General Category > Club Leadership & Organization

Dealing with Club Growth

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dbeechum:
So, one of the things that struck me out of our panel on Saturday was the number of clubs out there dealing with the issues of fantastic growth. Going from 10 to 50 members, etc. Let's talk about what sort of challenges that clubs will face

There are a number of issues with this that I can think of:

1) Meeting places - where to meet now that you have that many more folks
2) Dues - collecting them?
3) Structuring - how organized, how loose?
4) liability
5) The whole "brewers" vs. "drinkers" debate.

In the Falcons we've dealt with #5 for a long time and for a while some folks wanted to have a way to require that you be a brewer to be a member. For us though we have a number of older members who are active, helpful and awesome and who just don't have the time for brewing. To us it didn't seem fair or very warm and friendly to tell them to get grab a kettle or go take a hike. Ultimately that got incorporated into our newest bylaws (Maltose Falcons Bylaws) and the purpose statement of the club:

The purpose of the MALTOSE FALCONS HOME BREWING SOCIETY shall be to encourage all members:
To mature as brewers and beer enthusiasts;
To promote the dissemination of knowledge in the art of brewing;
To encourage and reward individuals dedicated to the brewing arts;
To educate the beer connoisseur in identifying the components of beers;
To foster the responsible use of the products of our craft; and
To celebrate the fruits of our labors.
 

weithman5:
i have been struggling with joining a club for growth reasons. there are two in my area. one has grown very quickly and on their website they talk about the number of members. to me it is already to big and busy.  good for them but i like smaller crowds. one of the others i emailed - club closed to new members.  growing pains abound

tschmidlin:
You can always start your own . . . find a couple of brewers you like and just start meeting.  You're a club.

Register on the AHA site too though, it can help people find you.

weithman5:
i have thought about that. especially as i have found a good 8-10 people in my area that are not members of any club.  of course, some live in the neihborhood and it is easy to just get together and bs.

dbeechum:
Don't laugh, but that's a pretty good foundation on which to build the basics. Naturally over time, if you want the organization to become self-sustaining there'll need to be both growth and incorporation of new members into the group. Otherwise things will just die off whenever you grow bored or enough of your neighborhood members do.

Also, as you define your club's culture think long and hard about not setting it up as in opposition to the larger club.

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