​By now, virtually everyone in Odd Fellowship recognizes the fact that we need to bring in new members as a bulwark against the natural losses incurred when older members move away, drift away or pass away.

One of the best ways to evaluate your Lodge and to analyze your program of bringing new members into the Lodge is to actually get direct input from those new members. Does your Lodge do that? Do you ask the new members to give you feedback on their experience? On the process? On the initiation? On the Odd Fellows Lodge?

You can learn a great deal that can help you in the future. Following, for example, is an email written by one of the newer members of my own Lodge, analyzing and evaluating the process he went through, leading to initiation and membership in the Lodge (one of the requirements we impose is that the applicant interview members – using a set list of questions – so that they to know one another). I won’t reveal the name of the writer, nor the names of any of the members he mentioned. But you may find this evaluation interesting and informative.

F – L – T

Dave Rosenberg
Past Grand Master
Jurisdiction of California

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Hi Dave,

I am very much looking forward to contributing more to the lodge. I have already volunteered for the ——- event. I am very impressed with the Davis Lodge and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows (I.O.O.F.). Also, I want to put in a word for my sponsor —–. Without my having known him for many years and having been impressed with how much he cares about and puts into the community and other groups in the community I may never have discovered upon this opportunity. He introduced me to the Lodge by inviting me to the Thursday night lodge event. I had a great time there but more importantly I got a real sense that this Lodge and the members I encountered and interacted with and the activities that the Davis Lodge were carrying out showed to me that this is an organization that doesn’t just talk the talk but actually “walked the walk.” In fact, by the second or third meeting I actually introduced a new friend to the Davis Lodge and I understand that he is going to pledge in the next class this year. However, it all began with knowing —– and seeing how in many different situations he really lives the principles.

I also want to mention —–‘s insights regarding overall I.O.O.F. declining membership outside of Davis, his article on this trend and how to reverse it and that analysis, and ideas are of great importance and significance beyond the Davis Lodge, the I.O.O.F. as a whole but also to many community based and social organizations, events, neighborhoods and our society as whole.

During my interview process, I made it a point to talk to interview some new members who were early in their membership as well as long term Lodge members. What I came away with is that for many Lodge members, old and new, the Davis Lodge is a very important part of their social life and that they very much missed the Lodge’s regular activities during the COVID shutdown. Social isolation and loneliness is an increasingly widespread problem, not just among elderly people, but in many other populations and segments in our society. It is impacting a range of areas such as depression, mental health, growth of extremism and the serious social divisions in our society.

I’m looking forward to making contributions to the Davis Lodge and the overall I.O.O.F. in the future.

Thanks,

—–

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