Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Value of Membership

One of the topics I've been thinking about recently is the value of membership in DeMolay. When you pay your lifetime dues to DeMolay (or your Advisor fees) what are you getting for your money? Is it a good value? For those involved in the program, it's easy to answer yes. But, for those we are trying to sell on our organization, it can be harder to explain.

DeMolay doesn't offer many "tangible" benefits. For instance, if you look at membership in a professional organization, they often trumpet their network of members, educational opportunities, accreditation programs, conferences. They do their best to show you why membership with them is valuable. As I read through some of this information, I asked myself why membership in DeMolay is valuable (both to members and Advisors.) I'm going to tackle this issue, from both perspectives, one at a time - making it a two part series.

Let's take a look at it from a member's perspective. What does the average DeMolay get out of his membership? To do this, I'm going to have to work off of some generic figures, so the numbers may not be entirely accurate for your Chapter, but they probably aren't far off. I'm also going to assume the young man chooses to be somewhat active.

Let's say it costs $60 to join your Chapter. If a young man joins at 12, that comes out to about $6.67 a year. I don't know many organizations that you can join for that price. If they are older, and say, join at 15, it's still only $10 a year. To put that into perspective, if a young man joins at 15, his membership costs him under $.03 a day. That's a mere pittance by any means. So, what does a young man get for his money?

  • Subsidized Chapter Activities (around $100 per year)
  • Refreshments After Meetings (around $5 per member, est. at 15 times a year.)
  • Subsidized Sports Tournament Costs (around $35 a tournament, per person)
  • Subsidized PA DeMolay Key Man Conference costs (around $100)
  • Subsidized PA DeMolay Convention costs (around $100.)
  • Opportunity to earn scholarships (potentially thousands of dollars)
  • Educational Opportunities and Field Trips
  • An Opportunity to Learn and Enhance Public Speaking Skills
  • A network of 15,000 current members, all over the world
  • An alumni network of several hundred thousand
If you were to add up the tangible benefits, all told, the average active members receives about $400 a year in return. That's not taking into account scholarships or the intangible benefits of networking and experiential learning.

I encourage you to think about these numbers - what do they mean to you? How can you use them to recruit new members into your Chapter?

Frat! ~ "Dad" Seth Anthony

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