Frequently Asked Questions

What is the actual cost of membership?

Dues are currently $175/year, payable in June. New members, joining between July 1 and December 31 pay $185. Between January 1 and June 30, there may be a slight reduction as some fees are prorated.  Meals at meetings range from $15-$20, not including beverage. We do have a service fee option if you choose not to dine ($5) to offset the cost of our venue.  Attendance at District Meetings, Conferences and Conventions can be expensive–from $40 to $400 not including travel, accommodation or meals, but these events, while they add to your Soroptimist experience, are voluntary. (Most of us budget, budget, budget because we know they’re fun!).  We do not assess fines. Kick in a few “happy dollars” if you’ve got something interesting in your life to report!  Donations are gratefully accepted and are tax deductible–we’ll gladly accept what you have to offer: if that’s time, Outstanding!; if it’s a check, Great!; if its the donation of a service or an item for a raffle, We’ll Take It!; if you have a special talent, We’ll Use It! Give what you can–everything supports our cause!

What are the benefits of membership?

The benefits of Soroptimist membership are varied and are tied to your level of involvement.  The “biggies” are a sense of giving back, knowing you are helping others, business networking, social interaction with like-minded women, travel opportunities, a global perspective at the ground level of women’s issues and professional development. But there’s so much more. . .

What kind of time commitment do I need to give?

Meetings  usually last about 1 to 1.5 hours, including a social 1/2 hour before the meeting starts.  If you serve on the Board or on a committee, you may spend another 3-5 hours a month dedicated to Soroptimist.  We currently fundraise through a single large-scale fundraiser each year.  There will be other small fundraisers, public awareness functions or hands-on volunteer opportunities. You don’t have to commit to everything. We try to offer a good mix of formal meetings and social activities, but we know that your time is precious–give us what you can, we’ll spend your time wisely.

 Why women and girls?

As a volunteer organization of business and professional women, we feel uniquely qualified to help women and girls live their dreams.  While it is true that both men and women live in poverty, face discrimination and must overcome obstacles, throughout history women and girls have  faced additional obstacles and discrimination solely because of their gender.

 Where does our money go?

How we spend our money is decided by our members–most is directed towards women and girls, but we understand that other local donations help to make us a part of the community that supports us.  Even though Soroptimist is an international organization, the majority of the money that we raise in the community stays in the community.  Soroptimist understands that local projects are where impacts are felt.  We do contribute to projects with a wider reach, both nationally and, and they are all focused on women and girls, empowering them to improve their lives.

 Does our money “stay local”?

About 85% of the money we raise stays in the community, primarily through grants and scholarships to local women and girls.  Additionally, we support several organizations throughout the community that tie into our mission…Blossom House, Blossom Place, Auburn Interfaith Food Closet, Placer School for Adults, Acres of Hope,  Stand Up Placer just to name a few.  

Our club is a part of an “international” organization.  We currently make donations to a couple of projects with an international focus…H.E.A.R.T. (Health Education Africa Resource Team) for women’s education and economic sustainability and our international president’s annual appeal…this year it’s women and water.

Are there attendance requirements?

No, there isn’t a minimum number of meetings you need to attend, but to get the most from your Soroptimist investment, attendance is encouraged. We understand that life comes first.

Do I have to pay even though I don’t eat a meal?

Yes.  Even though you are not eating, there is still an expense to our venue associated with your attendance and a $5 service fee is charged.  We want to take care of our host restaurant–we appreciate how hard it is to own a business, especially in these economic times.  We have tried to accommodate varied dietary needs whether you be carnivore or herbivore. 

Can I pay for club expenses with a credit card?

We do have the ability to accept credit card payments, but you will incur a small convenience fee of $5.  As a non-profit, we like to keep our costs down, so the bank fee associated with credit card processing will be passed on to you.

 What do my dues pay for?

Your dues payment of $175 ($185 for new or reinstated members) is distributed as follows:

$9   to Soroptimist International (International): Membership

$74 to Soroptimist International of the Americas (Federation): Membership, Best for Women Online Newsletter

$6   to Soroptimist International of the Americas (Federation): Liability  Insurance

$10 New Member Fee (If applicable) to Soroptimist International of the Americas (Federation) – Processing (Waived for 2020-2021 Club Year )

$25 to Sierra Nevada Region (Region): Membership

$61 Soroptimist International of the American River (Club):  Soroptimist pin, name tag, new member binder, new member gift, miscellaneous expenses

Who is eligible for membership?

 According to current SIA Bylaws, members are individuals who belong to clubs and membership is extended at the club level. Each club maintains a membership of individuals from the community who support SIA’s mission of improving the lives of women and girls through programs leading to social and economic empowerment. SIA empowers clubs to be inclusive rather than exclusive when growing their clubs.

Why Should I become a Soroptimist?

Because you like the “Think Globally, Act Locally” philosophy of Soroptimist. Because you want to participate with others in service to the community. Because you want to build friendships with remarkable women, locally and around the world. Because you want to build your leadership skills by accepting positions of responsibility in the club.