September Message from Bob Neff

Fall is in the air.  Unfortunately, fall is what our membership has often done over the past few years.  But, that is where the Council of Higher Degrees should come in to play – in a very helpful way!  If we haven’t invited or offered that help – we should.

We have discussed Retention, Recovery and Reactivation in recent years.  Those three things are different and yet part of an overall process and goal that all of us should be working regularly.  Let’s take a couple minutes and break it down.

Retention is really ALL the things we do that keeps a member feeling good about their membership.  It is welcoming them to our functions.  It is paying attention to them while they are in our lodge homes and at our functions.  It is communication with them both when they are in our presence and when they may not be – through some form(s) of information sharing (communication).

Information sharing involves perhaps newsletters, positive / promotional use of social media, sometimes text messages and or emails and other means.  Let’s face it, how many events do you go to when you don’t know they are happening?  I would guess probably not many at all.  Our members are no different and it is important to communicate with them at times when we are not asking for something.

Recovery is really the act of reaching out to a ‘lost’ member whose membership is lapsed and no longer active.  The contact needs to be friendly and inviting.  The goal is to encourage the member to renew.  If they do we have then ‘recovered’ them.

Reactivation (getting them in active status again) is the hopeful result of the recovery process.  But sometimes we have to follow up.  The member said they would renew.  But did they and did we offer any assistance in facilitating the renewal?

Do we need to provide some assistance in getting the dues payment made by providing a computer they can log onto and do it?  DO we need to help them make the call to Member Services at Moose International?  DO we need to drive over to the house and pick up the cash and give them a receipt and help get the payment made for them?  Are there other things we can offer to help reach the goal?

As members who hold a higher degree we must especially set an example for others to follow.  We should be the ones who lead the effort to welcome regulars and unknown members alike to our lodge homes and functions.  We should be the ones with the most knowledge and dedication to sit down with a member, answer any questions and make sure they both understand and embrace our cause.  It is part of ‘mentoring’ and (while important) it only happens when we individually take time and do it!

November 5th we will kick off our annual Retention Week Program.  While it is only a one week concentrated focus on retaining members – it really does need to be a full year long goal and commitment in order to achieve success!  While advance plans should be formulated now for that week of effort, we should already be working on all the things that go into such successful efforts and continue doing them long after Retention Week is done.  Our efforts (yours and mine) are crucial to our future.  Let’s do this!