Where do my IPSE membership fees go?

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One thing that we are often asked in the membership team is, aside from paying staff wages, putting a roof over our head and keeping Team IPSE in tea and coffee, ‘where exactly do my membership fees go’? In this blog I will provide an answer.

As the UK’s only not-for-profit dedicated to supporting the self-employed, we do not have shareholders or a private owner taking profits out of the organisation so any money we raise goes directly back into supporting you, our members. There are several important areas that this includes:

Membership benefits suited to your needs

First and foremost, your membership fees go towards paying our suppliers who provide your membership benefits. Whether that’s the tax investigation insurance, business interruption compensation, the voluntary group life assurance scheme, our expert helplines or access to IPSE Rewards. We negotiate the best possible deals with our partners to ensure that you and your business remain prepared and protected, for a single, affordable, annual (or monthly, if you choose) fee.

Policy work and campaigning on your behalf

Part of the money we raise contributes to our campaigning and policy work. Whether we are fighting for a fairer tax system, criticising IR35 or making our point to government and industry about the best ways to support entrepreneurialism, your support means that we can get the best people in the right places to argue our point and make sure that freelance voices are heard.

This is how we were able to get around the table with government when discussing Covid-19 support for the self-employed, ultimately leading to the development of the SEISS scheme. It has also allowed us to further our campaign around late payment, including with the creation of the IPSE Payment Practices Index – allowing you to check up on the payment practices of clients before you engage.

Up-to-date research informs our benefits and campaigns

Our membership benefits and campaigning are designed to have the best interests of you, our members, at heart. In order to ensure that we do this to the best of our ability, we carry out regular research involving both our members and non-members, keeping our finger on the pulse of the UK’s self-employed workforce. This includes our quarterly Freelancer Confidence Index (FCI) survey which allows us to gauge the state of the market and the ongoing concerns of the freelancer community.

We also conduct specific research projects into the issues that matter, recent examples include reports on remote working, late payment, making the case for freelancers, and assessing the concerns of umbrella company workers as well as collaborations with our partners like this report on pensions and mortgages for the self-employed with mortgage experts CMME.

We also run our annual membership survey (which is open now) to ensure that our offerings and campaigning are tailored to the concerns and support needs of the membership. The results of the membership survey then feed into our Impact Report which reviews our work across the previous 18 months and outlines the actionable steps being taken following the responses of the membership.

Running award-winning events for members

Another expense which is covered by your membership fees is our schedule of virtual and in-person events. We put on more-or-less weekly webinars, hosted by ourselves and our partners, to make sure that our members have all the information needed to run their businesses effectively, as well as our award-winning, flagship event, National Freelancers Day (NFD) and our annual IPSE Freelancer Awards, celebrating the best freelance talent that the UK has to offer.

Our events offer you a chance to meet other IPSE members, IPSE staff members and to become part of a community of like-minded professionals pushing together for fair treatment for the self-employed. Every bit of your support in helping to achieve that is greatly appreciated.

If you have any questions about your membership benefits, our policy work, our research or our events please don’t hesitate to get in touch. The membership team can be reached by email at [email protected] or by phone, 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday, on 0208 897 9970.

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Whether you are an experienced contractor or just starting out, your IPSE membership is a gateway to the best guidance, resources, and information to help you make your business a success.

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Meet the author

Patrick Carter

Membership co-ordinator at IPSE