2016 - 2017 Membership Guide
We've just started the new Membership Year 2016 - 2017. Although we are now back to a full 12 month period (September 1st - August 31st) and the dues are back to a standard amount a lot of the posts are continuing to make mistakes on the DNRs they are sending to the Department. The problems arise because a lot of you will not take the time to educate yourselves on the proper procedures and instead prefer to be spoon-fed the information. In the past I have added or renewed the members that were properly included and sent emails back to the posts on the mistakes that were made. I did this to try to be more accommodating instead of just sending back the mistake-laden package to be redone as in the past. However if the errors continue to be repeated as they have been I will have no choice but adopt the new procedure. I have tried to educate everyone in the Department with this Membership Guide in the newspaper/online and again we will have instruction training at the Fall Conference which should answer all of your questions. Again this year I will upload this guide and instructional materials for those who couldn't make it to the conference on the Department website - your best bet is still to attend! The major mistake most of you have been making and continue to make is sending renewals for the new membership period that are not current for the previous membership year. This is a recent requirement from National and to renew a member for 2015 he must have paid his dues and be current for 2014. If he skipped that year or a number of years he cannot be renewed. There are 2 ways to get these members current. One is to pay their dues for 2014 & 2015 (if 2014 is the only year not current) or to add them as a new member. To figure this out you must do a little work on your own by checking with the database for your post that is being provided by National. The Commander, 1st Vice Commander and Adjutant have the capability of downloading this list from the National website. Another mistake is not including the proper amount of dues with the DNR to the Department. This has been a continuing problem because of the changes in dues structure over the past 2 - 3 years. For the membership year 2013 the dues portion allocated to the National was $13, to the Department was $7 (total $20) and the rest was kept by the post. For membership year 2014 which was the adjustment year of 8 months the dues allocated to the National was $8.66, the dues for the Department was $7 (total of $15.66) and the post kept the rest. Now for the new membership year 2015 the National portion was raised to $15 while the Department's portion was raised to $8 (total of $23) and the post of course keeps the rest. You have to remember when renewing a member for one of these renewal periods the proper amount of dues must be included. Both the National and Department are going almost completely digital meaning that every post should either have a computer or have one of their members with a computer to handle the information flow. Along with this we are also trying to get as many email addresses as possible from our members. When you sign up a new member be sure to request this. I have noticed that a considerable amount of new member cards are coming through without email addresses. If your post doesn't have a computer or doesn't know how to use one let me know and I will provide one with instruction. National is sponsoring a recruit membership drive. For every 5 new members you sign you will receive an AMVETS challenge coin and your name will be entered into a drawing for a California Resort stay and free cell phone. For more information check the National/Department website. So what we need are step-by-step instructions on how to renew, transfer, add new members and I am adding process Deceased Members. There are a few things about the deceased member form that virtually no one is taking advantage of and I will explain that below.
So what do we understand from the information above and how do we handle taking care of renewals and signing up new members?
Here is how we do it:
Just a quick note about revalidations. You will be getting all of your information on revalidations from the Department only via the Department website and emails. If you can't do either give me a call and I will mail you the proper paperwork. You are not to pay any attention to what National is saying about revalidations. If you do not revalidate properly with the Department sending all of the required information by the indicated time provided, your post will be suspended until the information is provided whether or not you sent anything to National. The revalidation package will contain a checklist indicating all of the required information which must be returned to the Department. This checklist must be returned with your package to the Department as well with all appropriate signatures