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Old February 3, 2011, 02:28 AM   #21
Dr. Strangelove
Senior Member
Join Date: August 1, 2008
Location: Athens, GA
Posts: 1,420
Originally Posted by Wucak
Right there you are displaying the attitude that I'm talking about. The guy who shoots once a year is contributing in a very positive manner. He is paying for the club but not putting any wear on it. He is not coming to the club governance meetings and starting arguments or trying to fight the board on every move. He is providing the most important support a club can have, financial. He is a net positive contributor. The guy who is active who shoots up the equivalent of 20 plywood backstops a year is, from a financial point of view, a net negative member (depending on your dues amount). He might do other things for the club but they are losing money by having him as a member. How many members can a club afford to lose money on and remain viable? The more active the member the more likely it is they are costing the club to have them as a member.

You have added 100 new members in the last year and now you have problems. Those problems are not caused by the long time shoot once a year members. They are caused by the new more active members. You need to examine your new member process to figure out how the bad actors are getting in.

Most people only have one gun club nearby. They join and then remain members for decades. Consider how the time someone has for the club will ebb and flow over that timespan. When someone first joins they might be young and single and able to spend lots of time at the club. Then they get married and have kids and don't have the time any longer. Then their kids grow and move out and they have time again and become more active in the club. It could also be that they just lose interest in shooting for a while. That happens. Do you take someone who has been a member for 30 years but now only comes to shoot once a year and toss them out to make a place for some new guy who after a couple of years is also only going to be there once a year? What happens when that new guy's wife loses her job and he has to take a second job on the weekends so he can no longer spend any time at the club. Do you toss him out because he's no longer "contributing in a positive manner"?

The question is if the place is intended to be a shooting club or a social club. Is it a free association club where you pay your dues and use it as much or as little as you wish or is there some minimum amount of time required to be spent at the club to remain a member?

In addition to the gun clubs I've also belonged to other volunteer groups. Most of the time there are about 10% of the people who are really involved in the running of the group, another 20% that can be counted on for some level of support in running the group, and the remaining 70% just want to be a basic contributor with no part in running the group at all.
I don't and didn't mean any offense. In the case of a purely commercial, for profit range, I absolutely agree with everything that you have to say. Even in the case of a mixed club/commercial property, you are still correct.

In our case, we are a small, not for profit, private club who relies on the membership to make things happen, and that's the way we want it to be. We have nice rifle and pistol ranges with covered benches built by members who have that skill. We have nice target frames and steel targets built by members who have those skills. We have two skeet fields and a clubhouse built and maintained by members with those skills. The grounds are maintained by members who have those skills. We have at least one match of some kind per month, conceived, staffed and scored by volunteer members. In short, we pay for very little outside work because our membership steps up and takes care of what needs to be done.

Older members are accommodated at our matches, and no one makes them feel out of place or like they are holding up the whole field. Currently, nothing is expected of our members except a check every year. I do understand the demands of modern life on people but frankly; if you can't make it to a couple of meetings a year, or shoot in a match or two, or do something else productive to the club, then we're better off if you join a commercial range.
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