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Is Your Chapter Getting Better?

Is Your Chapter Getting Better?

Ian Brown, EAA 657159; Editor, Bits and Pieces; Washago, Ontario

Do you have a banner rolled up in a drawer?

March 2024 – I used to have a senior manager who used to say, “Grow or die.” His message was that if you’re not actively trying to grow an organization, then it’s dying. When we look around at chapters, that’s certainly true. I decided to share with you the wisdom of the organization we’re all proud members of. Did you know that EAA has a scoring system for chapters? It allows them to declare some as gold, some as silver, and some as bronze. There is a 10-point scheme which you can check out here, but from it I’ll glean a few goodies for those of you interested in sparking life into your chapter. There’s even a bonus point or extra credit for a youth build project or a stand-alone sponsorship approach.

One significant point is that if you’re not actively involving youths in your chapter activities, your chapter is probably dying. Whether it be Young Eagles, sending a youngster to the Air Academy, or getting one of your youngsters involved in the Ray Scholarship program, there are many ways to get youths involved. However, if you don’t have someone actively responsible for this, then it’s not going to happen.

A freebie, if you will, is to request a ChapterBlast email which goes out to all the EAA members in your area. If you haven’t requested one lately, now is the time, especially if it can announce an event about to happen. It’s a superb way to cover not just your chapter membership but all EAA members in your area. Hosting public events is not only good for public relations but can also revitalize your chapter, one new member at a time.

Does your chapter have a designated greeter? It’s easy to have a membership that looks at the new face, and, although you’re all probably welcoming, nobody takes the responsibility to take the person’s contact details and walk him/her around the group doing introductions.

If you’re fortunate enough to have a chapter banner, how often do you use it? It’s an excellent tool to advertise with but not so good sitting in a drawer somewhere.

Do you have meetings on a schedule that’s convenient for existing membership but inconvenient for out-of-towners? Think about potential members who might have to fly or drive longer distances. Are they made to feel welcome? I had one instance recently of someone who just can’t make it through traffic on weekdays to evening chapter meetings.

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