Archive for the 'Membership Campaign' Category

Info-Lettre Membres Opérateurs Feuille d’Érable

Info-Lettre Membres Opérateurs Feuille d’Érable


RAC va inaugurer une nouvelle info-lettre électronique à l'intention exclusive des membres MOFE. Cette info-lettre sera émise six fois par année entre la publication du magazine TCA. En soi ceci deviendra un nouveau bénifice rattaché à être un/une MOFE. Une des sections de l'info-lettre sera intutilé "coins des membres". Alors par la présente nous solicitons des soumissions écrites des membres MOFE jugé intéressantes pour publication (histoire personnelle de radioamateur, électronique relié à la radioamateur, succès DX, photos de station, éloges d'un membre récemment décédé). Veuillez nous soumettre vos écrits par le 15e jour des mois suivants: novembre, janvier, mars, mai, juillet et septembre. Les soumissions seront assujetties à approbation avant la publication. Pour le moi de décembre courant, vos soumissions peuvent être envoyé jusqu'au 15 décembre.

Vincent Charron, VA3GX/VE2HHH

Directeur des communications et des collectes de fonds – Radio Amateurs du Canada –


(Traduction par Serge Langlois, VE2AWR)

Vernon Ikeda – VE2MBS/VE2QQ

How's the membership campaign going?

Abysmally with several exceptions.

Why abysmally? Because some folks (who should know better) aren’t getting out to local amateur radio events in their communities and asking everyone they meet whether or not they are a member.

When I ask (like at the Contest Club Ontario‘s AGM and BBQ held last month) if the amateur says no I ask them to join me in supporting their national amateur radio association and I hand them a printed RAC membership form and a pen. If they say yes, I thank them for their support and shake their hand.

It’s that easy.

In the 2010-2011 membership campaign I am challenging all of you who read this blog to go out and ask 20 other Canadian amateur radio operators to join RAC. You can do this at your next club meeting, ARES group meeting, flea market or ham fest. If you have a Halloween patrol or festive seasonal club dinner coming up in a couple of months take some membership forms.

Now I’ve actually had hams take the time to send me long emails protesting that they’re already busy in ARES, NTS or RAC committee and they don’t see why they should have to get involved in selling RAC memberships. To them I say if you want to continue enjoying the activities you volunteered to do through RAC and enjoy so much then it’s in your best interest to ensure the long-term success of the overall association.  At your next meeting ask the hams in the room if they are members and if not ask them to support you and hand them a membership form. It takes about as long as sending me an email telling me you’re too busy to get involved :)

Oakville ARES emergency co-ordinator Rick Harrison, VA3NV, talked about RAC during a couple of recent meetings of the Oakville, Ontario ARES group. Rick made it a point on the agenda to mention RAC membership and the benefits of being a member. Two members of his ARES group joined RAC this summer. Thanks Rick.

Look here’s how it works: As I was typing this on Sunday afternoon we got a phone call from a campaign worker for our local councillor who is seeking re-election. She asked if we’d be willing to have a campaign sign on our lawn. I said no but thanked the lady for her call. All in all a pleasant experience and now the incumbent has made the first contact with us and we are left with a favourable impression of him and his team. Wonder if this might not be the entire point come voting day??

If you ask 20 amateurs to support you by joining our national association you’re going to get a couple of renewals or new memberships. If we all do our bit, our membership numbers will soar and we’ll find ourselves as members of a much stronger, robust and healthy organization.

The 2010-2011 national membership campaign for Radio Amateurs of Canada ends on the Field Day weekend of 2011. With club meetings starting up across Canada this month, I expect RAC will end up on more than one club’s agenda and I am counting on you to be there with membership forms in hand.

The Membership Campaign

Remember our membership campaign?

Well the weekly numbers are in and we’re hanging in there just under 4800.

Dave, VE3UZ said in comment posted on this blog the following:

“In the USA, I hear the total number of Hams is about 700,000, and that ARRL membership is around 170,000. These are ball park numbers I hear. If that’s so, the ARRL has about 24% participation rate. Now for RAC, the callsign database shows about 55,000 callsigns. We’ve all heard or experienced that individuals and clubs hold several callsigns, and hear of silent keys still listed in the database. I suggest that really there are about 30,000 of individuals there. From what I hear, RAC has about 5,500 members, which is about 18% participation rate. Is RAC really that far off the mark? Maybe only a little bit.”

So there’s no need for “the sky is falling down” worries but it does say to me that with the exception of Len Morgan, the regional director for the Atlantic (Who says he’s leaving! Don’t go Len!!) and Ontario assistant director Doug Frame, VE3JDF who is asking other hams to join RAC?  I’ve asked a couple of times and heard nothing. Hum :(

This membership campaign can’t be left to a few. We all need to be involved. I challenged you to ask 20 other hams between Field Day 2010 and Field Day 2011. And let us know the results.

Why You Might Want To Join RAC

Okay so you’re a ham radio operator in Midwest City, Oklahoma and you get a letter from the city telling you that you are in violation of Section 27 of Midwest City’sOrdinances dealing with nuisances (of which you are clearly one) so now what?

First off you go lookup Section 27 which reads:

“In addition to other public nuisances declared by other sections of this Code or law, the following [is] hereby declared to be [a] public nuisance: Operating or using any electrical apparatus or machine which materially and unduly interferes with radio or television reception by others.”

Then you send a copy of your national organization, the American Radio Relay League, who get their general counsel to fire off a letter to the city manager telling him that since interference is a federal responsibility, the ordinance is null and void. Which might be easy for the general counsel to say but the individual amateur who received the notice saw that it included a demand that the amateur remedy the problem in one day or face fines of $100 minimum or 15 days in jail.

The ARRL has urged the city to rescind Ordinance 27 immediately and reminds the manager that the individual amateur has the full support of ARRL in any action he may choose to take in this connection.

Of course, here in Canada you could save yourself $50 a year in membership fees and go off and fight city hall on your own or you could join Radio Amateurs of Canada. It’s your choice.

HELP! RAC needs you

Thanks to the hard work of Doug Frame, VE3JDF, the Ontario South – Niagara RAC Assistant Director, we signed up or renewed 25 new members for Radio Amateurs of Canada at Saturday’s Ontario Hamfest 2010 which takes place in Milton, Ontario. RAC also needs to thank the Burlington Amateur Radio Club for so generously offering to refund the ticket price to anyone who took out a new membership in RAC.

There are lots of big hamfests scheduled across Canada and helping out the assistant directors by staffing RAC membership booths is the number one volunteering opportunity RAC can offer. Staffing the booth is easy, fun and it gets you into the hamfest early :) Some areas, like southern Ontario, are chronically understaffed by volunteers. If we agree that growing a strong national organization is in our personal best interest then we need tog get involved in RAC.

In photo: That’s me on the left with Doug, VE3JDF and a couple of the hundreds of hams who dropped by the RAC booth to say hello.

So what do you need to get involved?

One your membership needs to be current. If you’ve allowed your membership to lapse or if you’re not a member yet here’s the online link to the membership form.

Now as to the booth itself. If your team doesn’t have a table top display have a look at the blog posting I did on how to create one for under $25 (or so) here. One lesson I learned on Saturday is next time I’ll bring about $60 in change (and I’ll make sure I take $60 home with me) as the membership in Ontario is $56.50 (including HST) and you’ll be constantly making change for new members with $60 in $20 bills.

The easiest way to sign up new members is ask everyone who passes by the booth if they are a member. If they say yes thank them for their support. If they say no or they’ve let their membership lapse tell them if they sign up today you’ll handle the mailing for them. Tell them you can take cash, a cheque or a credit card (the credit card information is just handwritten onto the form). That’s it. No hard sell but you’ve got to make the “ask.” Any of you in sales will be familiar with this asking concept. And it’s important to make the ask while you’re standing up behind or in front of your booth. Sitting at a booth where you are selling by talking to people passing by you must be standing. We use chairs behind the booth in Milton.

Another tip is to have four people staffing the booth so you can have two people on and two people off (likely checking out the fleamarket) and don’t fall into the bad habit of talking to your booth mates as potential new members are walking in front of you. This takes some awareness to do but it pays off in increased membership sales.

Finally if you can get the event organizers to announce the location of the RAC booth or if they are willing to refund the entrance fee for memberships these are great encouragements to get a few more memberships.

Going for 100%

Here’s an email that just came in from Warren, VE3FYN, the president of the Atikokan ARC where Warren speaks about membership in RAC:

“ARES EC, Atikokan & area…Our club is small, ten licensed members (representing every active amateur in Atikokan). Three members are high school students and all but two have earned their license within the past 18 months. Currently, I believe six are RAC members.

It is my personal goal to have every member join RAC by the end of the year, and to continue 100% RAC membership in our club as we gain new licensed members.

I’ll let you know how it goes.”

Any other clubs at or aiming for 100 per cent RAC membership? Let me know and congratulations Warren on your hard work for the betterment of amateur radio across Canada.

Any other clubs at or aiming for 100 per cent RAC membership? Let me know and congratulations Warren on your hard work for the betterment of amateur radio across Canada.

We get mail – the RAC membership campaign

One thing RAC doesn’t have is a good up-to-date list of Canadian amateur radio clubs. Either that or I can’t type.

I’ve been spending hours typing up lists of email contacts for every club in Canada and (a) there’s a lot of them and (b) so far I’ve had about a 50 per cent failure rate. That’s a little disheartening. I’m about half way through so I’ll keep typing and posting as this is a key part of getting the information out about our year-long RAC Membership Drive.

I did get one response and that was from a guy who claims RAC has “disruptive effective Canadian Amateur Radio for too many years to count” and that he works “diligently to convince Amateur Radio folks regarding the inept activities of RAC”. Oh dear, I guess everyone needs a hobby but strangely my friend raises a good point.

RAC isn’t perfect because the folks who volunteer their time and talents aren’t perfect either. I’m not perfect and there’s a lineup at my door who will attest to that fact but I’m showing up and I’m doing my best. And part of that showing up is learning how to play fair with the other kids in the national sandbox we call RAC.

Amateur radio in Canada needs a national organization. Doesn’t matter to me if it’s called RAC or ruin :) but it does matter to me that we try to form a coalition of hams from coast to coast to coast.

Why? Because we have national-level issues that require national-level thinking and if you want to be part of that national-level thinking then you need to join the only national organization we’ve got and that is Radio Amateurs of Canada. And if you’re really steamed about the organization or the state of amateur radio in Canada then come join the working group at RAC. Trust me, I can find something for you to do. Anybody know how to type? :)

Or you could sit at home trying to convince others that the efforts of others is “inept”.

RAC’s Extra Special Membership Campaign

I’m working on the final draft of a membership drive kit with materials and instruction (just like Heathkit for you oldtimers) for use at Field Day coming the end of June.

Stay tuned!! Likely see the campaign here by Friday.

The $20 RAC display

At last month’s board of director’s meeting held in Ottawa, I was tasked with developing a cheap (read no cost) but professional looking membership display for RAC. Have you ever priced out table top displays? Most of the professional quality ones start at $300 or so and go up from there. And we need a bunch of them for all of the regional directors across the province.

So as a long-time public relations practitioner who is very well used to working with a zero budget, I put my thinking cap on and here’s the result: The $20 display.

I found a simple fold-out three-panel display for $18 at Staples. For display materials, I used my photo printer to make up some artwork. (Any photo printer will do. I’ve got one that does 81/2″ X 11″ and another one that does 16″X20″. If you don’t have access to such a big printer, WalMart or Blacks should be able to print out big posters on photo paper. Use photo paper as it is more substantial than ordinary paper and it doesn’t cost more than a couple of dollars to do.)

I printed out a couple of membership forms and I’m ready to roll.

BTW the small easel on the left in the photo runs around $25 and can hold up a foam board with a display photo affixed to it.

So with my $20 display in hand I hope to see everyone from the GTA area of southern Ontario at RadioWorld this Saturday for their Customer Appreciation Day.

Drop by and talk to me about what we can do about Bill 118 in Ontario which will mandate hands-free operation of your mobile rig.

It’s more than just a hobby

Amateur radio is more than just a hobby for some of us. If you’re like me, it’s a bit of an obsession. I’ve been interested in ham radio and shortwave listening since the mid-1960s. I was licensed in 1980 and I’ve never been more active than right now.

Over the years, I’ve bought a lot of equipment and accessories. And because I live here in Canada, I’ve bought almost exclusively from Canadian dealers and Canadian manufacturers.

Ever since I joined Radio Amateurs of Canada, I’ve also supported the dealers and distributors and manufacturers who advertise in The Canadian Amateur. You know for these business owners advertising in TCA is a smart business decision because they are directly reaching their customers through the pages of this excellent editorial, independent publication. Amateurs trust the editors and writers of TCA and, by association, trust its advertisers too.

This is a sacred trust. It’s a trust between friends as well as business people. It’s an exchange based on trust and a relationship built over time. Nothing is more valuable to an advertiser than your continuing good relationship. And every advertiser knows how fickle and mobile its customer base can be if they ever break that trust and do something to harm the relationship and customer experience.

I don’t know about you, but I buy from friends I trust and I will continue to buy from friends I trust even if it costs me a little more to buy from Canadian sources (and really, when you add up shipping and the availability of factory authorized repairs, why wouldn’t you buy here?) I still make the majority of my new purchases from TCA advertisers.

Over the next few months, I am anticipating seeing even more advertising in TCA. I say that from my long experience as a national magazine editor and group editor for a family of technical magazines where I supervised other editors. All of the successful magazines in our group attracted large readerships and many advertisers. Our magazines were well read because they were well written and well edited. Our advertisers supported the magazine because we could deliver loyal readers who became loyal customers. Without more advertising dollars, TCA can’t grow.

That’s how it works for any successful magazine. So, if you’re contemplating any new or used purchases, checkout the advertisers in TCA. After all, they deserve you support and are working hard to maintain it.

So finally, when you’re visiting our advertisers please tell them about this blog posting and remind them about how much you value their support in TCA.