Please see the registration form for details.

We are a national charity who would like to recruit in St Albans - can we have membership?

Yes, please complete the registration form and pay £60 unless you provide services to people in the Districts.  Please see the registration form for details.

 

MEMBERSHIP RENEWAL

How do I renew my membership?

Re-joining is a simple 2 step process.

  1. Complete the new Membership form online here communities1st.org.uk/Join or email membership@communities1st.org.uk or call 020 3559 3559 and ask for a membership form to be sent to you.
  2. We will send you an invoice and payment details by BACS or cheque. Payment needs to be received by Monday 1 July 2019 to ensure your member services are not distrupted.

 

My organisation is run completely by volunteers do I have to pay?

Your organisation will have to pay £30 per year for membership, and we would like you to complete our new form

 

My organisation has a paid/contracted worker, but only one, do I have to pay?

How much is your income? We would like you to fill in our new form, and you will have to pay £30 if income is under £20,000, and £60 if income is £20,000 or over

 

Is £20,000 income gross or net?

This means £20,000 gross income

 

We have £6,000 in funds, but no paid worker, how much do we have to pay?

You are eligible for the reduced fee of £30

 

We have a part-time session ‘paid’ worker but under £20,000 income, how much do we pay?

You are eligible for the reduced fee of £30

 

ABOUT THE FORM

I can’t email my registration form?

If you don’t have access to email, we will accept a printed copy in the post or dropped in. Please let us know in advance if you will be sending your form this way by ringing 020 3559 3559.

 

I don’t know how to do an electronic signature

We do not need an electronic signature. Just type your name in the box and e-mail your form to membership@communities1st.org.uk  

 

FUNDING ADVICE

 

Can I speak to Funding adviser please?

Is your group a member? 

If you are not a member you will need to pay for advice at a rate of £30 per hour, unless you are looking to set up a new community/voluntary group or charity, or you are applying for Community Grants. Advice on these two latter areas is funded by the district council.

 

If you are a member then you will have up to 5 hours advice of which up to 3 hours can be used for funding advice as part of your membership package. Please understand that this will include time spent on the phone, so to get most value out of your time, it is important to prepare for calls including finding information previously asked for. In some cases, you might get more value if you send us a quick email outlining your question or problem before speaking with us.

 

Can I book my 3-hour appointment with a funding advisor?

No, we don’t generally provide the advice in one 3-hour block, experience shows that it’s more useful to have several shorter interactions e.g. initial fact finding followed by a separate conversation when we have done some research.

 

We need funding advice but do not need volunteers – do we need membership?

You need to be a member to get up to 3 hours free funding advice. You can ask for advice as a non-member, and this will be charged at £30 per hour for most groups, so membership generally offers better value.

 

As a small group which is just starting up, can we get free advice? (Not funding)

Yes, you can have free help to get constituted as this is funded by both St Albans District Council and Hertsmere Borough Council. Once constituted, you would have to join to get up to 3 hours of free funding advice.

 

As a small group which is just starting up, can we get free funding advice?

No, you are entitled to free help to get constituted but this would not include free funding advice. Once you are set up, you would have to join (£30 or £60) to get up to 3 hours of funding advice free, or you can pay for that advice as a non-member at a rate of £30 per hour

 

Will my membership give me three full hours 1:1 funding advice?

Membership will give you up to 3 free hours of support with funding or governance. This will not all be 1:1 as it will include phone conversations and research time done behind the scenes.

 

Will you charge for part hours for funding/governance advice?

We will keep track of the time and will only charge for whole hours.

 

I want help with Community Grants – do I have to pay?

No, help with Community Grants is funded by St Albans District Council and Hertsmere Borough Council.

TRAINING

 

We run a number of training courses each year and are happy to put on bespoke training for groups (subject to minimum numbers) Please contact our Voluntary Sector Partnerships Team with your training needs at training@communities1st.org.uk or 020 3559 3559.

 

DRAGONS’ APPRENTICE CHALLENGE

 

Dragons’ Apprentice is a competition invented and run by Communities 1st. We match a school team (primary or secondary age) with a business mentor (the Dragon) and a local charity. We give the school £50/£100 and the challenge is to turn this into a profit for the charity. For more information visit: www.communities1st.org.uk/Dragons.

 

VOLUNTEERS

 

Will my organisation be eligible to advertise volunteering opportunities even if I have no membership?

Advertising volunteering vacancies is free when you join as a member.  If you only want to advertise volunteering opportunities and not become a member, then it will cost £15 per vacancy.

 

EQUIPMENT HIRE [price sheet at end of this document]

 

I would like to hire a projector does my group need membership?

You do not need to be a member to hire equipment, but if you are not a member you will pay a higher price than members pay.

 

I would like some photocopies and printing do I need membership?

You do not need to be a member for this, but if you are not a member you will pay a higher price than members pay.

 

DBS CHECKS

I am not a member - can I have a DBS check?

Yes.  You do not need to be a member for this, but if you are not a member you will pay a higher price than members pay.

 

Can I book a DBS check?

Yes.  You do not need to be a member for this, but if you are not a member you will pay a higher price than members pay.