Stillagaumish Valley Genealogical Society

WSGS Society Management Classes

Society management classes held during the lunch breaks on Thursday August 16th and Friday Agust 17th in room 113
How To Lasso A Good Speaker
By Donna Potter Phillips, August 2018,  Vice President of the Washington State Genealogical Society Northwest Regional Genealogical Conference
  1. What are YOUR society’s needs?
    • What do most members want/need to learn?
    • What can your society afford? Do they want a meeting-length or half- or all-day program?
    • Would a local (less expenses) presenter do as well for you as a big-name (more expensive) presenter?
    • Would a webinar on a topic of interest, or from a desired presenter, work just as well?
  2. What qualities make a good presenter?
    • Good presentation skills (knowledge of topic, eye contact, body language, good speaking skills).
    • Good use of technology (knowing, using, coming prepared for all eventualities).
    • Good use of appropriate humor.
    • Good intro and ending; stays on time! NOT reading either from screen or handout.
    • Provides good handout (on time!).
  3. How to find and/or choose a good presenter?
    • EWGS Board retreat example.
    • Solicit recommendations from other societies.
    • Evaluate them from their publications, their websites, their webinars and their Facebook page.
    • Where are they listed as a presenter? (WSGS, APG, etc)
    • Credentials/APG membership….. does this matter to your group?
  4. What to expect from a presenter?
    • Timely and regular communication.
    • Clear statement of their needs and requirements (both personal and technical).
    • Offers a handout and submits it by the requested deadline.
    • Usually offers a door prize gift.
    • Contract? Theirs? Yours?
  5. How to arrange a program with a presenter:
    • Book with the presenter as early as possible (yes, a year or more out is okay).
    • Society publicity person to get going ASAP; good publicity is a MUST.
    • Clearly state your expectations and parameters.
    • Request their needs, both personal and technical.
    • Openly discuss fees and other expectations….. on both sides.
    • Have a “penalty clause” if they cancel.
    • Have a no refund policy to your members to ensure the cost is covered, especially needful if pre-paid food is involved.
  6. Handouts:
    • Handout on the day free to all?
    • Handout on the day only to those who pre-registered?
    • Handout on the day for a small charge?
    • Post the handout online for members who could not attend (ask permission from presenter to do so!).
    • Post the handout online, under Members Only, on your society website for any future access.
  7. Following up with members:
    • Did the program meet their needs?
    • What did they like best and/or worst about the day?
    • Feature photos and/or blurbs about the day on your society website and/or to your Facebook page and blog.
  8. Miscellaneous:
    • Lunch: Brown bag? Catered? Potluck? None?
    • Good venue: bathrooms, parking, acoustics
    • Tables are better than theater seating by far!!
    • Use the WSGS Meetings & Events page to schedule events; when societies schedule over one another, nobody wins.
So You Have Been Elected!
By Virginia Majewski, PLCGS President, WA State Genealogical Society
Basics for any position:
  • Job Descriptions: A job description that specifies responsibilities and expectations of the position.
  • Communication: Open and supportive dialog. Good listening skills. Praise good work. How to deal with change.
  • Transitional strategies: Notebooks or packets. Vital Documents. Calendar. Mentoring.
  • Legal: State laws re: non-profits. Taxes; State and Federal. Insurance.
  • Resources: Federation of Genealogical Societies, State of WA, IRS
What you need to know or learn and what I’ve found helpful:
President and Vice President
How to run a meeting; Roberts Rules of Order
Keep a calendar with events/deadlines
Keep a phone list of members handy
Have emergency back up plans /supplies
How to delegate and follow up
How to prioritize
How to say no gracefully
How to take notes
What info you need to include in the official minutes
Use computer templates for minutes
Transcribe your notes to Minutes as soon as possible
Send minutes out to Board members before meeting
Post minutes on your society website for members only if possible
Keep a permanent paper copy in your society archives
Prepare an annual budget for the Society, present it for Board approval
Learn how to use spreadsheets or financial software, if you are not familiar with it.
Produce monthly income/expense reports
Include monthly reports with monthly meeting minutes
Keep a permanent paper copy for your society archives
Send reports to Board members before meetings
Have a spending limit, items over a certain amount must have Board approval
Keep a calendar of when quarterly, semi-annual or annual bills are due, such as taxes, insurance, etc.
Learn about legal financial requirements for your society; State, Federal, Non-Profit, etc.
File an annual IRS 990
Have an annual financial audit by at least 2 other members of the society