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Membership FAQ

This section will provide answers to the questions most commonly asked about memberships & subscriptions. Just start by following one of the links below. If you can’t find the question you wanted to ask, don’t hesitate to contact us.

  • What is the term of my membership and the effective date?

    Your membership term begins when your membership data is entered into the Membership database (generally within the next 2 weeks after its receipt) and runs for the term you selected (12 or 25 months). Memberships are not prorated.

  • What’s a Society/Library Subscription?

    These are for organizations who wish to receive our publications in print. The quarterly Bulletin is sent via USPS. No other privileges are included.

  • What’s the difference between Email and USPS Publications?

    GFO has two publications: The Forum Insider (digital newsletter), currently published eight times a year, and The Bulletin (magazine), currently published four times a year. When you join, you will automatically be signed up for the digital editions sent out by email. If you have selected USPS publications, you’ll be sent printed Bulletins by postal mail. The dues for a print membership are a bit more to cover the paper, printing, and postage.

  • What if I don’t want the publications by email?

    When you join, you’ll be added to our email distribution list. When you receive your first email from us, you may click “Preferences” at the bottom of the message and select just what you do want to receive from us via email. And you may change your email delivery preferences at any time.

  • How do I purchase a Gift Membership?

    If YOU are not a GFO Member:
    Just fill out the enrollment for the recipient. In the Additional Information Field, tell us that it's a gift, let us know if you want a gift card, and if so, what you want it to say. We'll send news of the gift to the recipient or to you if you wish -- but don't forget to give us your mailing address if that's where we're to send it.

    If YOU are a GFO Member:
    Fill out the form at Gift Membership. If your membership will expire in the future, you'll receive 2 extra months as a grateful thanks for your support!

  • Who qualifies for a Joint Membership?

    Two people sharing a single address; different surnames, email addresses, and phone numbers are okay.

  • Who qualifies for a Student Membership?

    Anyone 18 or younger and those attending colleges and universities. The name of the College/University and the student ID number are required fields on the enrollment form for a new or renewed student membership.

  • What’s a Life Membership?

    It’s a way to never pay GFO dues again—and a great way to support the organization. Find out more about it here.

  • Why do I have to fill out all the same stuff every time I renew?

    Because we hate losing touch with our members. So often, people move, change phone numbers, or change their email addresses but forget to let us know.

  • What are my payment options?

    Credit card: The only way to complete your online enrollment. Your credit card information never comes to the GFO. It is encrypted and passes through a secure third-party gateway and then is erased. The third party, PaymentSpring, is a Level 1 Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard certified service provider.

    PayPal using email: Download the enrollment form, fill it out, and email it to Membership, Go to PayPal and “Send Money” to (Please be sure to use as payments to .com don’t make it to us. Also, please include a note that you have used PayPal for your membership dues.

    Check by mail: Download the enrollment form, print and complete it, and mail with payment to:

    GFO – Membership
    2505 SE 11th Ave. Suite B-18
    Portland, OR 97202-1061.

    Check or cash: Download the enrollment form, print and complete it, and bring it with payment to the GFO Library.

  • Will I receive a receipt for my credit card payment online?

    You will see a screen display after you submit the payment and you will also receive an email confirming the payment. If you do not, please contact the Membership Committee at to verify that the enrollment went through.

  • Can I pay by credit card at the Library?

    Research Assistants can accept credit cards using SQUARE. The transaction will appear on your credit card statement. Be sure to complete a membership form, and note payment was made using the SQUARE.

  • How will I know when my enrollment has been processed?

    As soon as the membership volunteers have both parts (the enrollment form and the payment), you’ll receive a welcome letter and membership card—usually within one to two weeks.

  • Am I allowed to share my membership with others?

    No, the memberships are designed to be used by only one person. The GFO offers Joint Memberships which provide two individual associated benefit packages at a reduced price.