Tom White
1/8/2013 08:30:20 am

Brian O'Baoill: I am a bit doubtful about charging €30.00 for membership. I fear that this will put many people off. Would an Associate Membership, free, thus attracting people, getting to know them, giving them information at meetings, and, by degrees leading them towards Full Membership if they want the Magazine, etc. be worth considering?;

Should we consider issuing a simple Membership/Associate Member Card?;Tom White:;;Brian,; your;"Associate" membership idea comes close to Garry's thoughts on building up a list of "fellow travellers", people who can't afford the time and/or money to join HAI. Let's use what PJ and Kevin have produced for us- let's start a forum discussion on the new website and pool thoughts on this..... my own thoughts are we should be getting email addresses of as many fellow travellers as we can- to send out when Peter has a new speaker organised at NUIG for example; it's very easy to send an email to even a hundred people at no cost. Garry has email addresses for 30 or so active membs in Connaught, let's start developing an email list of fellow travellers as well, for special events or even "tea and bickies" as Kevin has suggested.;Tom White (again) We should put a facility on the web-site where "googlers" can
(1) tick a box to indicate support for us,; add a few comments and/or post their email addresses to receive; emails on
(2) future public;HAI activities;and/or (3) membership application details.; NO ONE SHOULD BE BARRED FROM MEMBERSHIP BECAUSE THEY CAN'T AFFORD THE SUBS!; Perhaps one thing we might look at is that people (like myself,; fortunately);who can afford to make a donation should chip in each year to sub people who can't afford it...; not an ongoing free ride for "freeloaders"-; as such applicants would have to "work" for their membership fees during the year in some way.; There would be an extra category of membership,; an extra box which could be ticked on application.; "I wish to be an active;member of HAI,; but cannot afford the subscription at present."; If they don't live up to their promise of being active,; they either pay the;following ;year or their membership lapses.; We need a few people on an ethics committee to consider special hardship ;cases, membership disputes etc.;

Issuing HAI membership cards would be an extra cost and bother to the Association,; but would have the major advantage of acting as a receipt for membership fees (!);; if you'd sent your cheque and didn't receive your card inside a few weeks,; you'd know something was wrong.; The membership card would also act as a recruiting tool (members questioned by non-members as to what HAI card represented).; It would also clear problems at the AGM and make the decision as to who was eligible to vote a lot clearer.;No current card = no vote. ;And it would speed up and simplify the membership record system-; knowing a membership number would identify the member accurately.; As more and more members join,; names will become duplicated (eg PJ McKenna).;

On balance,; I think the costs would outweigh the benefits at present,; but if membership were to reach say 1000,; then I think cards would become essential.; There is an argument that says any member is entitled to ask for a receipt of any cash given to HAI,; and a membership card would simply act as a receipt for subscriptions received;; in other words,; it only takes one or two stroppy members to force the Board into issuing membership cards,; so why isn't it being done as a matter of practice anyhow?


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    January 2013