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Old 06-30-2013, 11:36 AM   #393
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Never underestimate the force of co-opting—if you've never been in a position where you are a minority on a board and you try to make deals to advance your agenda, you'll can't understand the power of having to get along with people you don't like and you have to convince that change is necessary. You can find yourself changing your views just to get something done. Leadership is a very hard place to be.
Personally, I think it's harder to achieve constructive change when dealing with people you DO like. They're less understanding of why your opinions and goals differ from theirs. As in, "How can you say that? I thought we were friends!"

All the more reason why we need professional administrators, as opposed to elected club officials administering the club's purse. They're not hired to be friends, they're hired to do a job.
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Old 06-30-2013, 01:34 PM   #394
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Go-l-l-y-y, sounds like we're getting back to the thrilling days of yesteryear on Airforums, when WBCCI bashing was the popular pastime!

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Governance of an organization is difficult when you do not have professional leaders experienced with the unique issues of non-profits. No one now knows how to get grants or seek donations for one thing.
Actually, Gene is kinda right. Robert Putnam's classic book Bowling Alone, which recounts the steady decline of practically all broad based membership organizations, indicates that the most successful have made the transition to "mailing list organizations" , meaning that they have large numbers of members who seldom see each other in person. Financing for the national organization is usually accomplished by spending a large percentage of gross income, 80 - 90%, on fundraising. If the organization spends a million dollars to raise $1.1 million, hey, they've netted a hundred grand, so turn around and do it again next week.

I'm not sure I would stay in WBCCI if it became that kind of organization.

An RV club more or less along those lines is Good Sam, which appears to be a thinly disguised insurance agency. They keep the money coming in by selling all kinds of RV-related insurance. But I have heard that Good Sam's membership and rally attendance is declining, too.

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It may cost more overall to hire a professional, but what is the alternative? Continuing shrinking of the club plus alienating members and having an attitude that keeps people from joining? That is not working.
Actually, I am kind of optimistic about some of the leaders now in the pipeline. But they have their work cut out for them, and I wouldn't presume to predict any outcomes.

Also, the news may not have made it onto Airforums that WBCCI membership is up by about 2% this year. So who knows, WBCCI may have turned a corner.
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Old 06-30-2013, 03:05 PM   #395
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I think this thread has just been hijacked.


In terms of the Moho issue, I'm glad it's done for this year. Next coming years we will continue the debate if need be. Time to enjoy your summer.
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Old 06-30-2013, 05:15 PM   #396
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Nuvi, there are some organizations that spend 80% or more on fundraising (called "development" now), but it doesn't have to be that way. It does cost money to do it, but costs can be much, much lower. An ED (Executive Director) would do some if grants could be obtained for some sort of worthy project, or donations were to be forthcoming from members.

More important at this point is to find someone who would show the present leaders how to better run the club, develop membership programs, modernize the newsletter, improve efficiency of employees, tie in with the internet more and then look at fundraising.

Yes, a hijack but threads tend to wander after a while and maybe someone should start one about improving WBCCI administration and have the mods move the posts about that to the new thread.

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Old 06-30-2013, 05:18 PM   #397
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Yes, a hijack but threads tend to wander after a while and maybe someone should start one about improving WBCCI administration and have the mods move the posts about that to the new thread.
At least the hijack happened after the vote, when the thread had outlived its original purpose. At least until the "WBCCI MoHo Issue - 2014" thread needs to be started.
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Old 06-30-2013, 11:05 PM   #398
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Glad to hear the MoHo proposal failed. I chose NOT to attend this year's International Rally because I do not want to belong to a WBCCI that allows anything but Airtreams.

I plan to attend the International Rally next year as long as this is not brought up again. Reducing attendance is my personal protest of this issue.
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Old 07-01-2013, 12:13 AM   #399
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I try not to get too involved in the motor home discussion too much, but I am so sick of it being raised year after year ... with those in favor of it acting as though they can beat down the opposition simply by re-introducing it every year.

One of the main arguments of this minority who wants to allow owners of Thor-manufactured motor homes to remain members of the WBCCI when they no longer own an Airstream product is that they "can no longer manage" to tow a trailer. They want a motor home because it's "easier"... and it's made by Thor, after all...

Now imagine the idiocy of a parallel situation where members of a hypothetical "Corvette Club" whose only membership requirement is Corvette ownership... and they were forced to accept members who once owned a Corvette, but don't anymore because they can no longer "deal with the power" of a Corvette ... they want to remain members but own an Impala "because it's easier"...after all, it's made by Chevy, so what's the problem?

Virtually every WBCCI member I have ever spoken to about the motor home issue has the same reaction. "What part of 'Airstream Club' do they not understand?"

I predict that if owners of non-Airstream products were ever allowed to be members that long-time, enthusiastic Airstreamers by the hundreds would bail (myself included, and I'm a membership guy!). The hemorrhaging of lost members would be fatal to the organization, which is exactly what it would deserve.
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Old 07-01-2013, 08:27 AM   #400
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A couple of our monthly guests, Brett and Diane, arrived yesterday. These are folks we've been around since, oh, the late 60s! They just restored a very nice Safari-brand moho and came in from the FMCA, Caterpillar, and Safari rallies, where Brett does tech seminars. (I think Caterpillar may be a subunit of FMCA, but not sure.) Over dinner and way too much wine, we talked about the situation with their clubs and ours. And it all sounded so very familiar: Rapidly falling membership in their clubs; the push to include some-other (non-mohos, non-CATs, and so forth) into the clubs to staunch to decline.

I noted my opposition to some-other, though Brett disagreed. I did note that we managed not to fall in membership this year, and that impressed him, I think!


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Old 07-01-2013, 09:13 AM   #401
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I just heard that the MoHo motion failed by a vote of approximately 1/3 FOR and 2/3 AGAINST.

That's just about the same as the previous times it was brought to a vote.
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The official vote was.

1493 For
3301 Against
4793 Votes Total from the 102 Units present at the meeting.

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Old 07-01-2013, 09:53 AM   #402
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The official vote was.

1493 For
3301 Against
4793 Votes Total from the 102 Units present at the meeting.

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It's unbelievable to me, that many would vote for the THOR moho's. The pro-moho group must really be encouraged their numbers are so strong.
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Old 07-01-2013, 10:22 AM   #403
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It's unbelievable to me, that many would vote for the THOR moho's. The pro-moho group must really be encouraged their numbers are so strong.
I think it has to do with the fact that proponents have lobbied, "This is necessary to preserve the club," despite the fact that very few members actually want to trade up from an Airstream to a Thor, and despite the fact that the need to own an Airstream for ten years first before trading up is NOT a strong selling point to get Thor owners to join, so it doesn't suddenly increase the pool of potential members.

The folks who want the club to grow would get more bang for the buck if they instituted a stronger campaign to get non-member Airstream owners to join, than they would to expand memberhsip to non-Airstreams. Such as, giving away one year's free membership to every family that purchases a new Airstream from a dealer. It wouldn't cost WBCCI anything other than some clerical work to process the membership (which is already paid for since the clerical staff is already paid), and it's easier to get members to renew than to get them to join.

Such a concept to also be expanded to buyers who get one used in a private sale. As in an ad campaign, "Register your new or used Airstream with Jackson Center, and you'll receive a free one-year membership to WBCCI." This would have the collateral benefit that Jackson Center would be better able to keep track of who has which Airstream over the years.

If WBCCI as a whole won't support such an initiative, I'm sure some Units and Regions would, on their own, once the idea is planted. In fact, one of the Units I belong to has tried something like it, "Join our Unit, and we'll pay your first year's dues."
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Old 07-01-2013, 10:24 AM   #404
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It's unbelievable to me, that many would vote for the THOR moho's. The pro-moho group must really be encouraged their numbers are so strong.
The vote this time is the same as in 2007, 1/3 For and 2/3 Against. So the numbers really have not changed in 6-7 years since.

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Old 07-01-2013, 10:33 AM   #405
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I think it has to do with the fact that proponents have lobbied, "This is necessary to preserve the club," despite the fact that very few members actually want to trade up from an Airstream to a Thor, and despite the fact that the need to own an Airstream for ten years first before trading up is NOT a strong selling point to get Thor owners to join, so it doesn't suddenly increase the pool of potential members.

The folks who want the club to grow would get more bang for the buck if they instituted a stronger campaign to get non-member Airstream owners to join, than they would to expand memberhsip to non-Airstreams. Such as, giving away one year's free membership to every family that purchases a new Airstream from a dealer. It wouldn't cost WBCCI anything other than some clerical work to process the membership (which is already paid for since the clerical staff is already paid), and it's easier to get members to renew than to get them to join.

Such a concept to also be expanded to buyers who get one used in a private sale. As in an ad campaign, "Register your new or used Airstream with Jackson Center, and you'll receive a free one-year membership to WBCCI." This would have the collateral benefit that Jackson Center would be better able to keep track of who has which Airstream over the years.

If WBCCI as a whole won't support such an initiative, I'm sure some Units and Regions would, on their own, once the idea is planted. In fact, one of the Units I belong to has tried something like it, "Join our Unit, and we'll pay your first year's dues."

The club did try the free membership several years ago, and I assume the results where bad enough it did not continue past the years they tried it. While it is easier to try to get people to renew versus join, if they don't go to a Rally or unit event, they don't renew.

We tried the same thing with a car club I'm a member of, the local car dealer paid for a years membership with a new car, and zero of the 'free' members bothered to renew, they didn't want to be a member to start with. I know it sounds good on paper, but I don't think it works in practice.

You have to get new members to attend events, so they can see the value of joining, which is why I think free first time Rallys fees for new members, and allowing non-members to attend a Rally or event, is a better idea.

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Old 07-01-2013, 10:42 AM   #406
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The club did try the free membership several years ago, and I assume the results where bad enough it did not continue past the years they tried it. While it is easier to try to get people to renew versus join, if they don't go to a Rally or unit event, they don't renew.

We tried the same thing with a car club I'm a member of, the local car dealer paid for a years membership with a new car, and zero of the 'free' members bothered to renew, they didn't want to be a member to start with. I know it sounds good on paper, but I don't think it works in practice.

You have to get new members to attend events, so they can see the value of joining, which is why I think free first time Rallys fees for new members, and allowing non-members to attend a Rally or event, is a better idea.

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You're right, without aggressive follow-up by the Units to get the new members involved, the free members would let the membership lapse.

Still, the MoHo amendment has been tried before, and failed, and yet they keep trying. If free one-year memberships failed the first time it was tried, is that any reason to quit trying?
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