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Guilds and Membership Organizations 

Attending the session were: Dana Singer with SNAG, Cornelia Carey with CERF, Cathy Finnegan with International Society of Glass Beadmakers, Alice Merritt with TACA, Andrew Glasgow with the Furniture Society, Carla Dillman with Guild.com, Linda Van Trump with CODA, Donna Vacquer with  NW Crafts Alliance, Mary Lacer with Wood turners Society, and Marti Dart with Cleveland Economic Development.

Topics that the group believed warranted discussion include: growth, partnerships, boards of directors, funding, membership forums, retail outlets, membership, and outreach, and websites.

Discussion of Member Organization budgets.  Range was from 40K/yr to over 1 million/yr.

Major Discussion on the impact of technology and websites. Using the round table form, each group member explained how their website was designed and maintained.

Dana – Their first website was written in 2001 by a volunteer. That is now a paid position

Andrew – Their website is manned by 7 volunteers and one full time person

The importance of a member organization having a website, how important it it to keep the site up to date, and the fact that the website should work for the organization.  The group agreed that a website doesn’t need to be pretty but needs to be fast, easy, and easy to change.

Cathy – they have volunteer webmasters who police the site.

The group agreed that in forums, people should post their names and register their names. Rules for the forum should be posted. It was also agreed that the organization through its website and communication should have one voice. It was also agreed that all information to members should go by email, regular mail and or a call. Each organization should require its board to check email daily.

Polling membership electronically was discussed along with survey software and companies who perform this service.

Discussion about board of trustees.  How important communication is within the structure of the board as well as between director and board.

Discussion point was about collaborating with other organizations on projects in order to accomplish larger endeavors.


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