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Getting Members to do Their Part


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Do any of you have the problem in your region of getting enough people to be officers?

After only a year in our club, I was nominated Secretary/Treasurer. While I was flattered, I knew nothing about doing the job. I did the best I could, and believe my efforts were acceptable. I have served in this position for two years now. By our by-laws, I am not elligible to serve again next year. The nominating committee had a heck of a time finding people willing to serve in the other positions. President is being taken by a man who has been in the club for only a few months. He is a great guy, and I'm sure he has what it takes, but I feel like our club is taking advantage of the "newbies". They could not find ANYONE who was willing to be secretary/treasurer. Few of the veteran members are willing to take on these positions. Most are retired and should have more time on their hands than those of us who still work and are raising families. One members even suggested we change the by-laws so I could continue. I had to tell them that I had just about had a belly full and was looking forward to the end of my term. I feel somewhat "used" by the club, and fear that the fellow who has agreed to be president will feel the same way before it's over.

After being "shamed" at the last meeting, someone finally agreed to be treasurer if someone else would be secretary. The lady who is vice-president (and will be again next year), agreed to take on the secretary role in addition to being vice-president.

I think that it is a cying shame that out of a club of over 50 members, we could not find but two people willing to serve as officers.

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I know where you're coming from, Hal! I'm posting this anonymously, so as not to hurt feelings? We jusy got our new slate of officers straightened out. Our president is taking the job again, even though, he said he didn't want it. He then said he was going to run the club his way this time? What does that mean? All members have lost their voting rights? A couple of members are aggravated with this attitude, but I reminded them that they could have taken the job! We have about 110 members and are lucky to have 20 members active on a month by month basis. If it wasn't for all those other memberships helping pay expenses, I'd like to tell them to "PARTICIPATE" or take a hike! mad.gif CONCERNED

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I can understand your feelings, but it always goes to the old saying that the busiest people tend to be the ones who do a good job. I am an AACA member, yet I have absolutely nothing to do with the local chapter (Genessee Valley) near where I live and all I do for AACA is pay my dues and go to the shows. The sad part is, GVACS is an excellent chapter, but I don't have the time to commit to the chapter therefore I don't partake in their activities. If you haven't already found out, you'll soon learn that most of these organizations are usually run by only a small handfull of people. It doesn't matter if it is the Lions Club, Kiwanis, Rotary Club, Volunteer Fire Dept., Volunteer Ambulance Services, Church, Scouting, Salvation Army, Red Cross, Volunteers of America, Big Brother Program, American Legion, VFW, Little League, etc. It all boils down to the same few people doing everything time after time.

In my case, I use to work midnights but I am in the army reserve and have found myself in the middle east working to end terrorism. Before my deployment, I was an assistant chief in my local fire department, an EMT on the ambulance (which the fire dept owns), work the crash truck ar Watkins Glen International Speedway (volunteer)as well as my monthly army reserve obligations, home obligations, and spending most of my weekends either out in the shop working on cars, or showing the cars off. As for my other involvements, I'm a dues paying member in AACA and with SPAAMFAA but other than that I'm guilty of exactly what you're saying about being an absentee member.

My advice to you... you're right, be patient, and be thankful for the people that you've got. You may have a full plate, but do the best that you can do if your in a leadership position and support the leaders in power if you're not in the position yourself.

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At one time I was very active in my local region, and held every office at one time or another, plus newsletter editor. I'm burned out, have no reason to pay dues to the local region. The hobby has changed, I have far more fun right here on the DF form. I'll be an AACA member forever, and look forward to Hershey every year. Sad thing is that every year there are a few more friends that have moved on to a higher level. They sure did make a mark on the hobby, and life in general.

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I know where you are comming from.

On the other side, my problem is I would like to get a local Region set up, and can't even find enough members - or even past or future members - interested in helping. blush.gifmad.gif

I guess I'm saying that I understand your problem, but maybe it could be worse.

I really hope the apathy or concern for ones-self that seems to be running an epidemic does not over run the hobby. I know of a few local clubs that are gone simply because nobody was interested, or they were too busy, or whatever excuse they could come up with.

I think the big concern for the future to our hobby isn't in getting the next generation interested in old cars, but interested in supporting local clubs that are the true focal point, and support group for the whole establishment. People seem to be outgrowing the idea that clubs are fun, and making new friends is an enjoyable pastime. The "me" attitude is prevailing, and more and more people are guarding and hording thier precious spare time.

Just my opinion, I'll get down from my soapbox now. Thanks for letting me vent.

cj grin.gif

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I dropped out of my local region in 1991 and then went back for one year in the mid 90's. I dropped out because it simply wasn't fun anymore. In 1998 I bought a Plymouth Prowler and joined the Prowler Owner's Association. There are no officers, no dues and no structure. It is totally internet driven. There are tours and cruises every month somewhere. Everybody is welcome and we have a great time. No rules, no trophies, just a lot of good times. This is more to my liking. I will probably always have my older cars, but now this hobby has become enjoyable again.

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Model A Hal, i've read many of your posts over the last year or so and i have 110%+ confidence in your ability and credability to say YOU should run it ANY way u want to. AMEN.

My only question is; What IF noone had taken the post????? Then What?????

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Thanks, PackardV8. I suppose if no one would have taken it, I would have continued in the interim until someone could have been talked into it, or some unsuspecting newbie came along. wink.gif

I am getting burned out on it. I told them if someone would do the secretarial duties I would continue as treasurer, but upon looking at the by-laws, it appeared that would have been a violation. I have to admit, I'm sorta glad it was. I need a break from it.

It is like someone mentioned above. It is getting to where it is no fun anymore. My wife doesn't think it's fun anymore either. She has to sit by herself in the meetings because I am up in the front with the president and vice-president. She wants to sit with me.

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It is a proven fact that in ANY organization - be it Lions, Rotary, Exchange Club, Kiwanis,Elks, Moose, American Legion, or Old Car Club - the number of count on, do everything, active members is 10%. So if you have 110 members with 20 active - you are way ahead of the odds. You won't change human nature - if you can please share your method! All of our organizations are hurting for ACTIVE members - not just card carriers!

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Hal,

Your last question has to be asked of and answered by your members! If you can't get your newsletter editor to write such an article, write it yourself and have it printed in your newsletter. We had similar problems in our region and after I wrote an article pointing out that the region would fold without officers, people woke up and reluctantly volunteered.

Also, get your bylaws changed! Get rid of term limits and separate the jobs of secretary and treasurer. If you have an officer who enjoys his job, why boot him out after two terms? It's easier to get two people for secretary and treasurer than it is to find one to do both jobs.

Just my thoughts... crazy.gif

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I believe the problem is that there are too many clubs at both the local and national levels that are dividing up an otherwise large pool of old car/collector car enthusiasts. I'm in a big city with at least a half-dozen clubs with 100 to 250 members, some of which are just about played out. Our interests aren't all that different. We should all be in one big club. It would be easier to recruit officers if everyone knew that they'd do it for a year, and then someone would else would step forward. With more people attending club events, it would be more fun for everyone. And with the aging of members, we better learn to start joining together more.

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I hate to air any more dirty laundry, but the term limits were only recently imposed just before I joined the club. They were put in place because the same guy had been president for 10-11 years. Maybe they aren't such a good idea, afterall, but I do know that there are lots of members that do not want him to get back in. There are quite a few (many of the same people) who don't want the fellow who served after him back in either.

I think that most of our members would like to see somebody different in there, but they are not willing to do it themselves. The term limits will likely have to be removed or extended because we will run out of elligible people who are willing very quickly. It is a bad situation.

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Hal,

I think it's that many people are afraid to jump in thinking that they're way over their head if they accept a position. I've tried to convince members that being on the board of directors is a form of empowerment. They get to take part in making decisions for the club. It's also not all that difficult. I got my feet wet by joining to board and seeing what it's all about. After gaining some kind of comfort level, I then became recording secretary and have really enjoyed it. I'm now up for V.P.

Roger smirk.gif

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Hey Hal,

Sorry, but the reasoning of your members really has me confused! If they were tired of "that guy" being president, why didn't they nominate someone else? Did they really think that by imposing term limits they would keep "that guy" from becoming president again and someone would magically appear and take over? I don't know what's in the water down there or what they've been smoking, but something wierd is going on!

Seriously, I would use your newsletter to try to rally your good members for the good of your club.

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Most of the members are quite passive, a kind of "whatever you say" attitude. It was before I joined the club, but I think they were "scared", if you will, to nominate anyone else. I think most members would have thought they'd be unpopular if they went against the status quo. Everyone kind of rolls with the flow. No one wants to upset the system. Besides, all our officers always run unopposed. Elections are merely a formality. The nominating committee is really who elects the officers, and guess who appoints the nominating committee? No one is ever nominated from the floor, although they are given the opportunity.

The 10 year president did not seek re-election one year due to health reasons (He has since recovered). This was before I joined, but here is what I think happened: With him out and a new guy in place, the new guy seized the opportunity to change the by-laws to prevent the 10 year guy from ever being president again. The membership being passive as they are, went along with it.

I think that most members would prefer that neither of these guys be president again, but on the other hand, either of them would probably be elected unanimously if they somehow got nominated. No one else wants to do the job.

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Hal, I know where you are coming from. It is had to get people to do the jobs. At the meeting I was at last night, Greater NY, everyone on the board wanted off, not do to bad feeling (that ended 3 years ago by our lady pres) but because all the folks at the front table have been on the board from a few to many years and are burned out. They ask for help and the same few people do things. Roger Price has a good point, get people started slowly and then let them move up as they want. Roger has been sec. tres. board member, VP, and pres. in two different clubs.

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Hal, I understand with the membership being passive and not rocking the boat. My local region is closing in on its one year mark as a region after being a chapter for 37 years. Since I joined the club, we have done a few things now and then. But there are also times when we did nothing but have our monthly meetings and annual show. Since we became a region there seems to be a "movement" of wanting to do something. I and some of our other members have spoken with other chapters and regions for ideas. One was example from a region was when it comes to monthly activites they take the membership role and appoint a couple families each month to coordinate meeting places and events for that month. If you can't do it, YOU find YOUR replacement. Works for them. We have potluck dinners and have a time getting hosts to setup and take care of drinks and clean up. We have adpoted this idea. Two couples per month. As for Activites, I'm heading up a tour for March. Going to a nearby city and hopefully going to a couple meuseums, a tire factory, and will get lunch there. I have actually recieved helped from one of our DFers that lives there. Also have planned most of the route from behind my computer. I drove a small portion of it last weekend as I was in the area of part of the route.

I have been helping our VPres who is in charge of activites with ideas. What I've found out is that some people just don't know what to do. There are things you can do that are simple like an ice cream run. Pick an ice cream joint and "raid" the place with old cars. If you only have a few show up, get everyone there to hype it in conversion with other members about how great it was, how you had a wonderful time and that the member that didn't go really missed out. Next time they might go.

We had one member that didn't dare drive his car because something might happen to it. Well several years ago (before he passed on) he did venture out on a tour with it. He stated that if he had known driving the old cars could be so much fun, he'd have done it a long time ago. [color:\\"red\\"] that [color:\\"black\\"] is what is club is all about.

I'll put my soapbox away for now. Hal, if you would like some ideas, contact me.

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