• Alan C
    82
    A few years ago the Surrey Association went down the online membership route and MemberMojo was selected as the solution. It seems to be running fine, but I tend to visit only once a year to renew my membership.

    Surrey Association MemberMojo
  • John Martin
    1
    At it's recent AGM members of the Guild of Devonshire Ringers agreed to start using membermojo to manage our membership list and subscriptions from the start of 2024.

    Members of our Guild Committee have already been trialling the service but we'd be interested in hearing experiences from other Societies who've already rolled this out.
  • Lucy Chandhial
    51
    Sussex also chose MemberMojo and have a good set of FAQ’s on their website: https://www.scacr.org/documents/membership/MemberMojo_Q-A.pdf

    I’m looking into it as a possibility for Middlesex.
  • Alison Everett
    11
    Lincoln and Sussex both use it.
  • Roger Booth
    65
    Whilst MemberMojo moves us away from the old fashioned way of collecting subscriptions via the tower correspondent at each tower, and into the 21st century, I wonder if there is not another major benefit here? We've talked in the past about the fragmented communications in the exercise, and the difficulty of engaging with grass roots ringers. Hence the proposal for a Direct Membership Ognaisation, which seems to be stuck.

    However, with so many Guilds and Associations now using MemberMojo, could the Central Council consider producing a quarterly newsletter to be districuted electronically, by Guilds and Asociations with items of interest for grass roots ringers? With project 2030 on the horizon, I am sure that there is plenty of material that would interest the grass roots ringer, rather than talking about methods and peals which they will never ring etc. There is also potential to collaborate on this with the Rining World and ART's Tower Talk.

    All many grass roots ringers usually see for their membrship is a certificate and their name printed in an annual report. However I know that many would like to see more, and this would be a start.
  • J Martin Rushton
    91
    Your last paragraph is very true. There are also a number of ringers who see no point in joining their local association and who just ring at their local tower. Even if they don't want to join and pay the subs, having them "on the books" somehow would help in the numbers game; see "UNESCO status for bell ringing?".
  • Jon Warbrick
    3
    The Ely DA is at an early stage of investigating on-line membership management, mainly to simplify things for membership secretaries and partly to simplify things for members who we think are increasingly used to paying for things on-line. However this is also with a view to regularising our lists of members and maintaining reliable lists that can be used to contact members directly. Mainly by email, but perhaps by other means given that it is claimed that younger generations may no longer be interested in engaging with email.
  • Roger Booth
    65
    I think you are missing my point. It's not about numbers for the sake of numbers, but there are a lot of grass roots ringers out there who are not engaged, and many Guilds and Associations, Districts and Branches are stuck in a rut, doing the same as they were doing a long time ago. Many are also struggling to find volunteers to fill vacancies. Contested elections are a thing of the past.

    However I've come across many grass roots ringers who are on the verge of giving up because the support that they receive is so backward. Only about 50% of ringers have ever got as far as ringing a quarter peal. Only about 12,000 ringers rang one or more quarter peals last year (Coronation year) out of an estimated 30,000 ringers.

    As a District Ringing Master I have been focussing on getting the newer ringers in my District up to the stage of tringing heir first quarter peal, and have 18 who have signed up for our regular fortnighltly Saturday morning ringing school to help them reach this stage. Demand is so high that we have increased the number of groups to three and now have a waiting list. These inexperienced ringers bring with them a lot of enthusiasm, and useful skills from their day jobs.

    As a member of ART I also regulalry receive requests from ringers from elsewhere who would like extra tuition as they are frustrated with progress in their local tower. They are willing and often expect to pay. Some have even paid quite a lot to attend residential ringing courses, and want more. It is perhaps no coincidence that last years NorthWest ringing course was three times over-subscribed for the elementry group, whilst the more advanced groups had almost as many applicants as places available.

    Therefore the evidence that I have seen is that rather than run things on a shoestring, the same as we have always done, there is a vast un-tapped group of people out there who could become more engaged and revitalise many of our towers, Guilds, Associations, Districts and Branches, by bringing with them their enthusiasm, fresh ideas and the resources needed to do things better.
  • John Harrison
    333
    I don't see the link between Member Mojo and the distribution of a grass roots newsletter. Guilds such as my own already have effective email distribution and communication mechanisms in place, at Guild and Branch level (in our case based on MailMan).
  • J Martin Rushton
    91
    Numbers are important though, the more members an association has the more weight they can exercise when local authorities or governmental bodies (and dare I suggest ecclesiastical ones?) are involved. The grass roots ringers that you mention though include, I fear, many who only ring at their own tower and who see no point in joining the association. Your quarter peal courses sound fantastic, but are irrelevant to someone who rings plain hunt by the bell numbers and regards methods as beyond them.
  • Lucy Chandhial
    51
    We have just moved to MemberMojo for Middlesex and one of the things I found, which surprised me slightly, is that I can’t easily email all members unless it’s about renewal of membership, unless we also use MailChimp or equivalent.
    So, I think, and I’m not yet an expert, that we couldn’t easily use this as a newsletter route (which is okay for Middlesex as we have a Google group for easy distribution of information to interested ringers (members or not).

    I do agree that some ringers aren’t told about the website and email list opportunities in their area and many are delighted when they realise there is support for their progression once they know that district or branch activity exists. It still feels valuable to get active members out and about to less interactive towers to meet the ringers and encourage them to check the website or join the mailing list, etc (even when it is not encouraged from within their tower).

    I wonder, maybe a rude question (!), whether CCCBR Reps should have more responsibility for sharing information to Association and Guild mailing lists, with a more personal reason to engage rather than the emails which say ‘I’ve been told to forward this to our members’ from a Secretary role with no active knowledge or involvement in the content shared.
  • John Harrison
    333
    can’t easily email all members unless it’s about renewal of membership, unless we also use MailChimp or equivalentLucy Chandhial

    Are you sure? We did a trial with MemberMojo and set up some rudimentary email lists with it. There were several shortcomings with the management and naming but it was definitely possible.
  • John Harrison
    333
    rather than the emails which say ‘I’ve been told to forward this to our members’ from a Secretary role with no active knowledge or involvement in the content shared.Lucy Chandhial

    I too dislike those messages, especially if they include lots of administrative padding before you get to the meat, but there are pros and cons. if everything goes to everyone then either they automatically get binned, or worse people opt out of being on the list. In a multi level organisation some messages need to go from top to bottom but not all do.
    In out Branch we have several different lists - officers, tower correspondents and members (and some towers have their own members lists). Some of what comes from the Guild (or the CC) is of relevance to officers and some to members so the secretary passes it on accordingly. Likewise some of what she sends is of interest to individual members and some to those managing towers.
    When ODG set up a communications working group (in 2006) one of the principles it established was that the best people to judge what to pass on where, and what to act in without passing on, we're those with local knowledge. They are best able to strike the balance to keep everyone informed (and interested) without overloading them or turning them off.
    The counter argument is the secretary who passes nothing on, the answer to people who don't do their job is not to be found in technological overkill.
    One of the attractive features of integrated mailing lists (as provided by systems like LoveAdmin, MemberMojo, etc) is that it is possible to have more specialised lists, with members opting in or out themselves. That's quite good for things like practice notices,where there is limited overlap between those who attend advanced practices and elementary ones, but less good for other things where there aren't such obvious divisions.
  • Roger Booth
    65
    The grass roots ringers that you mention though include, I fear, many who only ring at their own tower and who see no point in joining the association. Your quarter peal courses sound fantastic, but are irrelevant to someone who rings plain hunt by the bell numbers and regards methods as beyond them.J Martin Rushton

    I'm afraid that you're still missing my point. Whereas there are some grass roots ringers who only ring in their own tower, and not interested in doing more, there are many others who are keen to progress, but unable to do so. In my experience there have been a lot of people taking up ringing since Covid, especially last year, and they are very keen, but frustrated because they are held back in their own towers.

    If you still don't believe me, have a look at my wife's latest podcast on www.funwithbells.com where she interviews three of the ringers who learnt in our local ART Hub last year. Andy Pearce was one of those who previously rang in a call-change tower as a teenager, where the local band was not interested in ringing elsewhere, however he has really enjoyed ringing with us and is doing fantastically well progressing into method ringing. The band at his previous call change tower has died out, and it has been a silent tower for quite a few years now. He is far from unique, as we are often turning up lapsed ringers who are quite impressed how much rapid progress they can make in method ringing with the Learning the Ropes scheme.

    Another example is that in our Guild most of the Districts take turns in holding a practice at Winchester Cathedral in August. Last year each of these practices attracted between 50 and 70 ringers, mostly rounds and call change ringers, to gain the first experience of ringing rounds on 10, 12 and 14 bells. These pracctices were far better attended than the traditional fayre of Guild/Association/District/Branch practices and events.

    The point I am making is that in this day and age, if we could only communicate better with this group of new ringers, and make them aware of what is possible outside their own tower, we could have a far more vibrant ringing community. However I fear that if we sit back and do not adapt because of the tired old cliche that these people are not interested, these keen people are either likely to give up and do something else, or be ground down by the system and just be another ringer that only, at best, rings shalky plain hunt by numbers in their own tower. In doing so, we will be losing a lot of the more able recruits and potentially good method ringers.

    You can't tell these people what they want, and expect them to come to you, fit in with your existing offering, and join your Guild or Association. You need to listen to them, find out what they really want, and adapt to provide it. Then they will see the point and enthusiastically join and take part.

    “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning." - Bill Gates

    “If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.” — Tony Robbins
  • John de Overa
    362
    I've come across many grass roots ringers who are on the verge of giving up because the support that they receive is so backward. Only about 50% of ringers have ever got as far as ringing a quarter peal. Only about 12,000 ringers rang one or more quarter peals last year (Coronation year) out of an estimated 30,000 ringers.Roger Booth

    As a grass roots ringer at a tower that for longer than living memory was just CCs and shaky PH + cover, I can confirm all the points in your post. Also, whilst QPs are recorded and therefore one of the few observable yardsticks we have, there's still a big gap to be filled between CCs and QPs - people may not want to ring QPs but still aspire just to be able to ring plain courses of simple methods at practices and services - and of course, once some of them have broken through that barrier, they will go on to ring QPs. That's exactly what is happening at my home tower.

    The grass roots ringers that you mention though include, I fear, many who only ring at their own tower and who see no point in joining the association. Your quarter peal courses sound fantastic, but are irrelevant to someone who rings plain hunt by the bell numbers and regards methods as beyond them.J Martin Rushton

    My home tower was exactly that when I started - even PH was a stretch and nobody was in the association. Now everybody is in the association and everybody is working on ringing methods, albeit simple ones. That includes people who have been ringing CCs/PH for many decades. Why did that happen? Well, some of us "went abroad" and brought back ideas from courses, training days and more advanced towers. The breakthrough was when the band managed to ring an easy Minimus method in just a single practice. "Oh wow, so we can ring methods!" was the vibe. After that, people would come to practices with lines printed out and homework done, and there's been continued progress by the whole band since then.

    I think it's worth stressing that these were not new ringers who had hit a brick wall, they were long-term ringers who "regarded methods as beyond them". There's a significant number of such ringers who enjoy ringing but feel that they've reached their limits, but with the appropriate support could break out of their rut and start progressing again. The great advantage of helping that group is they are already committed to ringing - arguably even more so than people who make rapid progress!

    The point I am making is that in this day and age, if we could only communicate better with this group of new ringers, and make them aware of what is possible outside their own tower, we could have a far more vibrant ringing community. However I fear that if we sit back and do not adapt because of the tired old cliche that these people are not interested, these keen people are either likely to give up and do something else, or be ground down by the system and just be another ringer that only, at best, rings shaky plain hunt by numbers in their own tower. In doing so, we will be losing a lot of the more able recruits and potentially good method ringers.Roger Booth

    I agree, but I think the applicability is broader than just new ringers.
  • John Harrison
    333
    Whereas there are some grass roots ringers who only ring in their own tower, and not interested in doing more, there are many others who are keen to progress, but unable to do so but unable to progress ...Roger Booth
    In our experience new ringers are very keen, and will take up opportunities to progress if they are offered. It's the ones who are not keen to engage tend to be those who have been around for a god while without making much progress because they haven't had the opportunities.
    Our Branch elementary practices are heavily subscribed by people keen not to progress, and the same keen people are over represented at our general practices.
    Is it so surprising that someone investing time in taking up a new activity should want to progress? Not really. Is it surprising that anyone still doing something (out of duty or habit) in which they have not progressed should have adapted their expectations to cope with the reality? I don't think so.
    So the onus is on us to ensure new ringers have the opportunity and support to make progress, and become competent enough for it to be self fulfilling before the novelty and initial enthusiasm wears off.
  • Roger Booth
    65
    ...given that it is claimed that younger generations may no longer be interested in engaging with email.Jon Warbrick

    I don't know where this comes from, but is seems untrue. You cant do much on-line these days without an e-mail address, and the younger generation do most things on-line. However, it is true that they are not particularly keen on Facebook, preferring instead to use other forms of social media, whilst many of the older generation still prefer Facebook.

    Guilds such as my own already have effective email distribution and communication mechanisms in place, at Guild and Branch level (in our case based on MailMan).John Harrison

    So, I think, and I’m not yet an expert, that we couldn’t easily use this as a newsletter route (which is okay for Middlesex as we have a Google group for easy distribution of information to interested ringers (members or not).Lucy Chandhial

    One of the attractive features of integrated mailing lists (as provided by systems like LoveAdmin, MemberMojo, etc) is that it is possible to have more specialised lists, with members opting in or out themselves.John Harrison

    It seems that we have up to around 50 territorial ringing societies, all experimenting with different systems, but there is limited sharing of information between societies. There used to be a computer Coordination Committee. Is there now a Central Council Workgroup that could take this sharing role on? I am sure that societies would benefit from sharing the experience of other societies in setting up and using these systems.

    My original suggestion was just that a simple CCCBR newsletter be prepared centrally and circualted electonically by societies to their members a coulple times a year, just to inform grass roots ringers of some of things going on which may interest them (e.g. the new logo and branding, the new mobile belfry, residential courses, teaching hubs, young ringers and the YRCA, putting ringing on a more sustainble footing etc).

    Below this top level communication, there are various applications which societies can use to engage with their members such as Mailman, Mailchimp, Google Groups, Facebook groups, 'X' etc. Locally WhatsApp has become popular with a number of towers, and one of our new ringers who brings a lot of expertise in this field is helping us to move to Spond, which seems very well suited to our needs, both for our own local band and the District training sessions that we run.

    Different things inerest different people. Therefore, beyond the top level communication to everyone, which needs to be limited to just a few times a year and kept relevant in order to avoitd it becoming ignored (how many call-change ringers are interested in surprise practices?), there needs to be the flexibility to establish different groups for different interests, and these may also extend across traditional Guild/Association/District/Branch boundaries.

    However where can I access exprtise and find case studies of things that have worked, and which are the best systems to use. Also, just as important, what has failed, and why?
  • Stuart Palin
    14

    I do not believe such a newsletter would engage ringers o any useful extent. Biannually is too infrequent to be be current and "simple" is not likely to have the scope to provide something of interest to everyone.

    There is already a great deal of information and news applicable to just about all levels readily available on the internet, some of it even done by the CCCBR; but a lot of ringers are simply unaware of it or forget about it all too quickly.

    I have made a point of referencing such material with people I have recently taught and when I writ articles for our District Newsletter.

    I think it requires a great deal of effort from those at the coal face to keep publicising this information and reminding people where to look and to actually make use of the resources available. Those of us with little better to do than hang out on online forums between ringing events may be aware of the wide range of material that is available - but I believe that the vast majority of ringers have little awareness of it.

    The availability of useful training material online is a good way of getting new people more aware of the wider ringing community, but for most of them their primary interest will be how it immediately relates to their local tower ringing. Hopefully some will find areas of interest that align with their own personal interests, like history or maintenance work.

    I think that one of the challenges to learning new stuff is that some of the more technical stuff can be tricky to assimilate. I think that is an area where forums (such as this could be useful) - if we could get people to use them more. But many are quite nervous about asking questions in an open forum.
  • John Harrison
    333
    up to around 50 territorial ringing societies, all experimenting with different systems, but there is limited sharing of information between societiesRoger Booth

    I wouldn't describe what we've been doing successfully for the past 15 years as experimenting.
    However I would agree that sharing probably isn't ideal. One of the things the ODG communications working group recognised was the diffriculty of getting our branches to do things in the same way. We didn't even try to solve the problem for other societies. At the time ISTR there was quite a bit of sharing ideas on the ChangeRingers list, but in those days e-communication was still relatively novel - a lot of our members didn't have email so we had to develop systems to cater for those with and without. But now it's been routine for so long we just use it.
    See: http://odg.org.uk/sdb/services/#email and http://odg.org.uk/sdb/services/email.html
  • Peter Sotheran
    105
    Roger Booth makes a very valid point. Communication is the key to everything in the world of ringers.

    It is essential that the inexorable move to online commuication is pushed out to meet the widets audience. It can't rely on people remembering to check in with a local website or FB page in the hope of finding something of interest. I served two periods as Branch Chairman in the 1970s and 1990s but now I'm completely out of touch with what's going on and, with a coue of exceptions who are the committee members.

    Our Branch page on the YACR website is 5 years out of date - it fires out with the 2019 Newsletter! So that is of limited value. We have a couple of active PB/plain hunt towers whose news fills the branch FB page but we hear nothing from the majjority of the other 65 towers listed in the Branch.

    From my occasional visits to other towers, I get the impression that many of them don't feel any affinity with the branch. Is it for these towers to find the branch contacts and seek them out, or is it for the branch to adopt a 'evangelical' approach and try to draw them in?
  • Lucy Chandhial
    51
    @Peter Sotheran - From my occasional visits to other towers, I get the impression that many of them don't feel any affinity with the branch. Is it for these towers to find the branch contacts and seek them out, or is it for the branch to adopt a 'evangelical' approach and try to draw them in?

    I agree that this is true for some towers within most Associations and Guilds and I think the challenge is that the Officers who would need to do the evangelical outreach are volunteers with busy lives and a high level of existing commitment which makes it hard to also add visiting the less involved towers.
    So it does happen to some extent, in many Associations and Guilds, but it’s also useful to make it easy for ringers in these towers to find information and contacts if they want to look for opportunities.
    So keeping a website up to date, providing a place to make contacts through Facebook and sending an email to all members two or four times a year can help ringers in less connected towers to find connection to the Association or Guild.
    All of which requires input, time and commitment from core people within the Association.

    @Roger Booth made the point that often new ringers have lots of enthusiasm and are therefore willing to travel for opportunities to ring and wiling to support the Association or Guild to do more.
    I think sometimes we need to be more open about our needs within a Committee of Officers and ask for volunteers who can update the website, or visit less visited towers with news of the activities available and not worry that people who might volunteer to do this are not the most experienced ringers.
    I can imagine that simple introduction guidelines and ‘how to’ for these kind of activities could be made available on the CCCBR website to make it easier for someone to feel confident about tackling the five year out of date Association website or setting up a newsletter email which hasn’t been sent since pre-Covid times. Whilst every Association and Guild is different greater opportunities to share ways of doing things ought to be helpful if we are needing / wanting to grow the level of activity through new volunteers.
  • Roger Booth
    65
    I think sometimes we need to be more open about our needs within a Committee of Officers and ask for volunteers who can update the website, or visit less visited towers with news of the activities available and not worry that people who might volunteer to do this are not the most experienced ringers.Lucy Chandhial

    I think a lot of our problems in ringing in the moment are down to a lack of ladership at all levels. Old Fred who has been a tower captain, District/Branch or Guild/Association officer for 20, 30 or 40 years is applauded. They are not challenged, and they prove a very difficult act for anyone to follow. Everything becomes stuck in a rut, becuse we always do things that way, and people with fresh ideas are discouraged and put off.

    What we need are more maximum terms of service and contested elections. There are plenty of people who could take over. They might make mistakes to start with, but the old Fred's should be there in the background supporting them.

    It's quite a major culture change from where we are at the moment in many of our ringing organisations, and I'm pretty sure that a few simple introductory guidlines on a CCCBR website are not going to have the necessary impact. Reaching down to the grass roots, such as the RfK learners, and bypassing the 'gatekeepers' who are resistant to change is what we need to do.
  • Charlotte Boyce
    2
    I'm not sure another national newsletter is needed..Ringing World and ART already cover the national space.

    May I suggest you have a look at Ringing Round Devon which is the quarterly newsletter for Guild of Devonshire Ringers. It's focus is on reporting news of our ringing community. I think promoting a sense of community in ringing is the key to what a territorial society is about. People progess in ringing due to who they know so the key thing Branch Officers should do is know their members and provide opportunities for everyone to take part and get to know other ringers.

    https://devonringers.org.uk/guild/newsletters

    Perhaps a consideration to achieving a well run Branch is the size of a Branch membership and the geographical area it covers.
    I'd suggest the something manageable is approx 120 members and geographically 40 minutes to drive the length or width.
  • John Harrison
    333
    Ringing World and ART already cover the national space.Charlotte Boyce

    Yes, but a lot of ringers in that space don't receive either.
    promoting a sense of community in ringing is the key to what a territorial society is about. People progess in ringing due to who they know so the key thing Branch Officers should do is know thCharlotte Boyce

    Agreed.
bold
italic
underline
strike
code
quote
ulist
image
url
mention
reveal
youtube
tweet
Add a Comment

Welcome to your Ringing Forums!

If you would like to join in the conversation, please register for an account.

You will only be able to post and/or comment once you have confirmed your email address and been approved by an Admin.