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General Philatelic/Local Stamp Clubs : How to promote a stamp club

 

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Musicman
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APS #213005

30 Aug 2010
10:43:26pm
To All,

Our stamp club had its second meeting recently and we've had 6 then 4 attendees in our first two meetings.

My question is;
Does anyone have any ideas to get people interested enough to come? How do we spread the word more than we have so far?

So far, we have had an article in our town's newspaper about the club starting; we have put up flyers wherever business owners have allowed; we have put an announcement on our local cable channel which runs daily.

The APS had very few names to provide. The nearest large city to us is Grand Rapids, MI (approx. 40 mins. from here) and they have a large stamp club there. So, our working radius is about 50 miles around us.

Any ideas what we can do beyond what we have done so far?

Any advice/opinions/ideas will be greatly appreciated!



Randy
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Bobstamp
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30 Aug 2010
11:06:02pm
re: How to promote a stamp club

My thoughts:

1. Persevere

2. Have more rather than fewer meetings. My club is probably unique, or nearly so, in that we have weekly meetings from September through June. There is a hard core group that rarely misses, and through the year we see nearly all members at least a few times. Monthly meetings don't have much to offer, especially to retirees, which is who the bulk of your members will eventually be.

3. Always make sure that you have stamps for people to buy. Invite dealers, schedule auctions, encourage members to put together stockbooks of priced stamps, boxes of stamps for a dime each, etc.

4. Try for another newspaper article, not about the club per se, but about a particular collector who has an especially interesting collection. Befriend a particular reporter and feed interesting philatelic tidbits to him.

5. Target places where baby boomers congregate. They're the ones with knowledge of stamps collecting, and may even have collected stamps in their youth. They also have time and money.

6. Sponsor a small exhibition in a public place -- a mall, library, community centre, etc. Make sure that you have fliers available for people to take away with them.

7. Publish a web site. This really should be at the top of the list. And make it a good one. It doesn't have to be elaborate, but it should be easy to navigate, attractive, and informative. My club has been getting new members on a regular basis lately, not in big numbers but sufficient to allow us to grow gradually. Nearly all of them find us through our web site.

8. Plan your meetings well in advance, and vary your programs. Have swap & shop meetings, speaker nights, slide shows, auctions, show & tell nights, debates, book nights, bring-a-guest nights, "Remember when" nights (older members love to talk about how stamp collecting used to be), etc. The sky is the limit.

9. Ask philatelic web sites to list your club. APS and RPSC will do this, assuming you are an affiliate; many private philatelic web sites will do the same thing.

10. Publish a newsletter. It doesn't have to be elaborate, but it can serve as a sort of central clearing house. Be sure to include a schedule of upcoming meetings in it.

Good luck! Operating a stamp club is a challenge, and usually depends on the two or three people who are willing to do 99 per cent of the work.

Bob

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Smaier
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Sally

31 Aug 2010
09:25:02am
re: How to promote a stamp club

Our club has 14 members, 10-11 show up at each monthly meeting. Our monthly newsletter does help to remind people of the meetings.

Phone calls / offers to pick people up for meetings also helps (most of our members are over 65, some well into their 80s).

We also have a display case in the main post office in town - we have an artist / stamp club member who tries to change the display monthly. We post collections, club information, and stamp show announcements as well.

Our local newspaper runs our meeting notices monthly as well as a monthly, full length page listing all local clubs and organizations with contact information. We have gotten 4 out of our last 5 members through this....

We are listed on AskPhil website.

We have our own Facebook page.

We try to keep in close contact with most of the dealers who regularly come to our annual show. We collected another new member from a dealer referral last year.

At our annual show, we have (and advertise as such), an informal appraisal table where the general public can bring stamp related items / accumulations in for an opinion as to value and what to do with it. This has brought people who wouldn't normally come. Our newspaper also listed our show under the "Weekend Buzz" headline which boosted our attendance significantly. I know your question wasn't related to shows, but we have gotten many contacts and some publicity out of the annual show.

We keep the kids club at the local school informed of our meetings and shows.

Even so, we only have two members less than 50 years of age. As soon as we get another new member or two, we lose others. Our club draws from three states, and the average membership stays about 15 members. We know there are several collectors around, they just choose not to come anymore. (They still show up to the show though.)

Best of luck, this is something that all of us in smaller towns struggle with. We don't have the large concentration of people found in retirement communities in places like Florida or Arizona.

Sally

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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads

31 Aug 2010
09:45:49am
re: How to promote a stamp club

i second all the suggestions and add several more: put a flier up at the PO. if there's a philatelic-minded person there, have them spread the word to any customers who buy commemoratives or use them on packages. Donate catalogues or the APS mag to the library and ask the librarian to invite anyone who takes them out. I learned of our club at the recycling center where the director noticed me salvaging covers; she asked if I knew Phil, who she knew as a collector. Word of mouth is invaluable. Work with the PO to sponsor a pictorial cancel on anything the town might like and see who comes in for it (that, too, should be publicized).

David Teisler

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Bobstamp
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31 Aug 2010
11:04:19am
re: How to promote a stamp club

All great suggestions, David and Sally. There may be a caveat, depending on individual post offices or postal administrations. Our Canadian postal outlets and post offices will not post any unofficial announcements, posters, etc.

Many collectors believe that we need to target youth in order to get new club members. While we certainly should encourage young people to get into the hobby, the effort versus return makes it largely a waste of time. While stamp collecting may once have been a popular childhood hobby — and I'm not aware of any evidence that it was as widespread as we think it was — today it's the baby boomers who are the collectors and — May I say the word? -- the philatelists. We need to target them in any way we can. As I said in my previous post, Boomers have the time, the money, and the intellectual curiosity that is required to turn stamp collecting into a avocation.

Bob

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Musicman
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APS #213005

31 Aug 2010
10:14:10pm
re: How to promote a stamp club

Okay, let me try to reply to some of your suggestions/ideas;

We thought of another newspaper article as Bob mentioned - we're working on that.

Publishing a newsletter this soon would be difficult due to so few attendees at this point. We really don't have "official" members other than myself (vice-president) and the president, so we have no dues and we haven't had anyone volunteer to take on secretary/treasurer duties.

The local post office refused my request to put a flyer up there. I was told it wasn't allowed. You called that one, Bob.... (as a side note; I asked them a while back why they stopped displaying recent stamp releases in they're display window - they said they weren't allowed to anymore! How rediculous is that!!)

The library also refused my request to post a flyer...said it wasn't a "non-profit organization." (sheesh!)

We have also contacted the Boy Scouts Grand Rapids chapter and applied for stamp merit badge sponsorship, but haven't heard from them as yet.

All other suggestions here have been made note of and I'll be using as many as I can....thank you all for your ideas and support!

'We have not yet begun to fight!'


Kudos And Thank-you's,

Randy

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Bobstamp
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31 Aug 2010
11:46:53pm
re: How to promote a stamp club

An additional suggestion about a newsletter: Do one yourself! Remember that Stamporama started with an occasional newsletter and about six members, although it actually only had one member when it started -- Jerry Abern. Another example: The American Kitefliers Association had a very small beginning. One middle-aged man in New Mexico, apparently in need of a hobby, decided to build a kite along the lines of kites he had built as a boy growing up in New York State. Soon, he decided that there must have been other adult kitefliers in the country, so he founded the AKA, with himself as the sole member. He wrote a newspaper article about it and put it on the United Press International wire service (he was working as a reporter for a small daily newspaper), and the story was played as front page news in several large newspapers across the country. He soon started getting requests for membership, and by the time he retired he had 5,000 members.

I know the story is true, because the man was my father. The moral, of course, is Don't give up!

Bob

P.S. You will probably have to become your own secretary and treasurer. Even large stamp clubs are having trouble getting volunteers, even if they have a large membership. My club has about 65 members but no secretary.

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Smaier
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Sally

01 Sep 2010
01:32:25pm
re: How to promote a stamp club

The difference in what Post Offices will display and what they won't is amazing to me. I deal with 4 area post offices - this is my experience:

1. The tiny post office in my little town will always post notices about stamp club shows. They have a board where they also post lost/found notices and other community events. They also display the poster of new releases. For a tiny, rural post office, the service is fantastic - the postmaster always orders whatever I ask for and frequently anticipates my needs (I am secretary of the stamp club in a town 20 miles north, but I buy my stamps from my local post office). This may be related to being a little bitty place where everyone knows everyone....

2. The post office in the town 20 miles north (big city) lets our club have our own display case - we have the key. They are also willing to add notices of our shows around their customer service windows, but we don't really ask because we put up stuff in our case.

3. The philatelic outlet 20 miles north of that always supports our club and our shows. They show up to every show and will post whatever flyers we want at their window for months beforehand.

4. The post office in the smallish/medium sized town 20 miles south of us will not post or display anything for anyone. Regulations, you know.....

So, don't just try one post office. If you can find other post offices / postmasters that are more cooperative, use them as much as possible. They will spread the word as well.

As far as being nonprofit - our club is and has a tax id number to prove it. Even with that though, the local grocery chain will not let us post any notices....even though they post for other clubs..... Nonprofit status does help us when renting the hall for our show so it might be worth looking into.

Other things I almost forgot: our radio stations will announce meetings and shows. We only submit our show announcements, and it does reach a different set of people. Some of those stations also have websites where you can enter events or meetings.

Also, we list our shows on many local business and school electronic marquee signs. They will run our announcements for 1-2 weeks (depending on the person in charge and how many other organizations are competing for time). Lots of people at the show have commented on seeing the signs on the banks and local schools. I don't know if it would work just for meetings though, it is a lot of hassle.

Sally

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Cjd
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12 Sep 2010
10:46:12pm
re: How to promote a stamp club

It might be worth taking a look at the website for the Wisconsin Federation of Stamp Clubs:
http://www.wfscstamps.org/

Not sexy, but it conveys the information. Best part is, each club can link with their own level of design/information.

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Joelgrebin

13 Sep 2010
09:00:46am
re: How to promote a stamp club

Hi Dan,

When i started our local stamp club, one of things I did was to have public service announcements published in the local papers of all kinds as well as PSA's published in the papers of surrounding towns as far as 40-50 miles from our location. We did get interested persons from that far away. They would make the trip on a monthly basis.
Joel

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musicman
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APS #213005

20 Jan 2019
03:43:19pm
re: How to promote a stamp club

I thought I would revisit this thread, as it has been 9 years now
since I originally posted it.

Wow....NINE years!

@Bobstamp -

Your #1 suggestion was one word - "persevere";
WE DID! Thanks for that!


We are still going and still growing, albeit slowly. But growing nonetheless.

We have 12 official members at this moment; 2 visitors are contemplating joining soon;
we average 8 attendees on a fairly regular basis.



Now, on to my main purpose of reposting here;

I am looking to all SOR members for advice/ideas on new activities for our meetings.

Here are some details that may be of help -

--we meet in a room that accommodates only a maximum of 12 people (14 if we SQUEEZE),
therefore space is at a premium;

--we are unable to move to a new location at this time;

--we are an APS chapter and do receive approval books once a month;

--we have 2 Officers: a president(who goes to Florida each winter) and a vice
president/secretary/treasurer (all three are me);

--no one in the group has an interest in being an officer;

--I am the only member of the club who still works a full-time job, therefore my free time
is often very limited;



I realize some of these can come across as complaints, but they are not meant as such -
only fact to consider. Whatever idea(s) we come up with here will most likely have to be implemented and carried out by me, so it can't be too involved and time-consuming.

So far, as a club we have travelled to stamp shows and stamp dealers together, had "Guess the Country of The Stamp Image" quizzes, entered exhibiting shows and had 'Door Prizes'.

Also, someone donated a stack of 30 unused approval booklets with 100-stamp capacity;
I'm thinking of presenting the idea of our members filling them with their own stamps to sell among us members. However, if that should take off, I would need some kind of source to acquire more new approval books. I as yet have not found any and if I do, cost could be an issue as we are still a small club with limited funds.



I know this is a lot of info, but maybe some of you have some ideas here?

Big Grin

I hope to hear from you all soon and thank you in advance for your input!!!




Randy



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smaier
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Sally

20 Jan 2019
09:11:17pm
re: How to promote a stamp club

Randy,

Our club has had some success with having individual members present short programs about areas of special interest or expertise. We have had presentations on military covers, prexies (on cover, different rate usages), digital microscopes, how to make your own stamp pages, machins, and a couple others I cannot remember.

The presentations are about 15 - 20 minutes and very informal. Doesn't really take that much time to prepare either. Everyone seems to enjoy seeing items that aren't in their own collections.

We always have several people who bring stamps for sale: either in binders or in nickel boxes to pick through.

I usually order from the Fulfillment Center once per year and coordinate with everyone to get whatever is needed. It's a huge order and we all split shipping costs. Everyone really likes it.

Another club member gets current stamp issues from the post office and brings to meetings for us to buy just the quantity wanted.

We used to get programs from APS but haven't done that for over ten years.

This month we will vote as a club for the Linn's stamp popularity poll - i bring copies of the ballot and everyone fills it out. I mail them all in one envelope.

If something fun or special is happening that month, I put it in the newsletter in big print.

If something needs communicated at the last minute, I send out an email blast and only have to call the two members who have no computer or cell phone.


In some ways, you are a victim of your own success. The more members you gather, the more newsletters you have to send out (more work for you). Too bad someone isn't willing to step up and help out.

We had a carload attend ChicagoPex last November and got rear-ended on the highway on the way home. Not sure how much enthusiasm will be present for a repeat journey this November.

Congrats on growing your club. Wish you all the best - if can be hard keeping a club going when you are the only one doing the heavy lifting.

Sally

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angore
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Collector, Moderator

21 Jan 2019
06:51:03am
re: How to promote a stamp club

The two clubs in my area meet on a week night so it would be difficult for me to consider attending. Both have Facebook pages but they have almost no activity so why did they even bother? I actually posted on one to give away some old Scott catalogs and the post was deleted.

I had asked this elsewhere but do any local stamp clubs have more than informational web site where members can continue to interact such as a discussion forum?

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Snick1946
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APS Life Member

21 Jan 2019
10:56:12am
re: How to promote a stamp club

I am aware of one club that meets in a church basement; you have to go down two sets of steep stairs to get to the meetings, not the best venue for their older members.

With some clubs there seems to be a problem resulting in a lack of focus for the meetings. You wind up with a bunch of older guys telling bad jokes, making sexist and racist comments.

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smaier
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Sally

21 Jan 2019
03:43:43pm
re: How to promote a stamp club

Angore - your mention of useless Facebook pages is interesting. Our club has an outdated page with a nonexistent phone number for contact information. Several years ago, one member stated that we "needed" a Facebook page. His wife would set it up for us, and she did.

Then a new member said he would take it over (he was 40 years old). He had a heart attack and died. Apparently he had changed whatever password is required and no one can get into the account now.

I don't have a Facebook account and don't know the first thing about it. Our club does have a webpage through APS. The last internet search I did using our club name returned the APS page first, our Wisconsin Federation of Stamp Clubs link, and a couple other listings before the Facebook link (the Facebook one was number 8). So we decided not to worry about it.

We have never had anyone say they found us by Facebook, even when the page was correct. Several new members found us through the APS webpage and our monthly listing in the local newspaper. Not sure how much Facebook matters around here. Most of our members are barely able to use a computer, and some don't have a computer or cell phone.

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ikeyPikey
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21 Jan 2019
04:29:21pm
re: How to promote a stamp club

.
Sally, you may want to enlist the widow.

Google has a procedure for bona fide family members to gain access to gMail accounts (don't ask), and FB probably has a similar provision.

If no one wants to maintain it, you could delete it ,,,

... but I get your point: no harm, no foul.

Cheers,

/s/ ikeyPikey

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angore
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Collector, Moderator

21 Jan 2019
06:46:46pm
re: How to promote a stamp club

Facebook is not the end all but it is essentially free way to advertise with minimal effort. Of course, getting the Facebook liked/shared to get it into news feeds is needed too.

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smaier
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Sally

22 Jan 2019
12:19:59pm
re: How to promote a stamp club

Thanks ikeyPikey but he was single. No family members who know anything about the stamp club. The lady that set it up is the wife of a different club member. Can anyone delete a Facebook page?

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roy
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BuckaCover.com - 80,000 covers priced 60c to $1.50 - Easy browsing 500 categories

22 Jan 2019
12:44:45pm
re: How to promote a stamp club

"Can anyone delete a Facebook page?"



No, only the person that set it up. Since it is likely that the page was set up as a secondary page to his own account, FB probably won't let you have acccess to the account either. However, you should contact FB, explain the situation, explain that the page is defunct, incorrect and out of date and ask them to delete the page so that you can post a correct page for the club. You may have to prove your authority to make such decisions for the club.

I can't see them declining, since having a "bad" page is also bad for them.

Roy
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smaier
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Sally

22 Jan 2019
07:55:46pm
re: How to promote a stamp club

Thanks Roy. Will give it a try.
Sally

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2010ccg

22 Jan 2019
09:18:53pm
re: How to promote a stamp club

Our club is small and aging..but we put on a show last Fall that brought in over 200 folks (mind you they didn`t
join our club but it promoted the hobby) The reason for the interest was a series of short presentation from other clubs from two provinces. One popular presentation was embroidered wartime postcards....the second was a Royal Tour.....It seems if you can encourage folks from away and interesting history they will come....I believe the interest in collecting a stamp doesn`t
tweek the interest...but a story /collection does. We also meet on a Saturday afternoon and invite the public to small presentations...once or twice a year.... When there is no presentation the meetings are very short and hardly worth the drive....Worried

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51Studebaker
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Dialysis, damned if you do...dead if you don't

23 Jan 2019
08:11:02am
re: How to promote a stamp club

Facebook is not free, their income last year was $41 BILLION. They sell ‘you’ and your data. Even if you post nothing in your page they sell you and your data. They can now predict with 94% accuracy your religion, how you vote, etc. just by who you friend on FB. Folks mistakenly think that because they do not get spam emails their personal data is not being sold but this could not be more incorrect.
Don

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ikeyPikey
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23 Jan 2019
11:07:05pm
re: How to promote a stamp club

.
NYTimes piece on the location data industry

Cheers,

/s/ ikeyPikey

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Musicman

APS #213005
30 Aug 2010
10:43:26pm

To All,

Our stamp club had its second meeting recently and we've had 6 then 4 attendees in our first two meetings.

My question is;
Does anyone have any ideas to get people interested enough to come? How do we spread the word more than we have so far?

So far, we have had an article in our town's newspaper about the club starting; we have put up flyers wherever business owners have allowed; we have put an announcement on our local cable channel which runs daily.

The APS had very few names to provide. The nearest large city to us is Grand Rapids, MI (approx. 40 mins. from here) and they have a large stamp club there. So, our working radius is about 50 miles around us.

Any ideas what we can do beyond what we have done so far?

Any advice/opinions/ideas will be greatly appreciated!



Randy

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Bobstamp

30 Aug 2010
11:06:02pm

re: How to promote a stamp club

My thoughts:

1. Persevere

2. Have more rather than fewer meetings. My club is probably unique, or nearly so, in that we have weekly meetings from September through June. There is a hard core group that rarely misses, and through the year we see nearly all members at least a few times. Monthly meetings don't have much to offer, especially to retirees, which is who the bulk of your members will eventually be.

3. Always make sure that you have stamps for people to buy. Invite dealers, schedule auctions, encourage members to put together stockbooks of priced stamps, boxes of stamps for a dime each, etc.

4. Try for another newspaper article, not about the club per se, but about a particular collector who has an especially interesting collection. Befriend a particular reporter and feed interesting philatelic tidbits to him.

5. Target places where baby boomers congregate. They're the ones with knowledge of stamps collecting, and may even have collected stamps in their youth. They also have time and money.

6. Sponsor a small exhibition in a public place -- a mall, library, community centre, etc. Make sure that you have fliers available for people to take away with them.

7. Publish a web site. This really should be at the top of the list. And make it a good one. It doesn't have to be elaborate, but it should be easy to navigate, attractive, and informative. My club has been getting new members on a regular basis lately, not in big numbers but sufficient to allow us to grow gradually. Nearly all of them find us through our web site.

8. Plan your meetings well in advance, and vary your programs. Have swap & shop meetings, speaker nights, slide shows, auctions, show & tell nights, debates, book nights, bring-a-guest nights, "Remember when" nights (older members love to talk about how stamp collecting used to be), etc. The sky is the limit.

9. Ask philatelic web sites to list your club. APS and RPSC will do this, assuming you are an affiliate; many private philatelic web sites will do the same thing.

10. Publish a newsletter. It doesn't have to be elaborate, but it can serve as a sort of central clearing house. Be sure to include a schedule of upcoming meetings in it.

Good luck! Operating a stamp club is a challenge, and usually depends on the two or three people who are willing to do 99 per cent of the work.

Bob

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Sally
31 Aug 2010
09:25:02am

re: How to promote a stamp club

Our club has 14 members, 10-11 show up at each monthly meeting. Our monthly newsletter does help to remind people of the meetings.

Phone calls / offers to pick people up for meetings also helps (most of our members are over 65, some well into their 80s).

We also have a display case in the main post office in town - we have an artist / stamp club member who tries to change the display monthly. We post collections, club information, and stamp show announcements as well.

Our local newspaper runs our meeting notices monthly as well as a monthly, full length page listing all local clubs and organizations with contact information. We have gotten 4 out of our last 5 members through this....

We are listed on AskPhil website.

We have our own Facebook page.

We try to keep in close contact with most of the dealers who regularly come to our annual show. We collected another new member from a dealer referral last year.

At our annual show, we have (and advertise as such), an informal appraisal table where the general public can bring stamp related items / accumulations in for an opinion as to value and what to do with it. This has brought people who wouldn't normally come. Our newspaper also listed our show under the "Weekend Buzz" headline which boosted our attendance significantly. I know your question wasn't related to shows, but we have gotten many contacts and some publicity out of the annual show.

We keep the kids club at the local school informed of our meetings and shows.

Even so, we only have two members less than 50 years of age. As soon as we get another new member or two, we lose others. Our club draws from three states, and the average membership stays about 15 members. We know there are several collectors around, they just choose not to come anymore. (They still show up to the show though.)

Best of luck, this is something that all of us in smaller towns struggle with. We don't have the large concentration of people found in retirement communities in places like Florida or Arizona.

Sally

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amsd

Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
31 Aug 2010
09:45:49am

re: How to promote a stamp club

i second all the suggestions and add several more: put a flier up at the PO. if there's a philatelic-minded person there, have them spread the word to any customers who buy commemoratives or use them on packages. Donate catalogues or the APS mag to the library and ask the librarian to invite anyone who takes them out. I learned of our club at the recycling center where the director noticed me salvaging covers; she asked if I knew Phil, who she knew as a collector. Word of mouth is invaluable. Work with the PO to sponsor a pictorial cancel on anything the town might like and see who comes in for it (that, too, should be publicized).

David Teisler

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Bobstamp

31 Aug 2010
11:04:19am

re: How to promote a stamp club

All great suggestions, David and Sally. There may be a caveat, depending on individual post offices or postal administrations. Our Canadian postal outlets and post offices will not post any unofficial announcements, posters, etc.

Many collectors believe that we need to target youth in order to get new club members. While we certainly should encourage young people to get into the hobby, the effort versus return makes it largely a waste of time. While stamp collecting may once have been a popular childhood hobby — and I'm not aware of any evidence that it was as widespread as we think it was — today it's the baby boomers who are the collectors and — May I say the word? -- the philatelists. We need to target them in any way we can. As I said in my previous post, Boomers have the time, the money, and the intellectual curiosity that is required to turn stamp collecting into a avocation.

Bob

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Musicman

APS #213005
31 Aug 2010
10:14:10pm

re: How to promote a stamp club

Okay, let me try to reply to some of your suggestions/ideas;

We thought of another newspaper article as Bob mentioned - we're working on that.

Publishing a newsletter this soon would be difficult due to so few attendees at this point. We really don't have "official" members other than myself (vice-president) and the president, so we have no dues and we haven't had anyone volunteer to take on secretary/treasurer duties.

The local post office refused my request to put a flyer up there. I was told it wasn't allowed. You called that one, Bob.... (as a side note; I asked them a while back why they stopped displaying recent stamp releases in they're display window - they said they weren't allowed to anymore! How rediculous is that!!)

The library also refused my request to post a flyer...said it wasn't a "non-profit organization." (sheesh!)

We have also contacted the Boy Scouts Grand Rapids chapter and applied for stamp merit badge sponsorship, but haven't heard from them as yet.

All other suggestions here have been made note of and I'll be using as many as I can....thank you all for your ideas and support!

'We have not yet begun to fight!'


Kudos And Thank-you's,

Randy

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Bobstamp

31 Aug 2010
11:46:53pm

re: How to promote a stamp club

An additional suggestion about a newsletter: Do one yourself! Remember that Stamporama started with an occasional newsletter and about six members, although it actually only had one member when it started -- Jerry Abern. Another example: The American Kitefliers Association had a very small beginning. One middle-aged man in New Mexico, apparently in need of a hobby, decided to build a kite along the lines of kites he had built as a boy growing up in New York State. Soon, he decided that there must have been other adult kitefliers in the country, so he founded the AKA, with himself as the sole member. He wrote a newspaper article about it and put it on the United Press International wire service (he was working as a reporter for a small daily newspaper), and the story was played as front page news in several large newspapers across the country. He soon started getting requests for membership, and by the time he retired he had 5,000 members.

I know the story is true, because the man was my father. The moral, of course, is Don't give up!

Bob

P.S. You will probably have to become your own secretary and treasurer. Even large stamp clubs are having trouble getting volunteers, even if they have a large membership. My club has about 65 members but no secretary.

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Smaier

Sally
01 Sep 2010
01:32:25pm

re: How to promote a stamp club

The difference in what Post Offices will display and what they won't is amazing to me. I deal with 4 area post offices - this is my experience:

1. The tiny post office in my little town will always post notices about stamp club shows. They have a board where they also post lost/found notices and other community events. They also display the poster of new releases. For a tiny, rural post office, the service is fantastic - the postmaster always orders whatever I ask for and frequently anticipates my needs (I am secretary of the stamp club in a town 20 miles north, but I buy my stamps from my local post office). This may be related to being a little bitty place where everyone knows everyone....

2. The post office in the town 20 miles north (big city) lets our club have our own display case - we have the key. They are also willing to add notices of our shows around their customer service windows, but we don't really ask because we put up stuff in our case.

3. The philatelic outlet 20 miles north of that always supports our club and our shows. They show up to every show and will post whatever flyers we want at their window for months beforehand.

4. The post office in the smallish/medium sized town 20 miles south of us will not post or display anything for anyone. Regulations, you know.....

So, don't just try one post office. If you can find other post offices / postmasters that are more cooperative, use them as much as possible. They will spread the word as well.

As far as being nonprofit - our club is and has a tax id number to prove it. Even with that though, the local grocery chain will not let us post any notices....even though they post for other clubs..... Nonprofit status does help us when renting the hall for our show so it might be worth looking into.

Other things I almost forgot: our radio stations will announce meetings and shows. We only submit our show announcements, and it does reach a different set of people. Some of those stations also have websites where you can enter events or meetings.

Also, we list our shows on many local business and school electronic marquee signs. They will run our announcements for 1-2 weeks (depending on the person in charge and how many other organizations are competing for time). Lots of people at the show have commented on seeing the signs on the banks and local schools. I don't know if it would work just for meetings though, it is a lot of hassle.

Sally

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Cjd

12 Sep 2010
10:46:12pm

re: How to promote a stamp club

It might be worth taking a look at the website for the Wisconsin Federation of Stamp Clubs:
http://www.wfscstamps.org/

Not sexy, but it conveys the information. Best part is, each club can link with their own level of design/information.

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Joelgrebin

13 Sep 2010
09:00:46am

re: How to promote a stamp club

Hi Dan,

When i started our local stamp club, one of things I did was to have public service announcements published in the local papers of all kinds as well as PSA's published in the papers of surrounding towns as far as 40-50 miles from our location. We did get interested persons from that far away. They would make the trip on a monthly basis.
Joel

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musicman

APS #213005
20 Jan 2019
03:43:19pm

re: How to promote a stamp club

I thought I would revisit this thread, as it has been 9 years now
since I originally posted it.

Wow....NINE years!

@Bobstamp -

Your #1 suggestion was one word - "persevere";
WE DID! Thanks for that!


We are still going and still growing, albeit slowly. But growing nonetheless.

We have 12 official members at this moment; 2 visitors are contemplating joining soon;
we average 8 attendees on a fairly regular basis.



Now, on to my main purpose of reposting here;

I am looking to all SOR members for advice/ideas on new activities for our meetings.

Here are some details that may be of help -

--we meet in a room that accommodates only a maximum of 12 people (14 if we SQUEEZE),
therefore space is at a premium;

--we are unable to move to a new location at this time;

--we are an APS chapter and do receive approval books once a month;

--we have 2 Officers: a president(who goes to Florida each winter) and a vice
president/secretary/treasurer (all three are me);

--no one in the group has an interest in being an officer;

--I am the only member of the club who still works a full-time job, therefore my free time
is often very limited;



I realize some of these can come across as complaints, but they are not meant as such -
only fact to consider. Whatever idea(s) we come up with here will most likely have to be implemented and carried out by me, so it can't be too involved and time-consuming.

So far, as a club we have travelled to stamp shows and stamp dealers together, had "Guess the Country of The Stamp Image" quizzes, entered exhibiting shows and had 'Door Prizes'.

Also, someone donated a stack of 30 unused approval booklets with 100-stamp capacity;
I'm thinking of presenting the idea of our members filling them with their own stamps to sell among us members. However, if that should take off, I would need some kind of source to acquire more new approval books. I as yet have not found any and if I do, cost could be an issue as we are still a small club with limited funds.



I know this is a lot of info, but maybe some of you have some ideas here?

Big Grin

I hope to hear from you all soon and thank you in advance for your input!!!




Randy



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smaier

Sally
20 Jan 2019
09:11:17pm

re: How to promote a stamp club

Randy,

Our club has had some success with having individual members present short programs about areas of special interest or expertise. We have had presentations on military covers, prexies (on cover, different rate usages), digital microscopes, how to make your own stamp pages, machins, and a couple others I cannot remember.

The presentations are about 15 - 20 minutes and very informal. Doesn't really take that much time to prepare either. Everyone seems to enjoy seeing items that aren't in their own collections.

We always have several people who bring stamps for sale: either in binders or in nickel boxes to pick through.

I usually order from the Fulfillment Center once per year and coordinate with everyone to get whatever is needed. It's a huge order and we all split shipping costs. Everyone really likes it.

Another club member gets current stamp issues from the post office and brings to meetings for us to buy just the quantity wanted.

We used to get programs from APS but haven't done that for over ten years.

This month we will vote as a club for the Linn's stamp popularity poll - i bring copies of the ballot and everyone fills it out. I mail them all in one envelope.

If something fun or special is happening that month, I put it in the newsletter in big print.

If something needs communicated at the last minute, I send out an email blast and only have to call the two members who have no computer or cell phone.


In some ways, you are a victim of your own success. The more members you gather, the more newsletters you have to send out (more work for you). Too bad someone isn't willing to step up and help out.

We had a carload attend ChicagoPex last November and got rear-ended on the highway on the way home. Not sure how much enthusiasm will be present for a repeat journey this November.

Congrats on growing your club. Wish you all the best - if can be hard keeping a club going when you are the only one doing the heavy lifting.

Sally

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angore

Collector, Moderator
21 Jan 2019
06:51:03am

re: How to promote a stamp club

The two clubs in my area meet on a week night so it would be difficult for me to consider attending. Both have Facebook pages but they have almost no activity so why did they even bother? I actually posted on one to give away some old Scott catalogs and the post was deleted.

I had asked this elsewhere but do any local stamp clubs have more than informational web site where members can continue to interact such as a discussion forum?

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Snick1946

APS Life Member
21 Jan 2019
10:56:12am

re: How to promote a stamp club

I am aware of one club that meets in a church basement; you have to go down two sets of steep stairs to get to the meetings, not the best venue for their older members.

With some clubs there seems to be a problem resulting in a lack of focus for the meetings. You wind up with a bunch of older guys telling bad jokes, making sexist and racist comments.

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smaier

Sally
21 Jan 2019
03:43:43pm

re: How to promote a stamp club

Angore - your mention of useless Facebook pages is interesting. Our club has an outdated page with a nonexistent phone number for contact information. Several years ago, one member stated that we "needed" a Facebook page. His wife would set it up for us, and she did.

Then a new member said he would take it over (he was 40 years old). He had a heart attack and died. Apparently he had changed whatever password is required and no one can get into the account now.

I don't have a Facebook account and don't know the first thing about it. Our club does have a webpage through APS. The last internet search I did using our club name returned the APS page first, our Wisconsin Federation of Stamp Clubs link, and a couple other listings before the Facebook link (the Facebook one was number 8). So we decided not to worry about it.

We have never had anyone say they found us by Facebook, even when the page was correct. Several new members found us through the APS webpage and our monthly listing in the local newspaper. Not sure how much Facebook matters around here. Most of our members are barely able to use a computer, and some don't have a computer or cell phone.

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ikeyPikey

21 Jan 2019
04:29:21pm

re: How to promote a stamp club

.
Sally, you may want to enlist the widow.

Google has a procedure for bona fide family members to gain access to gMail accounts (don't ask), and FB probably has a similar provision.

If no one wants to maintain it, you could delete it ,,,

... but I get your point: no harm, no foul.

Cheers,

/s/ ikeyPikey

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angore

Collector, Moderator
21 Jan 2019
06:46:46pm

re: How to promote a stamp club

Facebook is not the end all but it is essentially free way to advertise with minimal effort. Of course, getting the Facebook liked/shared to get it into news feeds is needed too.

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smaier

Sally
22 Jan 2019
12:19:59pm

re: How to promote a stamp club

Thanks ikeyPikey but he was single. No family members who know anything about the stamp club. The lady that set it up is the wife of a different club member. Can anyone delete a Facebook page?

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22 Jan 2019
12:44:45pm

re: How to promote a stamp club

"Can anyone delete a Facebook page?"



No, only the person that set it up. Since it is likely that the page was set up as a secondary page to his own account, FB probably won't let you have acccess to the account either. However, you should contact FB, explain the situation, explain that the page is defunct, incorrect and out of date and ask them to delete the page so that you can post a correct page for the club. You may have to prove your authority to make such decisions for the club.

I can't see them declining, since having a "bad" page is also bad for them.

Roy
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smaier

Sally
22 Jan 2019
07:55:46pm

re: How to promote a stamp club

Thanks Roy. Will give it a try.
Sally

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2010ccg

22 Jan 2019
09:18:53pm

re: How to promote a stamp club

Our club is small and aging..but we put on a show last Fall that brought in over 200 folks (mind you they didn`t
join our club but it promoted the hobby) The reason for the interest was a series of short presentation from other clubs from two provinces. One popular presentation was embroidered wartime postcards....the second was a Royal Tour.....It seems if you can encourage folks from away and interesting history they will come....I believe the interest in collecting a stamp doesn`t
tweek the interest...but a story /collection does. We also meet on a Saturday afternoon and invite the public to small presentations...once or twice a year.... When there is no presentation the meetings are very short and hardly worth the drive....Worried

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51Studebaker

Dialysis, damned if you do...dead if you don't
23 Jan 2019
08:11:02am

re: How to promote a stamp club

Facebook is not free, their income last year was $41 BILLION. They sell ‘you’ and your data. Even if you post nothing in your page they sell you and your data. They can now predict with 94% accuracy your religion, how you vote, etc. just by who you friend on FB. Folks mistakenly think that because they do not get spam emails their personal data is not being sold but this could not be more incorrect.
Don

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ikeyPikey

23 Jan 2019
11:07:05pm

re: How to promote a stamp club

.
NYTimes piece on the location data industry

Cheers,

/s/ ikeyPikey

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