Membership Descriptions & Requirements

SECTION 1 – CLASSES AND REQUIREMENTS

All applicants must go through an approval process and agree to uphold the Bylaws, Code of Ethics and related documents of the Global Meteorites Association, Inc. (GMA). Fulfilling the membership requirements below does not imply approval to become a member or replace the judgment of the Board. The fees for paid memberships may be revised annually by a simple majority of the Board. Under normal operations, applicants shall be informed within 48 hours of the Board’s decision to either admit or reject their application. If the membership is approved, the membership shall be activated once applicant makes payment in full as required.

A note on selling and trading meteorites: No organization can fully monitor the activities of any member, much less that of the entire membership. The GMA is not a policing organization and depends on the principle of “trust but verify” that often will be applied by members in their communications and transactions with other members.

Any of the membership requirements below may be waived by the Board until December 31, 2021. Starting January 1, 2022, no exceptions will be made, and all new members will have to meet the full requirements.

Free or complimentary memberships listed below shall always remain free. Membership in good standing is to be maintained, in part, by payment of yearly dues during the official renewal period (Nov. 15 to Dec. 31).

The GMA’s membership shall be comprised of the following levels of membership with specific responsibilities, limitations and voting rights:

Membership LevelDues/YearVoting Rights
1ExplorerFREENone
2SupporterPAID*None
3aCollector (Paid)PAID*Full, 1 vote per membership
3bCollector (Complimentary)FREEFull, 1 vote per membership
4BusinessPAID*Full, 1 vote per membership
5Affiliate (Nonprofit)FREENone
*   Rates determined annually by the Board.

Explorer

Reserved for anyone that is between 14 and 17-years of age and supports the mission of the GMA.

Applicant must fill out the Explorer Membership online form. Membership is automatically approved. However, the application will later be reviewed by the Chair of the Membership Committee to ensure application is properly completed and does not violate the Organization’s terms of use, or policies, and does not include spam or any inappropriate content.

Explorer memberships are largely educational in nature and cannot sell or trade meteorites.

Complete benefits and restrictions may be reviewed on the Explorer membership page.

Supporter

A Supporter membership is appropriate for:

  1. Anyone that is an educator, researcher or scientist.
  2. Anyone that supports the mission of the organization.
  3. Explorers that become 18 years old.
  4. Less well-known applicants that may not be able to receive the membership recommendations required for Collector or Business memberships. See Who Can Recommend You page.
  5. Well known members of the meteorite community, including dealers and collectors, that support the mission of the GMA, but do not wish to be restricted in their activities by the governing documents of the organization.

Supporter members may not sell or trade meteorites using or under any logo, brand or name of the Global Meteorite Association, Inc. Supporter members are free to run their businesses as they see fit with no involvement from the GMA.

A Supporter is to be viewed as a donor that is effectively a disinterested party with no formal obligation to or material affiliation with the GMA. Assuming the Supporter is a member is in good standing, the GMA’s obligation to the Supporter member is limited to the membership benefits offered.

Applicant will need to fill out the Supporter Membership online form. Membership is automatically approved upon payment of dues. No recommendations are needed for this membership level. However, the application will later be reviewed by the Chair of the Membership Committee to ensure application is properly completed and does not violate the Organization’s terms of use, or policies, and does not include spam or any inappropriate content.

Complete benefits and restrictions may be reviewed on the Supporter membership page. Note that any Supporter that wishes to contribute content, may at the discretion of the Membership Committee be granted additional benefits and access to enable their contributions.

Collector (Paid)

Collector membership is reserved for a “natural person” that supports the mission of the GMA and only infrequently* sells meteorites or meteorite-related products. Collector membership may also include scientists, students, educators and researchers involved in meteoritics, and anyone that wants extended membership benefits and are themselves a collector of meteorites. In order to grow our hobby, we encourage all members to commit to continuous learning and teaching about meteorites at whatever level they feel comfortable doing so.

Collectors who sell meteorites or meteorite related materials will be held to the same standards as Business members. A Collector membership may never offer paid meteorite-related services.

Applicant will need to fill out the Collector Membership online questionnaire and their answers will be reviewed by the entire board prior to voting.

In the meteorite community, some collectors will eventually transition to being part time dealers. Any Collector that sells or trades more than 2 meteorites per month should change to or apply as a Business membership.

Any Collector seeking to sell their entire collection is exempted if they, as a courtesy, contact the Board first letting them know of this activity (precaution to limit potential complaints).

Applicant must receive a minimum of two (2) recommendations from either or both:

  1. GMA members with Individual or Business memberships, neither of which can be related to each other through direct business interests or family ties.
  2. Active members of another recognized nonprofit organization related to meteorites/meteoritics whose reputation and history are known within the meteorite community.

Complete benefits and restrictions may be reviewed on the Collector membership page.

* Restrictions:

No more than two (2) individual and unrelated items, two lots of items where items in each lot are same (e.g., a group of Chelyabinsk individuals, slices of same meteorite previously classified by Collector or other GMA member), or one of each per month. Sales are restricted regardless of forum including but not limited to Organization’s website, Catawiki, eBay, Facebook or any meteorite listservs. Trading and buying are unlimited. Anyone who posts more than two (2) items/lots for sale per month (as defined above) will be considered a dealer and require a Business membership. Since auction house sales are infrequent and regulated, placing items for sale with an auction house like Sotheby’s or Bonham’s is excluded from the above limitation if items are not sold using the GMA logo, name or member number.

Collector (Complimentary)

Complimentary memberships are governed by the same rules and requirements as the Individual (Paid) membership with the exception that fees are waived. Approval may be granted based on perceived financial need and does not require disclosure of any financial documents.

The total number of complimentary memberships must be reported in the annual report to the membership, however individual names of recipients will remain confidential. Viewed from an external perspective, there is no difference between an Individual (Complimentary) membership and an Individual (Paid) membership.

Business

Any person or group of people with direct meteorite-related business interests such as dealers, brokers, or anyone providing meteorite-related services, must apply for a Business Membership. There are no selling restrictions on Business memberships. Applicant must be 18 years of age or older.

Family members and/or employees of that business will be considered part of the business and may not separately apply for their own separate Collector or Business membership. This rule is in place to ensure that a Business membership has the same voting power as a Collector membership. Willfully misrepresenting business interests and signing up for multiple Collector or Business memberships will be considered a violation of the Code of Ethics. However, individual Explorer or Supporter memberships are allowed since these two membership classes have no voting rights.

Applicant will need to fill out the Business Membership online questionnaire and their answers will be reviewed by the entire board prior to voting.

Applicant must receive a minimum of two (3) recommendations from either or both:

  1. GMA members with Individual or Business memberships, neither of which can be related to each other through direct business interests or family ties.
  2. Active members of another recognized nonprofit organization related to meteorites/meteoritics whose reputation and history are known within the meteorite community.

Complete benefits and restrictions may be reviewed on the Business membership page.

Affiliate (Nonprofit)

Must be a recognized nonprofit per the rules and regulations of its country of incorporation and whose mission aligns with the mission of the GMA.

This class of membership is reserved for organizations with whom the GMA recognizes marketing synergy or opportunities to help grow both organizations. After reviewing the business case based on merits and future collaboration, the Board shall vote by simple majority to approve membership. The Board shall then inform the appropriate Advisory Councils to coordinate any efforts required.

Lifetime Memberships

Any paying member may apply for lifetime memberships at the rate of the non-discounted yearly fee x 10. Lifetime members will be listed as such on the website.

Reduced Dues

Reduced dues are available to those under financial hardship, students involved in meteoritics, and applicants from developing countries. Developing Country Memberships are for members who reside in the countries designated as Group A or B listed on the Research4Life page AND request financial assistance. Prior approval from the Membership Committee is required for the reduced rate.

SECTION 2 – MEMBERSHIP PERIOD AND RENEWAL PERIOD

Memberships shall be valid based on the calendar year, starting on January 1 and ending on December 31. All renewing members shall have their memberships reset to start on January 1.

New memberships activated on or after November 15 will pay 20% of the present year’s annual membership dues plus the following year’s membership dues. New memberships activated between January 1 and November 15 will pay full membership dues for that year and will then need to renew for the coming year.

The membership renewal period shall begin on November 15 and extend through December 31.

Delinquent members whose lapse in membership does not exceed two (2) years may reinstate their membership by contacting the Board Treasurer and paying their back dues and the dues for the coming year. If the period exceeds two (years), then the delinquent member shall have to re-apply through the standard membership process unless the Board approves another course of action by a simple majority.

SECTION 3 – CHANGE IN MEMBERSHIP TYPE

Members may change their membership type from a Supporter to Collector, or Collector to Business at any time during the calendar year for the difference in price between these two memberships and by providing the added information required for that new membership level.

Members may change their membership type from Business to Collector, or Collector to Supporter only during the official renewal period.

SECTION 4 – MISUSE OR ABUSE OF MEMBERSHIP

Any member found to be misusing their membership may face disciplinary measures by the Board of Directors including but not limited to temporary suspension of benefits, cancellation of benefits and/or removal from membership.

SECTION 5 – VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

All members are eligible to serve as GMA volunteers in whatever capacity as approved by the board.

AMENDMENTS AND REVISIONS

This document may be amended by a simple majority of all directors then in office, and only in the period between the seating of new officers and the second to last Sunday in September (per the BoD Elections document). Such action is authorized only at a duly called and held meeting of the Board of Directors setting forth the proposed bylaw revisions with explanations and consequences the changes may have. All directors must attest that they understand the changes and the impact of those changes prior to their vote.

Any changes to this document must be noted, explained and made available to the general membership within seven (7) days of the passing vote.

This document was last modified on Jan. 7, 2021.