By Marion Bradley, State Membership Committee Member
FEBRUARY 2007 -- The Membership Committee is a group that cares about Grange membership and the process involved in getting new members. Having a good, active membership with many new members is wonderful but I feel that it has to start with status quo.
Currently, do you always meet a quorum at a meeting and usually have at least a few members beyond officers? Are you facing the fact that formerly active members are no longer attending? Why? Is there something that can be done to encourage them to return?
Does your Grange get regular coverage in local papers? Does every press release include the name and phone number of someone to contact for more information? Do you have local public access television? If so, do they tape at least a couple of good programs a year and show them? If no one knows anything about your Grange it is hard to “sell” it.
When you are having a special program (i.e. a good speaker, special music, discussion of a local hot issue) do you not only publicize it, but do your active members invite relatives, friends or neighbors to attend? With any luck a third of the invited guests will turn up. There is more than one way to have your business meeting on these special nights as that it is separate from the program. Then both members and guests can enjoy the program and refreshments and hopefully build interest.
You have to say “What is special or good about our Grange? Write about your answer, have other members do the same and then discuss the results. You can define your Grange and discuss ways to seek more active ways to get new members. Members of this committee are available to meet with you if you wish us to.
The Grange that presents the image of an active group in the community working to make it a better place and at the same time provide companionship, fun, interesting programs for members is the one that has the best chance to grow.