New arrangements for administering SOG membership

Around two thirds of SOG members already elect to have annual membership of Suffolk Naturalists’ Society at the same time as SOG membership.  Some people join or renew their memberships through SOG and others do this through SNS.  This dual approach does create the need for a significant amount of cross-referencing of membership and subscription information between SOG and SNS.

Although we have our own Constitution and separate charity status, SOG was originally set up as a ‘daughter’ organisation to SNS and has always maintained good links with our ‘parent’!  Having consulted closely, both SOG and SNS Councils have recommended that for 2019 onwards the actual administration of membership matters for both organisations should be based in one place c/o Ipswich Museum and that the Membership and Gift Aid Declaration forms should be dual purpose to cover both SNS and SOG. 

We believe this move should effectively streamline the various processes involved, making financial transfers between SNS and SOG and our respective dealings with HMRC over Gift Aid much easier to handle.  Please be assured that both SOG and SNS Councils will keep a watchful eye over the new arrangements, to ensure they are as efficient as possible and adhere to the expected standards of financial probity and data confidentiality.

You will find the new joint Membership Form and Gift Aid Form on this website on the downloads page.  Please read them through carefully and please renew your membership(s) as soon as possible in the New Year.  Drawing on the existing systems used by SNS you will see that there are now a number of additional ways in which you can pay your annual subscription.  However, whichever way you decide to pay, please ensure that you still also send both paper forms by post to Ipswich  Museum. This will enable us to cross-check that all the details we receive are correct.

As part of the review of arrangements we have expanded the option of ‘Family’ membership to include ‘Household’ membership as well. This allows one other named family member or partner, living at the same address, to be covered by this type of membership.

We have also added a new category of ‘Student’ membership to dovetail with the existing offer from SNS.  Joint Student memberships attract a similar discount.   

A special note for those of you who have joined SOG since 1 September: your membership already runs through to 31 December of the following year. However, please will you still return both forms to the Museum with a note to say you joined in the autumn after 1 September.  You may also wish to add Gift Aid to your membership or become a member of SNS as well.

The fact that SNS members automatically receive the highly regarded Annual Bird Report Suffolk Birds must in itself be easily worth the few extra pounds for dual membership!

If you have any specific queries about your SOG and/or SNS membership, please contact Rosemary Milner at Ipswich Museum on 01473 433547. She normally works there on Tuesday mornings. You can also email queries to enquiries@sns.org.uk

We hope the transfer to these new arrangements runs smoothly, but if you do experience any issues please contact a member of SOG Council or email info@sogonline.org.uk and we will do all we can to help.

Edward Jackson