Chapter meetings are held to conduct chapter business, approve activities, request funding and keep members informed about and involved in chapter activities.
Because Thrivent Financial is domiciled in Wisconsin, regular meetings are a legal requirement for chapters of fraternal benefit societies. Chapters are legally required to meet at least once every three months. Most chapter leadership boards will want to meet monthly to review activity requests in a timely manner and may want to establish a regular meeting day and place that can be communicated early in the year.
To qualify for a meeting, a simple majority (a quorum) of the elected leaders must attend and participate (e.g., if a chapter has six elected leaders, at least four of the leaders must participate). Chapter advisory leaders are encouraged, but not required, to attend regular meetings. Chapter members must also be made aware of and invited to attend chapter meetings.
Reasonable notice of chapter meetings must be provided to chapter members by chapter mail, email, chapter Web sites or other means. Personal invitations to each member are not required.
Acceptable Methods for Conducting Meetings
Meetings should be live, conducted face-to-face, through teleconference or via an online chat room. It's important that all participants hear simultaneously and can respond immediately.
For great tips on conducting effective meetings, visit www.effectivemeetings.com (Link opens in new window), which has articles, tips and quizzes about meeting basics, teams, planning and presenting meetings and a question-and-answer page.
There are two options for conducting meetings via teleconference:
- Intercall - Intercall is a teleconference service provider used by Thrivent. This service is charged at a rate of $0.015 (1½ cents) per minute per line. A maximum of 125 people may dial in on each call. There are no setup charges and no other monthly fees. Extra costs are incurred for operator-assisted calls, recorded playback, etc. See below for more information on using Intercall.
- Local Provider - Chapter leaders may also contact a local provider. Chapter leaders are responsible for payment of all bills for any local service providers used.
Directions to Set Up an Intercall Account
If you wish to use Intercall follow these steps:
- Call 866-283-3382 (Intercall has established a dedicated customer service number for using their services in partnership with Thrivent Financial).
- Select option 2 (Thrivent Chapters).
- Tell the representative you would like to set up a new owner ID under the Thrivent Chapter Profile.
You'll provide information such as name, email address, mailing address, telephone number and chapter name. If you are not the bill payer, you also will need to provide that individuals' information.
Note: Billing for teleconferencing services should not be charged to a credit card. Ask for the invoice to be emailed to the bill payer.
About two to three weeks after the account is set up, the chapter leader whose name and address is on the account will receive a wallet card that has the chapter's personalized Intercall access information and dial-in instructions. To ensure your meetings are secure, keep your moderator code confidential and distribute the passcode only to authorized attendees.
The chapter leadership board is responsible for keeping its account up to date and paid. Changes to the account must be made by the person whose name is on the account. An existing account cannot be transferred to a different leader unless authorized by the original person. Otherwise, a new account in the new person's name would need to be established.
If you need to make account management or billing changes after the account is set up, contact Intercall at 800-374-2441 or online at www.intercall.com (Link opens in new window).
Chapter operating funds can be used for costs associated with teleconferencing services.
Admitting New Members
Your chapter leadership board is required to admit persons as members. At each chapter meeting, you should review the list of new applicants and then elect them to membership by vote of the leadership board members.
In a fraternal benefit society, each member is also a member of a chapter. Admitting individuals into a chapter's membership is a legal requirement for fraternal benefit societies. Thrivent Financial members are admitted as members of a chapter based on their address. Chapter leaders are not required to determine whether or not applicants are eligible for membership – Thrivent Financial is responsible for administering membership applications on behalf of chapters.
Process for Admitting Persons Into Membership
Voting to elect new members into membership should be an agenda item for each regular chapter meeting.
- Access the Newly Assigned Chapter Members Report
- Access "Chapter Leadership Administration" and log in. (If this is your first time logging in to the Administration system, you will need to complete a short one-time registration.)
- Under Reports/Listings section:
- Make sure the year is the current year.
- Click on the "(Press arrow for list)" down arrow and select "Newly Assigned Chapter Members PDF."
- Click "Go."
- The report will open in a separate window and will show a list of new members since the last time your chapter admitted new members. Note: You cannot change the date on the PDF.
The report includes all members who are eligible to be admitted to your chapter:
- Those who are new to Thrivent (persons on the report with a "yes" in the "New Thrivent Financial Member" column).
- Existing members who are transferring into your chapter (persons on the report with a "no" in the "New Thrivent Financial Member" column). The leadership board does not need to admit the transferring members but does need to acknowledge their transfer into the chapter, along with admitting the new members.
- At a Chapter Meeting - Make a motion to admit new members into the chapter. It is not required to read each individual member's name, unless desired. The following script may be read:
A motion is made that the persons on this list are admitted to membership as members of the (insert chapter name) Chapter of Thrivent Financial. All in favor say "aye."
- Welcome Members - Discuss and decide how your chapter will welcome these new members (see below) to the chapter.
- Update Records -When you record meeting minutes and your regular chapter meeting, you will indicate that new members were admitted to membership. Select "yes" in the New or transferred members admitted to membership section. This action refreshes the Newly Assigned Chapter Members PDF. The next time you hold a meeting the report should only list the new or transferred members since your last meeting.
Tips for Welcoming New Members
We want new members to feel welcomed and happy they chose to become a part of Thrivent. Helping them feel like they belong – and encouraging them to get involved in your chapter events – can start with you! Here are some ways to create a positive welcome experience.
- Assign a chapter leader to contact the new member either by phone or email. The leader can welcome the member, answer any questions, provide an overview of the chapter or invite them to an upcoming event. Be sure to respect the privacy of members who wish to not be contacted (as indicated on the Newly Assigned Chapter Members PDF).
- Partner with the financial representative to welcome the members, perhaps through an orientation event.
- Host a welcome reception as part of an already scheduled education or social event or hold a separate event.
- Recognize new members at a church coffee hour or in the church newsletter.