Monday, December 19, 2011

Give the Gift of FGS

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.

Doug wrote:
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.)"

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