Find My Ancestor Blog

Local Genealogy Society Involvement

This last week I attended the first meeting of one of the local chapters of genealogical society here in Utah.  This local chapter hasn't held regular meetings for quite some time now partly due to the lack of interest in it's members and the publicity given it's meeting times and agendas. 

Being new to the society and not having attended any other society meetings I was not sure what to expect. I did not know how many people were going to show, especially since it was it's first meeting in about 8 months now, or what kind of structure the meetings were set up with.

Given these circumstances the meeting was in very low attendance and it seems like our chapter is having to start from scratch on organization, leadership, etc. I am looking for some guidance on how some other societies are run, attended, organized, etc. in hopes that I can go back to next months meeting and be able to help give some input on how we can make our chapter better.

These are some of the questions I have been wondering the past couple of days:

  • How are people in your local genealogy society involved? 
  • How often does your society or local chapters meet? 
  • How is your attendance?
  • How do you advertise your meeting agendas and what is going to be taking place?
  • Do you use social networking sites? If so, which ones and how?
  • What are some of the main concerns your members face when attending meetings?
  • How can the chapter help the overall excitement of it's members?
  • What do you like best about your society or chapter?
I appreciate any comments or suggestions you are able to give. Thank You!

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  1. If you get some good answers, would you mind posting about it? I belong to a small local society as well. They could use a boost.

  2. We are a very small society in a late county.
    Our group started in 2003 and this is our 8th year.
    There is also an historical society in the county that has been around since the '70s.

    How involved? Cemetery photography & census, transcribing records, working on committees, and cooperating with local groups, like the historical society, courthouse, funeral homes, and larger state societies, etc.

    How many involved? Same group since the beginning. Hard to get new workers. This is exactly what I have seen in numerous other societies I belong to- seems to be the norm.

    How often to meet? Just changed from monthly to school year. Lots going on in the summer with our members.

    What is taking place? Computer workshops, programs given by society members and local speakers, and the occasional show and tells, and brick wall meetings.

    Attendance? Larger % paper membership than attending members Here lately, membership is slightly lower than it used to be. We are running at about 75% of normal

    Advertise? Newspaper, radio, society website, FB, email. Newspaper/radio seem to work best.

    Social networking? Twitter and FB. I do more on my own twitter, then pick up the @ when it concerns the society. FB, so far, has been posting old photographs, interesting web links, meeting announcements, conferences, etc.

    You didn't ask, but two big changes that we have implemented are changing over to e-journals and starting a member's only section on our website. It looks promising so far!

    Two goals that we haven't accomplished yet, but both have been approved:
    Pay Pal button for membership online
    Lulu for selling publications

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