Food For Thought
This edition's topic - Falling Membership - part 2


SOME OF IDEAS GLEANED FROM LAST ISSUE'S LINKS

Aggies Moms

1. Exude a warm and welcoming attitude
2. Make everything you do a "media event"
3. Want to get the media more interested in what you're doing?
4. Get to know your members
5. Set up a club website if you don’t already have one
6. Facebook!
7. Get new members involved on committees and special projects
8. Have a membership contest!
9. Challenge every member to bring a friend to at least one meeting per month
10. Make use of other organizations in your community to "spread the word"

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Membership Marketing Blogspot

1. Enhance the Value of Membership
2. Deploy Market Penetration Pricing
3. Increase Volume (Quantity) of Recruitment Efforts
4. Add New Marketing Channels
5. Test New Lists, Offers, and Creative.
6. Expand to Related or Ancillary Markets
7. Increase the Frequency of Touches to Top Prospects

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TOASTMASTERS 1

1. Effective club meetings
2. Continuous promotion
3. Use of proven “sales” techniques
4. Retention of current members
5. Competition within the club, district or area
6. Recognition

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Seven Levers to Increase Membership Recruitment

1. Enhance the Value of Membership
2. Deploy Market Penetration Pricing
3. Increase Volume (Quantity) of Recruitment Efforts
4. Add New Marketing Channels
5. Test New Lists, Offers, and Creative
6. Expand to Related or Ancillary Markets
7. Increase the Frequency of Touches to Top Prospects

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Other points

1 - Ask for a referral
2 - Make it “stupid simple”
3 - Tell The Story For Them


IMPROVING MEMBERSHIP - MY THOUGHTS

From the links given in the first page of the last Food for Thought the reader can place the suggestions as to how the fall in membership can best be reversed. Each brother will establish his own order using his own experiences in the Craft. It therefore follows that no list is correct. No freemason has had an identical life to another.

It may be that the reader places high relevance to such points as - Enhance the value of membership, Effective meetings of quality work, a warm and welcoming attitude. There is no doubt that by getting to know new members, and never letting them sit alone is beneficial for both brothers. Perhaps visiting other lodges, and meeting new friends is a major factor in enjoyment.

Maybe it is the opportunity to step outside one's comfort zone, and give charges in ritual - ever trying to attain perfection in wording and delivery, projecting one's own perception and feelings, or trying to give the charge at least as well as it was received by you when you were the candidate.

It could be the challenge to actually learning a charge, and doing something that you would not normally do. Perhaps it is the feeling of satisfaction in acts of benevolence, and embracing the opportunity of practicing them that Freemasonry provides us.

It could possibly be the opportunity not available to you in your profession, to progress to being a boss/manager, a leader, as Master of a Lodge, and even advance to assist in the management of the the Craft, or provide support for brethren who are progressing through the Grand Lodge structure, or devote your efforts into making your Lodge successful and enjoyable. 

There will always be suggestions of how to increase the numbers joining the Craft. Most are very laudable, and have a record of success in every land. However, there is one, and it is the most important factor of all that appears to be missing in all the literature summarised above.

The brother who makes contact must be excited to be a freemason. Without that sparkle in his voice, that belief in the enjoyment he gets from being in the Craft being passed on to his contact, then one is wasting one's time. There is no doubt that the comments in all the above links are most important to varying degrees but without conviction and excitement in the brother one will fail to have much success in introducing new candidates to one's lodge. By following the suggestions each brother can make his lodge a better place, and therefore foster his enthusiasm for Freemasonry, and so become excited.

Expect to be asked many questions, and many that you cannot answer - perhaps because you do not know the answer, or it is about the ceremonial. The simple answer is I enjoy it, and in talking to you I am pretty sure you would too.

When talking to people be excited. If you are not then you perhaps should leave the task to another brother in your Lodge.

Some answers I have given to questions -

Question 1
Q. Freemasons have secrets
B. So have you. Do you have a credit card?
Q.Yes
B Well tell me your pin number
Q. No
A. Well you have secrets too. Our secrets are similar to your pin number allowing you to access your account, ours allow us to make ourselves known to be a freemason when we visit a lodge where we are unknown.

Question 2
Q. Why won't you tell me about what happens when I am initiated?
A. For the same reason that you would not tell a friend the rugby score when he is going to watch the replay later. It spoils the surprise and lessens the enjoyment of the event.

Question 3
Q People say that Freemasonry is a way to get ahead in life.
A It is true that many famous people have been freemasons, but freemasonry was a relaxation as well as a challenge to them, and not the reason they had the brain they had.

Question 4
Q Freemasons are out to rule the world
A. Well we have been around for centuries, and we haven't succeeded so we can't be trying too hard. In fact all the ritual states that we should support the government of whichever country we are in.

Question 5
Q Freemasons are not Christians, but are actively against that religion
A Wrong again. We believe that every Freemason has the right to his own religious beliefs. Therefore we call our holy book the Volume of the Sacred Law. To a Christian he thinks of the bible, to a Jew he thinks of the Torah, to a Muslin the Koran, and so on. In fact when a person joins the Craft he is presented with a copy of his own holy book which is sourced from a normal stationer.

Question 6
Q. Why do you enjoy Freemasonry?
A  Freemasonry is such a wide concept that we all take out of it different aspects. Everyone's answer will be different in some aspect, but I will tell you my personal reasons why enjoy it. (then list your reasons - [my personal reasons are too many to list effectively but a few are - a meeting place of people of many religions, of men who have a similar morality, a challenge to take on that is separate from "normal" life, a place to relax among brothers from all walks and stations in the community on the level, a chance to progress in the Craft, it is a society where age is immaterial, and there are a network of "lodges" throughout the country and the world that I can visit] - Tailor your answer to each individual, highlighting aspects that you think might be relevant to them - Then end with the statement BUT ONLY IF TRUE). From talking to you I think you would really enjoy it.

So to finish, talk about Freemasonry to those you know - but not to be boring. Be excited, be sincere, and answer their questions if you can. If you do not know the answer then say well let's ask one of my more knowledgeable brothers and arrange an informal meeting.

Always remember that Freemasonry is unique, and its concepts timeless. It is as relevant today as it was centuries ago, and will continue to be so for as long as mankind survives.


John Barns Graham