Membership

Humanities Commons’ purpose is to cultivate open spaces for diverse communities to connect, create, share, and experiment, in the service of transforming global knowledge systems together. If this ambition speaks to you, membership is a way to help us work towards that purpose. 

Member contributions enable us to build the necessary infrastructure for a vibrant knowledge commons, developing exciting new features for individual and organisational users. Your support also helps us to continue to offer our free Humanities Commons site, which benefits everyone invested in open humanities scholarship.

Just as importantly, membership is, to us, a relationship we seek to foster with our allies and collaborators. These relationships are what will ultimately drive us forward, as we lean into our collective power and imagination to build the future we envision.

What Membership Looks Like

Membership is open to any organisation, department, research center, institution, or consortium who wishes to engage with our work. (Are you an individual who wants to support us? We have ways for you to donate as well!)

Until December 31, 2023, we are offering a one-time option for members to join at US$5000 per year, with the possibility of signing on at that rate for up to 5 years. However, if you are interested in becoming a member, but have a different budget in mind, please reach out as we’d love to talk through different options.

All members receive:

  • Recognition as a sustaining member on our website and other communication channels as appropriate (e.g. conference presentations)
  • Quarterly member updates
  • Opportunities to promote and collaborate on projects with other members
  • The right to nominate & vote for governing council members
  • The ability to contribute to our roadmap (i.e. contribute to specific projects that are of importance to your organisation)
  • Top priority to join a cohort of institutions establishing their own Commons instances with our support (launching Fall 2024)

In addition, members will be invited to participate in our evolving governance structures, offer feedback on strategy and direction, advocate for the Commons in the spaces they occupy and participate in other efforts such as promotional activities and user research. Our goal is to create many avenues for members to contribute in the ways that make the most sense to them, and we are always open to new ideas. As our network grows, we expect to develop additional opportunities, including research and funding collaborations.

If you are interested in becoming a member, we invite you to set up a call with our community development manager, Zoe Wake Hyde, at calendly.com/zwhmsu and she will guide you from there!

FAQ

Hang on, I have an account already – doesn’t that make me a member?

Yes! But also no! Individual users of the Commons are members of our community, but more often, we’ll refer to you as our users. In this context, we are talking about members of our network of participating organisations.

How much does membership cost?

We are currently revisiting our rate sheet in order to simplify our membership structure and create more options to support our work.

In the meantime, we are welcoming new members at USD $5000 per year, which can be locked in for up to 5 years. 

However, if you are interested in becoming a member, but have a different budget in mind, please reach out as we’d love to talk through different options.

How long does membership last?

Membership is an ongoing commitment with an annual renewal, however we ask that members commit to at least 3 years at their initial sign up (this can either be paid up front or invoiced annually). We will continue to count on your support, but if circumstances change and you need to end your membership, we ask that you provide notice at least 3 months before your renewal date. 

We also reserve the right to terminate membership if a member fails to complete payment within 120 days of an invoice being issued, or if the behaviour of any of their representatives is deemed inappropriate or disruptive.

When will my membership renew?

Membership begins on January 1 or July 1 and renews December 31 or June 30 every year. The invoice for membership fees will be sent at least 30 days before renewal. Should you join as a member part-way through the annual period, the fee will be prorated for the current year. If possible, we ask that members pay both the prorated amount and the full fee for the following year in their first invoice.

Do I get access to my own Commons instance as a member?

Not by default. Membership is the first step towards launching your own Commons, but is not included automatically and is priced separately.

Previously, Commons membership has been reserved for those who have their own Commons instance hosted with us, but having reflected on how we wish to see the Commons grow in the coming years, we want to partner with all kinds of organisations, many of whom may not wish to launch their own Commons right away, or perhaps ever.

That said, if you are interested in your own Commons site, we would love to hear from you! Please contact our community development manager, Zoe Wake Hyde at wakehyd1@msu.edu, or book a call at calendly.com/zwhmsu.

What if I don’t want to get involved with the network, just support it financially?

While we seek to develop rich, collaborative relationships with our organisational members, we recognise that many of us are spread too thin already, and an additional commitment can feel overwhelming. That is not at all our goal! We are committed to creating many different ways to engage, from the very light touch of receiving updates about the Commons network, through to a bigger commitment like partnering on funded projects. Every chance to participate that we offer is entirely optional, but we hope you will find some interest or value in them when you’re in a position to do so.

What if I can’t support you financially, but still want to get involved?

Fantastic! There are a bunch of different ways to contribute, with more coming down the pipeline.

First of all, being an advocate for the Commons is hugely helpful. Sharing your experiences with colleagues, boosting our social media posts, and responding to calls to participate in user surveys or events all help us in very direct ways.

In addition, we are working on a new champions program that will offer a chance to get more involved with our work and act as a voice of the community. Watch this space.

I’m still not sure if membership is right for me – can I talk to a person?

Of course! We would love to hear from you, and our ears are always open to questions and new ideas. You can reach out directly to our community development manager, Zoe Wake Hyde, at wakehyd1@msu.edu or book a call at calendly.com/zwhmsu.