our members

Our member organisations represent tens of thousands of community organisations that work directly with people in poverty, hardship or distress. Our members are independent organisations working in their own communities rather than branches of organisations based in other countries. Many have been established by people who are themselves experiencing hardship.

Within their own communities, our network of organisations provides help for a wide range of people who are poor, ill, disabled, unemployed, frail or oppressed. They help young people, older people, families, indigenous peoples, migrants, refugees and others who are experiencing special hardship or vulnerability.

Become A Member

ICSW members include a wide range of national non-governmental organisations. The members come from more than 70 countries. ICSW’s has nine regions: Central & West Africa, East & Southern Africa, Middle East & North Africa, South Asia, South East Asia & the Pacific, North East Asia, Europe, North America and Caribbean, and Latin America. We also have a number of international member organisations which have operations in many countries.

Membership Benefits

Membership of the International Council on Social Welfare enables organisations to:

  • Participate in a global network of organisations that has been a leader in social welfare, social policy and social development for nearly 80 years.
  • Contribute to the formulation and implementation of the ICSW Global Programme.
  • Contribute to the advocacy work of ICSW at the United Nations. Members receive credit from their own governments for the high quality of ICSW contribution to UN debates.
  • Every two years at the ICSW Global Conferences join with other members to explore and analyse progress in social development and social welfare.
  • Participate in sessions at the Global Conference held exclusively for ICSW members.
  • Benefit from reduced registration fees for ICSW conferences.
  • Contribute to and participate in Regional Programmes and Conferences.
  • Receive each four months free of charge the prestigious international journal Global Social Policy.
  • Receive the ICSW electronic newsletter, Global Cooperation every month.

Membership Options

Organisations may apply for admission to one of the four categories of membership. The eligibility criteria and rights of each category are described below.

Category A - National Member Organisations

  • Organisations can become a National Member Organisation of ICSW if they represent a wide range of non-governmental organisations within their own country. The National Member Organisation will seek to enhance social welfare and social development.
  • A National Member Organisation may be a pre-existing organisation or may be established especially for the purpose of ICSW membership. There can be only one National Member Organisation in each country.
  • Each National Member Organisation is entitled to appoint two representatives to ICSW’s governing body, the Committee of Representatives.
  • Annual Fee: The lowest fee is less than $USD100 and rises to higher fees for developed countries. (Details available on request)

Category B - International Member Organisations

  • Global and regional organisations can become ICSW members if they are non-governmental organisations that seek to enhance social welfare and social development.
  • Each member in this category is entitled to appoint one representative to ICSW’s Committee of Representatives.
  • Annual Fee depends on annual turnover and ranges from less than $USD1,000 to about $USD2,500.

Category C - Other Member Organisations

  • Organisations which seek to enhance social welfare and social development but are not eligible to be a Category A National Member Organisation or a Category B International Member Organisation.
  • Annual Fee: The lowest fee is less than $USD100 and rises to higher fees for developed countries. Details available on request.

Category D - Associate Member Organisations

  • This category includes government ministries or departments and regional non governmental organisations. Members in this category do not have voting rights.
  • Annual Fee to be decided on application.

Category E - individual membership - Distinguished Fellows

  • A New category E individual membership - Distinguished Fellows is established. Eminent experts in social welfare or social development who have made internationally or regionally outstanding and widely recognized contributions to social welfare and social development shall be eligible for individual membership in ICSW category as E members.
  • Distinguished Fellows of the International Council on Social Welfare shall be admitted to category E membership by decision of the Management Committee. They shall be nominated by a Regional President and a member of the Management Committee. The President of ICSW , the Vice-President and the Executive Director may also nominate candidates on a par with Regional Presidents.
  • Former ICSW officers shall be appointed Distinguished Fellows automatically upon application.
  • All candidates shall submit their CVs for consideration by the Management Committee.

Download the ICSW membership application form