You already have zero privacy. Get over it.  Scott McNealy, CEO of Sun Microsystems Inc.

It is amazing this quote was said in 1999, 20 years ago, and before social media impacted every aspect of our life. Today, Sun Microsystem no longer exists except as a part of Oracle.

But what does it have to do with clubs? Clubs are tax-exempt and, therefore we must be private. Why is it still important to remain private in today’s society?

Privacy is important and a club going too far afield runs the risk of losing its ability to select its membership and may be treated as a public accommodation. What is a private club? The Internal Revenue Code defines a private club as a place where people with a common bond congregate for social and recreational purposes. By its very nature, it is not a place open to the general public. The purpose is to serve members for social reasons and not business purposes. Activities and access are limited to members, their immediate family, and accompanied guests, and membership policies are selective.

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Reprinted with permission from the summer 2019 issue of Club Director published by the National Club Association.