Sponsoring a Candidate for Membership


Membership Application Instructions for Applicants and Sponsors
Updated July 2017

Applicants and proposers: please read these instructions entirely. The process of applying to the Club is simple but specific and allows the applicant to experience the Club, meet members, and participate in member events and volunteer activities before becoming a member. The process also allows the members of CBC to meet the applicant.

The process takes a minimum of two months so please plan accordingly.

Basic steps for membership application:

  • By e-mail at least 30 days before the due date for submitting a completed proposal, the primary sponsor informs the chair of the Membership Committee (membership@cambridge-boat-club.org) of the candidate’s name and the name of the second sponsor.
  • Applicant attends 2 volunteer activities with his or her primary or secondary sponsor. The volunteer activities must be at least 30 days apart.
  • Applicant is formally interviewed by 3 members of the Membership Committee. Interviews can take place at volunteer activities or by prearrangement with the sponsors.
  • Primary sponsor completes the online Proposal for Membership form. This form is available in each member's personal user profile on the CBC website. Sponsors can upload the following documents through the online application to complete the application:​​
    • Applicant’s letter to the Membership Committee
    • Letters of support from primary and secondary sponsors
    • Documentation of volunteer activities
    • Names of interviewers and dates
  • When complete, the primary sponsor submits the application, will be forwarded to the Membership chair.
  • Please note: the Committee will consider only complete applications.


Completed applications are due the last day of January, April, August, or October to be considered at the February, May, September, or November meetings. The Committee reviews completed packets at each quarterly meeting.

Application Process Details

1. Sponsors
a. The applicant must have two CBC sponsors/proposers (a primary and a secondary). The primary sponsor is responsible for managing the application process. Applicants should not contact the Membership Committee directly, but should direct questions to his or her primary sponsor.
b. Each sponsor must have been a member for at least 1 year prior to beginning the sponsorship process.
c. A sponsor, whether primary or secondary, may propose only 2 applicants within a calendar year.
d. A sponsor must have known the applicant for at least 1 year.*
e. A sponsor must be a voting member of the Club.

2. Volunteer Activity
The applicant must participate in 2 volunteer activities as part of the application process.

a. A Sponsor must accompany the applicant to the volunteer activities.
b. Sponsors should introduce the applicant to the activity organizer and other members at the event.
c. Volunteer activities must take place at least 30 days apart.
d. Volunteer activities must take place within the 12 months prior to the submission of the application.
e. The application form includes a place for the sponsor to provide the date and time of the activity and the name and email of the volunteer activity organizer. The organizer will be contacted to verify participation.

3. Membership Committee Interviews
The applicant must interview with 3 members of the Membership Committee.

a. Sponsors ideally should attend the interviews to introduce the candidate. Sponsors may stay for the interview, but are not required to.
b. Sponsors should arrange interviews in advance by contacting members of the Committee directly.
c. Interviews may be conducted with Committee members separately or together and may be held at the Club or anywhere agreed to by Committee members and the applicant.

4. Letters
The applicant must submit a letter to the Membership Committee via the online application (see above).

a. The letter should be biographical and provide the reasons for wishing to become a member of CBC. One page is sufficient.
b. The applicant should include the kinds of contributions that he or she expects to make in the social and rowing life of the Club.
c. The applicant’s letter should mention members of the applicant’s immediate family who might use the Club.
d. If the applicant has previously been a member, the letter should explain the reasons for the break in membership.

Both sponsors must complete supporting letters, covering:

a. How well and how long they each have known the applicant.
b. Why the sponsor believes the applicant would be an active, contributing member of the Club.

5. Application Form
The primary sponsor fills out and submits the online Proposal for Membership form. The applicant’s letter and sponsors’ letters must be uploaded with the form to complete the application.

6. After the Membership Committee’s meeting
Candidates approved by the Membership Committee are announced to the membership of the Club by posting applicants’ names on the Club bulletin board and the CBC website for at least 10 days before an applicant can become a member.

Assuming there are no objections by members of the Club, the Membership Committee chair will notify the primary sponsor of accepted applicants and their status on the wait list, if applicable. Primary sponsors should notify applicants.

After the 10 day notice period or when the applicant comes off the wait list, the treasurer will then send out a letter with the initial bill for dues and fees, which must be paid before an applicant can become a member. Upon receipt of the dues and initiation fees, the treasurer will inform the secretary, who will forward a key, parking pass, and welcome package to the new member.

7. Wait List
If an applicant is placed on the wait list, the applicant must participate in at least one volunteer activity with one of her or his sponsors every 6 months. Applicants on the wait list may not attend social events or row unless escorted by a member.

8. Sponsor Responsibilities after an Applicant becomes a Member
Sponsors are expected to bring new members to the Welcome for New Members event, typically held in the spring. They are expected to help their new members learn the formal and informal rules of rowing at CBC, to connect them with the Rowing Committee for captain’s tests, to introduce the candidate to Club members, to help the new member find Club committees and volunteer opportunities, and to encourage new members to attend Club functions.

9. Objections
Ideally, objections to an applicant should be raised with the Membership chair after candidates for membership are posted during the 30 days before the deadline for completed applications and before the relevant Membership Committee meeting. At each quarterly meeting, the Membership Committee may vote to accept an applicant, defer a vote on an application, or vote to reject an applicant. If the Membership Committee votes to accept an applicant, the applicant’s name will posted. If any member wishes to have that applicant reconsidered, that member must notify the chair of Membership in writing within 10 days. The Committee will reconsider at its next meeting according to the House Rules.

* Persons interested in membership who do not know any current Club members should contact the Membership Committee at membership@cambridge-boat-club.org for assistance. A member of the Membership Committee will meet with the candidate and facilitate the introduction of the candidate to potential sponsors who can then guide the candidate through the membership process.

Download a PDF copy of these instructions here.