CAN exists to help your organisation flourish. We know you’re passionate about helping people, but the work can be daunting.

Our members are at the heart of everything we do. Membership is completely free and gives you an opportunity to:

  • access our expert support, professional advice and practical services
  • benefit from our volunteering hub
  • influence the development of local services
  • be part of the wider voluntary and community sector

We’ve been around for almost 50 years and have the experience, knowledge and skills to help your organisation grow and thrive.

See the Benefits of Membership page, Membership Zone and Member's stories for the many reasons why you need to join us. 

Who can join?

We offer full and affiliate membership and any charity, voluntary group or community organisation working for the good of our community in Bournemouth, Christchurch or Poole can join us as a full member.

We also offer affiliate membership, to groups and organisations not in the VCS, or who operate outside of Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole.

Both full and affiliate members have an opportunity to influence the decisions we make, help us strengthen our links with the local community and allow us to truly be the voice of the sector at the highest levels.

Our full members can also stand for election to our board of volunteer trustees, who play a critical role in the strategic direction of the organisation.

Membership will be for three years. We’ll check in with you after three years that you still wish to be a member and to ensure we have correct contact information for your organisation

How do I join?

CAN membership is completely free to any organisation that is part of the local voluntary and community sector – and if you aren’t sure whether you fit the criteria, just ask. Even if you don’t quite fit the bill, you can still join us as an affiliate member.

Full members are:

  • Independent of government and constitutionally self-governing, usually with an unpaid voluntary management committee (or where over half are unpaid)
  • Value-driven - exist for the good of the community, to promote social, environmental or cultural objectives in order to benefit society as a whole, or particular groups within it
  • Not run for financial gain - re-invest any surpluses to further the ‘good’ you create for the community and have an enforceable ‘asset lock’ to prevent private profit (e.g. if you are a Charity or Community Interest Companies you will have this in law)
  • Providing their service to those in Bournemouth, Christchurch or Poole

To join us, you can complete the quick and simple online full membership form or complete a printed form by visiting one of our offices. You’ll remain a member for three years, after that we’ll check you still wish to be a member. 

Sign up as a Full member Membership responsibilities Privacy Statement 

Affiliate membership

Our charitable mission focuses on supporting the VCS across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP), however, we are an inclusive charity and want to extend our reach to organisations, not in the VCS, or from the VCS but operating outside of BCP. If your purpose is to improve outcomes for the local community and is not for profit, we welcome you to CAN.

You’ll have access to the many benefits of full membership, but with the following exceptions:

  • We can only offer up to 5 hours in one year, free expert advice and guidance on starting, running and closing your organisation
  • We’ll offer you access to training opportunities, project consultations, advertising job vacancies, and our new Quality Mark, but there will be a negotiable fee. Please talk to us for more information
  • ‘Know your stuff’ is only available to full members
  • We’ll welcome you at our AGM, however, voting and standing for election as a Board member is only available to full members.

To join us as an affiliate member, you can either complete the quick and simple affiliate membership form or complete a printed form by visiting one of our offices. You’ll remain a member for three years, after that we’ll check you still wish to be a member.

Sign up as an Affiliate member Membership responsibilities Privacy Statement