The Membership Committee have been asked various questions by WIs recently.  They’ve kindly compiled a list of these and provided responses to them below. 

  1. Do we have to have an annual meeting in November?

Most probably yes you do. The constitution requires you to have an annual meeting within 12 months of your previous one. Some of you were unable to hold your annual meeting last November and held it in March/ April of this year. This means you could move the date of your annual meeting, or you could revert back to November. 

IF you are planning to move your annual meeting from November, please speak to your Adviser and we will make sure the right permissions are sought and update Federation records.  

  1. Does our WI Financial year still end on September 30th? Even though the date for subs collection has changed.

Technically yes. The date of the end of financial year in Surrey WIs is not linked to subs collection, more it is in line with the annual meetings being in November and then all tying into the Federation financial year end. If you wish to change your financial year end please speak to the Federation Treasurer Sheena, via   

  1. How much money should my WI keep in reserves?

Because each WI’s main source of income is subscriptions and they are collected annually, it is fairly easy to guesstimate your large annual income. Fundraising will supplement this. The money each WI has is members money and should primarily be used to benefit the members. The constitutional aims and objects of the WI are wide reaching and WI money should be used for these purposes. A WI should only ever have around 6months to a year’s outgoings in reserves. All other money should be spent prudently on running your WI and fulfilling the constitution. It is not in the aims and objects of the WI to amass funds.  

  1. Who decides what WI money is spent on?

Each WI committee should produce a budget to be presented to members at the annual meeting. Members can ask questions and make suggestions for spending money, at the annual meeting or any other time. All suggestions should be discussed by the committee and put in the minutes of the committee meeting. Decisions about spending money that was not in the budget lies with the membership. Please take all proposals to the members and ask for a vote. (Secret voting where possible) It is not up to the President, Secretary or Treasurer to decide what can and cannot be purchased, paid for etc. The officers and wider committee can make suggestions, backed up with the constitution and they are responsible for ensuring the keeping of good financial records but all members should be consulted. 

As you have all been physically apart for so long, if you have spare funds, it would be good to use them over the next few months for funding a good speaker, advertising materials (if you need to recruit), an educational visit or extra craft workshop, a voucher for each member to attend a Denman online course or a Surrey Federation online course. There are many other ideas. 

If your WI is not in a healthy financial position then please speak to your Adviser. We do have some funds available if required and ideas to help you grow your WI.  

  1. When we meet in person, do we still have to do Zoom options for those unable to attend?

NO. With the exception of the Surrey Vixens Virtual WI, you are all members of WIs whose constitution states 11 free meetings, in person unless government guidelines stipulate otherwise.

That does not mean you can’t offer an online option if you want to, but there is no obligation for you to do so. 

If you choose to have an online option, some WIs record their meetings and put them on their own private WI you tube channel for a week or so. Permission needs to be gained from the speaker. Other WIs are talking about the officers and speaker presenting from the front and using Zoom as well as being actually in the meeting. This would enable those at home to hear the notices and speaker and those in the meeting could carry on as normal. 

 If you have other successful ‘hybrid’ meeting solutions, please share them with us so we can pass it on. However, you are under no obligation to hold hybrid meetings and if you do the members attending in person should be able to enjoy all the benefits of being at an in person meeting so disruption to their experience should be kept to a minimum.  

  1. How much will Office 365 cost my WI?


Office 365 has been bought and paid for by the Federation. It will enable smoother running of our Federation at all levels once we are all using it. There is no cost to individual WIs at all. WIs will be fully trained to use the system and where they then choose not to use it, information will still be sent using one of the current methods.  



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