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A commitment we won't be making

Last night, Lisa and I went to an introductory meeting arranged by a local group, clearly looking to increase their membership - "Come and meet us and see who we are". They're a group with laudable aims, but somehow I found myself comparing their approach and technique to a time-share sale session (not that I've even been to one of those). I appreciated, really, knowing more about the group - I can now tell you that they have a worldwide organisation based in a tower block in xxxxxxx, a UK headquarters in yyyyyy, groups in our area in zzzzz and aaaaaaa, and that they specialise in fund raising for charity projects with supported examples including vvvvvvvvvv and wwwwwwwwwww. I personally felt that a president's introduction and an illustrated presentation was a reasonable level of information provision - could have done without some of the harder sell later on. And I do think they made a mistake by telling us that they had found us by buying the mailing list of a local business group's members so that they had material for their recruitment drive.

Membership isn't for us - or rather, it isn't for me. I was invited, with "and partner", and we both went. But it turns out that the group is all-male in Melksham; rules were relaxed a few years back to allow women to join, but in our area that's not happened. I wonder why - could it, perhaps, be because their very approach was to me and that Lisa was treated as an honoured and respected guest, yes, though the evening - but also as something of a fringe attendee. Apparently, the ladies of members are invited to attend alternate meetings.

Charity fund raising worries me in that I'm not always sure that the money raised reaches where the donor's told and intended. Too much gets lost in admin costs along the way, too much gets diverted to other projects / locations (some genuine) that really weren't part of the original plan, some gets used to fund projects that should be funded by government or employers (see the seepage of lottery funds in this country to projects that would have been government funded in the past), and some simply gets lost in greed, corruption and mis-management along the way. Sadly, that can even happen locally - we were tempted to help out with a 600 pound 'need' locally a year or two back but, frankly, got scared off when the fund needed rose to 1200 pounds then to 2000 pounds without any explanation. "This is a good way to make money - let's milk it" perhaps???

Neither can I commit to a further 2 evenings a month (they "only" meet fortnightly) with an annual fee in three figures and a cost of each meeting in two. I wondered what proportion of that is syphoned off by central admin. Oh - and 60% attendance is required by the constitution. As a club for retired gentlemen, who have plenty of spare time to socialise and go round with buckets asking people to give money, it works - clearly, it works as they have bbbbbbbbbb members worldwide. But I'm at the opposite end of time management, looking to find how I can make better use of what little I have.

Lisa and I decided it was a "no" in the car on the way home - actually, I think we had both concluded the same thing before we left. I've sent a thank you and good wishes to the group. Both wishes are genuine; it was indeed a fascinating evening, and may they be long lived and successful. But it's just not our style.
(written 2006-10-27, updated 2009-01-01)

 
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G502 - Well House Consultants - Business Practice
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This is a page archived from The Horse's Mouth at http://www.wellho.net/horse/ - the diary and writings of Graham Ellis. Every attempt was made to provide current information at the time the page was written, but things do move forward in our business - new software releases, price changes, new techniques. Please check back via our main site for current courses, prices, versions, etc - any mention of a price in "The Horse's Mouth" cannot be taken as an offer to supply at that price.

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