Saturday, December 26, 2015

Part 1 Recipe for a Successful Car Club

Recipe For A Successful Car Club -Alan Arnell  

   To quote Dan Ehrmann President, Club Express: + 
“At the typical club or association: 5% of members run the
 club and show up for almost every event; Another 15% of
 members regularly participate; Another 20% occasionally 
participate; The remaining 60% never show up for anything!"

 People, Passion, Promotion, Plan of Action  

The number one item of the recipe for a car club's success is the people evolved within the club.  Without passionate club members and new members growth a successful club is hard to obtain.  Growth is crucial to the long term success for your club.  A club must have a dedicated group of individuals looking out for the health of the club, growing the membership, and meeting the needs and wants of the club's membership demographics.    

Club members need to make a point of welcoming new blood into the group.  The more seasoned members should foster new ideas and skills from new members.  Fostering new ideas is a great way to encourage newer members to become involved.  Getting them involved is the first step of preparing the newer-younger club member to become good club leaders.   

I am a board member of Dallas Area Classic Chevy (DACC.)  While being a member of the board I have been
the lead of several club events. The hardest events I helped to organized were the ones where I had to recruit volunteers.  I would much rather do everything myself than to beg for volunteers.  It seems, I am asking people to volunteer as target practice for a firing squad.  Getting members in car clubs or in any venue to step forward to help out is an uphill battle.  Generally, only a small part of any group volunteers for completion of needed tasks.  And then it seems, that the only time members volunteer is because the task interests them.  Why is that? 
According to Felix Maritim of  UT at El Paso* the main reason volunteerism in a group is small is because: 

  • Job responsibilities,  volunteering for free is not as personally rewarding as a paying job 
  • Family responsibilities 
  • Lack of information about when where and how to volunteer. either on purpose or not 
  • People volunteer to get recognition for their efforts.  Not getting recognized for the effort given causes frustration and feelings of abandonment.  That lack of recognition will make even the best person to doubt their abilities, to think they are not doing a good job and their effort is just a waste of time. Everyone must feel that the work they do is important and they are making a difference. 
  • Group members do not volunteer because they fail to see how doing so will be beneficial.  
    Felix Maritim wrote,*  "This is not to say that most people are self-centered and want something beneficial....They do not see the virtue of helping others as important, in the future, for themselves...What we can conclude is that nobody is willing to give up his or her time in order to help others without benefiting from it, hence making us materialistic in nature." 
    As a car club we can't change society as it is around us.  However, if we understand that the human race is very good at coming up with inventive solutions, we can use that fact towards the club's benefit.  General Patton said, "Don't tell some SOB what to do, tell that SOB what you want and you will be pleased and surprised at his ingenious solution." 
    Tweet: Don't tell some SOB what to do, rather tell that SOB what you want and you will be pleased and surprised at his ingenious solution
    A solution could be to have a database of member skills.  Need something done? Look over the database then find the correct people for the job and ask them to help.  One trick is not to overwhelm them at the beginning.  Start them out with a small task to get them involved.  With that experience under their belts, more than likely they will help out more for the club.  Once a new worker finds that they will make new contacts and friendships they will hopefully do more for the club as well.  Friendships and a feeling of comradery go a long way in getting club members to freely give their precise time away for free. 

    But remember, there is a fine line between too many workers and not enough.  When I was in public administration, I learned that sometimes too large of a committee will bog down the completions of the task at hand.   

    Nevertheless, people working together will make club members more familiar with the club and its operation.  As club members participate it is natural for them to take on more, insuring for a more rounded Club.   

    Make the" volunteer needed tasks" interesting and do not micro manage.  Club members will volunteer more
    and enjoy volunteering more if they can be creative and challenged within reason.  The fastest way to loose participation is to give the volunteer the thankless tasks.  If possible, it might be better for the club if you could hire out the menial tasks such as such as stuffing envelopes or pealing stamps.  Put the focuses on strategic tasks rather than tactical ones.  Streamline all necessary tasks such at dues payments as much as possible and use technology at every chance you can use it.   
    In my next blog I will discuss research on club member's  for the club and its activates in Part 2 Link to part 2

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