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Thread: Wait lists - What to do when you're in demand

  1. #1
    Super Member citruscountyquilter's Avatar
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    Wait lists - What to do when you're in demand

    The guild I belong to is reaching our maximum capacity for the room we have met in for the last 29 years. It is a good place to meet for both location and amenities and we don't want to relocate which means we have to cap the membership at 100 members. A waiting list has been proposed if more want to join after we reach our max. I'm looking for suggestions from other guilds that have faced this situation. Do you have a waiting list? How do you determine when a slot opens if membership is paid for a year at a time? What things should we consider is developing a policy to cover this?
    It's nice to be in demand but it does have its challenges as well.

  2. #2
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    Would it be possible to split into two sections: maybe an afternoon group and an evening group? Then you could meet at the same place, just at different times. The logistics of this would depend on what you do at your meetings, but it would give more people a chance to get involved.

    If I was put on a waiting list at a guild, I would feel rejected, and go looking for a different group to join. A waiting list also sounds like a management/policy headache.

  3. #3
    Power Poster Onebyone's Avatar
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    My guild is facing the same thing. We decided to find a larger meeting place and raise our dues $5 more. While we are finding many great meeting places to lease, non have a private large storage area for us. That is the biggest issue.
    I guess you would have to have a waiting list and first on the list gets the chance to join when an opening is available. We have some paid members that seldom come to meetings and that is a problem when having a limited member list.

    One more thing. If the membership stays the same it becomes stagnant and stuck. New members bring new ideas.
    I believe giving what I can will never cause me to be in need.
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    My heroes are working people, paying their own way, taking care of their children and being decent human beings.

  4. #4
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    How many people actually show up at one time?

    I suppose you could do like (some of) the airlines. Figure out the maximum space available and have your membership at 110 - 115% of that.

  5. #5
    Super Member GingerK's Avatar
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    Good point Bear. But what about those 'special' meetings like Christmas or end of year pot luck, when 'most' of the members seem to attend? It would be just like the airlines--overbooked and refused entry at the door.
    Never argue with an idiot. They'll drag you down the their level and beat you with experience.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by GingerK View Post
    Good point Bear. But what about those 'special' meetings like Christmas or end of year pot luck, when 'most' of the members seem to attend? It would be just like the airlines--overbooked and refused entry at the door.
    I know that at the Church Christmas programs back in the 1950s and 1960s - the latecomers were seated on folding chairs in the aisles and in the very front - which probably would be against some capacity rules now.

  7. #7
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    Go for a larger space or you may become stagnant. Changing locations creates conflict but it sometimes is a good thing. We previously met in a church fellowship hall for free and when it became unavailable looked to no avail for another church to sponsor our Guild meetings. Now our Guild meets at a Senior Center and we have two meetings a month. One during the day and one during the night. We do have to pay for the larger space but they were happy to provide a closet for our library. It was overall a great move.

  8. #8
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    When a guild grows very large it changes. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but it does happen. Strangely it can be harder to find people willing to serve as officers, because it's more work managing a large guild. If your guild is still functioning well (and you must be, because you're not losing members), I think it is okay to limit your membership. I've heard of several groups that limited membership based on space, or even because they just didn't want to grow beyond a certain size. Also if you do move to a new location and accept new members you may lose some of the old members and wind up being the same size, but in a less desirable location.

    I did belong to a very large guild in Oregon. It had a morning meeting and an evening meeting and two sets of officers, who met as one board. The morning meeting was very crowded in a huge room, and the evening meeting was sparsely attended. It seemed that only those who worked during the day preferred the evening meeting. Having the two meetings didn't really solve the space problem, but it did give those who couldn't attend during the day a chance to be guild members.

  9. #9
    Super Member Jan in VA's Avatar
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    I've only been in one guild that had problem, over 20 years ago, and thankfully we made the (hard!) decision to move to a much larger space. Within a couple years we were regularly having national speaker nearly 6-7 times a year, more interesting programs, better attendance, more volunteers, and MUCH more fun!! The year that it took to make and implement the move decision was so hard on members waiting to join that some of us elected to withdraw for one year to give them a membership spot until we could be in a larger space. We never regretted doing that because it really improved our guild and never made "outsider" quilters feel rejected! The guild was kind enough to keep us on the newsletter list and we were listed as "member" for the purpose of entering our quilts in the show that one year. This was in Texas, where the word itself means 'friend'.

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  10. #10
    Super Member quiltingshorttimer's Avatar
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    I'm in a guild of 190 quilters--it's a county-wide guild. We have 2 meetings--one in the daytime, repeated in the evening--even the program,even when it's a paid outside presenter. Most months there is little space problem--the day meeting usually draws about 75-80 members and the evening about 35-40. when we do have special dinners or meeting that draw many more it can be a squeeze. When you do have 2 different meeting times, you will find that there is a different feel to each, even with the same officers or agenda.

    when my machine quilters guild "outgrew" our meeting space, we did move our meeting location and benefited by it. I think if we had developed a wait list, it would have a real turn off.

  11. #11
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    Our guild grew, and we moved to a new location which happens to have better parking. It's been great!

  12. #12
    Senior Member petpainter's Avatar
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    We have a limit of 300 in our guild. There are usually 40-50 on our waiting list every year. Generally most people make it the following year due to people moving, death etc. We never have a full house at any given meeting, but we have to be able to accommodate the entire membership due to our bylaw's. It does enable us to have wonderful National teachers almost monthly, and a great Quilt Show every other year!

  13. #13
    Super Member caspharm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer23 View Post
    Would it be possible to split into two sections: maybe an afternoon group and an evening group? Then you could meet at the same place, just at different times. The logistics of this would depend on what you do at your meetings, but it would give more people a chance to get involved.

    If I was put on a waiting list at a guild, I would feel rejected, and go looking for a different group to join. A waiting list also sounds like a management/policy headache.
    When I lived in the SF Bay Area, the guild I belonged to held their meetings at 2 different times. They alternated between day and evening meetings, so 6 months of day (even months) and 6 months of night (odd months). It worked pretty well since most people worked. I don't believe we had a waiting list.

  14. #14
    Power Poster lynnie's Avatar
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    a guild by me had a mailing list that they would send their monthly newsletter to. If you were on the list, you got first pick to be in the guild. after a few years, they moved to a bigger location and others were invited to join.
    put off till tomorrow what you can do today, and if you procrastinate long enough, you may never have to do it.

  15. #15
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    This is not the greatest of ideas. The meetings would not be the same. Memberships grown and learn from the comments of others. Although comfortable with location and amenities, I would look for a location that could house the entire membership.

  16. #16
    Super Member quiltingshorttimer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SewHooked View Post
    This is not the greatest of ideas. The meetings would not be the same. Memberships grown and learn from the comments of others. Although comfortable with location and amenities, I would look for a location that could house the entire membership.
    our guild of 190 has a daytime meeting and repeats with a nighttime meeting for those that work. Yes, there is a difference in the tone of each meeting--but as a guild everyone is getting the same program, same workshops and same information. Obviously the nite folks don't go out to lunch later in the day, but they are a more casual group and have developed closeness too. Both groups engage in about the same proportions in guild activities. So yes, it can work and ours is not due to size limits, but rather a desire to let quilters that work outside the home (or have small children that they need to be home with)a chance to participate and enjoy the programs.

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