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Renewal Time

Many of the genealogy societies operate on a calendar year for their memberships. We are sending in our dues, but how many others will do the same?

I belong to several clubs, and many have struggled to attract new members in recent years. If people do not join, the future of these organizations is in jeopardy.

From information I have seen in their newsletters, I think most of my associations may be in trouble:

  1. Colorado Genealogical Society: This group seems to have plenty of members, but recruiting volunteers presents a problem. Both the President and the Vice-President resigned for family reasons this year, and it feels like the club is limping along. We are back to meeting on Zoom where people cannot interact and feel like part of a group. They do have a lunch bunch where people can meet in person.
  2. Highlands Ranch Genealogical Society: This club has half the membership it did when I joined several years ago. We lost our meeting space at the local library but finally found a stable location at the LDS church. The club is trying to get people engaged with special interest groups like DNA study and Germanic genealogy.
  3. Colorado Palatines to America: Many of our members live out of state, and we do not know one another. We do not have regular meetings, only twice-yearly seminars. People do not step forward as leaders, and this club may fold next year. Other state chapters have closed.
  4. W.I.S.E.: This British research club has a full slate of officers this year. They use aggressive tactics to recruit help, and it seems to work. They, too, offer activities beyond their regular meetings. Next month they will have a fun-sounding holiday party.

No club can run without volunteers. The Colorado Council of Genealogical Societies tried last month to address the problem by providing free training in society management. I heard they had good attendance, so perhaps we will see some new faces in the leadership ranks.

My husband/tech advisor and I serve as editors for the Palatines newsletter. I am a past board member for the Colorado Genealogical Society. Doing these jobs has allowed me to meet other like-minded people and has given me a purpose.

In these days where loneliness and alienation have become such a problem, I wish more people would join civic these organizations. They provide real value to our society, and the work offers personal fulfillment. You can find a local club for general genealogy or one that focuses on your ethnic interest.

Take a chance and step up!

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