[NAFEX] Membership, focus, journals, etc...the face of NAFEX

Jolyn jolyn at tctwest.net
Tue Feb 12 16:35:38 EST 2008

I agree with your well written comments and would like to add that I believe 
that the cost of the NAFEX membership is NOT out of line.  I also think that 
this list should be restricted to members only if possible.  There are many 
who will not join if all this information is available on the internet.
JE in Montana
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "mangodance" <bmn at iglou.com>
To: "North American Fruit Explorers" <nafex at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Tuesday, February 12, 2008 12:45 PM
Subject: Re: [NAFEX] Membership, focus, journals, etc...the face of NAFEX

>A few words:
> I would not be in favor of broadening the scope of interest to
> worldwide.  While worldwide, there may be folks who might be interested
> in NAFEX, to change the scope so drastically is to become another
> organization.  My question would be, how would we differ from other
> like-minded organizations?  We may have a declining membership, but when
> you change the focus of the organization, how many more would we lose?
> INGA might be able to gain more out-of-state members by going
> national...but how would it be different from NNGA?  The identity of an
> organization is not something with which I'd be cavalier.
> re: online journals:
> I am a fan of online distribution.  However, to send something the size
> of Pomona in email would be prohibitive.  I have had the discussion with
> board members to make it available online.  This is a seed of a
> discussion however.  BTW, I've also had the discussion of making the
> archives digital as well.  Again...this discussion is in its infancy and
> a LOT of work would be involved.
> My general thoughts about organizations:
> This organization, like nearly every other organization to which I
> belong, seems to be traveling the same path.  As an organization, we're
> aging.  That's good from the standpoint of having expertise and
> knowledge, but without looking at recruitment, we slip.  Recruitment and
> marketing are easy to mention, but harder to accomplish.  Let's face
> it...nobody likes marketing.  We'd all rather spend our time outdoors
> playing with trees.
> A friend of mine thinks the opening of the internet is responsible for
> the decline of group memberships.  I think this may be stretching a
> coincidence.  I think as groups age, they tend to lose elders and/or
> workers...those which have wider spheres of influence and outreach.
> These gaps are not well or easily filled many times.  I think groups
> also tend to not get the word out effectively...marketing and PR.
> Because I think the website is the single greatest marketing tool for
> the organization, I've been trying to gather in the website so we can
> make changes discussed months ago.  Once it is done, the site needs
> major work.  In order to get to folks:
> 1) you need to give them a place to go...and have that place listed
> everywhere.
> 2) once you pull folks into the site, you have to feed them...CONTENT is
> greatly needed
> 3) we have a LOT of real expertise...not to mention about the
> friendliest folks you'd ever want to meet.  we need to make it/them more
> accessible.  people won't join a society if they don't think it will
> help them.
> 4) We have a huge archive.  Some of it can be used for #2.  However,
> there SHOULD be benefits to membership.  That means a members only area.
>   Such an area could include the entirety of the archives, Pomona
> distribution, message board system, database of holdings, etc.
> etc....This side is limitless and useful as all getout.  This, among
> other things, can be a benefit of membership.
> Don't get me wrong, NAFEX has fantastic people doing terrific work.  But
> an eye needs to be directed towards longevity, recruitment, marketing,
> and adding value to membership.  Once one is a member, it is clear that
> there is real intrinsic value in membership.  However, communicating
> something like that is difficult.
> SALES:  The website, once we get things turned around, should have an
> aggressive branding program.  Each time someone wears a hat, T-shirt,
> etc. with a NAFEX logo, the name of the journal, and/or the website on
> it, you have an ambassador.
> WRITERS: There are many among you who write fantastically.  Many of you
> have done so for Pomona selflessly.  May we call upon you still for
> website content, Pomona content, and even articles for other
> publications wherein you mention NAFEX, Pomona, etc?
> Flyers - I'm working on a NAFEX flyer that will be available on the
> website.  If members would be willing to print them and distribute, it
> might help tremendously.  Possible locations for distribution are
> meetings, local extension offices, shows, fairs, etc.
> I guess the point I'm trying to make is that each of us can do a little
> something without making a huge time commitment and still have an impact
> on the health of NAFEX.  We don't all have the expertise of the
> long-time orchardists/members here, but we can all do a little bit.
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