If you’re like most, probably not.
Or, like some, enjoy more time sitting around complaining about the group-member organization (GMO), and all the things it doesn’t do for you as a rider and competitor.
Four years ago I decided it was not going to be the route I took, and since then have slowly increased involvement at a local chapter level as much as can.
Starting from small opportunities as a demo rider on a few occasions, growing to scribing at shows, helping during the L-program, attending educational events, and volunteering at the rated show our chapter puts on.
Already a member of two other committees and afraid of getting stretched too thin, I still got a little more involved this year and now attend our chapter’s monthly Board of Directors meeting.
Without holding a secretary or treasurer title. That was simply too time consuming for this year.
You know you can do this too, right?
If you feel that you have just any extra time and energy and would like to apply it as a driving force at your local chapter (not only dressage, any equestrian discipline you belong to.) they will probably be very welcoming to the extra help!
Now, our local chapter could use a boost financially. It is a very large chapter with some 200 members give or take, but for 2017 there’s some heavy fundraising to do. (NOT my strength.)
Here’s where you come in!
I’d love to hear what your own chapter has done to “help itself” in the past. Not just with raising funds, but with generating, and keeping volunteers. Or creating a specific event. Any comments will be helpful!
Jennifer O. Bryant shared ideas from the 2016 Annual Convention in her article “GMO Learning at the USDF Convention” in the March 2017 USDF Connection edition.
Here are just a few:
- Rewarding volunteers with vouchers for a half or full day of volunteering. The vouchers can be spent on anything the chapter is part of such club organized shows, clinics, or logo apparel.
- Giving volunteers special local chapter logo items, think caps, shirts, visors, to use at events. Doubles up not only as a Thank You to volunteers, but also creates awareness around the club as a vibrant and active chapter and volunteers can also easier be seen at the event for participants.
- Offering first consideration to past or present board members to a special educational grant. Great incentive to get people involved and willing to shave off some more of their horse and family time to serve on the board.
- Creating an “off beat” event for fund-raising, other than shows and educational events. A GMO in Texas had a Mystery Barn Tour with a little help from vans and chauffeurs. Wine, cheese, and red carpet-style tours of three secret destinations; a breeding farm, a rehab facility and a fancy dressage barn!
Chime in with your thoughts on this! Have ideas? Want to mention something your club did in the past? All ears over here! Hello?