October Message from Walt Zurowski

Moose Legionnaires, we start each year with high hopes and the goal of growing and retaining membership.  Unfortunately, over the last few years we have seen a decline in membership and retention in both the Lodge and Moose Legions.

The Moose Legion and Degree of Service Mission is to have fun while providing greater service to the Moose Fraternity. Our Vision is to persuade all qualified Lodge members to join the Moose Legion.  As you know by now, membership in the Moose Fraternity and Moose Legion has suffered greatly during the past few years.  You have heard Retention, Retention, over and over during Lodge and District meetings plus during our annual and mid-year conferences.  But after receiving the information, we tend to forget that our obligation is to Strengthen and Maintain our defending circle.  Strengthen and maintain equates to Retention.   Successful Lodges have active, dedicated retention committees.  All too often the committee is made up of one member, usually the membership chairman … one individual facing a daunting situation with little help or encouragement.

I think anyone placed in the above situation would soon become discouraged and ineffective.  We can remedy that problem.  My suggestion gives us an opportunity to reverse that trend while providing service to our Lodges.  What if, we as Moose Legionnaires took on the task and had the Moose Legion Committee of each Lodge take on retention as a yearly project?  Instead of a committee of one which is normally the Chairman, you now have an entire Moose Legion committee dedicated to Lodge and Moose Legion Retention.

The Moose Legion Retention project could and probably would also enhance membership in the Moose Legion.  The Lodge could offer incentives to Moose Legion members who were successful in retaining Lodge members. The ways this project could benefit our Lodges and Moose Legions is limitless.

The Lodge Administrator is the go to man for a list of active, expiring, expired, dropped and terminated members. This is the same information that your Secretary should be providing to the Lodge Moose Legion Committee on a monthly basis.  In addition Moose International provides a Monthly Expired Members Kit as well as a Retention Kit consisting of those members who are soon coming due.

These kits and lists could be provided to the Moose Legion Chairman and become worksheets for the committee members.  Once each member was contacted by letter, phone or personal contact (which is best), the Moose Legion Chairman could report to the Lodge during a general meeting the number of successful retention attempts and the percentage of success.  What works for one Moose Legion may not work for all, therefore, flexibility and the desire and willingness to change and adapt for the improvement of the retention process is essential.

I am not saying this is the answer to our Retention and Reactivation problem.  However, it is obvious to the most casual observer that Retention is a huge challenge and the way some Lodges have approached it in the past is not working very well.  Therefore I feel that given the proper leadership and emphasis, this idea could very well work for the common good of both the Lodge and Moose Legion.

With Retention Week coming up the first week of November wouldn’t it be great to have an active program that works the year round.  Our Moose Legions can be the impetus that makes this happen.