The Yachtsman 2017-2018 Yachtsman 2014-2015 - Page 54

13_Yachtsman 2015.qxp_Yachtsman Magazine 19/08/2015 4:32 pm Page 54 Membership Membership Report By Robert Alder, Rear Commodore Membership The year has ended very positively, with a record 2057 members of the RPAYC as at the end of April 2015. Most pleasing was the change in trend in Full Members which increased from 422 to 425, along with continued growth in Youth members. The addition of 15 new Full Members from the total of 31 new members from the March Sail Expo weekend was a highlight of the year with the above results emerging from successful member strategies underpinned by our key focus on Membership Sustainability and Participation. Follow up of new members is a key priority for the Membership Committee, and all Committee members have been diligent in being available for the initial interviews required for all new members, and then calling new members within 6 months of them joining RPAYC. Feedback has been that an earlier call or email would be appreciated, so we will now call new members at the 3 month mark, and ask 4 simple questions: What yacht are you now sailing on at RPAYC?, Are you happy with your RPAYC experience so far?, Will you renew next year? and “Other” comments or suggestions for improvement? Feedback has been excellent from new members, with participation in sailing our continuing goal, as new members who participate tend to stay and become valuable long term members. Many useful comments and even some valuable criticisms from new members (who see things that we 30 year+ members take for granted) and offer suggestions for improvement based on their experiences elsewhere have been passed onto Management and our activity leaders and have been actioned for the benefit of all members. We have revised the interview form this year, and now offer mentor services to new members in accordance with their priority reasons for joining RPAYC. The crew experience program, trialled with the Thursday twilights, has now been successfully extended to the winter Saturday races. The current strategic plan emphasises growth and retention as the key strategies, so during March 2015 the Membership Committee met out of session with the intention of prioritising our goals, both short and longer term, recognising that a new Strategic Plan was about to be put in place at RPAYC. The goal of the Membership Committee is to contribute to the Plan’s success, and also devote our always too limited time as volunteers into areas that create and maintain member benefits for all members, both new and enduring, and for all categories of the RPAYC. Our main priorities for 2015/16 have now been agreed to be Participation, new 25-40 participating members, and looking at the future of 28-32 syndicated racer/cruisers, as many members see this as the future of keel boat sailing. A first ever RPAYC Participation Survey was sent to all berthing facility holders in late 2014, and with follow-up emails and phone calls from staff and committee members, an extremely pleasing response rate exceeding 50% was achieved. A further follow-up email was sent out by Russell Murphy and myself in March 2015 before the RPAYC General Meeting, acknowledging the wonderful response by members and promising that their feedback would be not forgotten and will be incorporated into our future plans for members. Our “New Member Evenings” were reduced from four to two, but with the same budget, so a larger