AGM 2016/17 Membership Report
As of April 2017, we have 112 Suzuki Elder members. Five members joined since May 2016, and four members asked to be removed from our list. Upon joining new members receive an Orientation Handbook and are now assigned a ‘buddy’ member from the Suzuki Elder Council.
At a council meeting in May 2016, we discussed membership at length, including the diversity of our membership. We decided a good first step to better involve members would be to do a direct phone call with existing members in the BC region in order to update ourselves on members’ current status and activities, and to connect and facilitate their involvement with Suzuki Elder Programs.
A number of council members volunteered to be the callers, each using a divided up list of members, and a guide for the phone conversation. The success for this phoning experience varied as some members were difficult to reach, either were away or busy in their active lives.
Overall the calling proved to be a worthy effort as contacted members were pleased to be connected this way, and a few have accepted our offer of a buddy for ongoing liaison. A few members requested to withdraw from our list. The Membership Phoning Project will continue.
As an effort of membership outreach, Karl Perrin and Cynthia Lam jointly presented a talk in October 2016, titled” Search of happiness under the threat of Climate Change” to a group from Chinese Canadian community. A video was made and archived. A 2 page interview was published in November in Canadian City Post (in Chinese). During 2016/17 we also wrote and e-mailed two “Member News Updates” to all Suzuki Elders.
Margo Elfert (Administration)
Cynthia Lam (Connections)
Members: Margo Elfert (Administration), Cynthia Lam, Diana Ellis (Connections).
Member Phoning Project: Cynthia Lam, Diana Ellis, Margo Elfert, Dan Kingsbury, Jerry Growe, Don Marshall, Deb Jack, Conrad Guelke, Bob Worcester, Stan Hirst.
Membership Report for Suzuki Elder 2016 AGM
The 2015/16 intended outcome for membership was to grow by 20%. This time last year we had 99 members, an additional 14 joined over the past year for a total of 113 – an 11% increase.
Of the 90 Suzuki Elder members located in BC, 70 are in the Lower Mainland and the 20 others are scattered throughout Bowen and the Gulf Islands, Vancouver Island, and the Sunshine Coast. Across Canada there are Suzuki Elder members in Ontario (8), Alberta (3), Nova Scotia (3), Manitoba and Quebec (1) each. There are also individual members in France, Greece, Australia, India and the USA.
While we provide members with orientation on joining, regular updates through e-mails and the website, as well as invitations to participate in meetings, projects, retreats etc, most of the Suzuki Elder work is carried out by the 16 Council members and a core of about 20 others. About 20% of our members regularly attend Suzuki Elder events. The energy and commitment of Suzuki Elders is important and greatly appreciated – and – we want to encourage more involvement!
This year’s strategic planning exercise included a half day discussion on more effective ways to connect and involve Suzuki Elder members in our activities and discussion. We agreed to begin by engaging more actively with people at the time they join. So, as well sending then the Orientation materials we will now connect with each new member by phone, and provide them with a ‘buddy’. This year, we also commit to personally connecting with every one of our existing members to learn about them and talk about their involvement. To this end, we have now separated our membership work into administration (Margo Elfert) and connection (chair yet to be named.)
Margo Elfert, Membership Adminstrator, and Diana Ellis
Membership: Report to the 2015 AGM
Suzuki Elder membership remains close to 100 – where it has been for the past three years. Although we were to focus on building membership in 2014/15, undertaking and overseeing the everyday tasks and activities of Suzuki Elders continued to get in the way of building a concerted membership growth strategy.
An ad hoc and short term committee met several times in February 2015 to address these matters. A major recommendation included making more personal (phone) contact with members on joining in order to answer questions and encourage participation in ongoing Suzuki Elder activities. A membership action team will be formed to follow up on this and other recommendations.
Over the past year we connected with members in several ways.
- Four member news updates were e-mailed
- All members were kept informed about, and invited to participate in activities related to DSF’s Blue Dot Tour.
- Invitations were sent to Lower Mainland and BC region members for involvement in the annual summer retreat (Elders and Youth – Listening to Each Other) the first Education Salon (Elders, Leadership and Climate Change, January 2015) and the first of the Outreach Series (The Future of Environmentalism, February 2015).
- Members were regularly informed of public events, education, and action via the Google Group communication link.
Those interested in joining the Suzuki Elders can now submit an application through our website.
Submitted by Diana Ellis, Chair, Membership Committee