How much will they be and for how long?
Membership dues will be $25 annually or $250 for a lifetime membership (which means a one-time payment). Dues paying members are considered “Premium Membership” with which members are eligible for all benefits and full access to the website. Also offered is a Basic Membership, which is free and only provides limited access to the website and benefits/services (see below for list of valuable benefits).
Why the Basic Membership?
We are offering the Basic Membership for those who want to stay connected, but who are not inclined to receive Premium or Lifetime benefits. Members will still be connected and have the option to upgrade their membership in the future, if they so desire. Basic members receive the quarterly newsletter and are able to join a chapter.
Why are we charging dues?
We believe that this earned income model is essential to the sustainability of AmeriCorps Alums. If we provide enough value that our members are willing to share in the investment of their alumni organization, then we know we are doing something right. If we aren’t hitting the mark and members don’t find enough value to pay $25 a year towards the sustainability of their alumni organization, than maybe we shouldn’t exist at all. We exist for our alums members and we are committed to listening to them and providing services that they want/need. We also hope that together we can keep this movement alive, build the capacity for alums as leaders and make change in communities and in the world!
AmeriCorps Alums has been in existence for 2 years and Hands On Network has fully supported us. We have reached a tipping point where it is now necessary for us to create self-sustaining sources of revenue and implementation of our plan for financial sustainability. Launching dues prematurely- before we had adequate momentum and valuable benefits, would have turned alums away; whereas delaying our dues launch- until a future date- would have negated the value in the member benefits we have built to this point, potentially leaving our stakeholders reluctant to invest at a later date. Its tricky, but we believe that the time is now!
How do I choose my membership type and pay dues if I am already a registered member?
All registered members will receive emails from us explaining this change and providing instructions. All registered members will automatically be considered a “Premium dues paying member” and will be granted a three free trial period to test drive on the new upgraded site. On May 20th, all Premium Members will be asked to pay dues, if they have not done so already. We will email members a membership preference form in order to determine if: 1) they prefer to remain a Premium Member” and pay dues on May 20th 2) they prefer to upgrade to a “Lifetime Membership” and will pay dues on May 20th or 3) they prefer to downgrade to a “Basic Membership” and not pay dues or have access to most benefits and resources.
What happens to the 6-month trial period?
The 6-month trial period will now be turned off. The new dues system will go live on May 1st. All current registered members will have the same date for the start of their year, May 20th. For new registrants, their year will start the day they register.
How do I become a member and pay dues?
When you go to http://www.americorpsalums.org/and click “Register,” you will be taken to the Registration Page. Once you have completed your registration, you will be directed to the dues payment page. Depending on if you have selected Premium of Lifetime Membership, you will be asked to pay the amount by credit or debit card.
What if I refer someone to register and pay dues?
On the registration page, there is a field named "Referred by." This is where members identify the name of the person who referred them, if applicable. AmeriCorps Alums keeps track of these referrals and will award a prize to one referrer each day during National AmeriCorps Week! During the summer we will continue referral contests with fun prizes!
Can I give more than that amount?
Of course! On the dues payment page, there is a prompt that asks if you would like to make an addtional donation to AmeriCorps Alums. AmeriCorps Alums is launching an individual giving campaign, and will rely on Friends of Alums and Alums themselves to provide donations!
What if I cannot afford to pay?
We do not want to turn away any alums because of financial hardship. Inasmuch, we have set-up a scholarship assistance program that allows alums to explain the reasons why they are unable to invest financially in AmeriCorps Alums. On a case by case basis, AmeriCorps Alums will assess the circumstances surrounding each respective case, and subsequently render its decision. Please be aware that AmeriCorps Alums has allocated a pre-determined number of scholarships. Additionally, we have created the Basic Membership as a way of keeping alums connected who do not want to pay dues, but who also want to stay involved.
What will the dues be used for?
The revenue generated from Membership Dues will be essential to the everyday activities of AmeriCorps Alums. Funds will be utilized to host the national conference and regional training gatherings, to fund chapter programming, to develop our advocacy infrastructure, to recognize the efforts of alums & chapters, and to maintaining the fantastic online community plus all the other benefits! See the benefit list for more detail!
Do chapters benefit from dues?
Chapters will definitely get a percentage of revenue AmeriCorps Alums receives from dues. We are currently developing a system to ensure grants to those chapters that maintain a fiscal agent.
What do I get for my investment?
Check these out!!! Also, we will be sending out a survey to current registered members asking for their feedback on the benefits. We will conduct surveys on a regular basis to ensure we understand what benefits our alums view as valuable and what can be changed. Please click here the link following link to view the list of currently avaialable benefits:
Which benefits are NEW?
1. GOOD Magazine: “Media for people who give a damn!” AmeriCorps Alums and GOOD Magazine are teaming up to provide a platform for the ideas, people, and businesses that are a driving force for change in the world by getting a GREAT magazine in the hands of every alum. Register during National AmeriCorps Week (and beyond) and make “GOOD” on your lifetime commitment to service!
2.Online Career Services: We are completely revamping the career section with two new services! Alums will have their own job search page where you can store your resume, can communicate with employers and track interviews. Additionally, through the “Vault” Career Library, alums will have access to 90+ guides worth over $2000- for use in career and profesional development assistance. The site allows you to read about industries and have interactive discussions with people about jobs /companies you maybe interested in, sometimes even with the employer!
3. Change Leader Track: Alums will have the opportunity to discuss hot button issues with thought leaders/authors from different sectors! AmeriCorps Alums will invite speakers, host a conference call where you can ask questions, and then follow up the discussion with an online forum or even a local book club discussion. Set to launch this fall, the first track will be Social Entrepreneurship!
4. Regional Gatherings: Alums will soon have a menu of trainings to choose from for their own professional development. Launching this fall is our first annual Regional Gathering where chapter leaders will receive leadership development training and networking opportunities with alums and Hands on Affiliates!
5. Discounts! As a "thank you" for your service year, AmeriCorps Alums is unveling a variety of national discounts available only to alums. As we grow in membership numbers, we will continue to increase our discount offerings.