Frequently Asked Questions

Is Bellingham City Club a service club?

No. Our community has an abundance of established and active service clubs that do fundraising and volunteer community projects. Bellingham City Club membership involves simple annual support of our program activities.

What does City Club do?

Bellingham City Club provides non-partisan presentations for local citizens “to explore topics of interest and importance to us all” (or sometimes just to entertain). Focus and speakers vary from local (Dr. Jim Douglas, Head of St. Joseph’s Cardiac Unit), to regional (Michael J Parks, Marples Pacific Northwest Letter), to broader interests (Robert Gates, former CIA Director). For some meetings we have an individual speaker; for others we have a panel of presenters with diverse viewpoints on an issue. You may browse our Past Programs for more information.

What is the meeting format and schedule?

Bellingham City Club meets on the fourth Wednesday of the month for a luncheon presentation (except November, when we meet on the third Wednesday, and December, when we do not meet). The doors open at 11:30 a.m., the buffet opens at 11:50 a.m. and the presentation is from 12:20 until 1:30 p.m., including a question period (during which Members get priority). Speakers often linger after the presentation for informal discussion. There are occasional evening meetings and special events.

Who can attend meetings?

Almost all meetings are open to the public. Exceptions include the Annual Meeting and the occasional dues-subsidized special event. Facility fees are paid through luncheon purchases; those not eating pay a modest fee to help with facility costs and are asked to use seating provided for non-lunch guests rather than occupying seats at tables.

Do I need a ticket to attend?

Bellingham City Club strongly urges both members and guests to purchase tickets in advance. Each month, City Club sets up a ticket purchase page on Brown Paper Tickets. A link to the page is provided in the program description on the City Club website and in each announcement email. Tickets may also be purchased by calling Brown Paper Tickets at 800-838-3006 and specifying “Bellingham City Club” and the event date. Both online and phone ticket sales end at 11:50 a.m. on the Monday before the Wednesday meeting, unless the event is sold out before that time. Brown Paper Tickets will provide (by email or phone) a confirmation number; keep the number until you verify the sale on your credit card statement. Note: If you purchase a ticket and have a change of plans, you can get a refund from Brown Paper Tickets if you call and provide your confirmation number before ticket sales close.

Who can join? How can I learn more?

Membership is open to all who support the Bellingham City Club mission. Please visit the Membership page for additional information. If you are interested in City Club but not yet ready to join, you may add your name to our email list to receive notice of meetings.

Why join?

Bellingham City Club presents stimulating programs to a vital and informed audience. Your membership supports our programs and gives you an opportunity to meet and converse with other members of the community who share an interest in current and critical issues.

What does it cost?

Bellingham City Club has several levels of membership. Annual dues are $35 for an individual, $55 for a two-person household, $75 for a three-person household, and $10 for a young adult (ages 29 and under). In addition to annual membership, which is renewable each year in the month the member joined, members and guests pay for their lunch for each meeting they attend.

What are the criteria for selecting a City Club speaker?

Speakers are chosen at the discretion of the Program Committee.

Criteria for choosing speakers:

  • Established speaking ability
  • Credibility/expertise of speaker on the proposed topic (How will professionals in the field regard the speaker? Is this a good topic but the wrong speaker?)
  • Marquee value (Is he/she a “name” that members may recognize?)
  • Does the speaker have a “hidden agenda” or is there any self-promotion involved?

Criteria for choosing program topics:

  • Is there a clear, concise, and defined subject?
  • Timeliness of topic
  • Is the topic of broad interest to City Club members and the community?
  • The relationship to City Club’s overall programming

Other considerations:

  • Format: What is the best way to feature the speaker or subject — single speaker, debate, or panel?
  • Marketing: How might we broaden the interest in, and attendance at, this program? What other groups could we contact? Is a co-sponsorship possible?
  • Source of the recommendation