Encouraging Affiliates with Techniques to Reach More Members

Compiled by: Ardis Bazyn, ACB Membership Chair
After introductions, our first panel spoke on “Innovative Methods to Host a Meeting” Denny Huff spoke on conference call systems and the advantages of Skype. He mentioned three conference services.  One is: www.TotallyFreeConferenceCalls.Com and another is: www.FreeConferenceCalls.Com. Both of these are basically the same.  You can have up to 90 participants on a conference.  You have the ability to record the conference call and then either call a number to listen to the playback or you can download the recording to your computer for playback. On both of these services, you have moderator control for turning on and off entry and exit chimes, muting all participants except for the moderator, reviewing the number of participants, and receiving a report after the conference call is finished stating how many participants you had on that call with their call-in phone number. You can easily sign up for either service without any cost to you. WWW.freeconference.com is also a free conference system but recording fees apply. Skype is an online calling system that can be used through a computer. Not all participants have to use a computer but the original host must use a computer. There is no charge for calls through this system in the U.S. and low cost for International calls. (They have just introduced a new service that can be used from your cell phone but I’ve not tried it so don’t know about the cost.) Pratik Patel spoke on accessible webinars and chat lines.
Cindi Vega, UT; Becky Barnes, GDUI; Charles Glazer, RSVA; and Brenda Dillon, TN shared affiliate experiences for our second panel entitled “Membership Incentives”. The list of affiliate incentives is below the highlights of the seminar. We next congratulated the affiliate winning the ACB Affiliate Growth Award: the South Dakota Association of the Blind. Keith Bunde, immediate past president, represented the current co-presidents, Linda Biffert and Dawn Brush. The affiliate that placed 2nd was the Montana Council of the Blind. Here are the tips Keith gave that boosted their membership.

  • We got a new membership team and took a new approach to recruiting.
  • Several people took names of former members and encouraged them to join again.
  • We had a team that worked together – even stuffing envelopes.
  • Return envelopes were provided to make it more convenient for prospective members to return forms and payment of dues.
  • A support group located in the western part of the state formed an SDAB chapter.

A hand-out with a list of resources available to assist affiliate presidents was read. A Special interest hand-out was also available. If any president or their designee would like one, please contact Ardis Bazyn at: abazyn@bazyncommunications.com.
Membership Incentives

  • Discount on cabs
  • Three hours discounted ($5) Reading mail service
  • Free driving for members
  • Group and individual volunteer assistance with shopping, labeling, recording of materials, gift-wrapping, etc.
  • Free quarterly movie ticket
  • Free bowling (Chapter has bowling discount)
  • Free computer training and a weekly emailed computer tip
  • Free fishing program including equipment and bait
  • Discounts on cab rides, bus trips, local restaurants, entertainment, Assistive Technology training workshops, audio described theater productions, movies, sporting events
  • grant for attending exercise and tandem bike classes
  • Free CPR classes
  • Reimbursement for expenses for members who participate in Disability Day on the Hill, fundraisers, or public awareness
  • sponsored subsidize meals for convention
  • stipend for national convention
  • Drawing for pre-registering- win free luncheon ticket
  • Members discount on lunch and banquet tickets
  • Reimbursement for attending convention banquet
  • Fifty percent discounts to first time convention attendees 
  • Discount exhibit tables for members and affiliates
  • One half to two-thirds cost of prearranged chapter activity
  • Discounted boat tickets for supper cruise 
  • Volunteers to attend to help with buffet.
  • Discounted meal packages for early registration
  • Free or discounted convention transportation
  • Subsidize $25 Saturday night room rate
  • Chapter drawings for rooms and first timers’ dinner.
  • Reimbursements to board members and delegates