New club meeting in 10 days...trying to decide 'what' to do...

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New club meeting in 10 days...trying to decide 'what' to do...

Post  Todd Ellis on Thu Sep 09, 2010 12:57 am

I am gearing up for the new bonsai club to have its first meeting on 9/18/10. I plan to bring some trees for show and tell. I have a couple which need pruning and will demonstrate some clip and grow techniques. I plan to set up some tables and chairs. I will have a sign in sheet to get names, contact information, email addresses. I don't know how to bring up "do we want to have dues?" "do we need officers?", how do I solicit volunteers aside from asking "who will volunteer?"
I am hoping these things will be easily sorted out. But I realize that some planning is needed as well. Does anyone have some advice to share about setting up a club? I can handle money, but prefer not to. I guess if the club really gets going, we will need a bank account, By-Laws, membership categories, newsletter. My experience with clubs was with "already established clubs"; the logistics and flow was already created. (cold feet???) affraid
...I'll take a deep breath.. ahhhhh!

Todd Ellis
Member


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Re: New club meeting in 10 days...trying to decide 'what' to do...

Post  Mike Jones on Thu Sep 09, 2010 8:37 am

Todd, it needs someone to run the club, someone else to be the treasurer and a secretary to make sure everyone is notified of events, locations, timings etc. Allow non members to attend a couple of times and then ask if they wish to pay to join or not as the case may be.

Yes a bank account, and with the very small funds involved no audited accounts should be required although I am not familiar with your own laws on this. Generally as long as a third party rubber stamps it annually it should be fine. Contact details are vitally important and next of kin should also be included on the membership form with contact details...sadly you never know what may happen to a person while attending a club meeting and should the worst occur then you do have someone to contact.

Again, if someone has specific medical needs this can be included so you know what to do in the event of problems arising...on this basis you will have discharged your duty of care to each member...sorry to sound a bit clinical but it needs saying.

In the UK we have what is known as Public Liability Insurance...you should have a similar thing available to you. This covers all third parties in the event of a problem occurring at a show, or elsewhere the club is involved in.

OK that is the bare bones of the boring stuff. What I would say is go all out to make new members feel worthwhile and do try to involve them. Sometimes splitting into groups for a workshop mixes basic skills with intermediate and advanced...this way the new members with little knowledge can actually have a go under the close eye of more experienced members.

Arrange a raffle, sell tickets, ask members to donate prizes each month and that will help swell club funds. You can have critiques whereby members bring a tree that causes much scratching of heads and offer suggestions. General workshop nights are good to hit on wiring, shapes, species, pots, how to repot and so on.

Occasionally a member will bring in a tree to sell, this is a good way for members to purchase trees, sometimes a raffle is the fair way or a quasi-auction style sale is also a good one.

Contact Nurseries to see if they will offer you a club discount and arrange an outing to the/a nursery.

Social nights at a members house is also beneficial and it includes partners as well so does at least mean the partner knows who the member is talking about.

There is much more but I have waffled on quite enough. Others will offer further suggestions.

Final words of advice then....DO NOT forget to have some fun.

Mike

Mike Jones
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Re: New club meeting in 10 days...trying to decide 'what' to do...

Post  MC24 on Thu Sep 09, 2010 7:43 pm

busy hands are happy hands

MC24
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Re: New club meeting in 10 days...trying to decide 'what' to do...

Post  Mike Jones on Thu Sep 09, 2010 8:02 pm

C'mon guys n gals, surely someone has some further suggestions for Todd?

Mike

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Re: New club meeting in 10 days...trying to decide 'what' to do...

Post  Jay Gaydosh on Thu Sep 09, 2010 8:27 pm

Sorry, I was napping! Sleep

Ask yourself some basic questions:

First, do you have others in your vicinity who are already interested in forming this club?

Have you gotten together with him/her/them to discuss moving forward?

Have you talked to local nurseries /department and hardware stores and others who sell retail nursery and garden stock to determine if they are interested in supporting the effort and how deep will they go?

Are there any "experts" available to run workshops? (Interest rocks, but experience rolls!)

Where is the closest neighboring club? Would they be willing to make a road trip to help you get started?

Do you have a place to meet in mind? Local park district, nursery, school?

Have you given yourself(s) sufficient time to plan an open house?

NEXT:

Decide if you start this in someone's back yard or at a facility to be used for scheduled meetings.

Will this be a mini show, a demonstration, a workshop?

Will it be by invitation only, by RSVP or open to the public (or all of the suggested)?

Set a day/time for the "open house" (however planned).

Create a flyer for your event and plaster it EVERYWHERE! (Ask for RSVPs so you can plan for the expected size of the gathering.)

Start easy and enjoyable.

Hook'em before you gut'em! (Make sure they are in before asking them to do WORK!) If they aren't committed, they won't last long.

Consider talking to local schools about doing introductory sessions for youtes (it never hurts to get the kids involved.)

Once going , try to find a few simple ways to raise some capital. You shouldn't need much, especially at first, but a little goes a lot farther than NOTHING!

(A note on fundraising, the groups I belong to, for some reason like to spend all their own money at our own fundraisers. This is STUPID! If you all want to pony-up and create a slush fund, save yourselves the time, headaches and accouting, skip the fundraiser and just dig deep! The grand purpose of holding a funraiser is to fund your organization by PICKING SOMEONE ELSE'S POCKETS! ThumbsUp Sorry, it is a personal soapbox of mine!)

Sorry, that's all I can think of right now... I need to rest up and regain my strength, all this brainstorming has left me exhausted! Sleep

Jay Gaydosh
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Re: New club meeting in 10 days...trying to decide 'what' to do...

Post  gman on Thu Sep 09, 2010 9:36 pm

Hey Todd. Looks like you have lots to think about from the others............so not much to add....however here's a short summary from a small club (aprox 20 active paid members - only 12 out to last nights meeting) that is less than years old.
We charge a fee of $20/year - [to pay for the meeting hall (and to buy some basic stuff - reistration to PNBCA, wire etc)] but only after the person has shown some keen interest (min. 3 monthly meetings). We do have a chair person who sends out a brief agenda/meeting minutes, the chair paerson also takes care of the $, we haven't registered our club or set up a bank account so for the most part we are low key and the members like it that way. We've got a core of about 8 members who are the fuel the club needs to keep things moving and fresh.
If you'd like to review anything else fell free to pm me and good luck.
Cheers Graham

gman
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Re: New club meeting in 10 days...trying to decide 'what' to do...

Post  Todd Ellis on Fri Sep 10, 2010 3:03 am

Thank you for your suggestions. Mike, Jay, Graham and MC24. this "first meeting" is my attempt to get interested people together to meet and talk bonsai. I will have some material to demonstrate some techniques in case someone wants to know how. I also suggested for people to bring trees for advice and & show and tell.
I talked with a local plant store who has a small room and invited us to hold meetings there. They said we could meet there at no charge. Then if the club GROWS, we could find another space. I posted at all of the nurseries and plant stores I know of and submitted announcements to the local weekly community news papers.
I have probably talked to at least 25 people; nurseries, Craig's list, work, local hangouts, etc, plus the flyers and announcements.
I will plan to enjoy whatever takes place; large or small or in between. It could end up being a backyard group, or grow into a large active club. I talked with a man today who owns an orchid shop who said he has a friend who use to work at the New York Botanical Garden with Yuji Yoshimura. He apparently has a bonsai collection and lives near Charlottesville. I hope he will contact me. I am intrigued to say the least. Salut!

Todd Ellis
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Re: New club meeting in 10 days...trying to decide 'what' to do...

Post  Kev Bailey on Fri Sep 10, 2010 9:51 am

Hi Todd, you have received lots of sound advice. It sounds like you are doing all the right things. Best of luck with establishing your new club. Keep us updated with progress and ask if you run into any difficulties.

_________________
“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.” - Charles Darwin.

Kev Bailey
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Re: New club meeting in 10 days...trying to decide 'what' to do...

Post  Todd Ellis on Fri Sep 10, 2010 1:48 pm

Thanks, Kev!

Todd Ellis
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Re: New club meeting in 10 days...trying to decide 'what' to do...

Post  Todd Ellis on Fri Sep 10, 2010 1:49 pm

Thank you, MrKnaughty.

Todd Ellis
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Re: New club meeting in 10 days...trying to decide 'what' to do...

Post  Mike Jones on Fri Sep 10, 2010 2:00 pm

Todd Ellis wrote:Thank you, MrKnaughty.

That one sadly is spam, duly reported though.

Mike

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Re: New club meeting in 10 days...trying to decide 'what' to do...

Post  pootsie on Fri Sep 10, 2010 4:40 pm

I'm just guessing that you can hold off on many of the formalities until they are needed. No need for a treasurer until you have money, no money until collected, and no reason to collect until you have something to spend it on. Volia!-- money problems solved!

As for insurance, most club activities are covered by the insurance of the place meetings are held, so no need to worry about that, either. (I have dealt with U.S. insurance law a lot in my work.)

I say focus on "what to do," and "how to get there" will come naturally.

pootsie
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Re: New club meeting in 10 days...trying to decide 'what' to do...

Post  Mike Jones on Fri Sep 10, 2010 9:19 pm

pootsie wrote:I'm just guessing that you can hold off on many of the formalities until they are needed. No need for a treasurer until you have money, no money until collected, and no reason to collect until you have something to spend it on. Volia!-- money problems solved!

As for insurance, most club activities are covered by the insurance of the place meetings are held, so no need to worry about that, either. (I have dealt with U.S. insurance law a lot in my work.)

I say focus on "what to do," and "how to get there" will come naturally.

Hi Pootsie

Like I said in my post, I was not sure on insurance in the States so thank you for the correction. I was of course making reference to outside the main meeting place for activities that may benefit by a third party policy.

All the best

Mike ThumbsUp

Mike Jones
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Re: New club meeting in 10 days...trying to decide 'what' to do...

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Mon Sep 13, 2010 1:28 am

Have you looked at the BCI website http://www.bonsai-bci.com/products.html#anchor1287948
They have an inexpensive booklet on starting a club. You may not get it in the mail in time now, but it should still be helpful.

Billy M. Rhodes
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Re: New club meeting in 10 days...trying to decide 'what' to do...

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Mon Sep 13, 2010 1:30 am


"How to Start and Maintain a Bonsai Club"

A 28 page, 8 1/2 x 11 inch, spiral bound booklet. Includes sections on information about BCI, suggestions for starting a bonsai club and keeping it going, incorporation, BCI services, sample bylaws, newsletters, dues record cards, membership cards and program for the first year. $5.00 + $2.00 s&h.

"Handbook of Program and Activity Ideas for Bonsai Clubs"

A 60 page, 8 1/2 x 11 inch, spiral bound booklet which includes information on planning a program, presenting slide and video programs, listing of many program ideas for clubs as well as a listing of many activities for clubs, considerations in sponsoring a public exhibition of bonsai, ways and means activities, club bulletins and newsletters, an outline for a child's bonsai workshop and a bonsai basic teacher's guide. $10.00 + $2.00 s&h. (Click on the above title to see an introduction and a table of contents.)

These excellent publications are designed to help you get your club started -
and to keep it going with a variety of program ideas and activities.

Order from:

David Radlinski
5996 Woodview Lane
Milford, Ohio 45150
Phone 513-831-6931
Fax 513-831-3723
E-mail: dgradski@aol.com

Billy M. Rhodes
Member


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Re: New club meeting in 10 days...trying to decide 'what' to do...

Post  Todd Ellis on Mon Sep 13, 2010 2:54 am

Thanks Billy!

Todd Ellis
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Re: New club meeting in 10 days...trying to decide 'what' to do...

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