Episode 320: Why a Membership Committee?
Membership Committee – Your Chapter’s Gatekeepers
Globally, every high achieving Chapter in BNI has one attribute in common. It’s the most important attribute any Chapter can have. that’s an effective Membership Committee. The Membership Committee of your Chapter is your quality control mechanism. They control the calibre of members who are approved for membership, and they govern the performance of the Chapter by monitoring and deciding upon the performance of the membership.
In this role, the Membership Committee have not only the power to decline applications, but an absolute duty to do so when appropriate. This is how your Chapter ensures that you are surrounded and supported by quality business professionals who network effectively and embrace the idea of Givers Gain®. Chapters consisting of members like this have the best opportunity for universal success.
There have been occasions when a member has sponsored a potential new member into the Chapter and has been less than impressed when the prospective member’s application has been declined. In these instances though, the established member should in no way see this as a reflection on them. If anything, it shows that the process works.
Rejected applications do not reflect on the sponsoring member.
The established member has done exactly the right thing by inviting an eligible applicant along. The Chapter has done a great job of welcoming the visitor and showing why the Chapter is a group that visitors should want to join. And the Membership Committee has undertaken their due diligence in interviewing the applicant and checking their references. So, all is as it should be.
For whatever reason, the applicant has been declined, but this is not a reflection on the inviting member, Chapter, or Membership Committee. The Membership Committee are the custodians of the Chapter’s culture and with their evaluation process, they access more information about the applicant than anyone else in the Chapter and should have their decision (and themselves) respected.
It’s also worth noting, just because the applicant wasn’t a good fit for your Chapter, doesn’t necessarily mean they’re not a good fit for BNI. In fact, currently, three of BNI Adelaide’s Director Team were declined membership by the first Chapters they applied to. All three have gone on to be brilliant contributors in their Chapters and valued additions to the regional support team.
Membership Committees are comprised of humans.
True, Membership Committees may occasionally get it “wrong”, but not for lack of trying. Still, their decisions should be respected, and at the end of the day, they get plenty more right than they do wrong.