Down the Ballot

Saturday, September 15, 2012

5 Ideas to Rock You to Action for the APIC Part 2

Yesterday I started a conversation about social media and embracing technology for our organization. Today, I would like to talk about embracing your membership. Members are lured to organizations all the time. Depending on the organization and its backing will determine what exactly is asked of these members once they hand over their membership fee.

2. Use them or lose them: Membership Needs to Matter

So you have this 1,900+ list of members... what do you do with them? It's hard sometimes. We all have different skills and different motivations for being involved. Will those line up with the greater group all the time? No. Yet, when they do line up, we should make every effort to help each other out.

Those of you that help and put together the various shows, both regional and national know what I'm talking about. Everyone pitches in for the weekend or week to make the effort a success. Tom Peeling for instance did a huge service for the folks who couldn't be at the national show this year. Live streaming the auction was a cool. For those of us who could not attend it was a chance to see what actually goes on at one of these shows.

How do you make membership matter? First it is important to look at the benefits of membership in the organization and compare that to the costs of membership. I first joined up in 2007. I had been steered there by a local Oregon collector. This was before the recent membership fee increase. I can't recall if I got a welcome letter from the organization. I know I got an email confirming my payment had gone through, but I can't recall anything else. Members should be graciously welcomed to our group. A group of volunteers would be an easy fix at helping our great Membership Director get new members settled into the organization.

For instance, how about volunteers putting together a basic membership kit? This kit could include stuff like a welcome letter from the organization president, and the new recruits geographic chapter leader. I also recently saw these neat buttons with the members name and apic # advertised. Why are we selling these to our members when we should be giving them away? There ought to be plenty of members who have great experience in button producing that could supply the buttons when a new member signs up. It would be an easy way for those running shows to let in those wearing the button of signifying membership. They would also be great advertising when members attend rallies, and other functions.

We need to better utilize our membership. We're doing ok getting folks with editing skills and graphics arts to help us out with the Keynoter, but I'm sure there must be other things we could help out with. In the September Bandwagon I saw a member spotlight of Winston Blair. He never saw it coming and was pleasantly surprised about the entry. We should do this every month. We dedicate significant space to auction results, campaign items, and history but how often to we do dedicate significant space to spotlights of our members where we try and learn a little bit more about them.

Growing membership should always be a high priority, but we should equally try and spur our current members to action. We won't be around forever, let's share our gifts while we can. Which leads us into our next discussion topic. Fundraising and Giving.
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