2018 was a great year and I expect 2019 to be even better! We’re focused on the important missions and have the people to accomplish these missions. The past year, and even last month, I noted three challenges which are membership, finances, and value for our money. This month I want to look at membership in a different way. I sincerely thank each of you for renewing your membership, as being on the roll makes a positive contribution.
We need a large membership for one reason only; and that is to have influence, especially at the state-level, on legislation that affects Veterans. The more people, the more influence. We are currently maintaining membership numbers at a steady level. We replace departing members with new members, but we should be growing.
MOAA National says we have in excess of two-thousand Veterans in this area that are eligible for membership. If this number is correct, only about 15% of the eligible population are Chapter members. There is a host of reasons people don’t join; lack of time, do not wish to join organizations, do not know about us, etc. We have tried emails, phone calls, written letters, personal contact and have probably reached a decent percentage of the eligible population over time. We need something either different or in addition to what we traditionally do.
I have ideas, but what I’d really like is to hear from you. I wish to hear any suggestions you have on the following question. What can we do to increase membership? My email is below and if you don’t like email, just call me.
The key to increasing membership is retention of current members. Is membership worth renewing for another year? I believe it is because our accomplishments in 2018 were fantastic due to membership. The following is a brief overview of accomplishments:
- MOAA National presented us with a 5-star (the highest) Level-of-Excellent award as well as the 5-star Marvin J. Harris Communications award for the Chapter’s website and newsletter (CONNECT)
- Programs Supported:
- Central Ohio Stand Down reaching over 554 Veterans
- Fairfield County Stand Down reaching over 129 Veterans
- Honor-Flight Columbus during eight flights in 2018
- Deployed personnel in Syria, Iraq, Kuwait and Germany through our Adopt-A-Service-Member program
- The Veterans Court Mentor Program
- ROTC Partnership Program
- Community at Large:
- We supported the Ohio National Guard Association’s State Convention
- Participated in the opening ceremony of the National Veterans Memorial & Museum with the Ohio Council of Chapters
- Established and manned a voter registration booth at the VA Medical Facility in Columbus (registered 11 new Veterans to vote).
- Conducted financial audit
- Updated financial SOP
- Using less than 10% of income for operating expenses
- Implemented MOAA’s “Committee Module” for membership tracking and validation
I urge each one of you to renew your membership so we can continue this successful venture of helping Veterans, Service members, and the families of each.
Upcoming Events: ELECTIONS! The slate of officers to fill next years’ elected positions is included in this newsletter and identifies the same officers who are currently serving. The election will be held on January 11, 2019at our business meeting/luncheon. Nominations may also be taken from the floor at that time.
Our regular board meeting will be on 9 Jan 19at DSCC. The next luncheon is 11 Jan 19at the Berwick and, as noted above, we will hold elections for our five elected positions and have a short installation ceremony. I hope to see everyone there!
What’s on Your Mind– I want to know what’s on your mind, and if you have concerns about our Chapter or suggestions to improve what we do, please get in touch. I will make certain we consider your suggestions and try to correct any problems. Call me at 571-217-8897 or email me at SharTom123@AOL.com.