CDS Dressage Letters Oct 2020

CALIFORNIA DRESSAGE SOCIETY OCTOBER 2020 V. 26, I 10 What Does It Take To Build a Successful Chapter? Peggy Hosking Reprint Dressage Letters September 2008 Solid Core To have a successful chapter, you must have a solid core group who are motivated and dedicated.  You will not have a full board of motivated and dedicated people - especially not the first year.  You will be met with challenges - from debt to personality conflicts and everything in between.  If the core group is committed to the success of the chapter, they can put aside personal agendas and differences to work together.  Support One Another and Utilize Talents It is important for thecoregroup tosupport oneanother - regardless of being competitors, regardless of barn or breed affiliations and regardless of professional backgrounds.  Recognize the talents the various personalities bring to the table and make the most of them. For example, one of our board members is a regional sale manager of a pet food company.  She has a lovely, outgoing personality, is terrifically organized and she is tremendously professional. She visits retailers on a regular basis and has no qualms about asking people to sponsor the chapter.  She set our sights a little higher in terms of increasing sponsorship prices and clearly defining a sponsorship package. She also had a specific program she wanted to be involved with that was not previously on our radar. She was willing to take the rowing oar and the rest of us supported and helped her wherever possible. Our chapter chair is phenomenal at motivating, rewarding and encouraging people. So she ends up being our recruiter – especially of new volunteers. Be Transparent & Communicate Your core group and their decisions must be transparent - otherwise you give rise to all kinds of side deals, in fighting and cliques.  Your members should always be welcome to attend meetings unless there is a dire need for an executive session.  All board members should be included in decisions - even if you can’t get together for a meeting.  E-mail is a great way to do this.  Everyone is included in the decision and, an added bonus of e-mail is that we then can print the discussion to retain for minutes! Important decisions need to be communicated to your members (e.g. change in fees, change in entry procedures, etc.) - e-mail blasts and newsletters are invaluable for this. Let the members know who to contact with their concerns. If they have a question about the adult amateur clinic, asking the show manager is probably not very useful and it creates resentment on the part of the person working hard to put on the clinic. Take the opportunity to introduce the member to the clinic organizer. In this way, you’ve now introduced two members who might not have had another occasion to meet. Establishing lines of communication also becomes critical when you are working with committees. At our last show, the lines of communication were a little muddled. So, we fix this for the next show. CONTINUED ON PAGE 4