M is for Membership, Minutes, Meetings and Maps #AtoZChallenge


Welcome to Day 13 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 M !

Societies beginning with M






The membership is the life-blood of your organisation.  If you are like QFHS much of your income is derived from membership fees.  Do you know your members? Who are they? Where do they live? What are their interests? Why did they join? What skills do they have? What resources do they use? What data do you have on your membership? Are there obvious gaps? How did they find out about your Society? What do you think is important to know about your members?


How often does your Management Committee hold meetings? How long are those meetings? When are they held? Are they run effectively? Do you have an agenda? How are agendas and reports distributed? Could it be more efficient? What do you like/hate about meetings? 



Do you have a Minutes Secretary?  To my mind, they are essential.  So much is discussed at our meetings that it is difficult to remember after a couple of hours what we agreed and who said they would do what. 


What family historian worth their salt doesn't love a good map?  Does your Society have a map collection?  At QFHS we have four volunteers who look after our map collection.  Is your map collection catalogued effectively so people can find them easily?  Do you run sessions on how to use maps for family history research purposes? Do you have appropriate storage for your maps? Do your library assistants feel confident showing people how to find and use the maps?
Mmmm...so much to consider.  Are you feeling Maudlin or Magnanimous when it comes to your Society?  Let me know in the comments box and tell me what Marvelous things I have forgotten to Meditate upon or which society beginning with M I have not Memorized. Thank you for coming by the blog today.



Molly's Canopy said…
This is an apropos topic during the pandemic. Two of my associations has only had one online meeting each during Covid -- when they used to meet monthly before. Hmmm...not the best way to keep up with membership. But conversely, others have really taken to webinars and have had excellent ones monthly -- complete with guest speakers and handouts. One group even had a presentation on how to use maps when telling the family story. https://mollyscanopy.com/2021/04/margot-moose-and-ancestral-connections-atozchallenge/
ScotSue said…
I am enjoying your posts and agree with so much of what you say. Regarding contact with members, I am writing under O for Organisations on the different ways groups are keeping in touch during Lockdown - varying from the excellent to the abysmal. I think a good meeting depend on an effective chairman - pulling points together when the discussion waffles on and on; encouraging reticent members to have their say and curbing those more vocal dominating.
GeniAus said…
Maintaining our membership and nurturing our members is so important. We have found that our informal weekly zoom sessions during Covid have encourages the social aspect of membership. Those of our members who have embrace zoom have learnt so much about each other.
Alex Daw said…
Dear Molly, Sue and Jill - thank you again for visiting the blog and encouraging me on this marathon of the AtoZ. Haven't we done well to get this far? Crikey! What a long haul it has been.

Molly - we are so dependent on how people are feeling during COVID aren't we? Some people retire to their shells and batten down the hatches. We are lucky if an organisation is run by outgoing people who don't get disheartened easily.

Sue - yes an effective chair is vital to the success of meetings. The older I get the less patience I have. I am in fact quite shocked about my response of late. I used to be so easy-going. We are blessed with a very patient chair who has not lost his sense of humour. So important in this day and age.

Jill - yes, yes, yes. Without our members we are nothing. We have spoken often at our management meetings about the possibility of holding more informal meetings which I think, as you suggest, give more opportunity for members to find out more about each other and thereby increase the glue/sticky factor.

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