Join and Renew
HOW TO JOIN AND RENEW YOUR MEMBERSHIP
In November 2015 we transferred our membership management system to a service provider, the Royal Society of Biology (RSB), and set up an online portal, mySociety, which handles membership applications, renewals and online payments. Members can now make payments online and update their own contact details, and will soon be able to opt in to Gift Aid. In time we intend to offer more benefits to members through mySociety, such as online newsletters.
Please note that our contact details and postal address for membership matters have now changed (see below) and the new membership team is looking forward to helping you.
Join the Society
Membership of the Society is open to individuals only. You become a member by submitting an application and paying your membership fee.
By applying for membership of the Society you show your support for our objectives and you accept the rules that govern the Society as laid out in our Constitution.
Membership is per calendar year, with renewal due by 1st January each year. New members will receive all the publications they are entitled to for the entire year, including any issues already published when you join. If you wish to join the society late in the calendar year (in December) we will usually process your application for the following calendar year unless you tell us otherwise.
To join the BLS using our online system, please register with our mySociety portal, where you will need to provide some basic contact details and will be provided with login details. Within the mySociety portal please then follow the tab "Join Us" to submit your membership application.
Information regarding the application process
When submitting your application we will ask you for some more details which help us to understand our membership better, but only a few of these are mandatory. Please note that "current job title" is a free text field and if you are not employed in a profession related to lichens you might wish to use this to indicate your level of knowledge or a particular interest in lichens.
Each section of the application must be marked as complete, even if no information has been entered, before the application can be submitted.
Before your application can be fully processed you will have to pay your membership fees, and this can easily be done online by credit or debit card within your mySociety account. You will be sent automatic email alerts throughout the application process to keep you informed.
Once your application has been fully processed you will receive a welcome letter, and you can then use the mySociety portal to subscribe to our scientific journal The Lichenologist if you wish to do so. Go to "Me and the BLS" to find "My Subscriptions" where you can subscribe and pay your Lichenologist subscription online. Please note that our journals will only be shown on this page once your application has been fully processed.
If you do not wish to pay online, the email you receive after your application has been submitted will provide more information, and an alternative method of payment for your membership fee and The Lichenologist subscription can be sorted out with our membership team.
If for any reason you do not wish to use the online portal, please get in touch with our membership team by phone or by post and we will be pleased to help you.
The AGM in January 2015 agreed to change membership categories and how members subscribe to our journals, to simplify them and to enable us to claim Gift Aid. These changes have applied to all our existing members from their renewal for 2016.
There are now two membership categories, with discounts for students and seniors:
Regular Membership (£30) - with full membership rights, voting rights, access to all facilities of the Society, receiving our Bulletin twice a year, and entitle to subscribe to The Lichenologist at a special member's rate.
Student Discount (£15) - available to regular members under 18 years or in full-time education (Regular Member Discounted Student)
Senior Discount (£15) - available to regular members aged 65 or over (Regular Member Discounted Senior)
Family Membership (£5) - open to those living in the same household as a Regular Member, with access to all the facilities of the Society but not receiving publications and having no voting rights.
Membership has to be renewed annually, unless Regular Members aged 65 and over have taken out Life Membership.
Member's subscription to The Lichenologist
All Regular Members (full or discounted rate) are entitled to subscribe to our scientific journal The Lichenologist at a special member's rate.
Members can choose between 'online access only' (£10) or 'online access plus print copy' (£15). Online access includes being able to browse the entire archive of the journal.
The member's subscription can be taken out or changed when paying your annual or life membership fee, when you join the Society or when you renew your membership.
Membership fees and subscriptions from 2016
Fees and subscriptions for Regular Members increased for 2016 but Family Membership remained unchanged. The membership and Lichenologist subscriptions are shown below.
Fees are usually paid in Pound Sterling, but a US Dollar rate is shown for those who prefer to send a dollar check to our US Treasurer.
Combined rates for membership fee and journal subscription for 2016
|Rate (£ Sterling)||Rate (US $)|
Regular (no Lichenologist)
Regular (online Lichenologist)
Regular (online and print Lichenologist)
Senior or Student (no Lichenologist)
Senior or Student (online Lichenologist)
Senior or Student (online and print Lichenologist)
Life (no Lichenologist)
Life (online Lichenologist)
Life (online and print Lichenologist)
Your membership details (for existing members in 2015 only)
Existing members (in 2015) were issued with a new membership number, which should be quoted in any correspondence with the membership team, and were transferred to the appropriate new membership category and Lichenologist subscription. These can be changed for subsequent years by contacting the membership team. You should be able to activate your account on the mySociety portal by following the instructions we sent you then, if you have not already done so. Please get in touch if you have not received those instructions or need help.
Your email address is used to identify your mySociety account and will be used for all membership correspondence from now on. If you wish to change the primary email address we hold for you please get in touch with the membership team. On 1st December 2015 we tried to contact all our members, so if we haven't been able to reach you by email it means that we don't have a valid email address for you. Please let us know if there is one we can use. If we don't have an email address on record for you, we will send you essential information by post, but we hope to minimize costs for the society by using email.
The mySociety portal includes an online Membership Directory which allows members to look up other members. We would encourage all our members to opt in to this so that you can be contacted, but it is up to you how much information is displayed.
The new system will send you an automatic reminder about four weeks before your next renewal is due. If we have an email address for you this will be sent by email, and will include a link to the mySociety portal where you can see the details of what you have to pay and can make the payment online if you wish.
If you forget to renew we will send you another reminder when your subscription is a few weeks overdue, and then a notice if you membership lapses.
Renewal notices and the information displayed in your mySociety account will always relate to your current membership and subscription categories. If you wish to make changes for the following year, such as claiming Senior or Student discount for the first time, please contact the membership team before making a renewal payments so we can update your details.
Credit and debit card payments are fully integrated in the new membership database, using WorldPay as a payment gateway, and are the most efficient way to make payments. You can pay online or provide your card details over the phone. You card details are help only by WorldPay and not by BLS or RSB.
Direct debits are also available. At present these must be set up by contacting the membership team but in time you will be able to set up direct debits online through the portal. Again, we use a payment gateway, GoCardless, for this, and your bank details are held by them and not by BLS or RSB.
Payments may still be made by cheque and other methods as before, but we are no longer issuing standing order mandates. If you wish to pay by some method other than credit/debit card, direct debit or cheque, please contact the membership team for up to date details first. If you wish to pay by a recurring payment method from your bank account you will have to set this up with your bank yourself, and if you have an existing standing order this should be cancelled or the amount changed for the 2016 renewal.
We hope soon to be able to claim Gift Aid on your membership subscription if you manage your account online through the mySociety portal. We will let you know when the option to opt in to this is available, and would encourage members who are UK tax payers to complete the Gift Aid declaration then.
As we can't claim Gift Aid on subscriptions to The Lichenologist, these have to be handled in the new system as separate transactions to membership, and if you pay online you will be asked to make two payments so they can be accounted for separately. This can be done quickly and easily through the mySociety portal.
Contact details for membership matters
For anything related to joining the society or renewing your membership please contact our membership team:
In addition to our membership team at Charles Darwin House, the society has an officer (a trustee) dedicated to membership matters. If you wish to contact the Membership Secretary, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or write to the address above.