A member guide is someone who helps you through any membership issues you may have — sort of a buddy system.
The first step in becoming a member is to request the guidance of a current member as a member guide to help them through this process. This is subject to members having available time, but hey, we all love helping out new people!
The member guide is responsible for helping the prospective member through the application procedure, including supplying them with the completed applications of existing members and other prospective members at the appropriate time, making sure their completed application makes it to the proper places, scheduling interviews, getting the membership approval on an agenda, ensuring the member share is paid, etc.
The member guide also acts as a liaison between the applicant and EcoReality, a "first point of contact" for questions. A member guide may not have the answers, but they should be able to either get the answers, or steer the applicant to the proper person for the answers.
The role of member guide may be a proactive one, where they take on responsibility to reach out on a regular basis to their prospective member and engage them in regular conversation about what is working, what they would like more information about and how they might be better motivated to increase their participation in EcoReality community action.
Finally, a member guide is also a cultural interpreter for EcoReality, helping the applicant with our consensus agreement-making process, making sure the applicants know how to find out about past agreements, and helping the applicant understand (and possibly modify) existing customs.
After acceptance of a new member, the member guide's job is not through. The role of cultural interpreter will probably continue. For example, everyone is expected to hold a major stewardship, and new members often don't feel confident to take on responsibility and authority — their member guide can help the applicant select an appropriate stewardship, and can help the applicant get started in that stewardship.
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