Cosmos Club Facilities Policy

Adopted by the Board of Management April 28, 2016
This policy supersedes all other policy statements related to use of Club facilities except statements contained in the Club’s Bylaws. The current Cosmos Club Private Function Form, Rules and Regulations for Private Events, Special Function Contract, Member Letter, and Prohibition of Commercial Activities Form remain in effect, except as modified by this policy. Those staff documents (and any revised versions), plus the Cosmos Club Publicity Policy and the House Rules, should be read in connection with this policy document

The Cosmos Club is a private social club for individuals of distinction, character, and sociability, which is organized as a non-profit corporation under the laws of the District of Columbia, and as a tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)(7) of the Internal Revenue Code. In order for the Club to serve its primary purpose of providing for social intercourse, pleasure, and intellectual advancement of its members it is essential to limit the use of Club facilities to activities consistent with the maintenance of privacy. The Club’s policy on use of Club facilities is based on preserving the Club’s Core Principles and its status as a private organization; and respecting the privacy of Club members and their guests.

For purposes of this policy: (1) “Member” includes Associates, Foreign Visitors granted privileges under Bylaws Art. XVI, § 1, and members of reciprocal clubs; and (2) the terms “Event” and “Function” are synonymous.

I. Member-hosted Events at the Club.

A. Members may sponsor and host private social events (dinners, parties, receptions, weddings, etc.).

B. Members may also sponsor private events conducted in a clearly social format with guests who may be professional or business friends or associates of the member.

II. Member-sponsored Events at the Club.

Members may sponsor approved events of their guests, which may include a non-profit organization with which the member has a bona-fide collegial or professional relationship or interest. In such instances the event, and the mission of any non-profit organization that is involved, must not violate or compromise the Core Principles of the Club.

A. When a member sponsors an event of an individual:

  1. Appropriate events are private social events that the member would normally attend and the relationship of the member to the guest is such that the member would invite the guest into his or her private residence for the same kind of activity. The member is expected to attend the sponsored event if possible.
  2. The member may receive reimbursement for direct out-of-pocket expenses incurred in sponsoring the event, provided that (a) the relationship is such that a sensitive and scrupulous individual would accept reimbursement from the guest for such activity if it were conducted in the residence of the member; and (b) the reimbursement does not occur on Club premises.

B. When a member sponsors an Event of an organization:

  1. The member must attend the sponsored event.
  2. The event may be attended only by members of the external organization and their guests. The event may not be open to the general public.
  3. The member may receive reimbursement for direct out-of-pocket expenses incurred in sponsoring the event, provided that the reimbursement is not made on Club premises.
  4. If a member sponsoring an event certifies that the sponsorship is not in furtherance of the member’s trade or business, the charges for the function may, at the election of the member, be paid to the Club directly by the external organization. Such certification shall be made on the Club’s Private Function Form, available from the Club’s Catering Office.

III. Both Member-hosted and Member-sponsored Events at the Club.

A. Commercial Activities are Prohibited. The Club may not be used for commercial purposes. An event or function is deemed to be intended for a commercial purpose if it is:

  1. Held primarily to promote the purchase or sale of goods or services or to primarily advance the financial or employment interests of the sponsor, presenter, or the attendees; or
  2. One at which fees (other than general membership fees, reimbursement for Club services and facilities, and payment for goods and services provided by outside vendors) will be required by a third party as a condition of attendance; or
  3. One at which money will be solicited or collected; provided, however, that sales of items incident to an event held for intellectual or cultural purposes are permitted at the time of the event as long as payment is made by credit/debit card. No exchange of cash is permitted at the Club.

B. Political and Advocacy Events are Prohibited. The Club may not be used to advance any partisan political objective. Meetings or other functions that are generated by political organizations are subject to the policy statements at sections II & III.A, above.

C. Publicity Policies Apply. The Club’s Publicity Policy applies to all events to which this policy applies. The current Publicity Policy is available on the website and from the Club office.

D. Financial Obligations. The member is ultimately responsible for any unpaid balances due the Club. No exchange of cash is permitted at the Club.

E. Interference with Member Use. A proposed activity involving non-members, regardless of whether it is sponsored by a Club member or by the Club, should be limited or restricted if that activity would frequently or materially interfere with the ability of Club members to enjoy Club facilities and other benefits.

IV. Requests

The General Manager shall determine in the first instance whether booking requests are permissible under these policies. In cases of doubt, the General Manager shall consult the chair of the House Committee.