By Don Moore, F154921
At FMCA’s 77th International Convention in Perry, Georgia, we held two open forums for members to share their thoughts about FMCA’s future direction “” ideas for the Long-Range and Development Committee to study. Topics discussed included membership recruitment and retention, chapter membership promotion and chapter governance, and FMCA conventions and rallies, among other things.
Although we would have liked more participation, we did receive some good remarks. At our next convention, this August in Redmond, Oregon, two more open forums will be held. We invite you to take part in one or both of these sessions if you’ll be attending the convention this summer. If you won’t be able to join us in Redmond but would still like to share suggestions with the Long-Range and Development Committee, please feel free to send them in writing to the FMCA National Office, Attention “Long Range Suggestions,” 8291 Clough Pike, Cincinnati, OH 45244, or via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. If sending an e-mail, please be sure to include the words “Long Range Suggestions” in the subject line.
One area we are focusing attention on right now is membership, so we’d especially like your suggestions on how to attract new members and then how to keep them once they join. Of course, we lose members for reasons that are beyond FMCA’s “” and the members’ “” control, such as illness, age-related issues, or death of a spouse or partner. One key to retaining members, we have found, is encouraging them to become involved and to take advantage of FMCA’s fellowship benefits. Did you know FMCA has approximately 485 chapters in all sorts of sizes, locations, and interests? You’re bound to find one that you like. Members who become actively involved in chapters tend to stay active in FMCA longer as well.
One thing we all have in common is the motorhome lifestyle. Some people enjoy their homes on wheels by full-timing; they sell their stationary house and travel full-time. Others enjoy weekend outings with their chapter friends. Some just enjoy vacationing with their family. Still others go to FMCA area rallies or international conventions.
Rallies and conventions are great member benefits. You can attend educational seminars; visit coach displays, where you can compare hundreds of models; check out indoor vendors; and take in good entertainment. At rallies and conventions you also can learn about the benefits you receive as part of your $35 annual membership fee.
Speaking of benefits, one of the most popular is the MEDEX emergency medical evacuation program, which is included in your membership at no extra cost to you. Officially called MEDEX PLUS, this program covers you if you need emergency medical air or ground evacuation in the event of an accident or unforeseen illness while traveling in the United States, Canada, or Mexico. And, if you travel outside these countries, you now can purchase additional coverage, called TravMed Abroad, for a small fee.
Other benefits to FMCA members include the new discount offer on the Five Star specialty motorhome insurance program. But these are just the tip of the iceberg. You also can get discounts on services such as an emergency roadside assistance program, an identity theft protection plan, and home monitoring systems. Other offerings include fuel discounts at Flying J; an FMCA credit card; the FMCA road atlas; member business cards; a discount when buying Passport America membership . . . and that’s not counting the deals that FMCA commercial members extend to you, such as discounts at some commercial member campgrounds. A listing of the benefits is printed in the January issue of Family Motor Coaching and in the membership ad that’s included in each month’s magazine.
When you join FMCA, you are issued a membership number; this is the number displayed on your “goose egg”-shaped membership plate, and it will never be assigned to anyone else “” with one exception. Upon request FMCA will assign an original membership number to sons, daughters, grandchildren, or parents of an active or former member with the addition of an “S,” “D,” “G,” or “P,” respectively. Putting the plates on your coach is very important, for often it initiates a conversation that can lead you to making new friends or maybe even signing up a new member. Please display your FMCA membership plates with pride.
FMCA is a great organization, and we must keep up with the changing times. Our members are the best tool for getting new members to join. The more you know about our organization, the more likely you’ll be to recruit new members.
Since FMCA is a member-owned organization, we want your input for the future of FMCA. When you attend the 78th International Convention in Redmond, Oregon, please join us at one or both of the open forums, or contact us using the info above.
I hope to see you in Redmond.