This is our fifteenth year of publishing this DMC Newsletter! Amazing, but true. And in all those years we have remained faithful to our basic mission: DMC is all about helping Odd Fellow Lodges grow their membership. We do so by suggesting tried, tested and true methods of membership development. DMC does not accept as a “fact” that continued decline in our membership and the number of our Lodges is inevitable. We believe that fraternal life is viable for this and future generations. 

Some point to the steep decline in membership and diminution of Lodges in Odd Fellowship (and other fraternal orders) as evidence that the day of fraternities is over. DMC doesn’t accept that premise. While most of our Lodges show declines, we see that many of our Lodges are holding firm, and some of our Lodges even show booming membership. And in some countries – like the Philippines – membership is exploding. How can fraternal life be a thing of the past, when we presently see Lodges in growth-mode?

Suggestions for Growing your Odd Fellows Lodge

So, in today’s DMC Newsletter we will focus on three suggestions for YOUR Odd Fellows Lodge which may help you to grow. Let’s get to it.

  1. Some members seem to think that the job of bringing potential new members into the Lodge is someone else’s job. WRONG. The job of growing a Lodge’s membership is the first duty of each and every member. We can’t just rely on the Membership Committee Chair or Membership Committee Members to bring new blood into the Lodge. Membership Development is the job of each of us. Have YOU ever sponsored a member to join your Lodge? Surely, you know someone – a neighbor, a co-worker, a relative – who might enjoy the fraternal experience. 
  2. A fraternal order (including Odd Fellowship) will not bring in potential new members unless some value is offered those new members. Of course, I’m not talking about “value” in the pecuniary sense. The tenets of “Friendship, love, and truth” are critically important in the way we live our fraternal lives. But there is more. Value is a social network where members enjoy each other’s company, where the social aspects of fellowship are emphasized, and where the Lodge engages in projects that benefit members of the community. A Lodge that doesn’t do that, is ultimately a boring Lodge that will diminish over time.
  3. As we are on the lookout for potential new members, let’s be cognizant not only of today, but of tomorrow. It does the Lodge little good to bring in new members who are of the same age and generation as existing members. If a Lodge composed of septuagenarians brings in only new septuagenarians, that may be very nice for the existing members – but in 10 years, all members (still alive) will be octogenarians. The better approach is to bring in applicants who are about 10 years younger than their sponsors.

And let’s get specific.

In the next DMC Newsletter we will suggest 10 projects that your Lodge can consider to spice up your fraternal experience and to encourage new members to join and stay involved. They won’t all work for your Lodge, but some may. What do you have to lose?

F – L – T

Dave Rosenberg
Past Grand Master
Jurisdiction of California
Independent Order of Odd Fellows

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