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Re: Society and declining membership. Hello?

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  • Rich Taylor
    Hi all and isn t this the most important topic that we could be discussing. I have been interested in membership for many years and have been part of starting
    Message 1 of 2 , Mar 30 9:10 AM
      Hi all and isn't this the most important topic that we could be discussing.
      I have been interested in membership for many years and have been part of
      starting a new chapter (the Deans of Harmony in Greater Brunswick (MAD) New
      Jersey, been part of expanding and building a chapter from 40 singers to 85
      (Bangor Pen Argyl Brothers in Harmony (MAD) in Pennsylvania, building a
      chapter from 30 singers to 80 (Somerset Hills Plainfield (MAD) in New
      Jersey, and re-vitalizing a chapter from 3 members to 18 members (the
      Sussex county NJ High Point Harmonizers just this year). And I am proud to
      say that I have earned 31 Men of Note during my 44 years in the Society.

      I say all that only to lend some credibility to the fact that my record is
      fairly strong in the field of membership development. I was privileged to
      teach a course called: "3M - Marketing for Membership and Money" both at
      Harmony College East (5 years) and Harmony College (2 years). And with all
      that experience, I have found time and again that the very best way to get
      men to join our organization is to 1. Invite them personally and, 2. Get
      them singing a tag on their first night at the break.

      If any of the learned men like Stephen, Mark, Bob, those at the
      International office, ou new CEO Marty, and others want to see WHERE the
      problem of membership development lies, they have only to look at the
      "membership" roster of ANY chapter in the Society. Let me list a set of
      figures for you (please indulge me):

      3 / 0 / None
      36 / 1 / 0
      30 / 1/ 0
      6 / 0 / None
      2 / 0 / None
      3 / 0 / None
      22/ 1/ None
      24 / 1 / None
      14 / 0 / None
      5 / 0 / None
      20 / 0 / None
      17 / 1 / 2009
      25 / 1 / 2010
      17 / 0 / None
      3 / 0 / None
      21 / 2 / 2003
      59 / 0 / None
      5 / 0 / None
      44 / 31/ 2012
      27 / 5 / 2007
      31 / 0 / None
      30 / 2 / 2009

      So what are these figures? This is a normal, average chapter in our
      Society.

      The first number is the number of years the individual member has been aq
      member of the Society.

      The second number is the number of "Men of Note" the individual member has
      sponsored.

      The third number is the last year the individual member has brought in a
      new member.,

      Of the 22 men in this chapter, in the last 2 years, only one man has
      brought in a new member. From 2-5 years, only 2 other men sponsored a new
      member. From 5-10 years, 2 additional men men brought in a new guy. 5 men
      brought at least 1 member into the Society but there last year of
      recruitment was prior to 2000 and therefore listed as "None" This leaves
      11 members who have NEVER....yes NEVER sponsored a new man in the Society.
      And the average length of membership in the Society for these men is 10
      years...YES 10 YEARS!

      There, gentlemen, is the crux of our problem and I suspect it has been the
      case in most chapters around the society. This chapter, with the exception
      of 5 men, has chosen NOT to share their hobby/avocation with anyone...not
      one new man. And the argument that "I've asked everyone I know" is pure
      nonsense.

      I personally have always tried to start a conversation with anyone I run
      into that has a clear or powerful speaking voice and have engaged them in
      determining if they have interest in singing. Paul Ellerby's "So...where
      do you like to do your singing" has proven successful in my last year of
      recruiting, so I highly recommend that to all of you.

      Let's stop trying to place blame on anyone else but each one of us...When I
      hear anyone pontificating about the demise of our society because of
      "membership decline" I always do two things: 1. Check the members only site
      to find out what chapter the person belongs to and, 2. Look at their
      individual membership statistics as can be found in the chapter rosters.
      Then, and only then, do I try and evaluate their personal commitment to
      membership i.e. how long they have been in, how many Men of Notes they have
      and the last year they brought in a new member.

      Sorry for the length but this topic needs more "doing" and a heck of a lot
      less "talking".
      I remain,

      In Harmony
      Rich Taylor, Director of the Rahway NJ Jerseyaires
      Assistant Director Sussex County NJ High Point Harmonizers
      44 year member with 31 Men of Note


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Stephen Rafe
      Hi Rich -- I have six Man of Notes and have given away several more to others who helped me with the follow-through because they had some connections that
      Message 2 of 2 , Mar 30 12:21 PM
        Hi Rich --

        I have six Man of Notes and have given away several more to others who helped me with the follow-through because they had some connections that could be explored. And I technically brought over a dozen more into barbershopping when I started a new chapter. Plus I have referred many more to chapters around here and around the country by connecting names with names -- not just a "go-see" effort. In addition, I have recruited after performances and even at somewhat related events.

        Now, with that out of the way, the question becomes: If we would all recruit, would the Society grow larger and younger?

        There, recruitment is only a partial answer. The rest is retention. How do we keep them once we get their money? We all know that we do this by selling what we are and delivering on our promises, by delivering to them what they bought, and more. Yet, how many chapters have thought that deeply? And acted accordingly? After all, we're "just" a hobby. But to me, one that has high value and is well worth saving.

        Stephen
        STEPHEN RAFE


        ----- Original Message -----
        From: Rich Taylor
        To: bbshop@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Saturday, March 30, 2013 12:10 PM
        Subject: [bbshop] Re: Society and declining membership. Hello?

        Hi all and isn't this the most important topic that we could be discussing.
        I have been interested in membership for many years and have been part of
        starting a new chapter (the Deans of Harmony in Greater Brunswick (MAD) New
        Jersey, been part of expanding and building a chapter from 40 singers to 85
        (Bangor Pen Argyl Brothers in Harmony (MAD) in Pennsylvania, building a
        chapter from 30 singers to 80 (Somerset Hills Plainfield (MAD) in New
        Jersey, and re-vitalizing a chapter from 3 members to 18 members (the
        Sussex county NJ High Point Harmonizers just this year). And I am proud to
        say that I have earned 31 Men of Note during my 44 years in the Society.

        I say all that only to lend some credibility to the fact that my record is
        fairly strong in the field of membership development. I was privileged to
        teach a course called: "3M - Marketing for Membership and Money" both at
        Harmony College East (5 years) and Harmony College (2 years). And with all
        that experience, I have found time and again that the very best way to get
        men to join our organization is to 1. Invite them personally and, 2. Get
        them singing a tag on their first night at the break.

        If any of the learned men like Stephen, Mark, Bob, those at the
        I personally have always tried to start a conversation with anyone I run
        into that has a clear or powerful speaking voice and have engaged them in
        determining if they have interest in singing. Paul Ellerby's "So...where
        do you like to do your singing" has proven successful in my last year of
        recruiting, so I highly recommend that to all of you.

        Let's stop trying to place blame on anyone else but each one of us...When I
        hear anyone pontificating about the demise of our society because of
        "membership decline" I always do two things: 1. Check the members only site
        to find out what chapter the person belongs to and, 2. Look at their
        individual membership statistics as can be found in the chapter rosters.
        Then, and only then, do I try and evaluate their personal commitment to
        membership i.e. how long they have been in, how many Men of Notes they have
        and the last year they brought in a new member.

        Sorry for the length but this topic needs more "doing" and a heck of a lot


        Rich Taylor, Director of the Rahway NJ Jerseyaires
        Assistant Director Sussex County NJ High Point Harmonizers
        44 year member with 31 Men of Note


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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