Iain Calder - TFN board candidacy

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Increase number of active members

To increase our paying membership, we must strengthen our advertising efforts.  Until last spring, TFN was doing almost zero active advertising.  We still have a long way to go.

Over the summer months, I analyzed the effectiveness of our member recruitment methods for the past 7 years.  I reported my detailed findings to TFN's executive director.  Here are some useful facts: our financially contributing members say that they heard about us from:

41%  word-of-mouth
28%  Internet (web engine searches)
17%  poster/ print/ broadcast

These numbers are not reliable but they are the best I have coaxed out of our database, so far.  Also, we did almost zero print advertising for years, so the low return in that area proves little.  But I do believe that, broadly, these trends are true.

We also have a huge number of dormant members — almost fifty thousand people.  We could try to contact them, and encourage them to return.  Yes, this amounts to telemarketing.  Locating them will be hard work too, since much of the contact info has changed in the ensuing decade and a half.  I do not know what the success rate would be in soliciting dormant members to switch back to TFN services from whatever they are using now.  But these people have, at least, heard of TFN.

All these things require resources.  Money is a factor (and we have very little), but people are also necessary to make all this happen.