President General's 64,000 Member Challenge
Happy New SAR Year! Yes, our year starts over at the end of Congress, at least for officers, trustees and programs. You may have heard that I was elected to be your President General PG for short, for the next 12 months. I am truly motivated and excited by the prospect. I plan to communicate ideas and information every two weeks, or till you say stop! Please help the dissemination by passing this on to others who may not be part of this group.
The question everyone asks is what is your initiative? Well, quite honestly it is YOU. You are what makes the SAR great. Individuals and Chapters, where the work and exciting things happen. This next year will be about YOU and how we can grow. You see, I have issued a challenge to the Society to dedicate our efforts toward reaching 64,000 members by 2026, and that is program enough. This is about 9% per year. We can do this.
Yes, every PG I know since I became a member in 1995 has said we must grow. However, except for a few programs that were collateral, none addressed this as a goal. I received the total membership numbers today from Jonathan Toon, staff Registrar, and they are looking good. As of today, 7.21.17, we have 34,667 active members. As a milestone, PG James Calhoun in 1990 stated “We have finally reached 26,000 members.” At the end of 2011, 21 years later, we were at 26,129. Ok, not so great. In the following six years, we added 8,538. If this were really an every year number, that would average 1,423 per year or almost 3 new members per year per Chapter (about 500 Chapters). Ok, not so great.
Well enough of the history of numbers (I do like them, probably why I switched to Math to get my BS—the degree, not the ability.) Our website is a great source of new members. We will tweak it this coming year to make it more effective. PG Tomme’s Mentoring Program last year started us on a great path of engagement which is what we need at the individual level. This must continue.
This introductory communication is to let you know that We Can Grow to 64,000 by 2026, and We Can Do This.
The Delegates at Congress voted to approve basically what was the Indiana By-Law Proposal of having new member dues apply to the following year with registered applications starting on September 1. No more holding till October 31st causing backlogs that take months to clear. This new-member friendly policy will help with retention, and that is where we will see our most immediate gains—fewer drops.
If the only thing you take away from this communication is the concept of ENGAGEMENT, that will be enough (at least for two weeks.) If you ask he will stay, join, be an officer or committee person. You only need to engage your members to find out who they are, where they were born, what they do, or did, to have them be involved. Just ask. We tend to talk about ourselves. Let’s ask our members to talk about themselves, then JUST LISTEN. They will think you are smart, care, and will come back to hear about you next time.
The next communications will talk about C.A.R, how to engage to retain and recruit, reinstatement, and more that will help you and your Chapter/State to excel. Well, here’s to the start of a great year.
Larry T. Guzy
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Sons of the American Revolution