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5 hours ago, CWSWINE said:

Guess I was wrong.  On the link provided above uses a example of breaking a bone and FMCA Assist  will fly both husband and wife  home on small jet at no cost.  I thought there was changes but guess not

Those anecdotal examples have no significance with respect to what benefits any individual person will receive.

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12 hours ago, docj said:

Those anecdotal examples have no significance with respect to what benefits any individual person will receive.

I take it you don't believe if you break a bone they won't send a small jet out to pick you up and bring you home like their example on the website?  That is what FMCA would like to you to believe. 

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I personally know an RV'er, from Little Rock, AR, who had a heart attack while in Florida. FMCA Assist provided him and his wife transportation from the FL hospital to a waiting Lear Jet fully equipped with medical equipment and personnel. Flew him to Little Rock, then paid for the transpiration of his RV back to Little Rock.

It is worth the money for me to have the FMCA Assist.

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back to the original post The Future of FMCA

ME, People like us are the future of FMCA!

When the current regime passes those torched of responsibility members will be there (including myself) to receive them and carry them on, just as it has in the past....

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I am at a complete loss as to why the recommendations  of the National President and Financial Committee are being ignored and a deficit budget is trying to be put in place. Jon Walker is absolutely correct. Unless you roll back the dues, membership will continue to drastically decline. The idea to increase dues $25 per year to fund ONE benefit of the membership was a catastrophic decision. I have been a member for almost 20 years, but the embarrassing “infighting “ and blatant disrespect for each other among the board and officers is a last straw for me.  Unless dues are rolled back and the Fmcassist program dropped to achieve this, I will not be renewing our membership this December. I am not going to put money into a sinking ship which does not take the advice of its own experts.  I do not need the Assist program as we have SkyMed, so I am unwilling to pay an extra $25 a year for it.  I have long believed that this program over promises and under delivers. Most do not realize that ground ambulances and medical helicopters from a 911 call are NOT covered. We have SkyMed because I want that financial exposure eliminated.  FMCA needs to get back to being a great resource for RVers and concentrate on providing informative, fun rallies and a good magazine. Make an assistance program optional.

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6 hours ago, peggyjshafer said:

I am at a complete loss as to why the recommendations  of the National President and Financial Committee are being ignored and a deficit budget is trying to be put in place. Jon Walker is absolutely correct. Unless you roll back the dues, membership will continue to drastically decline. The idea to increase dues $25 per year to fund ONE benefit of the membership was a catastrophic decision. I have been a member for almost 20 years, but the embarrassing “infighting “ and blatant disrespect for each other among the board and officers is a last straw for me.  Unless dues are rolled back and the Fmcassist program dropped to achieve this, I will not be renewing our membership this December. I am not going to put money into a sinking ship which does not take the advice of its own experts.  I do not need the Assist program as we have SkyMed, so I am unwilling to pay an extra $25 a year for it.  I have long believed that this program over promises and under delivers. Most do not realize that ground ambulances and medical helicopters from a 911 call are NOT covered. We have SkyMed because I want that financial exposure eliminated.  FMCA needs to get back to being a great resource for RVers and concentrate on providing informative, fun rallies and a good magazine. Make an assistance program optional.

My thoughts exactly.

Richard

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12 hours ago, peggyjshafer said:

I am at a complete loss as to why the recommendations  of the National President and Financial Committee are being ignored and a deficit budget is trying to be put in place. Jon Walker is absolutely correct. Unless you roll back the dues, membership will continue to drastically decline. The idea to increase dues $25 per year to fund ONE benefit of the membership was a catastrophic decision. I have been a member for almost 20 years, but the embarrassing “infighting “ and blatant disrespect for each other among the board and officers is a last straw for me.  Unless dues are rolled back and the Fmcassist program dropped to achieve this, I will not be renewing our membership this December. I am not going to put money into a sinking ship which does not take the advice of its own experts.  I do not need the Assist program as we have SkyMed, so I am unwilling to pay an extra $25 a year for it.  I have long believed that this program over promises and under delivers. Most do not realize that ground ambulances and medical helicopters from a 911 call are NOT covered. We have SkyMed because I want that financial exposure eliminated.  FMCA needs to get back to being a great resource for RVers and concentrate on providing informative, fun rallies and a good magazine. Make an assistance program optional.

 I agree that Seven Corners are second-payers behind Medicare, and other health insurance coverage. https://www.fmca.com/pdfs/FMCAssist_BenefitsFullSchedule.pdf

Edited by RayIN

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I am old school, (f3508-s), so my ideas are old school too.  I'm 54 years old and still work,so have limited time to go Rally's and conventions.

Make fmca budget scaleable, so, no matter if you have 10,000 members or 100,000 members, it doesn't lose money.  Remember, in the 1960s and 1970s, there were only a few thousand members, yet there was still a glossy magazine and great conventions (and points you could earn by recruiting new members that could be redeemed for prises).

Make conventions interesting for all ages.  I've looked over the activities, and frankly, they are boring.  Knitting and painting, and crafts may appeal to some,but not me.  I have an old 1989 southwind, so most of the how to's don't apply to me.  How about procedures on tire changing, installing chains in the winter, locating all the chassis grease points, would really appeal to me.

How about some outdoor activities?  Stage a football, basketball or volleyball game(s) between competing chapters?  In 1972 we had tug of wars over a nasty mud pit, and I still remember it.

Set up an outdoor theater and show somewhat recent movies like avengers or star wars?

Set up a gaming room with x-boxes and play stations and have various competitions.

If a track is nearby, have a pulling competition to see which chassis has more power.

Try to recruit more of these people who are converting busses and vans into "tiny home".  You see articles on these folks all the time online.

All these arguments about losing members is just a re-hash from 5 years ago.  Adding towables wasn't the big boon everybody said it would be, just a band-aid.  Heck, I'd almost like to go back to being motorhome only if we could then just focus on our core membership.

Chris g.

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42 minutes ago, aztec7fan said:

I am old school, (f3508-s), so my ideas are old school too.  I'm 54 years old and still work,so have limited time to go Rally's and conventions.

UNDERSTANDABLE

Make fmca budget scaleable, so, no matter if you have 10,000 members or 100,000 members, it doesn't lose money. 

TRYING TO DO THAT, BUT THE MAJORITY OF THE EXECUTIVE BOARD DOESN’T WANT TO BALANCE THE BUDGET AND REDUCE DUES.

Remember, in the 1960s and 1970s, there were only a few thousand members, yet there was still a glossy magazine

YES, AND THERE WERE MORE MANUFACTURERS THAT ADVERTISED WHICH PROVIDED THE FUNDS TO UNDERWRITE THE OTHER ACTIVITIES OF FMCA WHICH IS NOT TRUE TODAY.

and great conventions (and points you could earn by recruiting new members that could be redeemed for prises).

STILL CAN RECEIVE A $10.00 COUPON TO APPLY TO CONVENTIONS OR AREA RALLIES AND FMCA MERCHANDISE. 

Make conventions interesting for all ages.  I've looked over the activities, and frankly, they are boring.  Knitting and painting, and crafts may appeal to some,but not me.

PROBABLY NOT BUT FOR MANY YEARS THE WOMEN OF FMCA WERE NEGLECTED SEEMS THAT MORE MEN ATTEND THE TECHNICAL SEMINARS NOT THAT WOMEN ARE NOT ENCOURAGED TO ATTEND THOSE ALSO.

  I have an old 1989 southwind, so most of the how to's don't apply to me.  How about procedures on tire changing, installing chains in the winter,

PROBABLY NOT OF MAJOR INTEREST TO THE MAJORITY, BECAUSE TIRES ARE BIGGER,  WE HAVE ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE, DON’T HAVE THE TOOLS AND LARGE AIR COMPRESSOR. ALSO, BEING OLDER THAN YOU, I CANNOT PHYSICALLY HANDLE THE TASK. 


locating all the chassis grease points, would really appeal to me.

YOU SHOULD HAVE OR CAN GET A CHASSIS DIAGRAM THAT SHOWS THE LOCATIONS TO BE LUBRICATED  

How about some outdoor activities?  Stage a football, basketball or volleyball game(s) between competing chapters? 

WHILE MAYBE NOT THAT STRENUOUS, THERE ARE SPORTS OPPORTUNITIES HELD AT SOME CONVENTIONS.

In 1972 we had tug of wars over a nasty mud pit, and I still remember it.

Set up an outdoor theater and show somewhat recent movies like avengers or star wars?

THEY DO THAT, BUT USUALLY INDOORS.  

Set up a gaming room with x-boxes and play stations and have various competitions.

MIGHT WORK, BUT YOUTH ATTENDANCE HAS BEEN VERY LOW IF NONEXISTENT  

If a track is nearby, have a pulling competition to see which chassis has more power.

I AM SURE THAT THOSE $400,000 PLUS MOTIR HOMES WOULD REALLY BE INTO POSSIBLE DAMAGE TO THEIR CHASSIS . 

Try to recruit more of these people who are converting busses and vans into "tiny home".  You see articles on these folks all the time online.

POSSIBLY WE COULD SURVEY TO SEE HOW MANY WOULD BE INTERESTED.

All these arguments about losing members is just a re-hash from 5 years ago.  Adding towables wasn't the big boon everybody said it would be, just a band-aid. 

I DON’T THINK THAT 7,000 TOWABLES IS A BANDAID THATS 10% THAT WOULD NOT HAVE JOINED. 


Heck, I'd almost like to go back to being motorhome only if we could then just focus on our core membership.

THE CORE MEMBERSHIP IS NOW RVers,  NOT JUST MOTOR HOMES . LOOK AT THE FIGURES THAT AGAIN SHOW THAT THE GAINS IN TOWABLE SALES AND DECREASE IN MOTOR HOME SALES HAS EXCEEDED PROJECTIONS .

SORRY FOR THE ALL CAPITALS I USED TO KEEP MY COMMENTS SEPARATE. I AM NOT SHOUTING  

Chris g.

 

Edited by rossboyer

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Few thoughts that I hear from many long time members  and agree with about current situation that FMCA leaders have created and put the organization into.

The adage "Be careful what you wish for, you may get it" certainly applies with changing FMCA from the worlds premium motor coach association with the motor coach member focused issues and interests to a general RVing club.  Also "the first step in correction of illness is not to deny and accept reality" - maybe applies to the current disfunctionial situation?

Three years ago during that organized campaign to change FMCA, the info and process used to sway members was personal - The fact that 50+ years of FMCA success due to it's purpose, mission, and reason for existence were minimized. A lot of knowledge and long time experience in membership was ignored. Options were not considered and vote was premature. Facts provided on membership and financial status during the campaign were later corrected - after the vote. I suspect this will be fact checked and I apologize if any are incorrect. It's my recollection that shortly after the vote, it was discovered that FMCA had unknown membership growth in 26 of the 28 months just prior to that vote. I believe I recently heard that FMCA membership has now declined in every month except 2 since that vote.  I understand now after 3 years of focusing on towables, Ross mentioned there are now 7000 towable members..good, but apparently more than offset by folks leaving?  Rallies seem to be 35+% first timers... good news / bad news... overall attendance trend down so that also means 50% of attendees don't attend again. Is this 60-65% the primary focus of rally attendance or is it first-timers? Cost of acquistion is higher that retaining existing members. 

I keep hearing that many feel the membership decline is primarily because of the raise in dues... I believe this is incorrect...I believe the problem started well before the reactionary dues increase action - the root cause of the problem was the change in FMCA's reason for existence. I believe actual motor coach folks would understood the dues increase for the program - but they are no longer the focus of the organization - and your new target membership market doesn't have nearly the need for the program.   It wasn't the dues increase, it wasn't the new challenge of CoVid, gas prices, $700,000 discovery of found money one year and then a surprise huge program cost increase two years later. It was changing FMCA forever without truely understanding what that meant to members and the organization's path forward. . Those in denial of this fact likely won't find solutions for long term resolutions. (I am  in Sky Med also and have no need for FMCA assist so would prefer the program be made an add-on_ - but many folks need that program.... Some folks may not understand or like the comparison but there is a very good reason why snowmobile clubs don't recruit motor cyclists for their club membership. They work together on common issues but they focus on their own purpose for existence. Many, many are members of both clubs...with different purposes and cause for existence. 

So Be It.. We are where we are. The organization has changed... accepting that and understanding how the organization has been changed to all elements.is step one.

I understand only 20% of members belong to a chapter. ( That would be around 15,000 members ?) My suggestion has been for years that more FMCA chapter support should be shown - not just discussed. In our case, our chapter members recruit many times the members into joining FMCA than is experienced top down- including several new towable members. Is FMCA designating at least 20% of it's total advertising efforts in chapter development ? As an example, maybe 20% of the actual PREMIUM rally time needs to be dedicated to member chapter support? It also seems to me that FMCA benefits form active chapter members likely retained longer than just discount program seekers.

.

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White Eagle, I do believe you hit the nail on the head.

After 53 years and now 77. I'm still going to be here!  So many memories, so many Chapters that are no more, now we are members of two Chapters and Six State rally for South Central Area!

 

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7 hours ago, rossboyer said:

 

Ross, I know most of my suggestions might appeal to a small portion of the membership (or none at all), but the idea is, if you (fmca), keep doing the same thing, you will keep getting the same results.   These ideas are just examples how fmca needs to think outside the box.

You said the gaming room wouldn't work since there are very few kids at the events, but how many 20 and 30 year olds play video games after work?  

If you have a sporting event at a convention, and only 20 people participate,all you need is half those people to post on social media how much fun they had at an fmca event and it's amazing free advertising.  

Thanks for listening,

Chris g

 

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Look, D Ball, smithy, the fire has flared up again. Or have you fixed the problem of continuously losing membership? 

4 hours ago, WhiteEagle said:

Rallies seem to be 35+% first timers... good news / bad news... overall attendance trend down so that also means 50% of attendees don't attend again. Is this 60-65% the primary focus of rally attendance or is it first-timers? Cost of acquisition is higher that retaining existing members. 

Yes, I agree with what you are saying. The biggest thing FMCA can do is build and promote local chapters. I think the focus should be more like 50% on rally development.  If you don't build friendships and comradery at the lowest level you will not grow and you will not retain members. For example I would have been very unlikely to go to Minot last summer if friends from our local chapter weren't going. 

We are in a period of amazing growth in the RV world. Record sales to first timers. There is no reason not to be growing. 

Bill  

 

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We have a 18 year old and a 19 year old, that pulled in front of us yesterday.  Got to talking to them after set up & gave them a FMCA flyer and last months magazine...they filled out the form, wrote a check & it goes out in today's mail.  42' Fifth wheel...they both work for Goggle and been married for 6 months!!!  They are full time.

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More members need to do as you did to recruit members. If every member did, we might not know what to do for all of them; but wouldn’t it be fun to try. 

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4 hours ago, manholt said:

they both work for Goggle and been married for 6 months!!!  They are full time.

Carl, it looks like they have been married longer than you.:lol:

New, younger full timers seems to be a excellent place for FMCA to apply more recruiting  effort. With over 1.5 Million. full timers out there and more going full time every day. 

Bill

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On ‎4‎/‎20‎/‎2020 at 8:52 AM, elkhartjim said:

Bill, looking at it from a business standpoint, reduce staff, go strictly to electronic magazine and lower the annual dues to bring in more members. I like your idea of giving away a one year membership with new coaches sold. Make the FMCA Assist an optional program with a separate charge. Not to turn this into a political scene but you can't tax your way out of a financial crisis and by continuing to raise the dues thats exactly what they are doing.  We always had a saying in sales that its much easier and less expensive to retain a customer than to get a new customer. If they are truly losing 1000+ members a month, they need to do something quickly or they won't exist in a matter of a few years. Escapees has kept their dues at less than $40 for some time and their membership growth has been descent.  

Sorry Herman, but I would never walk up to a complete stranger and have a conversation on the merits of FMCA. Why?  Other than med assist and a tire program that I question the value of, what does FMCA have to offer? I know, rallys!  Like DocJ, I have no interest driving halfway across the  country to park shoulder to shoulder with 2000 RV's and go to a seminar. The majority of younger folks don't have the time or interest. 

Med Assist is why I joined.  I already had a superior roadside assistance program.  I have no knowledge about the tire program.  I have benefitted from the forum, but I doubt it's much of a draw for people who haven't experienced it.  I have absolutely no interest in rallies or conventions, but then I'm unusually solitary -- the nickname fits.  Noting that print newspapers are folding, abandoning their presses and buying into the printing facilities of larger newspapers to be printed, and turning more and more to on-line publication (some of that driven by a factor irrelevant here, being unable to compete in print with on-line news sources for timeliness), it seems to me that dropping the printed magazine, however pleasant is see it, feel it, smell it, turn pages, and read anywhere in the house including the "library," makes sense.  So does membership through dealers.  Maybe so does reducing membership costs.  There's a toll bridge down here that's relatively recently built.  It's been struggling to make its bond payments.  Low use.  So they have twice raised the toll to raise revenue.  Twice use dropped even more and decreased revenue.  Maybe there's a lesson there.  My rice bowl's never been big enough for me to brush personally with high finance, so what do I know?

Edited by UrbanHermit

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All good comments and many good suggestions.  As a businessman and past president of several trade organizations I have learned that a Board of Directors basically knows very little about what the membership wants, especially in a large membership organization like FMCA.  70,000 members is HUGE.  Listen to the percentages.  If only 20% belong to a chapter, don't spend any money supporting chapters.  Let the chapters support themselves.  If a significant percentage don't go to rallies or conventions, don't support them beyond the support of the attendees.  I resent paying my dues when I know a significant portion of them goes toward programs I will never use.  A far better system, it would seem to me, is to price basic membership dues with options to add other subscriptions.  Even if the $25 for FMCAssist goes to $35 on a choice basis I am sure those that want it will still subscribe at the higher figure.

Thought should be given to adding even more "discount" programs.  With 70,000 members FMCA HAS to be enticing to partner with to numerous RV and Travel related companies.  The more the merrier.  This is what will grow membership IMHO.  "You want that lithium battery/solar panel combo package for $4,900?  How about joining FMCA for $45/year and get it from our lithium/solar panel partner for $4,120?"  This kind of incentive driven membership program is what will halt the bleeding and will grow the organization membership to 100,000.

For heaven's sake folks, there are more RVs being manufactured per day than ever before.  Think outside the box and sign them up with give away memberships on ANY new coach or trailer for a year and beat the bushes for discount partners such as mentioned above.  There are potentially dozens.  After a short while RV owners will figure out they can't afford NOT to be a member of FMCA.  As they say, "re-imagine the organization".  The old ways are gone!! 

Give them choices they WANT.  Don't make them pay for benefits they DON'T WANT.  It is insanity to continue doing the same thing month in and month out and expecting different results.  On the contrary, they will be the same results as you are experiencing now.  Loss in members.  THIS CAN BE TURNED AROUND!!  But not by faith alone or cheering on the sidelines.  Radical changes need to be made. NOW.

Just my 2 cents.

Don

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57 minutes ago, akadeadeye said:

I have learned that a Board of Directors basically knows very little about what the membership wants, especially in a large membership organization like FMCA. 

IMHO the Board often has a vested interest in perpetuating its view of how the organization should operate.  Many Boards get caught up in the "we've always done it this way" point of view.  "We can't possibly do that" becomes one of the key mantras.  

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I agree with akadeadeye and docj. national needs to listen to the membership and climb out of the snafu box.

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 This is the way I understand the voting on proposals, considering the structure of FMCA chapters. If you don't belong to a chapter, you never have an official voice in any decisions. Chapters elect a delegate to  vote at regional, regional sends a delegate to vote at the national convention.  To me that's like grade school, where a phrase is whispered to one person on one side of the room, and is passed to the next person; when the phrase gets to the last person on the other side of the room, it has lost the original meaning. Then the board of directors make the final decision, but they are not required to follow the voting outcome.

If I have no idea of how voting is supposed to actually function, please enlighten me.

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