Friday, June 7, 2013

MQG Membership

PMQG members: We are voting at our June 20th meeting!
PMQG members will vote on when our guild will join the MQG: membership is available in July for the 2nd half of 2013 and in December for 2014. You must be a paid PMQG member and be present at our June 20th meeting to vote. Individual Memberships will also be available in July and December.

Last month, MQG founder Alissa Haight Carlton presented the details of MQG membership to our guild. Here is a recap of her presentation, from a document provided by the MQG.

MQG Membership FAQs
The Big Picture
by Alissa Haight Carlton

Q: What is the mission statement of the Modern Quilt Guild?
A: Our mission is to support and encourage the growth and development of modern
quilting through art, education, and community.

Q: Why is membership to the MQG being formalized?
A: The MQG has grown exponentially since the first MQG was founded by Alissa Haight
Carlton and Latifah Saafir in Los Angeles in October 2009. Through blogs and the
internet, word spread quickly and soon guilds started popping up everywhere. The
original founders of the MQG provided support and guidance to these new groups.

In 2010, the founding members brought together a group of dedicated guild members
from across the country to form the initial MQG board. The goal was simple: determine
what local guilds wanted and needed from a national organizational structure. Did
they even want one at all?

The feedback came via member surveys, social media, the MQG leadership forum and
a pilot membership program made up of five MQGs. The priorities emerged: members
wanted community connections and communication, education, a better way to
manage membership, support in forming and running local guilds, and an easy way for
their guild to acquire 501(c)(3) non-profit status.

QuiltCon 2013 emerged as the vehicle by which the board could fund the work and
infrastructure needed to meet these objectives.
The board was expanded to bring on expertise in the areas of accounting, software,
and industry relations. An attorney was engaged to continue the 501(c)(3) application
process, a new website was born, and a membership program is being rolled out to
formalize the structure of the organization.

Work is ongoing to support the work of local MQGs and build a strong, thriving
international organization that supports the MQG’s mission to encourage the growth
and development of modern quilting through art, education, and community.

Q: What are the basic requirements for a local group to join the MQG?
A: A local guild will need to develop and adopt a set of bylaws, elect officers, acquire
an EIN, and open a bank account. In addition, the fiscal year must match the MQG’s
fiscal year of January 1 to December 31 and the bylaws must contain some specific
language (outlined in a separate document). These are also the prerequisites to qualify
for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status through the MQG’s group exemption.

Q: How much are dues?
A: Individuals not affiliated with a local guild can join the MQG for $25 per year. Local
MQG’s will pay a flat annual fee based on the number of members in their group:
10 - 15 members: $ 150
16 - 25 members: 250
26 - 35 members: 400
36 - 45 members: 550
46 - 55 members: 700
56 - 65 members: 850
66 - 75 members: 1,000
76 - 90 members: 1,150
91+ members: 1,275
International fees are 35% less.

Q: Why are international dues discounted?
A: The board considers the initial launch of guild activities to be heavily centered in the
United States and therefore determined it appropriate to discount dues for international

Q: What if my guild signs up with 23 members for 2013 and adds 5 members before the
end of the year? How will our dues increase?
A: Your dues will increase the next enrollment period in January 2014. You can add and
remove members over the course of the year without any changes in cost.

Q: How was the amount of dues determined? Why are they so reasonable? Why are
they so expensive? (yes, we’ve gotten both of these questions!)
A: Dues represent about 10-15% of the projected income of the MQG in 2013.
Remaining expenses will be funded from revenue generated by activities like QuiltCon
and the SewDowns. The goal was to make dues both reasonable and affordable while
still providing needed funding for the operational budget of the organization.
We’d like to think that the MQG’s mission alone is reason enough to support the
organization but we’re realists too. To encourage guilds to join, the board has spent
considerable effort in devising a value-packed list of member and guild benefits which
we think far exceeds the cost of dues paid. We believe the combination of an
awesome mission and a compelling line-up of member activities, opportunities for
connecting within the MQG community, and guild benefits like 501(c)(3) status will
make our organization strong and ready to spread the word of modern quilting

Q: What are the deadlines for joining?
A: For guilds joining in 2013, dues will be pro-rated for a half-year period from July 1 to
December 31. Existing guilds will have until December 2014 to join. Benefits are listed

Q: Our guild is lacking bylaws which is required for membership? Where can we go to
get help in creating these?
A: Several samples of MQG bylaws have been posted on the website. We recommend
beginning with one as a template and modifying it as needed.

Q: Our guild doesn’t have an EIN, how do we get one?
A: Your guild can get can an EIN from the IRS. State requirements vary from state-tostate.
The IRS has information about getting an EIN here:

Q: Can a current guild join the MQG and still have local dues?
A: Absolutely. Local guilds retain complete ownership of setting local member dues.

Q: By aligning our fiscal year to the MQG do we have to have elections coordinate to
that year?
A: No. Your officers can run any start/end dates that you determine to be the best for
your local guild.

Q: If a guild chooses not to join can they still be a Modern Quilt Guild?
A: They will not be able to use the Modern Quilt Guild name. Being an official part of
the Modern Quilt Guild infers alliance with the mission of the MQG which includes a
commitment to the growth and development of modern quilting through art,
education, and community. Guilds are more formal than a sewing circle or club. If your
current group does not wish to join the formal structure of the MQG they can continue
with their current activities and should drop MQG from their name.

Q: Will individual members have access to the website to access guild challenges?
A: Yes. Individual members will have all the same benefits as members of local guilds.
An Individual Group is planned for the website for members that are not affiliated with a
local guild.

Q: What are additional benefits of joining the MQG?
A: Guild and Individual Members will receive the following benefits:
- discounted entry fees for MQG quilt shows
- discounted rates on conferences and events
- priority and early-bird registration for conferences and events
- discounts and special offers with MQG sponsors, legal fees and affiliated companies
- permission to the The Modern Quilt Guild logo
- access to MQG Leaders only newsletter and forum
- membership cards
- official member blog button
- membership pins
- 10% discount on online MQG merchandise purchases

Q: If a member switches guilds mid-year (such as moving) or signs on as an individual
and later wants to join a guild, will you offer refunds?
A: No, members will need to pay the dues for the type of membership they would like.

Note: A separate document entitled Quilt Guilds as Nonprofit, Tax-Exempt Organizations
is available. It covers the nitty-gritty details of what being non-profit is, how the MQG’s
tax-exempt status is structured, and how your guild can take advantage of the group
exemption being offered by the MQG parent organization.

Q: Can we join without taking advantage of the 501(c)(3) status?
A: Guilds that already have non-profit status in place will not be required to file under
the parent organization’s group exemption option. Remaining guilds located in the
United States are required to take part in the 501(c)(3) group exemption. Guilds located
outside of the United States are exempt from this requirement. Since membership fees
cover the vast majority of operational costs beyond 501(c) there is no discount for
guilds who already have non-profit status in place.

Q: How quickly will our guild have 501(c) status after sending in our dues and
A: We plan to process membership as quickly as possible, preferably within 5 business
days, but it should be no longer than 21 business days depending on volume.

Constituent Relationship Management System (CRM)
Note: The CRM system will allow guild leaders the ability to track membership, take
payments, communicate with your guild through groups and newsletters, and plan
events with RSVPs. In addition, the social media hub will facilitate guild-to-guild
communication for planning meet ups and swaps, share photos of work, ask for advice,
and get information about MQG challenges.

Q: Will we need to maintain our own websites?
A: No. The MQG website will provide your guild with a web page where you can
announce events and post information for your members.

Q: Will we be able to link back to our blog that we already have established?
A: Yes. One of the features of the CRM is the ability to link your blog to the website.

Q: Will it have e-newsletter capabilities?
A: This feature is a requirement in our development project plan.

Member Information
Q: How will the MQG use and protect the personal information of members?
The MQG will never share or sell member's information with another organization or
company. Our membership database will never be shared or sold.
For some events we will offer the option to share email addresses of event registrants
only, but only if it is very clearly an option to approve or decline your participation and
people can opt out. You must opt-in for this, we will not share your email address
without your permission.

 The guild makes sure all of its communications are in compliance with the CAN-SPAM
Act as well as protecting members personal information as a top priority in our emails.

Future Plans of the Modern Quilt Guild
Q: What does the MQG have planned for the future?
A: The following events are currently scheduled:
- SewDowns - five all-inclusive weekend getaways that include 4 teacher led workshops.
Cities include Philadelphia, Portland, Nashville, Minneapolis, and Scottsdale.
- QuiltCon 2015
- Traveling Best of QuiltCon Show
- Quilt Market & Festival Showcase

Q: How many people do you anticipate the SewDowns to accommodate and how is it
decided who can attend? How much will it cost?
A: 80 attendees. It will be on a first come, first serve registration process with members
having the benefit of early bird registration. A flat amount of $750 per member/double
occupancy will include hotel, workshops with 4 instructors and food for the weekend.
Non-members will be $900 per person/double occupancy.

Organizational Structure
Q: How many people work for the guild?
A: Since September, 2012 the MQG has had two full-time employees. Alissa Haight
Carlton as the Executive Director and Heather Grant as the Director of Marketing and
Programming. Their hours will vary in 2013 as event planning ebbs and flows. Since April
2013, Jen Carlton Bailly works as the guild’s Communications Manager. We anticipate
hiring a bookkeeper in 2013.

Q: Will the annual budget be made available? What about minutes from board
A: Yes. This is also a requirement of being a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

Q: Will board members be elected by the membership in the future?
A: The board is currently developing a plan for member participation in the board
selection process. This is slated for rollout in 2014.

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