Features & Benefits of CSP Memberships
General Information on CSP Membership
The Center continues to draw people from different backgrounds who gain sustenance from a person centered way of being and doing. As individuals we grow through our interactions in community. It is part of our study of what it means to be a person.
Membership in Center for Studies of the Person provides the identification, recognition and sense of value that comes from:
There are three categories of membership:
Members who are not physically able to attend Center for Studies of the Person events can support CSP’s objectives through their activities and way of being in the world, wherever they are located.
We encourage those who are interested in learning more about becoming a full member of CSP to get to know us or our members by:
How to become a CSP member
There are two ways of becoming a member, depending on the membership status requested.
Associate members. To become an Associate Member, fill out the required information and complete the payment process. Your membership will be official once you send us your photograph and a short biography.
Student members. To become an Student Member, fill out the required information and complete the payment process. Your membership will be official once you send us your photograph and a short biography.
Voting members. The process for joining CSP as a Voting Member can be summarized in seven steps:
- Select a CSP member to act as your sponsor. A sponsor must be one of our Voting Members, not one of our Associate or Contributing Members.
- We suggest you select the member to whom you feel most connected.
- This is an important decision, as sponsors function as mentors to new members, providing guidance and organizational savvy as you settle into our community and our rather unique organization.
- Contact that member and ask if they are willing to sponsor you. They will want to understand your hopes, present circumstances and background. Please write an application letter to your sponsor, including the following:
- Telling something about yourself – professional and personal and why you are interested in joining CSP.
- What you hope to be able to contribute to CSP through your membership.
- What you hope to gain from being a member of CSP.
- How person-centered approaches affect your personal and professional life: why this way of living and working is important to you.
- Your sponsor member will then attach your membership request to their letter endorsing your application, which they will send to all other Voting Members. In that letter the sponsor will state their reasons for their recommendation, their knowledge of you, and other information they consider relevant.
- CSP Members will be asked to reply to your request for membership.
- Know that you, and every member, take on responsibility for yearly financial support (dues) of $360 to CSP. Dues are our major source of funding.
- The process of approval by a majority of members generally takes several weeks. Your sponsor will keep you informed.
- To complete your joining you will need to pay your dues. We require also that you send a biography and photo for inclusion on our website. This presentation of yourself need not be too long, it can be as formal as you wish. You can review our CSP Members as examples.
Sponsorship duties and responsibilities
Sponsorship of a candidate for membership is an important process for the wellbeing of our organization. They precede the application process and continue past the acceptance of the new member. Sponsors can either respond to a request for membership, or suggest to a suitable candidate that they may want to consider applying for Voting Membership at CSP. In either case it is up to the prospective member to select a sponsor they feel comfortable with.
Once the sponsor is approached by the person requesting sponsorship, the sponsors duties are as follows:
- Have a conversation with the applicant to gain a better understanding of the applicant’s interests and fit as a voting member. The sponsor may feel that an Associate Membership may better meet the prospective member’s needs at this time. The sponsor should insure that the candidate understands the financial responsibilities of membership and is in a position to meet them.
- Solicit that the member write a letter of interest in joining the center, as described above.
- Attach the sponsor’s letter of recommendation and forward to the voting members.
- There are important reasons for limiting the circulation of the sponsorship correspondence and the subsequent chain of member replies, to voting members. Members with a longer history in CSP are aware of situations where membership requests were not approved. In some instances prospective members reapplied at a later date prior to being accepted – which may have been the case with one or more of our current members.
- Correspondence regarding the application should be confidential to insure privacy for the applicant, and to allow members to fully express their thoughts and feelings.
- Our current process is to confirm the acceptance of the new member once a majority of the voting members – one more than half – have replied positively. In the less likely event that there are negative responses, we will have to deal with this as a community or refer to the board for decision.
- Once the board has confirmed the member’s acceptance, the sponsor will circulate a letter to all the members – voting and associate – announcing our new member and inviting members to welcome the new member via a reply-all response. These confirmations are important to build and support our connection as a community.
- The new membership will not be official until payment is received, or a plan for payment of dues is arranged with the Treasurer, and a photo and biography are received by CSP.
- It is the sponsor’s responsibility to go over with the member all the benefits that come with membership, including website listings and links. These are detailed under our membership section for Voting Members. For the first year, the sponsor should continue to communicate with and monitor the new member’s adaptation into our community to insure the best experience possible for the member and the community.