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Author Topic: Lapsed and former Club members  (Read 37553 times)
W2RWJ
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Posts: 199




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« on: July 05, 2013, 04:56:24 AM »

When a member fails to renew their membership, does your club reach out to them to ask why?  The follow on to this is, what is done with the information?   

As a side note, I consider e-mail and letters a bit impersonal for this, and would lean toward a phone call or in-person as the best method..

73 Martin Flynn
W2RWJ
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K1CJS
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Posts: 6061




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« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2013, 06:10:34 AM »

In cases that I've seen, it depended on the standing of the member in the club.  If a member was active and supported the club unconditionally, then I've seen instances where the club does try to find out why--and even forgives the dues and re-instates the member if the reason for the lapse was fair.

However, if the member were not as supportive or had issues with club leadership, the club doesn't do a thing.  I guess that it's a toss-up unless the club by-laws require it.
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K5RT
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Posts: 169




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« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2013, 05:11:45 AM »

Why bother contacting the member to ask "Why?".
How about contacting the member and saying the group misses that person and their contribution to the club?
Lots of folks leave clubs because they may be a member, but don't feel like they belong.
Churches have the same problems with retention.
The board of directors of your club needs to do some soul searching. I'm not trying to criticize anything your club is doing, but rather ask what the club is all about. Is it a place where friends gather, share information, have fun. Or is a place where people simply show up expecting to be entertained.
Dues are something else to look at. How much money is in the club treasury? A lot? If so, why and what does the club do with it? I'm not opposed to paying dues, just asking what a dues structure supports.
Mailing newsletters used to be a monthly expense. Nowadays, email has replaced that. Do you have to pay for your meeting place? OK. But has the club investigated other venues?
Does the club have an Activities Chairmen or equivalent function? If not, why?
What does your club do to encourage on the air activity? What about embracing newly licensed hams (members or not)?
Sadly, Im finding many clubs do the same things they've done for decades and don't ask why they continue to behave the same way.
My message is simple, reinvent your club if you need to. Seek out new ways to involve your members and get them on the air, and above all, HAVE FUN

Vy
73
Paul
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N9LCD
Member

Posts: 182




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« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2013, 07:31:30 AM »

Quote
Sadly, Im finding many clubs do the same things they've done for decades and don't ask why they continue to behave the same way.

Paul, you got it, 100%

Jerry

N9LCD
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W2RWJ
Member

Posts: 199




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« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2013, 08:25:16 AM »

Sadly, Im finding many clubs do the same things they've done for decades and don't ask why they continue to behave the same way.

My message is simple, reinvent your club if you need to. Seek out new ways to involve your members and get them on the air, and above all, HAVE FUN

Paul,
The club I belong to is trying new things.   As an example,  The club project team installed a LAN and server in our building to put the logging on the network and have digital modes available at each operating positions.

Unfortunately we lost a few members who likely felt we were loosing the focus on "radio" vs. "computers".   That being said, we gained a few new members  who like having the computers and digital modes there to play with.

The concern is recovering / retaining the former members that the "changes" may have chased them away.

73 Martin Flynn
W2RWJ

BTW, I am part of the project team that is deploying all the "new" stuff.
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WZ3O
Member

Posts: 43




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« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2013, 08:35:16 AM »

Sadly, I'm finding many clubs do the same things they've done for decades and don't ask why they continue to behave the same way.

My message is simple, reinvent your club if you need to. Seek out new ways to involve your members and get them on the air, and above all, HAVE FUN

Paul,
The club I belong to is trying new things.   As an example,  The club project team installed a LAN and server in our building to put the logging on the network and have digital modes available at each operating positions.

Unfortunately we lost a few members who likely felt we were loosing the focus on "radio" vs. "computers".   That being said, we gained a few new members  who like having the computers and digital modes there to play with.

The concern is recovering / retaining the former members that the "changes" may have chased them away.

73 Martin Flynn
W2RWJ

BTW, I am part of the project team that is deploying all the "new" stuff.

As a member of a club that's "reinvented" itself, I'm thrilled we gained active enthused members. "Old grumpy men" left the club in disarray, only paid lip service to new ideas without follow through, but the new leadership has reinvigorated it. Membership has grown along with participation. We are inviting lapsed member back citing the changes and using QRZ databases to send invites to licenced Hams to give us a try.

The minus effect of "new stuff", to me, only shows how narrow minded some "hams" are, after all isn't this hobby about it's many facets and experimentation??? Well, I'm sure you've all experienced the self absorbed "all knowing" hams, clubs are better off without them IMHO, since no one but them is "correct" or adds value to the club, so "see ya" is my response to them...

So, it doesn't answer the "question", since I don't believe there is one "best answer" as in life there usually are situational alternatives, use any or all methods available to retain and grow. My 2 ¬Ęs ...
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K1ZJH
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Posts: 1185




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« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2013, 12:02:44 PM »

Clubs get old... members' interest change.  I remember when FM repeater groups ruled in this area... today they are former shadow of themselves.

Clubs that are active in Field Days, etc. seem to fare a bit better, but the number of greyhairs at the meetings grows with each passing year.
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HURRICAINE
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Posts: 0




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« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2014, 12:56:27 PM »

When a member fails to renew their membership, does your club reach out to them to ask why?  The follow on to this is, what is done with the information?   

As a side note, I consider e-mail and letters a bit impersonal for this, and would lean toward a phone call or in-person as the best method..

73 Martin Flynn
W2RWJ

Martin,
I was once the member of 4 different clubs in the area.
I walked away from amateur radio because each club had their own unique set of problems and the club members were the problem.
Most clubs are started by a well meaning group of people that wanted to do amateur radio type things.
As the clubs grew and the bankbook prospered, it attracted more members.
When the core members died or left, there was no real hams to take their place.
Eventually the club meetings and outings turned into coffee and doughnuts socials and the reason for forming the club in the first place - amateur radio fell by the wayside.

It is usually the new members that is lost in the shuffle because the old members only joins to be a part of a group, which the new member never really feels comfortable being a part of, because the old guys feels that the money in the treasury is theirs and they don't want some newcomer spending their money on useless things like antenna's and towers and radios when they are just going to die in a couple of years and it is of no benefit to them because they have their own radio equipment at home.

Because they had no Elmers or because they felt that they needed no Elmers, they usually don't extend out a hand to a new ham to invite them to their homes and their shacks or offer to lend them anything or offer to let the newer hams participate in contests - because a member of their group - always took this or that band and their group is full.

When the one or two real hams dies and no one wants to talk on the radio anymore, then it does not promote a healthful environment to the new hams that are looking for that kind of activity and cannot find it amongst a bunch of old farts that doesn't do anything except get on the simplex every morning and act like they did when they free banded on the CB radio, or get on the repeater once a week and give their no traffic during the net.

Eventually the day will come when all that is left is a bunch of know nothing that are carrying around walkie talkies and talking to each other on linked repeaters, that makes a technician class licensee feel as if they are playing HF.  Which is what happened here.  The repeater sat dormant for many years and when the repeater owner put the repeater on a linked system and a bunch of know nothing morons got on the repeater and made noise, the hams couldn't listen to the repeater anymore on their programmable scanners - because someone was talking on it all the time and was not from around here and they got upset and turned their radios off.

If they knew anything, they could have explained to these new hams different things that the new hams did not understand.  But because the technology was too new for them and they did not keep up with the times, they didn't know anything more then the new hams and so they had nothing of value to contribute to the conversation.  And if they did speak on the repeater, god forbid, someone might find out how stupid they are in the first place.
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KK4LGR
Member

Posts: 53




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« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2014, 10:43:07 PM »

@Hurricaine:  So, the really, really, really old hams who started the club in the 1400's died off, the really, really old hams weren't really interested in radio, they just joined the club to hang out, so they hoarded the treasury money so the really old hams couldn't afford to buy equipment, so no one could teach the merely old hams anything, except how to link up repeaters on IRLP, so now the new hams are talking DX on linked repeaters, which is utterly terrible because Real Hams(tm) should only use HF no matter what, and the old hams are afraid to scold the new hams because they are afraid to admit how stupid they are.

If it's so terrible, why are you here?
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"Well I'm sure glad we've got these ham radios to talk on."
--Unidentified station heard on 2 meters
KD8TUT
Member

Posts: 59




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« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2014, 02:27:00 AM »

Clubs get old... members' interest change.  I remember when FM repeater groups ruled in this area... today they are former shadow of themselves.

Clubs that are active in Field Days, etc. seem to fare a bit better, but the number of greyhairs at the meetings grows with each passing year.

Sort of agree with this view... and sort of don't.

I'm not sure you can have anything other than a "general interest" club with the exceptions of AMSAT and hardcore DX/contesting. At least- it doesn't make much sense to me.

I belong to a club that has "Preserving the 220mhz band" as it's focus. Love the club and the guys, but beyond putting up a 220mhz repeater what else can you do, with weekly get togethers, monthly meetings, and 20 guys?

Not a lot. Aside from building and maintaining a repeater, is the club picketing for preservation of the band?

I think the same way about another "big gun" FM club I belong to. Might have to narrow of a focus.

General interest, with the support of a repeater system is great. But you got to have guys into all facets of the hobby.

Separately:

Regarding lapsed members. In almost every instance I've looked into, people fail to renew because they've been treated badly by the club, lost interest, or cannot afford the fees. In the clubs I've been involved with, it's mostly some perceived slight by the "cools kids" that seem to lead every club.

If clubs reached out to those they lost, they might find some pretty sad behavior by some of their members.

I've only been a ham for a year, have no real allegiance to any club (even if I belong to a few) and I'm constantly dodging barbs- especially since two of the clubs I'm in seem to hate each other.

Maybe they'll lose me... maybe not. But I'm there to learn for now. At the same time, I hardly think anyone will even ask if I disappeared.
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HURRICAINE
Member

Posts: 0




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« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2014, 09:15:32 AM »

@Hurricaine:  So, the really, really, really old hams who started the club in the 1400's died off, the really, really old hams weren't really interested in radio, they just joined the club to hang out, so they hoarded the treasury money so the really old hams couldn't afford to buy equipment, so no one could teach the merely old hams anything, except how to link up repeaters on IRLP, so now the new hams are talking DX on linked repeaters, which is utterly terrible because Real Hams(tm) should only use HF no matter what, and the old hams are afraid to scold the new hams because they are afraid to admit how stupid they are.

If it's so terrible, why are you here?


With just a Technician Class License, 28 posts here and 70 look ups on QRZ.com - I have to believe that the purpose of your post was just to flame me and holds not relevance towards anything amateur radio related.
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KK4LGR
Member

Posts: 53




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« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2014, 01:05:09 PM »

@Hurricaine, If I joined a club, and one of the guys had as bad an attitude as you do, and was as vocal as you are about it, you'd soon find me asking the treasurer for my membership dues back.

I can't help but think a guy who posts under a (rather CB-like) handle rather than his call sign and never has anything good to say is just trying to troll.
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"Well I'm sure glad we've got these ham radios to talk on."
--Unidentified station heard on 2 meters
K6LCS
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Posts: 1583


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« Reply #12 on: January 16, 2014, 05:37:24 PM »

I am in a rather unique position, as I have personally spoken to more than 73 clubs the past couple of years throughout North America.

For each and every guest speak appearance, I submitted to the club well ahead of time a professionally designed media alert for them to include in their newsletters and/or Web sites.

Additionally, the I would announce the event on eHam.net, QRZ.com, the Southgate Amateur Radio news, AND - in many cases - I would submit the data to the community calendars of the clubs' local newspapers. ALL this "behind the scenes" work on my part was for the SOLE purpose of getting potential new attendees/members to show up - as potential new members of their local ham clubs.

VERY FEW of the clubs properly prepared themselves for the potential of a couple of new members showing up. I remember one date where I was responsible for THREE newbies showing up IN THE RAIN to see my show - and the club didn't even have membership applications on hand. I took it upon myself to announce their presence from the stage, and welcome them to the assemblage.

There are several who "do it right," but two Southern CA clubs immediately come to mind: the Pasadena (CA) ARC and the Big Bear ARC. These two groups actually poll their membership at least annually to make sure that the board is "on track" with what the membership wants from their club memberships. Pasadena has a "membership satisfaction survey" - and that is exactly what it is: "What are we doing right? What are we lacking? Are our monthly speakers interesting? What topic(s) have we not covered that interest you?" THOSE are the types of clubs who truly care about not only "maintaining" their rosters, but also interested in growth.

Very few clubs have a "public relations professional" among their ranks. Most need one.

Clint Bradford K6LCS
909-241-7666 - cell
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Clint Bradford, K6LCS
http://www.work-sat.com
N2LXM
Member

Posts: 83




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« Reply #13 on: January 19, 2014, 10:42:00 AM »

I am a member of the club the W2RWJ has posted about. As the Club Facility Trustee and club Secretary I make it a point to greet all those who enter our facility. Weather it's at a club meeting day, or if we are at the facility doing a work party or radio event.  It dose not hurt to be polite, and you never know who you may be talking to. Just for the act of being kind, we have picked up new members. As Amateurs we are Ambassadors of good will, weather it in person or on the air.
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K6LCS
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Posts: 1583


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« Reply #14 on: January 19, 2014, 10:47:13 AM »

>> ... you never know who you may be talking to ...

You never get a second chance to make a good first impression.

Clint K6LCS
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Clint Bradford, K6LCS
http://www.work-sat.com
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