The Membership Co-Directors announced at the June board meeting that our branch earned five free national memberships this year under the Shape the Future campaign. Under the guidelines of recognizing individuals who contributed their time and resources to benefit the entire branch this past year, it was decided to award those free national memberships this year to the following branch members:
Sharon Anderson, as Membership Treasurer, ensures we have an accurate branch directory, monitors updates, processes and connects our new members, and works with the branch Treasurer and National and State offices to timely handle all dues and paperwork. She puts a lot of effort into our renewal process, including organizing the mailing, and following up to ensure the branch submits its Dues Reports timely each year.
Liz Jordan, as Fundraising Coordinator, contributed significantly toward the success of our “Pride and Prejudice” fundraiser last fall. Taking on that major event, especially given the short lead time, required a lot of coordination as well as her personal commitment of time and energies. We also recognize and appreciate the commitment she has made to our successful Speech Trek program.
Angela Scarlett, as Communications Coordinator, schedules and hosts the monthly Happy Hours, maintains our website, is part of the newsletter team, and publicizes branch events through social media. She also assists with e-mail blasts. These responsibilities connect our members to one another and promote AAUW in the broader community.
Anne Rhodes, as Hospitality Coordinator, puts a lot of time and energy into soliciting refreshments and volunteers, and arriving early and staying late for every branch and WOW meeting. Her efforts provide a welcoming atmosphere for those meetings, which is so critical to the fellowship our branch offers.
Ruth Werner, for several years, has consistently assisted Hospitality at the branch and WOW meetings. She has put a lot of time and energy into providing the refreshments, arriving early to set up, and staying late to clean up.
While we recognized and rewarded these women this year, we also know that it takes a team effort to promote the mission of AAUW and to keep our branch functioning well. Every branch member is a part of that team, and for that, we appreciate all that you do and we value your membership and contributions to our branch!
A big part of promoting the mission of AAUW is recruiting new members, and we were very successful at that this year. Our branch welcomed 44 new members, 30 of which were referred by our own members! Please see the separate listing in this newsletter, identifying our new members and their friends who recruited them. Thank you to these ambassadors for AAUW! Please look for our new members at our functions and introduce yourself! (They will have green dots on their name badges.) We had a recruitment incentive this year to award full membership for the upcoming year to one recruiter whose name would be drawn at a year-end drawing. The winner of that drawing at the May installation of officers meeting was Dee Brookshire. Congratulations, Dee!
We want to thank those of you who submitted your renewals timely this year (about 67% of you as of July) and also solicit your feedback on how we might improve that percentage in the coming year. We currently mail the renewal forms and put them on the website in late April and request response by June 1. Reminders are then sent via email and announced at meetings. The membership committee then has to follow up with everyone who doesn’t respond in order to get the reports to National by July 1. More importantly, this process helps us to retain our valuable members. So please keep all of this in mind next year when you get that renewal package in the mail. Please provide your suggestions for improving this process to Sharon Anderson.
Give a Grad a Gift: Following the college graduation season and your celebrations of that milestone with friends or family, we hope you will please consider this special opportunity. AAUW members can give a recent grad — a friend, daughter, son, mother, father, granddaughter, grandson, niece, or nephew — a free AAUW National and State membership within two years of graduation, at no cost to you or them! Your grad will receive a one-year member-at-large membership — a $65 value. They can join a branch at any time but will be responsible for paying branch dues. Please contact Membership Treasurer Sharon Anderson for application information.