How our members are organized
At Foresters, we don’t have shareholders – we exist to serve the needs of our members and to give back to the communities where they live.
At the core of Foresters Purpose
is our Branch network to which all members belong. This member-governed organization system focuses our efforts where they are needed most – on our members and their communities.
Foresters Branch Network has a three tiered governance structure: Branch, Regional, and International, through which Foresters members elect their leaders and ultimately the Board of Directors
. Each tier has its own responsibilities and accountabilities.
There are 50 Branches; 5 Regional Assemblies and 1 International Assembly.
When you join Foresters you become a member of your local Branch. As a Branch member, you are eligible to vote and hold office on the Branch Council. Local Branch membership includes all Foresters members in your area.
Branches are led by a Branch Council comprised of elected member leaders called Branch Councillors. Branch Members elect ten (10) Branch Councillors who represent them locally and at the Regional Assembly to which their Branch belongs. Elections for Branch Councillors are held annually. Voting takes place through an online voting system or by mail in ballot. The Branch Councillors elect from amongst themselves each year a Branch President and Branch Vice President.
Branches take a leading role in supporting and supervising Foresters local community activities through its Branch Satellites, volunteer projects and member activities. A Branch Satellite is a group of two or more members who have organized a local community project to fulfill Foresters purpose and received funding from the Branch.
The Branch President and Vice President are, by virtue of their office, members of the Regional and International Assembly, where they represent their Branch members.
All Branch Councillors are members of the Regional Assembly to which their Branch is assigned.
Regional Assemblies/Regional Councils
There are five Regional Assemblies each governed by a Regional Council. Three in the US; and one in each of Canada and the UK. Your Branch belongs to one of these five Regional Assemblies.
The Regional Assemblies bring together member leaders from across the Regions geographical area to collaborate and oversee the activities of the Branches within their area.
The Regional Assemblies elect a Regional Council of 10 Regional Councillors, and one Regional Council President. A Regional Council Vice President is elected from amongst the Regional Councillors. The Regional Council manages the Region and its Branches between meetings of the Regional Assembly.
Regional Assemblies meet every two years, providing educational and leadership development for the delegates, as well as holding elections for Regional Councillors and Regional Council President.
The Board of Directors is responsible for overseeing the business and fraternal affairs of Foresters. They also hire and supervise the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), who is also a member of the Board. The Board of Directors elects the Chairman/woman of the Board from among its members. The IFP and the CEO cannot serve as Chairman of the Board.
Member Voting Rights1
Foresters Voting Members have the right to vote in Branch elections and to hold office in its governance structure.
Member voting rights to elect local Branch Councillors, who also form the membership of the Regional Assemblies, are one of the unique features of a fraternal benefit society
. Voting Members also have an indirect vote for the Board of Directors through the Regional Assemblies, and the International Assembly.