Updated February 2011
General definition of a GCC member. Green Communities Canada is the Canadian umbrella group for non-profit community-based organizations that deliver environmental programs and services. GCC membership is subject to acceptance by the GCC Board, and members are subject to ejection as provided in Article 40 of By-law 1. Members must meet the following criteria (see Full and Associate Membership policy for further details on the application of these criteria to the two tiers of membership):
- accordance with existing GCC policies – formal endorsement, including GCC mission, values, and position statement
- community-based – based within the community served by the member, serving a defined territory that will generally conform to appropriate municipal boundaries, with a community board of directors, and local partnerships
- environmental – primary function is to deliver environmental programs and services, preferably over a range of environmental program areas, to individuals, households and the community
- results-oriented – focussed on action and measurable results
- demonstrated organizational capacity – minimum standards include:
- permanent paid staff and management
- an established board of directors – board is independent of paid staff
- a broad and substantial community-base, as demonstrated by partnerships, board membership, endorsements, track record, profile, and reputation
- appropriate programming, as evidenced based on past, current, and planned future activities
Responsibilities of GCC. GCC will endeavour to ensure the success of its members within their respective territories, to achieve the ends defined by GCC Board policies, through the exercise of functions established by GCC Board policies.
Membership development. GCC seeks to grow its membership throughout Canada, consistent with GCC membership policies, available resources, and other GCC priorities. GCC will provide limited support, orientation, and guidance to newly forming Green Communities and existing qualified organizations that wish to join.
Responsibilities of the GCC member. The GCC member will:
- uphold policies adopted by the GCC Board of Directors
- uphold the interests of GCC and its member organizations
- inform the GCC office of local activities and significant developments
- share information and resources of value to other members and/or the GCC office
- identify and pursue opportunities for program replication, joint programs, and other shared initiatives with the GCC office and/or other GCC members
- participate in decision-making in accordance with GCC policies and by-laws
- provide input to the GCC office for planning, policy, and decision-making purposes
- pay annual membership dues in accordance with GCC policies
Promotion and use of the GCC name. The GCC member will:
- publicize its membership whenever feasible, with the words: “A member of Green Communities Canada” (GCC website URL and logo optional)
- establish a link to the GCC website from the GCC member website
- support and participate as appropriate in GCC communications initiatives
- issue statements in the name of GCC and/or other members and in accordance with established GCC policies or programs, or where requested or authorized
Senior partnerships. GCC and its members will work together to develop and maintain positive relations with senior partners, including utilities, governments, businesses, agencies, and other organizations that have or may establish relationships with a significant proportion of GCC members. Except as otherwise agreed, GCC will coordinate senior partner relations.
Programming. GCC and its member organizations support the objective of full scope environmental programming in all communities, including GCC joint programs as locally appropriate, and will cooperate with efforts to ensure their successful delivery.
As a general principle, full members may deliver joint programs in their territory, subject to funding, capacity, and criteria. However, by mutual agreement, where an existing full member does not wish to deliver a joint program in its territory, GCC may enter into delivery agreements with suitable non-member organizations.
In a territory where no local GCC member exists, GCC may enter into joint program delivery agreements with non-members. In this case, non-members that meet membership criteria will be encouraged to join.
Where a member delivers programs outside of its defined territory, and a qualified new member is established in that territory, the two members are expected to negotiate in good faith to reach an equitable and amicable agreement consistent with the principle of community-based delivery. If an agreement cannot be reached, the GCC Board will make efforts to resolve the issue, including third party mediation.
Where GCC is lead or partner in any program within a member’s territory, regardless of the delivery parties involved, the member will be consulted and kept informed. Opportunities will be explored for a member role in delivery, public communications, and partnership development.
Full and Associate Membership
Subject to the provisions outlined in POLICY: GCC Membership, Green Communities Canada will maintain two levels of membership, full and associate. Associate membership is a second-tier level of membership, with reduced privileges, services, and fees, for organizations that do not yet meet the criteria for full membership. Our long-term objective is that associate members become full members, and that a majority of GCC members will be full members. Full and associate membership are distinguished as follows: