Sponsorship Guidelines and Procedures 

UPDATED 03-25-14 - OLIGARCHY APPROVED 04-08-14
SEE EXCERPTS OF THE BYLAWS THAT APPLY TO THIS DOCUMENT AT THE BOTTOM

01/09/2017 PROPOSED ADDITION: To become a Sponsor or to become a Prospective, both parties must first have filled out the form “Pre-Sponsorship Questionnaire” as provided by the Oligarchy.

To become a Dark Ones Associate, a Prospective member must first obtain a Sponsor. (June 6, 1998)  The Sponsor must be a  member holding Active status and be willing to sponsor the Prospective member. (January 18, 2003)

BEFORE BECOMING A SPONSOR

First, decide if you are willing to take on the time and effort of being a sponsor. Are you willing to team up with this person and attend meetings? Are you ready to volunteer for event positions to show them what is expected from a productive Dark Ones member? If not, you should help them find a Sponsor that is. Keep in mind, sometimes taking on a Prospective could actually be a disservice; not everyone is suited to be a Sponsor at any given time.

Second, you should ask the potential Prospective, “Why do you want to be a member of the Dark Ones?”

Third, you’ll want them to know that, once sponsored, it generally takes a minimum of a year of actively working/helping/contributing in a meaningful way, and spending face-time with the Active members to get a positive response on an Opinion Poll.

Fourth, find out their areas of interest: are they willing to run events (hold a triumvirate seat for a party), be on Committee for DarkCon, run for “office” of any sort, or contribute significantly to any DO effort (Historian Committee, website assistance/contributions, help with convention parties, etc).

Fifth, they’ll need to choose a Persona name, if they haven’t already.

DUTIES OF SPONSORSHIP

1) Submit your Notice of Sponsorship (with a live signature and date) of said Prospective to the Oligarchy. You must currently hold Active status within the group to do this. An Oligarchy member will need to accept the application by adding their signature & date to the back of the request to make it official. At this time, the Prospective member is considered sponsored by that individual.

2) Make sure your Prospective is aware of all DO Events. During the sponsorship period both the Sponsor and Prospective should attend as many of the Dark Ones events and symposiums as possible to get to know the group members. It is the Sponsor’s job to keep the Prospective informed of all upcoming events and meetings. Volunteering together as a team shows both the Prospective’s interest and the Sponsor’s support in making them a member. Both will be tracked as Active or not during the sponsorship period. Activity levels and volunteering for events will affect the sponsorship period significantly.

Introduce your Prospective to other DO Members -- while only Active ones will be able to officially vote on a new member, every member is allowed to share their thoughts in the Opinion Polls. Encourage your Prospective to talk with, and have “face-time” with the membership.

It is recommended that you get your Prospective to write up a Persona Bio. There is a “Bio” form for gathering the standardized character data in the Sponsorship section of DarkOnes.org, and each Prospective is encouraged to write up a persona background paragraph (or several) as well. Taking a photo “in character” is ideal.

3) Once you have these recommended items from your Prospective, it is up to you to promote them, so that members know who this person is and what they contribute. There are various ways to promote your Prospective -- you can email members about them, publish a flyer, write an article for the newsletter, ply members with food or alcohol in their name, have them write up their “DO Resume”, whatever -- feel free to be creative.

4) You should then get your Prospective to become familiar with the Dark Ones via the website. They can read the back issues of Dark Times and read the current edition of the Bylaws. (Then they will know that  $5 dues and a Silver Tribute will be expected of them if/once they are approved to join.) The Silver Tribute will be a coin of fine silver. You should reinforce the information about the dues and Silver Tribute, to ensure they are aware of it. If they’re on Facebook, you could have them join the Dark Ones group as well.

5) The Sponsor, if Active, may request in writing that an Opinion Poll be taken about the Prospective member. The Oligarchy, or its duly appointed representative, shall then make a reasonable effort over the ensuing fortnight (2 weeks) to poll the opinion of each member. At the end of this time, the Oligarchy shall review the Opinion Poll and give the Sponsor a written recommendation as to the probable length of sponsorship and the earliest date a vote could be taken on the Prospective member.  

The Sponsor may then request any reasonable number of Opinion Polls. For this purpose ‘reasonable’ is loosely defined as ‘such quantity as is needed to responsibly monitor the progress of the sponsorship’.

6) When and if the Oligarchy recommendation comes back positive to move forward, the Sponsor may then request the Oligarchy to vote on the Prospective member. This request must be made in writing no less than two fortnights prior to the General Symposium at which the vote shall be cast; this document must carry a live signature. Both the Prospective member and Sponsor must have physically attended one of the previous three General or Event Symposiums to be eligible for a membership vote (excludes Special Symposiums). The vote will be held at the General Symposium of the Sponsor’s choice and in accordance with the Oligarchic recommendation.

At an Oligarchy meeting prior to the symposium requested, the Oligarchy shall review the opinions. On an unanimous vote of the entire Oligarchy, the Prospective member would be approved to go before the membership for a vote. The Oligarchy will then notify the sponsor that a vote has been approved for the coming symposium.

7) It is the responsibility of the Sponsor to notify the Prospective that their first vote is going before the membership (it may take more than one vote to become a member), to attend the symposium, and to bring the required $5 dues and Silver Tribute of one silver coin as approved by the Oligarchy. 

The Sponsor is required to be in attendance (or delegate this to another Active member).

They should also be told to expect the members to ask them some questions about the reason they wish to join the Dark Ones prior to the vote. If the vote goes Black (positive) the Prospective will then become a DOA. The Sponsor and Prospective will also provide something to drink to toast with the attending members (alcoholic or non).

MISC

ENDING SPONSORSHIP Either the Sponsor or the Prospective may choose to end a sponsorship. This person should notify both the other person and the Oligarchy (in writing) immediately. Once the Oligarchy receives this notice the Prospective will be removed from the list of Prospectives, with notice given to the Chronicler as well.

CHANGING SPONSORS If there is a need to change Sponsors there are two ways this is handled.

1) If the Sponsor chooses to step down, the sponsorship is ended and the process may be started again by a new Sponsor.

2) If the Prospective decides to change Sponsors, they need to notify the current Sponsor and then have the new Sponsor notify the Oligarchy in writing [this is effectively a new sponsorship and requires a live signature].

MULTIPLE SPONSORS More than one person may sponsor a Prospective if all Sponsors involved and the Prospective agree. There must still be a primary Sponsor identified that will provide the paperwork and act as the point of contact. Other than that, the sponsorship progresses normally.

OFFICIAL WORDING FOR OPINION POLL EMAILS

INITIAL EMAIL

(Sent out to the Black List)

SUBJECT: *** Official Dark Ones Business - Opinion Poll ***

“(Potential Member) has been sponsored by (Sponsor) to become a member of the Dark Ones.
Please respond with one of the options below that best fits your opinion.

If you have additional comments, please include them in your response. If the Oligarchy finds this Opinion Poll favorable a vote may be announced. If you are Active but unable to attend the vote, your opinion on the latest poll will be cast as your vote.

The Oligarchy understands that a member may become Inactive from time to time, but we are still interested in your opinion on this matter. It is also possible that you will become Active again by the time of any potential vote on this person.

(*** Add Picture***)

FOLLOW UP EMAIL

(Sent out ONLY to any Active Members that have not responded within 1 week)

SUBJECT: *** Official Dark Ones Business - Opinion Poll 2nd Request***

“(Potential Member) has been sponsored by (Sponsor) to become a member of the Dark Ones.
Please respond with one of the options below that best fits your opinion.

If you have additional comments, please include them in your response. If the Oligarchy finds this Opinion Poll favorable a vote may be announced. If you are Active but unable to attend the vote, your opinion on the latest poll will be cast as your vote.

The Oligarchy understands that a member may become Inactive from time to time, but we are still interested in your opinion on this matter. It is also possible that you will become Active again by the time of any potential vote on this person.

EXCERPT OF BYLAWS THAT APPLY TO THIS DOCUMENT

IV) Membership
[...]

4) An  Individual who is  not member of the Dark Ones may become Dark Ones Associate. (January 18, 2003)  Bylaws

  1. To become a Dark Ones Associate, a Prospective member must first obtain a Sponsor. (June 6, 1998)
  1. The Sponsor must be a member holding Active status and be willing to Sponsor the Prospective member. (January 18, 2003)
  2. Upon the agreement of the requested individual to be the Sponsor, the Prospective member is considered sponsored by that individual. At this time, the Sponsor is to notify the Oligarchy of the sponsorship in writing; this document must carry a live signature. (December 30, 2008)
  1. The Sponsor, if Active, may request in writing that an opinion poll be taken about the Prospective member. (June 19, 2012)
  1. The Oligarchy, or its duly appointed representative, shall then make a reasonable effort over the ensuing fortnight to acquire the opinion of each Active member. (October 11, 2011)
  2. At the end of this time, the Oligarchy shall review the opinion poll and shall give to the Sponsor a written recommendation as to the probable length of sponsorship and the earliest date a vote could be taken on the Prospective member. (June 6, 1998)
  3. The Sponsor may then request any reasonable number of opinion polls. For this purpose ‘reasonable’ is loosely defined as ‘such quantity as is needed to responsibly monitor the progress of the sponsorship’. (June 6, 1998)
  1. The Sponsor may then request the Oligarchy to vote on the Prospective member. (June 6, 1998)
  1. This request must be made in writing no less than two fortnights prior to the event at which the vote shall be cast; this document must carry a live signature. (December 30, 2008)
  2. The vote will be held at the General Symposium of the Sponsor’s choice and in accordance with the Oligarchic recommendation. (September 14, 2010)
  3. The Prospective member must have physically attended one of the previous three General or Event Symposiums to be eligible for a membership vote (excludes Special Symposiums). (April 12, 2011)
  4. During the two fortnights prior to the scheduled time of the vote the Oligarchy, or its duly appointed representative, shall make a reasonable effort to contact each of the members holding Active status to determine their individual opinions of the Prospective member. (January 18, 2003)
  5. The Oligarchy shall review the opinions. The vote shall then be cast in stone. On a unanimous vote of the entire Oligarchy, the Prospective member shall go before the membership for a vote. (May 10, 2011)
  6. At the vote of the members, the Sponsor will be allowed a brief discourse on behalf of the Prospective member. The Prospective member shall be allowed same. The vote shall then be cast in stone.  Members who are absent and without proxy shall have their last opinion gathered cast as their vote. If the majority of this vote is black, the Prospective shall then be a Dark Ones Associate. (May 10, 2011)
  7. The fee for becoming a Dark Ones Associate shall be five dollars and one silver coin as approved by the Oligarchy. (June 6, 1998)