By Jule Ann Lieberman, Chair
Each year the Membership Committee looks carefully at our member totals. We are pleased to report when new members join us, and are concerned when members do not renew. This year we have seen both our chapters and our members at-large contingent fluctuate in membership. At this date we are still out of balance between our new and lost members. As reported to me, our total of new members is forty-six, while the number of members not renewing is fifty-nine. This leaves us with a net loss of thirteen members. We can possibly explain some of the loss due to members reaching an age where they can no longer participate in meetings in person due to change of residence, ill health or even death. This means that we need to work even harder to invite new members.
In my article published last quarter, I illustrated how you as chapter leaders and individual members can expand your reach into the community to invite new members. In short, the message was “Be Present:” tell others you belong, and make your chapter a visible presence in your community. Let the PCB Public Awareness and Relations Committee help you reach media, such as newspapers and radio to bring attention to your activities. Additionally, PCB’s Advocacy and Governmental Affairs Committee can assist you with locating the contact information for your government officials so that your chapter can learn about when and where senior fairs and community events are being held. Participating in these activities could be a great way to reach new members. Each chapter has also been provided with material to assist in creating literature that can be distributed in the community. Consider how these documents may be used to spread the good word about PCB and your chapter.
In regard to members who have either moved or are no longer able to attend your meetings because of transportation or health concerns, offer them the opportunity to stay connected to PCB as a member at-large. This group has formed a one-hour call-in meeting held monthly that provides an opportunity to hear from PCB leaders, gives members a forum to express their concerns, and offers support and suggestions among its members.
Consider inviting new people to your summer activities and meetings. Your chapter might allow new memberships in September to be credited to include 2016 membership.
Each member matters. You make a difference in the lives of persons with vision loss by being a proud member of PCB. You are more than a number: you are a valued member of this community. Now tell someone else and bring in that someone as a member!