Magazine article The American Organist

From the Executive Director

Magazine article The American Organist

From the Executive Director

Article excerpt

Whan that Aprili with his shoures soote

The droghte of March hath perced to the roote,

And bathed every veyne in swich licour

Of which vertu engendred is the flour . . .

Prologue to The Canterbury Tales

Geoffrey Chaucer

SPRING is upon us. It is a time for growüi, a season when the sweet showers of April drench the dry roots from March, bringing forth new flowers. April is a time of expectations, a time to engender new thoughts and novel ideas. With that in mind, I offer a sampler of eight goals that we might consider nurturing, so that they can help the Guild put forth new shoots and flourish.

1. Implement the National Collection of Dues. With the installation of a new database at AGO Headquarters, it is time to give renewed thought to relieving chapter registrars and treasurers from the burden of collecting dues and remitting the appropriate portions for each member to National Headquarters using sticky labels and dues reports. Turn this chore over to Headquarters, and let the national office provide this service to our chapters using the new technology now available to our organization.

2. Create a New Membership Category for Institutional Members. Why not let churches, synagogues, organbuilders, and music schools become institutional members of the Guild. This idea, recently suggested by Roy Roberts, would provide a means to enlarge the breadth and scope of the Guild. A special benefits package could be developed for these institutional members. Those who employ organists could pay dues that could cover the costs of their individual members' dues as well, and they could receive special discounts on TAO advertisements, online job postings, and convention registration fees among other benefits.

3. Develop Online Tutorials to Support the Certification Examinations. We've talked about it, now it's time to do something about it. Let the first downloadable tutorials the AGO creates be designed to help candidates prepare for the Service Playing exam, the most popular of our certification program.

4. Establish a "Concierge" for Chapter Members. This is a program to be instituted at the chapter level. Identify one experienced person in the chapter to serve as the "go to" person for all member inquiries. Neither the Dean nor the Membership Chair, this individual can help a member understand the chapter's resources and program of activities; access its Web site; or help direct the person to a volunteer or staff person at AGO National who can be of assistance.

5. Engage a Marketing Expert. I like this idea for chapters and for National Headquarters. Management guru Peter Drucker has written that nonprofits must learn to market themselves if they are to survive and grow. Few nonprofits do it well. …

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