By Daryl Conley, Administrator -
As I get ready to head for St. Louis, MO next week for the Moose International Convention, a lot of things are on my mind. We will be going with donations in hand, to the tune of $9,000.00 from the gaming charity account for the new Centennial Project - an apartment-style housing facility for our residents and Moosehaven; and $500.00 from the Moose Legion Committee for new flooring for the exercise room at Mooseheart. both of these will be presented during the March of Checks on Sunday, July 3.
On the darker side (as comedian George Carlin said "Behind every silver lining, there's a dark cloud!"); our membership numbers are still struggling. It should be no secret by now, that our membership dropped by 54 last year. Here are the numbers: we took in 120 applications, which means we had 174 that did not renew. Of those, 25 passed away. That leaves 149 members that did not renew. That is the largest drop and largest percentage of non-renewals (nearly 20%) that I have ever witnessed in my 24 years as a member of this lodge.
One thing I hear a lot is "lack of communication." There are several ways to remedy this, some you can do, some we can do. Number One is the most obvious - attend the membership meetings. We have membership meetings on the 2nd and 3rd Thursday of each month at 6:30 pm. This is where upcoming activities are announced as well as donations, sports programs, membership numbers, etc. The second item you can do is read your monthly newsletter. It is easy to find on-line at http://lodge2050.moosepages. org. The newsletter is updated monthly and often in between. It also includes photos, reference materials, printable applications and documents, and a monthly calendar. You can also visit the Moose International website at www.mooseintl.org for information on what Moose International is up to.
Thirdly, read your Moose Magazine. You should get a bi-monthly issue mailed to you. If you are not - this includes WOTM members - call the help desk at 630-906-3658 and ask them for a subscription. We also post flyers, and bulleting boards in the lodge and Social Quarters, so be sure to stop, take a moment and read about upcoming events.
Now things we can do and have done - we have added a larger area on our highway sign so that we can include more information about upcoming events. We have subscribed with an e-mail provider so that we can send out mass e-mails to all our members. If you are not getting emails from the lodge, call me and I can verify that we have the correct address on file. these weekly reminders also have links in them for you to access our newsletter and moose international website. We will continue to try to "get the word out" to everyone so that you will be aware of the activities and event going on at your lodge - remind your fellow Moose and WOTM members also, call them up and invite them down. Let's work on keeping the members we already have, so we don't lose another 20% this year.
A special acquaintance of mine passed away in June; Pilgrim Brother Terry Crocker of East Mesa, AZ. Terry received his Pilgrim Degree of Merit in 2013, the same year I was supposed to get mine. Unfortunately, I had to return home after hearing that my wife Audrey had suffered a heart attack. I went back the following year and received my Pilgrim Degree. Terry and I were also District Presidents at the same time, back in 2006. I was president of District 9 and he of District 3 in Arizona. Their President the previous year was none other than Bill Cavanaugh who had then just moved up to the position of Regional Manager. As president of District 3, Bill's district was Number One in the Association. Naturally, Terry wanted to be number one again and I was determined to take the title away and get Number One district for us, so the battle was on. We used to compare notes on membership, finances, etc. to see who was ahead. As it turned out, we never did find out who won, because that was the year that Moose International was changing from the LOOMIS program to LCL.net. In the process, their entire system crashed and all information for the past year was lost. Although we never found out who the real winner was, Bill Cavanaugh assured us that we were both "neck and neck" for Top District.
Rest in Peace, Brother.
I will be leaving for St. Louis on May 27, and returning to the lodge on July 10. Audrey and I are going to take a couple extra days and go to Mooseheart after the convention. I hope everyone had a safe and happy Father's Day, and have a safe and happy 4th of July!!
I will leave the rest of this article as is, for those who haven't had a chance to read it lately. Have a great month!!
The old "RETENTION, RETENTION, RETENTION" slogan has been modified to "RETENTION, RETENTION, RECOVERY." "Recovery" is getting our old members - those have dropped out over one year ago - to re-join. Our new AZ/NM President, Roy Austin has also issued a "Challenge Coin" membership recovery program. He purchased several "coins" that he will give out to any member who gets five former members to re-join. As of convention time, there were three in all of AZ/NM - one of which was he himself and I am proud to say I was one of the other two. So let's challenge each other - let's see how many and who can be the first (or second as it were) in our lodge to receive their own personal Challenge Coin. You will be doing your lodge and fraternity a favor and earning a nice token for your efforts. I have also posted a count board near the ATM so that we can track those members who sponsor a former member into the lodge.
Brand new this year is a Members Rewards program. Members can earn points by sponsoring new or former members, they earn additional points when their sponsored member renews their dues after their first year. We can earm points by attending training sessions and conventions, being elected into office, joining the Moose Legion and/or earning higher degrees of the order, and the list goes on. Once earned, these points can be redeemed for gift cards, credit at the Moose Store, payment of dues, or cash. Hopefully, this new program will provide incentive for our current members to go out and sign up new or former members while earning credits for themselves. To check on your points, go to www.mooseintl.org and click on My Member Benefits. Here you will find all your membership statistics, including number of members sponsored, last time you attended and officer's training, date you were enrolled, your original sponsor, etc. If you have never logged in before, follow the instructions and enter your Moose ID number as your log-in name then create your own personal password.
MI has also introduced several new ways and new programs where you can donate to Moose Charities. Remember that any donation to Moose Charities is tax-deductible. Check out the Documents section of this newsletter for downloadable applications and information.
Last year's campaign was Back to Basics. This year's campaign is Build our Foundation. It is time to start afresh, with the core values of our fraternity - an increase in membership and an increased knowledge and awareness of our two great humanitarian endeavors, Mooseheart and Moosehaven. MI has provided a new video that explains what the Moose is and how we support Mooseheart and Moosehaven and our communities. We show this during our orientation on the second Thursday of each month. You do not have to be a new member to see it; any and all members are invited to attend the orientation and view the video. It will give you insight and knowledge about our order. Knowledge is the key to selling a product. As members, we are selling the product of membership and fraternalism. You dan do this by passing on your knowledge to others and to prospective members.
If you know someone who has not paid their dues recently, PLEASE try to convince them to pay up. Remind them of all the benefits of being a Moose member, even if they don't come to the lodge. Come and get one or more of our Member Benefits brochures to show them. If you yourself have not paid please reconsider, come see for yourself what the Moose and our lodge has to offer. Let's not wait until April 1, 2016 to try to reach our goal of 764 - my nerves can't take it!!!
Remember, if you need to pay your dues, you can pay them at the lodge. If I am in my office, I will be glad to pay them on-line for you, either with cash, check or your own personal credit card. If you don't catch me at the lodge, simply pay the Social Quarters Attendant on duty (cash or check) - they will give you a receipt and I will pay it on-line as soon as I get back. I am normally in my office from 9:00 am - 5:00 pm, except for lunch which I usually take from around 1:00pm - 2:00 pm.
Another issue that prevents people from joining or keeps them from renewing is second-hand smoke. Over the years we have addressed this issue numerous times by installing more smoke eaters, adding a fresh-air ventilation system and repairing non-functioning systems. We are furthering that mission by adding a new section to our building so that we can move the small meeting room and expand the Social Quarters. This new area will be non-smoking and will have a positive-air ventilation system to keep second hand smoke from entering the area. So please, if you've quit us or plan on quitting us, give us a second chance and continue to help us support our community, our children at Mooseheart, and seniors at Moosehaven.
Sponsors, once the application is filled out, your job is far from over. You should try to get them to attend an enrollment. After they are enrolled, you should call them periodically and invite them to join you at the lodge for dinner or drinks, and while you are here, introduce them to the officers and to other members so that they feel welcomed and not left out. Hopefully, this feeling of belonging will also prevent them from dropping out in the years that follow.
Have a great month!
Daryl Conley - Administrator