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Thread: Looking to put life into a chapter

  1. #1

    Looking to put life into a chapter

    I'm not currently in a leadership position in our chapter but the chapter is stuck, majorly, and I'm hoping to find ways to push the leadership into doing more. One major 'issue' is that the current president does not like to 'give money' to the EAA organization. He won't do any of the chapter blasts, purchase any EAA materials, etc. (He's been president for quite awhile and all the guys just go along with it at this point.)
    We do a tail dragger fly-in and pancake breakfast once a year, and give Young Eagle rides at that time. I do not think they do anything else all year long beside meet once a month to just chat.
    (My first step is to actually attend the chapter meetings on a more regular basic. I help out quite a bit for the breakfast but know I need to do more. I do not fly but I'm all about supporting those who do and getting more people interested in it.)

    Suggestions on how to motivate the chapter?

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    The only specific suggestion I can make is to let the current chapter president know you are interested in getting more involved and ask if there is anything you can do to help out. I don't know anything about your chapter but in any volunteer organization like this, there comes a point where people run out of ideas. In some cases the people in the leadership positions feel like no one else in the organization will do anything. It can lead to a downward spiral that is hard to recover from. You might also take a look at the EAA website "Chapters" section. There are resources available there for just the thing you're trying to accomplish. I would not hesitate to call them for suggestions and guidance. There are people at the national headquarters who's job is to grow the organization. Good luck.

  3. #3
    cub builder's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    North Central AR
    I would suggest you volunteer to organize programs for the chapter. People volunteer for chapter leadership, then all the sheep in the chapter do their best to keep them so they don't have to volunteer. After a few years, you get burned out and settle into a routine. Volunteers to put together programs for meetings, or to help organize additional fly-ins or fly-outs are always welcome and will help infuse some enthusiasm into the chapter. Years ago I became president of a chapter that was close to becoming defunct. I'll admit up front that I didn't do everything right. But I did make a commitment to have a technical program as a part of every meeting. It might be hands on participation, it might be a talk by one of the members, it might be a "how to" talk, it might be hosting the FAA FasTeam, or it might be a hangar crawl seeing various projects. But there would be some kind of technical content every month. The best thing that happened is when someone else volunteered to become vice president to work with me on getting guest speakers and organizing the technical programs. With the two of us discussing ideas and working on the programs, we were able to put a lot of enthusiasm back into the chapter. I've since retired and moved to another part of the country, but am very proud to see that my old chapter that had become a monthly coffee klatch is now a very active chapter with a healthy membership with leaders that have continued to improve the chapter since I passed the torch and moved on.

    The point is that if you put in a few hours a month to volunteer for a leadership position within the chapter, you can make a huge difference in the future of the chapter, and the future of pilots and builders in your area that at this point in time still can't even spell airplane. And your enthusiasm may be just the spark the existing leadership needs to help them step up their game.

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