Re: What is it all about?
- Subject: Re: What is it all about?
- From: Ken Mosher <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Wed, 7 Aug 2013 12:32:12 -0400
I was taken aback by the inferred tone of Mr. Ruckert's email. Maybe that was an unjust reaction but he does seem pretty aggrieved. The all volunteer "staff" of the IAS do a fantastic job of running the organization. It's hard enough to run a local club in a small state (I am heavily involved in the CT Cactus & Succulent Society (CC&SS), past president, current treasurer and membership dude) so I can imagine that some of the administration is made much more difficult for a national/international group.
The IAS is an educational society. The board can make any kinds of plans it wants to increase membership but it will be mostly for naught. In the US membership for horticultural societies in general is declining, sometimes rapidly. The median age of members in the CC&SS is rising and we are having little luck at adding young members. My most recent success in retaining current members resulted from including a renewal form with the mailed newsletter. Most of our members still get a paper copy. Those that are on email-only get a paper copy when their membership nears expiration - so we can include a renewal form. Our membership doesn't go by calendar year. We add the most new members in April as a result of our annual show/sale which is heavily attended. Like most clubs or monthly meetings are attended by the same core group of about 20 people and we're joined by an additional 10 to 30 depending on the location of that month's meeting.
One of the most amazing features, and probably least appreciated, is the IAS web site and the technology and work that went into its revamping. I'm a web developer so I know exactly how much time and effort Albert put into the programming and database work behind the scenes. If he had charged us hourly it would surely have consumed the society's entire budget for 10 or 15 years.
Back to Mr. Ruckert's specific topics I have the same answer that I give to CC&SS members that give us grand suggestions about how to improve this or that or who have some complaint. "That's a great idea/suggestion/question. You're in charge. Thanks for volunteering. We always need more help from involved members."
This elicits one of two responses. 1) They get very quiet and we are able to continue with the meeting [99.75%], or 2) they accept the challenge [0.2%]. You've noticed that there is 0.05% missing, right? Those are the times that extraterrestrials descend from the sky and make everything OK. I call that "extraterrestreus ex machina."
Mr. Ruckert, you raised a bunch of great points. You're in charge, thanks for volunteering. We always need more help from involved members. I look forward to meeting you at the conference in Miami, Florida either this year or next.
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