We’re passionate about the value of voluntary organisations, charities and community groups to change lives and build strong communities, so we provide leadership for the sector, bringing people together to collaborate across all sectors.

We have, therefore, made the commitment to offer free membership to the VCS and our public sector colleagues, removing all barriers to accessing our support.

Full membership

To join CAN as a full member, you need to be:

  • Independent of government and constitutionally self-governing. Either with an unpaid voluntary management committee or where over half are unpaid.
  • Value-driven – exist for the good of the community, to promote social, environmental or cultural objectives in order to benefit society as a whole, or particular groups within it
  • Not run for financial gain – meaning you re-invest any surpluses to further the ‘good’ you create for the community and have an enforceable ‘asset lock’ to prevent private profit (e.g. if you are a charity or community interest company you will have this in law)
  • Providing your service to those in Dorset

Before you join us, please ensure you have read and understood your Membership Responsibilities and our Members’ Privacy Statement.

If your organisation can say yes to all of the above you can apply to join.

Complete the quick and simple online full membership form (link below) or visit our Beech House office where you can complete a printed form. Your membership automatically runs for 3 years; after that we’ll check with you whether you wish to remain a member.

Affiliate membership

To join CAN as an affiliate member, you need to be:

  • A charity, community group or voluntary organisation working outside of Dorset
  • A community group without a formal constitution
  • A community interest company (CIC) or charitable incorporated organisation (CIO) with a majority of paid directors
  • In a team within BCP or Dorset Council
  • A department, service or team within one of the NHS Trusts
  • A department, service or team within NHS Dorset
  • A GP Surgery or Primary Care Network in Dorset
  • A funder
  • A school or academy trust in Dorset

Before you join us, please ensure you have read and understood your Membership Responsibilities and our Members’ Privacy Statement.

If your organisation can say yes to any of the above you can apply to join.

To join us, complete the quick and simple online affiliate membership form (link below) or visit our Beech House office where you can complete a printed form. Your membership automatically runs for 3 years; after that we’ll check with you whether you wish to remain a member.

Business Supporter Membership

Many local businesses want to support their community and we’re here to help.

We offer an opportunity for local businesses with a ‘social conscience’ to connect with like-minded businesses, charities, community groups and our Council and NHS colleagues. We all share a vision for Dorset to be a place where strong, healthy, diverse and vibrant communities flourish.

We can help if you are considering enabling your employees to volunteer, with practical advice and support as part of our membership package.

You can join us as a business supporter member for just £25 per annum.