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 dues support the activities of City Club.

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 most months 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 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?

Reservations are strongly encouraged so that we can plan an appropriate amount of seating and food for the expected audience. 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 annually on the day the member joined, members and guests pay for their lunch for each meeting they attend. For those who want to support the City Club more generously, there are levels for Friends of City Club and for Sponsoring Members.

What are the criteria for selecting a City Club speaker?

Speakers are chosen by the Program Committee. The Program Committee looks for speakers with proven oratorical skills to address a chosen topic on which they have credible expertise. Speakers are often recommended by our membership or other contacts, suggested by themselves, or found with a search for the topic we wish to address. Speakers are often well known, sometimes elected officials or candidates for office, and sometimes people who work in a field related to the topic.

We look for topics that are timely and of broad interest to our membership—topics that relate to our mission. Our programs may consist of a single speaker or a panel discussion.