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Author Topic: Thinking out loud  (Read 2071 times)
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JodyTopic starter
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« on: February 14, 2017, 09:28:52 PM »

Hi everyone,

    This is just me thinking out loud, after a day of chit chatting about fish clubs, about ways to maybe improve the club.
Some great ideas that could work for us. We have a couple of months before elections, so some of these things would need to be decided before then.

    I had the idea of maybe streamlining the executive committee.
Currently there are 12+1 positions between officers, executive committee and standing committee +1 past president. While the club had 70 or more members, this made sense, but currently we have only about 20-30 active.  I am talking members who attend regularly or are active in the club, not including members who purchase only for discounts or are only active on the forums (no offense meant to either).
    Obviously, with 3 vacant positions, and several people doing multiple people, the club doesn't currently have the numbers to support such a committee.
    To me, several positions are overlapping anyways. My suggestion would be the following.
Dissolving the program director, online presence, sponsorship and refreshment chairs.
Those positions are mostly empty anyways, and really, President and VP are responsible for the programming anyways, and as officers of the club, are in the best position to approach sponsors.  Refreshments could easily be brought by one of them as well.
   Online presence, to me, is more or less tied into the webmaster position anyways.
  Those are the easiest ones to get rid of, which would bring us down to 8, which is still a third or quarter of the actives, so still on the high side.
   The ones I would say definitely keep are the 4 officers, President, VP, Secretary and Treasurer, plus of course the Webmaster.
    Does it make sense to have the Treasurer re-absorb the membership chair? Certainly.
Auction chair is a nice to have, as it is a big job on the auction days, and is good to have someone to concentrate on it.
The last one, librarian, is a tricky one. Part of me says books are great. But the other part says, I haven't seen a single book at the club for the last 2 years, much less the library. I am not sure how often anyone requests books, but if it isn't often, would it make sense just to dissolve the position entirely, and sell the library off at the auction?

   The other thing that we talked about was how the Montreal club does sponsorship.
Rather than say $200 (just using this number as a pulled out of a hat number, not the actual value used) to be a sponsor for the year, they ask for a donation, in gift cards, of $200-400 a year from the stores, depending on how much advertising space they want in their newsletter.
Obviously, we don't have a newsletter, so it is hard to sell it as that, but the idea of gift card vs cash is a great idea. For a couple of reasons.
1. They are great items for door prizes, and means that the club doesn't have to pay for them at each meeting.
2.  They are great for the stores, because the winners of them will have to go into the stores to use them, and will likely spend more than the value anyways.
3. $200 in gift cards, value-wise to a store, is probably only worth about $100-$120 in products, so it is a savings for them as well.

Again, just thinking out loud.
If anyone has any thoughts, or anything to add, please feel free to do so.

Jody

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« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2017, 05:27:42 AM »

  Thinking positive, if you look closely on who is doing the jobs ,it's hard to get anything
big started without help. I am hoping people will step up this year to take these exec position.
If someone want my position you are welcome to have it (membership Chair), I think this
go for any position. We will have a big change this year as some of the exec will be leaving.
  So think about stepping into the exec role, you are welcome with open arms. Just ask.
 We would not be able to do any of this without all the other members helping out in the past/future.
 
Thanks
Ed
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« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2017, 07:59:47 AM »

I agree,  it is important that club members step up.
When I joined the  club many years ago, there the 4 exec positions plus a librarian and a bowl show  organizer. A webmaster/auction chair was added a few years later.
 I am just thinking that right now half the active members of the club would have to be on the committee to fill each position. Doesn't it make sense to look at reducing them ?
  I haven't fully committed to the idea,  but I may run for something for next season..not sure what though.

Jody
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charlie
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« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2017, 09:05:38 AM »

Jody, thank you for starting this discussion, i`m hoping it stays objective and productive.
I also want to emphasize this discussion should not been seen as critical to any  person or group.
I share a lot of your ideas, including the shrinking of the executive board but would think the membership chair should retained as a individual chair, since it`s vital to rebuilding the club to a better state.
The elections for the last few years have become somewhat of  an amusing event, simply because for whatever reason our core membership are not motivated to step up and help out, as a result the few dedicated members who have helped in previous years are left with some despair that the club will fold and as such will volunteer to stay even though their personal life dictates that they can`t be fully committed, and the truth is i applaud and take my hat off to you guys.
I guess what i`m appealing to is for some newer, fresher minds to step up and get involved, they are still a few of us old timers that are willing to help you out as the need arises.
A few suggestion as i see it, for clarity they may not be ideal but worth thinking of .
 A serious effort should be made to determine what is the best day of the week to have our club meeting, yes it`s come up time and again, but lets here from the ones that are unable to attend  - is it the day of the week, is it the location, is it the time, what structure should the meeting take etc.
Our forum, to me this is the gateway to the club and attracting membership, this gateway needs to find ways of attracting membership to the club.
One thing i tried in the past when i did the membership was to send via PM, a short simple welcome message to the forum and including the fact the the forum is a media extension of the club - membership helps  the forum and club to have the ability to do bigger and better things for the hobby and it`s members.
I found this worked some what but it stopped when i vacated that chair.
The club needs to have a stronger relationship with it`s sponsors and corporate friends.
Lets try and work towards keeping a long standing club alive and thriving, i will say this from personal experience, we can sit in front of a computer and participate in 100 forums, but nothing beats the good old  personal social interaction.
Had it not for this club, my passion for the hobby would have long dwindled .
Regards
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« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2017, 01:16:44 AM »

I joined the forum 2 years ago and finally bought a membership this year along with my father. I've attended the giant auction and was a seller at the garage sale. I've been to a few plantaholics meetings but have never managed to make it to a general meeting. The main problem for me is that they are always (to my knowledge, and what I've been able to find from old forum topics) on a Monday evening. There have been a bunch of meetings I really wanted to attend but because of my work schedule I wasn't able to attend. I only have 1 Monday evening off a month making Monday meetings almost impossible to attend.

As for the exec, I spent the last 15 minutes looking for a list of the exec and what their job descriptions are, and unless I'm blind I was only able to find a list of who holds what position. If we want people to volunteer for positions we should make it very very easy to find a description of what that job entails. Again ignore all this is I'm just blind and missed it.
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« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2017, 08:15:12 AM »

Here's a post from last year.

http://ovas.ca/forum/index.php?topic=59728.0
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« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2017, 11:53:00 AM »

Hi OVAS friends,

First, I am not OVAS member, so take my words as you want. There was some comparison done with the Montreal's club, I am at the executive from SAM, been in charge of public relation and in charge of petshop partnership.

SAM has an executive compose of 9 people: 5 are elected for two years (alternatively 3 and 2 each year) and 4 are volunteers. Odd numbers are easier when it is time for decision vote. Number of executive should not be a problem as it split the work to do.

Sponsorship or partnership as you want to call it. Petshops give us gift card, this is good as we do have other source of cash. Clubs need cash to pay for room rental, item for tombola, and door price... We generate our cash with 2 big annual auction (one at fall one at spring), membership, plus each month we have our meeting with door price (gift from the club), tombola ticket (ticket sell), and small auction (usually we reach between 30-100 items each month, club retain a quote on those sell). At the end of the year, our monthly meeting may possibly generate as much as a third big auction. I do not have the exact numbers with me.

Everything works here because we are near 80 members (including familial and individual membership), with near 50-60 people coming to each meeting. It is difficult to figure out why there are so many people as members. Maybe it is impossible to know as each one as his own reason. Each club is doing its best to survive and right now SAM is in good shape hopefully for another long time.

On a more personal note. All SAM executive is doing a great job ( I am part of it so I can not say else  Tongue ), in fact the executive is here just to execute what members want. If members do not get involve even a little, there could be some kind of lassitude which will be detrimental to the club. It is up to everybody in the club to recruit new members, advertize for club activities, participate on the forum, bring items to monthly or annual auction, etc, etc... If there is no will from your members, it will be a very difficult task.

Your club is what you, the members want it to be.

You have a great and well maintain forum, all of you I know are great people, I am sure you all want the best for your club.
Again I am not part of your club, so just take these words as they are, with no mean to tell you want to do or not to do. Each club should do the way they think it is the most appropriate.
Francois
« Last Edit: February 16, 2017, 11:56:07 AM by francois » Logged
charlie
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« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2017, 05:39:42 PM »

Francois  for me your post is very welcome, always good to know how other clubs are doing it.
I`m always intrigued that some active/vibrant clubs don`t have a forum or a non active forum.
Sam and DRAS clubs readily come to mind.
Regards
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« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2017, 08:10:29 PM »

Thinking out loud....if some other clubs don't have forums and have a large member base, then this could mean that their monthly meetings and events are the only times they can communicate and socialize with each other easily.  This could explain the higher turn out at their meetings.

Without going into specific numbers, it takes a bit of coin to keep the site/forum hosted and running so OVAS needs cash for this as well.

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« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2017, 11:42:58 PM »

Lucius, I agree that the forum itself could be taking away participation/attendance at the meetings. Some people may feel that the online interaction is just as good going to the meeting.
For me, the social aspect is great, and I have met some great people over the years, and enjoy just visiting with people that are also enthusiastic about the same hobby.

My thought is that this is the time for us to start discussing and brainstorming ideas for the club, to encourage others to actively join.


Jody
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« Reply #10 on: February 17, 2017, 05:25:05 AM »

  Yes, it we may get more people to the meetings, but the web is a tool to make us
seen to the world. We do get people from Kingston, Quebec buying memberships that don't
come to the meeting. The web connection is a tool that brings more people to see whats happening
and may or may not get involved. We need to take 1 step at a time, maybe to put back the mini auctions
back in , then look at the date we hold the meetings. It doesn't matter what day we make the meetings, there
will be someone not agreeing to that day.   Technology is here, use it. Everything cost money.

Ed
 
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« Reply #11 on: February 17, 2017, 07:06:14 AM »

Don't get my comments wrong, I think that the forum is great and am in no way saying get rid of it. It is a great tool to expand the reach of the club.
Jody
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« Reply #12 on: February 17, 2017, 09:15:38 AM »

Thinking out loud....if some other clubs don't have forums and have a large member base, then this could mean that their monthly meetings and events are the only times they can communicate and socialize with each other easily.  This could explain the higher turn out at their meetings.

Without going into specific numbers, it takes a bit of coin to keep the site/forum hosted and running so OVAS needs cash for this as well.


I really don`t think that has major impact.
If we take the time to look at the 2 clubs ii mention ( they are several others), i`m certain the programs and general structure  of their events  have more of an impact on their meeting success, in speaking to one club member outside of OVAS, their club has some 80 members and enjoy a high percentage of that membership attending meetings.
Again , these are not comments to point fingers or be negative to the exec. as i said before i applaud the few on the exec. who go that extra mile to keep us floating.
Regards
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« Reply #13 on: February 17, 2017, 10:49:01 AM »

I really don`t think that has major impact.
If we take the time to look at the 2 clubs ii mention ( they are several others), i`m certain the programs and general structure  of their events  have more of an impact on their meeting success, in speaking to one club member outside of OVAS, their club has some 80 members and enjoy a high percentage of that membership attending meetings.
Again , these are not comments to point fingers or be negative to the exec. as i said before i applaud the few on the exec. who go that extra mile to keep us floating.
Regards

I think it has some impact.  With the Classifieds section for example, forum users can easily post their items for sale online, make arrangements for pick up via PM's and then have them picked up at their homes.  No need to attend a meeting for this to sell really.  Ever notice how at our meetings whenever someone has something to sell, it's like vultures circling?  Grin

If François can possibly comment on how many of their members bring items for sale each month?  And do they bring a lot of items?
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« Reply #14 on: February 17, 2017, 11:28:31 AM »

[quoteI really don`t think that has major impact.][/quote]
Brian as i said it`s not a major impact , not saying it does not.
It`s the overall/Bigger picture of the meetings that plays the major response
In the GTA area for example they have a few non affiliated classifieds  sites, yet still DRAS is still doing well at meetings.
People swarming as you call it at our 2 vendors at the meetings is not a good measuring tool, have a chat with Heinz what he has to sell those plants for Just not to have to take them home.
I`m all for brining back the monthly auctions, lets see it that helps, my gut instinct say`s it wont in ayt significant way for a few  reasons - Think about it - what is going to entice me to leave my warm home on X night to attend a meeting to sell XYZ when there is a good chance the prices will be low and have to pay a part of that to club, when i can stay home with family etc. post it on OVAS a targeted audience, Kijiji ,Used Ottawa and do so at me own leisure etc.
There has to be passion, enthusiasm in the club and it`s events to entice folks, which is even that harder in Ottawa.
I know what it`s like to run a club with 2 or maybe 3 active executives it leads to burn out faster than you think, more so for the folks that have families/partners.
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« Reply #15 on: February 17, 2017, 12:00:05 PM »

I know what it`s like to run a club with 2 or maybe 3 active executives it leads to burn out faster than you think, more so for the folks that have families/partners.

Agreed, this is why I left my previous hobby/club and took up fish keeping instead.  And why I'm very, very, very reluctant to take on an executive role in OVAS.
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« Reply #16 on: February 17, 2017, 01:07:04 PM »

If we are thinking of bringing back the mini auction I would recommend putting a minimum bid of $2 with a 25% cut to the club. Also if we were to put something like a max of 3 not sold items, then a fee to the club for each one,  to avoid lots of junk being brought in.

Jody
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« Reply #17 on: February 18, 2017, 09:26:03 AM »

Everyone has raised excellent points and repeated key needs.    I've been a member of OVAS for a few years and more so classed as a creeper (get to the creeper term later)   OVAS greatest asset is its core members/executive knowledge base in the various disciplines.   Understanding how other organizations runs is an important foundation (Franc. great input).    Using the KIS principal is critical to low maintenance/repetitive Meetings have great presentations, keep it at the same place, same time, same fish channel and they should come,  Auctions spring & fall have to be supported by LFS and advertised 3D ways.    The website is the key to growing the business globally with the support of our LFS.   Website Classified is OVAS freeware to entry level users or shoppers so access for everyone but interaction to only members.    Educating LPS employees is the key to preaching the OVAS word!   Pictures are worth a thousand words so update/give members easy access to upload if it isn't happening or members let's get into selfie mode!   Now from my personal observation and asked several LFS employees from 3-4 LFS very few know of OVAS, I never get email or PM on renewal, news letters, notice of auctions & meetings so how do I know when their happening.    I referred to myself as creeper because there's no invite to OVAS, Having met a few of you good souls, I'm just curious what topics are lighting up, who is selling what and any new pics!     I thank each and everyone of the executives for their past & present services to OVAS as its all of you that make it better.          Ron  just looking into the fish bowl from outside! 
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« Reply #18 on: February 18, 2017, 01:15:34 PM »

I think there are many good points here.
We used to mass email in the past but for some reason it stopped.
Maybe website restrictions or past exec decided to remove it or some other problem.
Most meeting and activites are usually posted on the website.
Sometimes a bit slow due to problems getting the Exec together.

What we need is more volunteers and people stepping up to become Execs.
We need people on the Exec with lots of energy and fresh ideas.
I know that many of the Exec don't have a lot of time to handle their jobs (we already do more then what our jobs define).

Not to rile anyone but I think there are 2 types of OVAS Members.
One is a paid member and the other is just a member of the website.
The paid members help support the club and website and their activities.
 
Please become involved.
Your participation is what defines the club.
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« Reply #19 on: February 18, 2017, 04:01:12 PM »

Good points Peter.
But most times the new four months sign on are not aware that the forum is not a free standing forum but a media outlet for the club, they are not aware of club.
It's why I suggested that a welcome  message is sent on approval , with the information.
Regards
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