Hi readers. This is Paula Stuart-Warren, a member of the FGS Board of Directors. I really enjoy listening to the FGS My Society Radio Shows. In the live chat room during a recent show, Doug Williams of Illinois made a terrific suggestion. He gave permission for me to share his idea with readers. Doug suggested we give a gift membership in the Federation of Genealogical Societies to our society if they aren't a member. It's not that expensive! It would make a perfect Hanukkah, Christmas, or society anniversary gift. Memberships run on a calender year basis. Click here for details. It's as low as $35.00 for a society of 50 members or less and only $115.00 for a society of 1000+ members. Memberships may be done online or by regular mail. We will let you know if his society joins with his contribution.
Listening to the December 10th FGS radio show, and participating in the chat room conversation, I couldn't help but think that FGS provides great resources and services for genealogical societies. I knew that local Illinois societies are active FGS members, but wasn't sure about my hometown society. Not finding them on the FGS membership list I thought that perhaps gifting a membership to FGS might be a way to encourage them to "give it a try" and see what FGS has to offer them. My hope is that the society leadership would become aware of the excellent resources available to the society as a member of FGS, including subscriptions to the FGS FORUM, conference attendance, and the many FGS resources offered to help with society organization and management; for example, access to the Society Strategy Papers and the Bylaws, Newsletter, and Website Review Committees. After seeing all the benefits available, I wonder if there might be other societies who might benefit from a gift membership to FGS. Even those societies that are already FGS members might appreciate the budgetary assistance received from a contribution earmarked for FGS membership renewal. Seems like a great way to promote FGS and help enrich a society at the same time!
My personal history of financial contribution to a genealogical society? Many times during the past 10 or so years, when renewing my membership with [my hometown society], I've added an additional amount as a contribution to the society in excess of the $15 annual dues. Sometimes it's been another $10, sometimes more, depending on the state of my personal finances at year's end. I've never stipulated how they use the contribution but I believe they've used it mostly for the society library's needs. Most years I've received a nice note from the society leadership thanking me for the donation.
This year my contribution will be a little bit more, probably $100, which should more than cover the FGS membership fee for the [society name]. With my contribution check I will include a note repeating much of the above, along with a copy of the FGS Benefits of Membership information from the FGS website, and a blank copy of the FGS Membership Form. (I'll let you know, Paula, if I receive a response from the society.)"