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Jenn

Founding Versus Charter Members

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A "charter member" is defined as someone who is enrolled in the society at the time the time that the permanent society is form or before a certain date set by the society (p. 560, ll.5-6) or before a certain date set by the society (p. 560, fn.).    RONR does not grant the charter member any additional rights; it is effectively an honorary title.  Your bylaws could create additional rights for "charter members."

Your bylaws could create an additional honorary title of "founding members," and establish criteria for it.  It could be identical to charter members, or it could have separate criteria.  Your bylaws could create additional rights for "founding members."

How your society chooses to define "founding members," if it uses the title, are totally up to your society. 

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I am not sure there is much of a difference. Although if a group wants to use both terms then perhaps the founding members are the ones who had the idea to start the group and the charter members are those that were at the organizational meetings.

I have also hear the term charter member used for those that were members when the official charter was issued and have been to a couple of paces where the charter is hung on the wall and contains those names. 

In my former fire department we had an elderly member who was our last living charter member. When he passed away he was given the same honors as a fire chief.

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