I is for Inclusion, Interest Groups and IT #AtoZChallenge

Welcome to Day 9 of the  #AtoZChallenge.  Don't know what the AtoZChallenge is? Find out more here.

My theme is about Family History Societies.  What they are, How they work, Who is in them, Why they exist. 

And which ones begin with I !

Societies that begin with I



Family Organisations (again via Family Search Wiki)


I is for Inclusion

How inclusive is your society?  Take a look around.  What or rather who do you see?  Are young people frowned upon or made welcome? Is your Society accessible; to those differently abled or those far away? Consider the program of talks on offer. Is there a certain bias? Could you change that bias? People are most likely not to renew their membership after the first year or so. What can you do to help make them feel included?

I is for Interest Groups

At QFHS we have what are called Special Interest Groups or SIGS.  I don't think this is a unique idea and many other family history groups have them too.  Have a look at other Societies SIGs and see if perhaps that is something your Society might need.  
Our groups are user generated, if that makes sense i.e. it is not something imposed from above but grows organically from the membership base.  So you might have user groups like Family Tree Maker or The Master Genealogist user groups.  Other common groups are Scottish, Irish or particular counties.  Depending on your membership base, you may have a Convict group or a Caribbean group.  Interest groups build up their own specialist knowledge and because they tend to be smaller than say whole of Society meetings, help foster a sense of inclusiveness.


I is for IT

So much of what we do as family historians is now dependent on information technology. How does your Society support the maintenance of IT? Do you have a plan for the future? Do you have a budget set aside for IT? Who is looking after the IT in your Society? A team? Do you have a succession plan? An individual? Or do you outsource your IT requirements?  Are you keeping abreast of the latest changes in technology and the implications for the future? Legacy Family Tree Webinars now have a Tech Zone which is great but what other resources would you recommend?


I is for Island

Make sure your Society doesn't become an island, disconnected from other organizations and the surrounding community.  Remember, a problem shared is a problem halved.  Many organisations provide the opportunity for you to connect with others.  Only last month the FFHS offered a virtual morning tea with other societies around the globe to share  thoughts about the issues we face.  What a fabulous Idea. another I word.  What are you doing to make sure you stay connected with those you serve and your local community?

Thanks for dropping by and taking the time to read these thoughts.  I'd welcome any thoughts or comments you'd like to share. What have I forgotten? Are you inspired by this blog post or feeling indolent gazing at that island? It looks very tempting from rainy old Brisbane tonight.



You are giving societies, and members, lots of food for thought Alex.
Alex Daw said…
Pauleen - I tell you. I'm giving myself a lot of sleepless nights as a result ;)
Molly's Canopy said…
Thanks for mentioning Special Interest Groups. I am in a genealogy technology SIG here in NYC and it's been invaluable for all-things-computer -- from software to hardware to cloud storage, digitizing photos/records, you name it. These SIGS are incredibly helpful in furthering our research. https://mollyscanopy.com/
crgalvin said…
This is an excellent series Alex, I've recommended it to our members and in particular to the committee.
Alex Daw said…
Dear Carmel - thank you for your very kind feedback. Of course as I work my way through this, I think "Oh I should have used this word for this letter". I reckon it should be a work in progress and we can adjust it as we go along and everyone has their say don't you?
GeniAus said…
Checking back in on your and the word Inadequate comes to mind. There is so much I want to do with our FHG Group but finding members with Initiative and Interest is a challenge.

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