Membership Report - January


Randy Brenneman (VP)
Friday January 26, 2018 8:16 am

Good morning Riders!

I wanted to share a quick snapshot of where the ALR DoC is sitting in regards to membership. 


Gary Teicher, our Membership Officer, has been collecting basic membership information since last convention, and has been taken directly from your online rosters, which should be getting updated monthly.   


This is a simple line graph that shows overall ALR DoC membership, and is broken down further by each of our programs (Veterans, SAL and Aux).


As you can see, we peaked in overall membership growth in the Oct-Nov time frame with 2,165 Riders, and as of the January membership report, we are sitting at total department membership of 2,115 Riders, with an overall Department wide membership growth of 4.9%. 


A good percentage of our Chapters have had positive membership growth since last convention, with Chapters 521 (Elverta) and 739 (Indio) having tied with the largest membership gains (each growing by 23 members). But even with an overall net membership gain, what is concerning is that we are seeing fairly significant membership losses in several of our Chapters.


As you can see from the chart, Veteran membership has had the most fluctuation, with SAL and Aux membership maintaining a fairly steady state.  


However ... after we peaked in the Oct-Nov timeframe, we have seen a slight decline in net membership. This could be attributed to Chapters finally getting around to updating their rosters, or we could actually be seeing a decline in membership for other reasons.


So what?  How does this apply?

Statistics show that in any volunteer organization, the largest attrition is from 1st & 2nd year members who join, but fail to renew for a multitude of reasons, but mostly because the organization has failed to engage with them in a meaningful way.  They get bored and/or disenchanted, and then quit.


Bottom line is that we need to do better in meeting the needs of our members, and making the ALR a group more people want to belong to. If that means taking a look at what the Department or Chapters are doing, and make the necessary course corrections, then that is what needs to be done.


You will start seeing an exit poll that departing members will be asked to fill out anonymously when they leave their Chapter. This will be optional of course, but we need to start identifying and quantifying why members are leaving the ALR. Maybe it’s a Department level problem, or maybe the issues lay closer to home within the Chapter, or the member themselves. Or maybe it’s a combination of all the above. But either way … we really need to work towards making the Riders an organization that more people want to belong to.


Please pass this information out to your Chapter members, and use it to start discussions on what your Chapter/District can do to increase recruiting and increase that 1st & 2nd year member retention.  


Randy Brenneman

Vice President

American Legion Riders

Department of California