President’s Message Summer 2015

It was recently brought to my attention we have many members that are not familiar with how to bring business before the Board of Governors. Our Board of Governors meets six times a year or more often if needed. The schedule can be found on the website (Bouvier.org). If a member has a concern or wants a topic addressed – the proper way is to put it in writing and send it to the Secretary and ask for it to be put on the agenda of the next meeting. The Board members are listed on the club website with their email addresses, and the membership directory will list their phone numbers. They are all open to discussion on a topic if you want to call or email them individually. But in order for any business to be brought before the Board it needs to be put in writing and sent to the Secretary. That way it can be distributed to all the board members. The Secretary sends out a board packet to all the Board members about one to two weeks before the next meeting. The Secretary works with the Chairman in putting together the agenda for the meeting. Our clubs is governed by a Board of Officers and Governors that club members elect from among their numbers. A club depends on its board of directors for long-term guidance, leadership, and policy-making. Each member of the Board plays an important role in ensuring that the club continues to thrive and meet the needs of its members.

We are a club that functions with a lot of volunteers.  Without these people we would not have a club. None of these people get paid.  They do their jobs for the love of the breed and want to preserve it for the future.  I want to thank all these volunteers.

I recently read an article “Building Strong Clubs” by Dan Ehrmann.  In his article he stated:

At the typical club or association:

• 5% of members run the club and show up for almost every event;
• Another 15% of members regularly participate;
• Another 20% occasionally participate;
• The remaining 60% never show up for anything!

Many clubs have a turnover rate of 15-20% per year. People leave because they lose interest, they have health or financial problems, they move away or pass away, or because they are no longer being served by the club and the "product" it offers. Some clubs lose people because they cannot even get renewal notices sent out reliably, so members have no idea that it's time to renew.

Some clubs just don't market themselves very well, figuring that "passion" alone is enough to keep people interested and paying their dues. But most of the time it isn't!
With these statistics in mind, how do you build strong and vibrant clubs and associations that actually grow and survive more than a few years? People get disillusioned or tired out and others need to step in and take up the mantle of responsibility. Running a club can be a huge amount of work, with the only compensation being the complaints of other members.
And yet as we all know, being a member of club and participating in its activities has enormous rewards. We get to share our passion with others who have the same passion. We learn new things all the time and make new and lasting friendships. We get to do good deeds, strengthening our communities and the environment, and building bonds with other communities, sometimes across the country.

So the question that all boards of directors ask is: how do we create a strong club or association, one that members want to join and renew, one with a strong and growing core of active members, one with a "virtuous cycle" of people who get involved, which in turn generates more events and discussion and knowledge-exchange, which in turn gets more people to join and renew.

In the near future you as club members have the opportunity to get involved and volunteer.  We will be electing officers and board members this fall.  If that is of interest to you contact the secretary.  We will need many hands to help out with the specialty in Colorado.  Check out Bouvier.org and look under the club information section.  There are a lot of opportunities for you to get involved in your club.

After all it is “For the Love of the Bouvier”.

Dennis Craig
President American Bouvier Des Flandres Club

Last Updated on Tuesday, 14 April 2015 13:02