|FEBRUARY 2010 --
Now that we are now in 2010, we have started a new year. It is cold outside, and definitely a difficult time to be thinking about membership. However, membership should be continuous throughout the year. As a membership chairman, or as a member of your local or district Grange, it's sometimes difficult to perceive the need to get new members as a continuous process. It may seem complacent to just rely on the members you already have. Your Grange may still have enough members to keep your Grange running ... right? It's probably logical to assume you have a few or one strong leader. How did those leaders gain their experience? Some leaders would say they got their experience from all the different offices and Grange activities they worked at. Why did they join the Grange? When they joined, were their family also asked to join the Grange. How were they utilized when they joined? Were they selected to help in a committee? Were they asked to work on a Community Service project? What I'm trying to put forth is this - members given responsibilities can be encouraged to gain experience and eventually become your future leaders.
In the National Membership Director's Leadership & Membership January Membership Tip of the Month, Rusty Hunt talks about time. Finding new members and convincing them to take time out of their busy schedule and join the Grange was one of his items he touched on. How can that be accomplished. In one example, Rusty explains having a conversations with a friend or acquaintance - finding out what they have in common with you, and finding their strengths - working into the conversation about that you belong to the Grange, what the Grange has to offer for programs and activities, and how their strengths could be utilized if they joined the Grange.
As Rusty talked about time, he also said with the New Year, it's also a time to enjoy our accomplishments from the past year, but also consider making new plans for how Grange can get new members. This way we have more members to get involved to help out "in our projects, activities, programs and meetings." This way, as a Grange, we can continue to: improve membership, expand our experience base, and gain the potential for developing new leaders.