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It is the responsibility of the treasurer to solicit members for dues on a regular schedule.
It is general practice to solicit dues in a newsletter, although a club may also send a separate mailing to area alumnae just for this purpose. The treasurer is also responsible for setting the financial guidelines for the management of club funds.
Club officers often ask questions about membership:
- How do we encourage alumnae to join their local Wellesley club?
- How do we convince them that their membership strengthens the club, and the club, in turn, can then strengthen the link between the college and alumnae?
- How do we convince them that by supporting a Wellesley club, they are reaffirming their commitment to excellence in education for women now and in years to come?
Here is an excerpt from a club newsletter that has addressed these problems well. You may want to use this as a model in developing your own dues letter:
If I give to the College, why should I pay dues to the local Wellesley Club?
I’ve asked myself that, and I’ll bet some of you have, too. And I never understood the answer until I became more active in the club and began to appreciate the things it does - things the college cannot do from the Boston area and counts on us to do for them.
One key function is to provide a Wellesley presence in the area for prospective undergraduates. If we want to promote cultural diversity at Wellesley, and the influx of new ideas and aspirations that it brings, we need to ensure that local high school students know about Wellesley and become excited about attending. But the college fairs, the communications with the Admission Office, and the other functions for students and their parents cost money that is not underwritten by the college. Our successes in the past years in recruiting from this area are a direct result of the club’s hard work in making our presence and enthusiasm known to high school seniors.
Another important activity is to provide links among alums and between us and the college. It’s too easy for us to forget about each other. The events, newsletters, and directory paid for by the club help us keep in touch with one another, and the participation in such sessions as Alumnae Leadership Council gives us a voice in the running of the college and helps ensure that we continue to be proud of our Wellesley ties.
And a personal note about participation in the Wellesley club: I’ve discovered that the club is not the stuffy “ladies sewing circle” group that I expected it to be! It is a vibrant group of intelligent women with wide-ranging interests and contributions to make. I have loved meeting people whose lives do not necessarily revolve around the industry I’m in and who can broaden my perspectives and my enjoyment of the world. Won’t you join us?
The Alumnae Association suggests the following guidelines for soliciting dues:
- Be clear and specific as to what dues are used for on the solicitation form.
- A personal note on a solicitation generally yields better results.
Setting the Dues Fees:
The treasurer, in conjunction with the rest of the club officers, should use the following parameters when determining the fee for club dues:
- When was the last solicitation of dues and how successful was it?
- What is the current postage rate for a first class mailing and is an increase anticipated?
- What is the size of your club?
- Is your current treasury in good shape?
- What are the general major expenses of the club (i.e., newsletters, directories, mailings, book awards, general operating expenses, etc.)?
- What is the anticipated cost of sending the club president or other officers to Alumnae Leadership Council?