Help! Need to bring members back into club....

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jandjmc

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Hi all;

I'm a member of my local mini club, the secretary. Our club lost a lot of members due to in-fighting and general nastiness. That is in the past. We have a new board and are planning on changing our name. Our membership is very low, a half-dozen of us have kept the club together. Does anyone have ideas about how to get people more involved? Locals, who haven't been members but have heard of all the previous fighting,don't want to join. Past members who have been burned, don't want to join.

This year we offered a fun show, a mini/pony state fair show, a clinic with AMHR/ASPC trainer and a parade. Most were well attended, but we still can't get people to join! What kind of incentives can we put in place?

Help, I'm tired!
Any ideas, thoughts?

Thanks!!!
 

HGFarm

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We had the same problem at our club, including embezzlement of funds under two treasures- under the same officers and BOD. We all quit and left and wont go back as the problems continued for years and the same people are now back in charge. It just wasnt worth the headache. Unfortunately I dont have any ideas for you.
 

rabbitsfizz

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Advertise. It is the be all and end all of everything.

Think of something catchy ( a good show with low entries, even if you run at cost the first time) and ADVERTISE.

When we started our dog club each of the "board" put in a small amount of their own money, not much but we knew there was a good chance we would not see it back, and we used it to get ourselves afloat.
 

Minimor

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From what I have seen, once people are turned off of a club they tend to stay turned off. They find they can have fun and enjoy their horses without being a part of a club and so they simply aren't interested in joining again. If they are coming out to support shows and clinics then that is something.
 

Jacki

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Our club, Bluestem Miniature Horse Club (Nebraska area) did a membership drive in 2012 where we offered Free membership to any first time members. We had around a dozen families take advantage of this, several have already renewed at the regular fee for 2013. We were so pleased with the results that we are continueing this incentive for new members again in 2013.

A membership really does not cost the club anything anyway. We do several emailings a year at no cost and do mail a bulletin a couple of times a year plus we mail all members the showbills. The only cost is a little printing and postage and having new members is well worth that cost.

Good Luck.

Jacki Loomis
 

Marty

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I love this subject. I agree that if this club has been a trainwreck in the past, people don't want to be part of it again. A new name change won't solve the problems it had so be sure to go over them and fix what went wrong. There will always be some petty things, you can't get past them all, but try to solve the biggies that came up in the past. And quit talking about the past situations to everyone so they will all see that part of the club is over. Move forward.

I would keep on offering your clinics and shows and especially participate in all the parades you can. If you have to work with only 6 people right now, then do your best with your six members. Be sure your club presentation in every event is well done. I know if there were a local club for me and I saw everyone having a blast, horses turned out to the nines, I'd want to be part of a club like that.
 

Suzie

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We just started a new club last spring. It is a hard thing to do. We offered refreshments at our meetings, did not "pressure" folks to join...tried to LISTEN to what attending folks wanted to do and follow through. If you can offer a website for them to visit and post, that helps. Don't be a horse snob. Be a regular person and try to help others the way you would like to have been helped. Having folks in the club that act like they know it all and you are SO Dumb is a big turn off. Don't turn away non-member requests for things. Be OPEN to all ideas and actually Follow through on them. If you can offer a clinic- try and keep it low cost. Don't start out every meeting asking for $. My old clubs did that and I felt like I should have just sent my checkbook instead of showing up myself...and I am determined that when we need money, we will find some fun activity we can all share in doing! Do "play dates" for people to just come and enjoy being with other horse folks and showing off their horses without pressure or judgement. When you put "FUN" in the club, you will get the word spread! Most of all, let the members know you are there when they need you, not just when they have a check in their hand to give you......
 

jandjmc

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Thank you for the good input! I'm going to meet the officers to brainstorm, eat nachos and , maybe a glass of wine!


Happy Holidays!
 

wildoak

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If you are putting on shows, go all out on some awards and advertise the fact ahead of time. Line up sponsors to help with costs, do great high point awards available just to paid members. I like the idea of free memberships to first timers, maybe half price memberships to returning members for the first year. Or a discounted membership to anyone who brings in a new member.

What part of New Mexico are you in?

Jan
 

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