Starting in 2015, Sister Cities International dramatically restructured its Global Membership structure and services. Global Membership is available to all non-U.S. cities that wish to enjoy the benefits of the Sister Cities International network. Membership is now divided into classes according to population size, mirroring the structure of U.S. membership. Global Membership is open to all non-U.S. cities, districts, counties, provinces, or other communities. Cities can only be registered by government employees, elected officials, or organizations formally recognized by local government as the representative of their sister city program. If you have questions about whether you’re eligible, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How Do You Join?
CLICK HERE for more information about membership rates and to download our membership form.
Global members can take advantage of many member benefits offered to U.S. communities, including:
- Access to Sister Cities International’s Cities Seeking Cities program
- Customizable profile on Sister Cities International’s website
- Listing in our Annual Membership Directory, including partnerships with non-U.S. cities
- Voting rights in Sister Cities International’s Elections
- Use of Sister Cities International Global Member Badge
- Member rates for all events
With affordable rates based on the population of a community, Sister Cities International provides members with unique support and resources listed below.
CONNECTING YOU TO U.S. COMMUNITIES
- Cities Seeking Cities: With a direct line to over 500 U.S. sister city organizations, SCI is the best source for discovering potential partnerships. Sister Cities International assists Global Members with finding and developing sister city partnerships with U.S. cities. Our staff will help you identify and reach out to potential U.S. partner cities, as well as assist you with navigating the process of creating a partnership agreement and initiating exchange activities. Sister Cities International will also reach out to any U.S. community to solicit new partnerships at the request of Global Members. Are you from a small city?: Cities with a population under 50,000 that do not wish to join as Global Members may still register for our “Cities Seeking Cities” service. For an annual fee of only $250, your city will be posted on our “Cities Seeking Cities” list which is provided to all U.S. cities looking for partnerships, as well as be promoted in our monthly e-newsletters. Please note that communities that register in this way are not eligible for other member benefits offered to Global Members. Email email@example.com for details.
- Sister Cities Networking: At Sister Cities International, we believe in peer-to-peer learning. Want to host a youth exchange? Lead a business delegation? We can connect you with other experienced members for an exchange of ideas to help you find solutions.
- Connect with the Diplomatic Corps: Sister Cities International works closely with the U.S. Department of State and its diplomats as well foreign embassies in the U.S. Let us connect you with the right officials and help you get the answers and support you need.
- Annual Membership Directory: Be featured in the Annual Directory, Sister Cities International’s flagship publication! This listing of all member cities and their partnerships is distributed to our entire network, municipal and federal governments, and the diplomatic community.
PROGRAMS & SERVICES
- Governance and Policy Services: Confused about how to start a sister city organization, structure your bylaws, or establish other policies to lay the foundation for a sister city program? We will guide you at every step as you establish and grow your partnerships.
- Young Artists & Authors Showcase: Open to all youth in member cities, the Showcase is a chance for them to submit artwork, essays, and poems inspired by an annual theme. Winners receive cash prizes and top entries tour the U.S.
- High School Homestay: This exchange program enables member cities to host high school students for a year or semester. We assist with processing exchange visas for the youth and make it a simple and rewarding experience for students and host families.
- Annual Awards: The Awards highlight sister city programming excellence in a number of competitive categories and programmatic areas.
TELLING YOUR STORY
- Share Your Story: Let us tell your story to the world. We publicize your success through website articles, social media, and press outreach.
- Member Profiles: Show off your sister city program with a customizable member profile as well as profiles for all of your sister city partnerships.
- Event & Delegation Promotion: Need help promoting an upcoming inbound or outbound delegation? We can help spread the word through targeted emails, social media, and press outreach.
- Crisis Communications & Media Relations: International events can catch any communications team off guard. We can guide you on how to effectively represent your program in times of crisis or controversy. Our media partnerships and media outreach can ensure that your activities get the attention they deserve.
PROVIDING RESOURCES THAT MATTER
- Visa Consultations: Worried about an upcoming delegation? Get pro bono consultations from immigration lawyers for questions regarding inbound delegations or visa applications.
- Background Checks: All Sister Cities International members receive access to discounted Intellicorp’s background check services for host families, chaperones, and new hires.
- Insurance: Get access to discounted traveler’s insurance for individuals or groups through Sister Cities International’s partnership with International Medical Group (IMG).
- Certificates: Commemorate a new sister city partnership or anniversary with our custom-made certificates.
- Toolkits and Templates: Get access to handy guidelines, templates, and best practices for exchanges, policies, and other topics relevant to sister city program development.
- Grants Database: Sister Cities International provides members with information on opportunities from private foundations and public organizations to help you find resources to expand your program.
- Webinars: Build key skills and hear from experts in our webinar series. Topics include grant-writing, fundraising, and volunteer recruitment.
- Discounted Rates: As a valued member of Sister Cities International, you are eligible for discounted member rates to all our conferences and events.
CLICK HERE for more information about membership rates and to download our global membership form.