Subscriptions are due for renewal next month (April), and this will be the renewal month in future. The 2021-2022 subscription is £44, of which your WI keeps £21.60, the Federation receives £10.30 and the NFWI £12.10. Dual members pay £21.60 to their second WI.

However, the NFWI has decided to let each WI choose how much of the £21.60 to collect from its members. NFWI decided to introduce this after requests from members, discussion at Annual Council and a comprehensive survey across a range of WIs. Your WI committee now has the power to decide whether to:

(a) reduce its share of the subscription, or 

(b) waive it altogether. 

The amounts payable to the county and national federations remain the same. So if your WI decides to waive its share completely, a year’s subscription to the WI will only cost £22.40.

In a statement accompanying this major alteration, the NFWI says: “This decision must be made whilst ensuring that your WI still has enough funds year on year to carry out its charitable objects and offer a meaningful WI experience. 

WIs need to ensure they are making the best decision for their WI, and although we advise WI committees to discuss this annually with members, the decision is ultimately down to the committee based on the above considerations.”

If your committee decides to reduce or waive the WI portion of the subscription, members can still opt to pay the full amount as a donation to WI funds.

Alteration to the WI portion will also affect the pro rata rate payable by new members joining during the year, although their contributions to the NFWI and SFWI will remain the same. 

The NFWI recommends taking the following action:

1. Organise a committee meeting where the committee will go over the WI programme and budget for the coming year in order to present a decision to the members on what to do about the WI portion of the subscription. Ensure the decision is minuted.

2. Consider new members and how your WI would cater for an increased membership. This is particularly important if your WI is waiving or reducing their portion, as this might attract new members (including new dual members) and your WI needs to be prepared, logistically and financially, for this.

3. Present the decision to your members, giving the rationale and background to your decision as appropriate.

4. Ensure that all members are aware of the decision in time for membership renewal in April, and that you promote this to prospective members when thinking about recruitment.

5. Always remind your members that any decision made is only for the coming renewal. It is not a permanent decision, and the WI portion of the membership subscription will be reviewed every year.

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