GFMD has two categories of members, general members, which is the primary category, and affiliate members.
There is no limit to the number of members per country or to the total number of members.
General membership in GFMD is open to independent, non-profit, non-governmental organisations, the work of which focuses significantly on the journalism and media support sector.
In assessing compliance with the previous criteria, GFMD focuses on the work and activities of organisations rather than on their particular structure or formal status, for example as legally registered entities.
Independence implies independence from government, from any political party and from any singular vested political, economic or religious interest. Independence includes independence in governing structure, in funding, in policy matters, in positions taken on different issues and in other ways.
All general members have the right to participate in all general GFMD activities, including the General Assembly, and join in discussions.
All general members have the right to submit information for distribution through the GFMD website, social media platforms, mailing lists and newsletters.
General members have the right to stand for election to the GFMD Steering Committee and other Committees and to vote on any matter that is put to a vote of the general membership.
General members have the right to use all GFMD services and to access member-only resources developed by the GFMD Secretariat.
Affiliate members are journalism and media organisations, partners and grantees of GFMD general members and other organisations associated with existing GFMD members, whether general or affiliate, who have less than 250 employees and an annual turnover of less than €2 million.
Affiliate Members have visibility on the GFMD website, and full access to the GFMD-wide mailing list, the GFMD Fundraising Guide, and advocacy, policy and other general activities.
Affiliate Members do not have the right to vote in GFMD elections, including those held at general membership meetings and at the General Assembly.
Affiliate Members have the right to become members of the Membership Committee and Policy and Learning Committees but not of other GFMD committees, including the Steering Committee.
All organisations that attended the 2008 World Conference and signed the GFMD founding document were inducted into GFMD at that time and, as such, they were entered into the register of general members that was prepared by the GFMD Secretariat and confirmed by the Steering Committee at its first meeting after the 2008 World Conference.
Any organisation may apply for GFMD membership at any time by submitting a completed application form to the GFMD Secretariat.
The form shall include information about an organisation's aims and objectives, its finances, governing structure, legal status, journalism and media support work and indicate what sort of membership the organisation is seeking (i.e. general or affiliate).
Organisations seeking general membership need a referral or recommendation from an existing GFMD member or the GFMD Secretariat.
For affiliate members, the recommendation should make specific reference to the editorial and ethical standards that the applicant observes.
An application for membership will be screened by the GFMD Secretariat, vetted by the Membership Committee and confirmed by the Steering Committee at the next meeting following when the application is forwarded to it.
The Secretariat shall reject an application outright where the organisation does not meet the membership criteria set out in Article 4.2.1 and 4.2.2 or 4.3.1, respectively.
The Secretariat shall then forward the application to the Membership Committee which shall review it and forward it to the Steering Committee with its recommendation (i.e. to accept or reject the application or to place conditions on membership which the application would need to fulfil).
The Steering Committee may accept or amend the recommendation of the Membership Committee, provided that in the latter case the Steering Committee shall provide written notice to the Membership Committee as to why it amended the recommendation.
An applicant shall be accepted into membership upon positive approval of its application by the Steering Committee.
To enjoy the rights described in Articles 4.2.3 Rights of general members or 4.3.2 Rights of affiliate members, as relevant, a member must pay the membership fee.
Annual fees are due on 1 January each year and must be paid by 1 May, failing which the member shall be considered to be in arrears.
Members that have not paid their GFMD membership fees for more than one year (i.e. by 1 January of the following year) will no longer have access to GFMD services (such as member-only events, content & member-only email list).
A decision to suspend or expel a General or Affiliate member under this Article shall be made when one or both of the following conditions are met:
a) The member no longer meets the conditions for membership as set out in Article 4.2.1 and 4.2.2 or 4.3.1, respectively; or
b) The member has not paid annual membership fees for more than fifteen months, provided that at least two reminders have been sent, one in the period of December-January prior to the fifteen months cut-off.
A decision to suspend a member shall require a two-thirds majority vote of the total number of voting members of the Steering Committee, following a discussion of whether or not the conditions for suspension, as set out in Article 4.6.1, have been met.
A member who has been suspended shall no longer have rights associated with membership.
A member who has been suspended shall have the right to appeal the suspension before the next General Assembly.
A member which has been suspended for nine months and has still not resolved the condition(s) which gave rise to the suspension (as set out in Article 4.6.1) may be expelled by a simple majority vote of the Steering Committee.
An organisation which has been expelled from the GFMD shall have no rights vis-à-vis the GFMD although it may, like any other organisation, apply for membership at any time.
If a GFMD Member is declared bankrupt, dissolved or liquidated, membership shall normally be terminated automatically by the Secretariat.
The Steering Committee may, upon a special application of the Membership Committee, decide not to terminate membership notwithstanding sub-article 4.6.1 where the Steering Committee deems this to be appropriate, for example where the conditions for termination came about due to political interference in the organisation.
Upon termination, the rights of the member vis-à-vis GFMD automatically cease to exist.