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Re: Beginners Committee - beginners benefits
>>If AKA could close communications loops with the affiliates, and notify them of new members in their general region,...<<
I recall Magilla (Ken) mentioning to me that Ron Colman and Daryll Ullisch would bothy do this as Membership chairs. Ken then would follow up with a phone call and an invitation to our meetings. Ken would also try to set up a new visitor with plants and such to help get them started.
My sense is that this is an unofficial practice, but one that's easily implemented, especially since Magilla's the new Affiliate chair!!!
I offered a sugestion several months ago that I still think has some merit. Rather than a straight forward offer for a free fish, which is not part of the AKA's new member offer BTW), include a coupon that's redeamable at the nearest local killie club for a pair of fish. In practice, new members showing up at a meeting tend to come home with free fish anyway. I can make this assumption from our club's activites and from member's comments on this list. So all a coupon would do is to act as a motivator for new members to visit an affiliate club meeting.
Once they're at the meeting, the local club can provide some mentoring. Making sure that the individual receives an appropriate species for a starter, proper advice on care and maintenance, and a face-to-face contact to call in need.
Affiliated clubs participating in this program would have to have members willing to give away an occaisional pair of fish to prospective new members. Again, I don't view this as a problem based upon what I've seen and read.
An alternative for new members that do not live within reach of an affiliate club is to provide the same coupon, but have it redeemable to a select list of AKA members willing to provide fish when contacted via phone. Individuals specializing in different types could volunteer, such as a notho expert or a S.A. annual expert, etc. Perhaps, the new member would have to be willing to pay postage. The phone call get them in contact with a mentor who call provide assistence with the species.
Both of these options can serve as an inducement for folks to join the AKA while increasing the likelyhood of long term success. It could aslo make the membership at affiliate clubs stronger, which improves the AKA overall.
=== getting off soap box now and getting back to work ===