GMSMA: Be Involved

GMSMA has enjoyed a great deal of success over its fourteen year history.

But, like every other volunteer organization, we regularly face the challenges of winning new members, keeping the old(er) ones, and activating all of them. It takes a lot of work to keep GMSMA going; we're always on the prowl for a few more souls willing to share the burden.

Every summer, the president and chairman send a letter to members and prospective members urging them to join GMSMA and become active in one of our committees. The various GMSMA committees regularly talk at their meetings about getting new members. Different GMSMA officers get up at Wednesday night meetings and pitch membership and involvement.

You've undoubtedly heard the pitch: Here's what you get by joining GMSMA ... join because you get a discount at meetings ... join because you get to attend our educational events... join because you get a free subscription to NewsLink ... join a committee because it's the best way to get to know other members and ... and so forth.

All that is true. You do get great things by joining GMSMA. And yet, that's not enough. It's not the whole story, or even its most important part. We've spent so much time discussing this one side of the organization-building equation, that I fear we've shortchanged the organization and failed to project accurately its importance.

I'm as guilty of this nearsightedness as anyone else. I've repeated the litany of "gets" often enough to know it by heart. And I wouldn't want even to try to count the number of meetings I've attended where we've endlessly searched for yet another new goody we could offer as an incentive to spark membership or reinvigorate the committees.

Don't get me w