TRF Forums

Keeping older members
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Author:  mike Irving [ Thu Feb 23, 2017 12:30 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Keeping older members

2 Yams wrote:
Gilly wrote:
mike Irving wrote:
the older members are being discounted as having done it all wrong, being labelled as being stuck in the muds and argumentative because they won't roll over and accept that new is great and better than old. There is a middle ground

no one likes change ........change management takes skill, knowledge and patience....something some of the Directors don't have.

Propaganda, bribery, ridicule and eventually isolation are the order of the day for those older members that do not see the New way quite as they are required to.

yes we should be encouraging our older members thats why when i was a director i brought in automatic life membership for members with 25 years continuous service.

And I then extended it to all members over 70.

Did this ever get approved / passed / whatever, as I do not recall this ever being offered to me?

Rod Jackson

my bit was approved at the 2013 AGM. The key being 25 years continuous membership.

Author:  2 Yams [ Thu Feb 23, 2017 10:09 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Keeping older members

Thanks Mike, I realise I would not qualify for 25 years continuous membership, but if Gill's suggestion was approved, I would be in that category.


Author:  Red [ Thu Feb 23, 2017 10:19 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Keeping older members

This is interesting if life membership free of charge should be for the over 70s.

I dont know if any conditions attached to it, ie a member for a period length before

Hopefully Gill can up date us.

Author:  mario.costasa [ Mon Feb 27, 2017 7:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Keeping older members

Hi Steve

Apologies for the delay, as have been busy with other TRF work.

In reply, the TRF board have realised that over the years we lost touch with many TRF members, not just older members.

Regardless of whether they are still Trail Riding, out of the factors for not continuing there is still a large segment of previous and current who want to;

• Pay to the fighting fund
• Re-live stories of trail riding on routes they may once have ridden
• Continue involvement in the club

Retaining members is part of managing “churn”, the acquisition of new members less those who leave . We mentioned at the AGM there are indicators that the TRF has made good progress last year to reduce churn.

The Membership Secretary, Sharon’s report covering the number of members choosing to renew is higher each and every corresponding month from the previous year.

Here are some of the actions we are taking to achieve this progress;

1. Sharon runs an efficient membership renewal process with reminder email and post follow up. Of course it is not perfect and some slip through the net and we welcome suggestions on improvement.

2. Each year, for the past few years, Sharon in TRF Membership has painstakingly gone through our sketchy pre electronic database like a jigsaw puzzle, and by hand piecing records we have identified members who have made 25 years of membership. The Membership Director, previously me , now Carla, writes to each qualifying member and confirms each one with an eligibility of Life Membership. This is a not inconsiderable amount of admin work applies to literally a handful of members – an investment we see as worthwhile to recognise long term members.

3. The TRF Membership list sent out by Sharon to each Group Membership officer where we highlight any member “in grace” and not renewing so any “save action” can be taken on by local groups. Sharon also asks each non-renewing member for feedback. Again this is a high manual effort operation which yields results across a much greater number of non- renewing members.

4. Dedicated Membership Director – The TRF are fortunate enough to have one of our most talented and able members coming forward as Membership Director, focussed on the enhancing the experience of existing Members.

5. Carla the Membership Director runs the “unsung heroes” awards programme, given out to long serving members whose efforts have not received the publicity that should have been given. This has been well received and again affects a potentially unlimited number of members.

6. Heritage Director- Steve Neville, is a valued member of the Board. He has been a member since the 1970s and keeps the Board in constant reminder of our rich Heritage and the wishes of long established members.

7. It was announced at the AGM, - Options for "Heritage Trail" are also being investigated. TRF Membership & Marketing appreciates that there is still a significant need for a traditional format printed magazine. The TRF is currently looking at different ways of reinstating this in its original paper format.

8. Complaints- Obviously it will be difficult to retain a member with a complaint. Last year we spent a phenomenal amount of time discussing complaints. I believe the largest single area of board discussion and time spent has been in complaint resolution. This has been a cathartic is difficult process for the TRF and for all parties concerned. From what was once a flood, we are now down to a trickle of issues. These are seen as constructive room for improvement. Even a very few long term outstanding complaints are still being progressed, even though quick fixes are not forthcoming.

9. Success – everybody likes to feel part of a successful organisation, and the progress made on growing the TRF, clarifying our Aims and Objectives and increasing our influence has been commented on by members of all eras

Of these nine areas of work, I believe the most significant factor in losing touch with longer term existing members is not price of membership but the loss of Trail in paper format without understanding the negative impact on the TRF or making actionable alternative plans.

Thanks to Greg with his work on our branding & web, and supplemented now with Wil on Membership & Social Media integration we will shortly be bang up to date with our “Web 2.0” strategy that has proved attractive to the new generation of Trail Riders and increasing our influence.

We can now look at fixing Trail, the broken link to our past.

With Heritage Trail (paper/magazine) we aim to;

• Re-engage Trail Riders who don't use or don't like electronic medium
• Reach out and connect with older TRF members who can no longer ride but still wish to be part of the TRF
• Gain a new audience who may be tempted to glance at a paper copy.
• Encourage members to engage with TRF groups and group meetings.

To start this project, we are looking for volunteers with magazine editing , graphic design and journalistic skills as well as the print production and distribution that the TRF will require.

I hope the above has given you an idea of what we currently do to retain members and in addition I would suggest that in terms of effort we currently spend an equal amount of resources between new member and retaining existing members. Furthermore I believe we currently spend a higher amount of effort on both areas than any time over the last 4 years that I have been involved with the TRF.

Any suggestions on ways we can retain our members are welcomed. I trust that the above demonstrates a few of the programmes of work that we are doing to achieve exactly what you suggest.

Author:  Red [ Mon Feb 27, 2017 7:31 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Keeping older members

And the over 70's?

Author:  2 Yams [ Wed Mar 08, 2017 10:04 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Keeping older members

Red wrote:
And the over 70's?

It has been looked into, and they have to pay like everyone concession available.


Author:  Red [ Wed Mar 08, 2017 10:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Keeping older members

B&Q even give discounts. Could encourage some to stay on if a 50% discount offered. Better than not keeping members who might otherwise not renew.

Author:  AlanH [ Wed Mar 08, 2017 10:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Keeping older members

The TRF are doing many things right to keep members. However, they are also doing so many things wrong that it would take me half an hour to type it all up - then it would be removed as the TRF cannot accept criticism even if it might just be constructive. Pity really.

Author:  Red [ Thu Mar 09, 2017 2:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Keeping older members

Break them down and tackle one item at a time.

I am sure constructive critism would be welcomed, as long as its not personal attacks against members.

Author:  johnnyboxer [ Thu Mar 09, 2017 10:55 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Keeping older members

I have re-joined today................but delayed a bit and thought about it, long & hard

Hope I made the right decision :mrgreen:

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