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The Membership Action Team (MAT) –

Sharing Ideas For Growth


We were just beginning to show some upward motion when the pandemic hit. Like the many businesses and organizations that are suffering from the effects of COVID-19, GSMOL is struggling.

We need new members in order to keep the lights on at our office and pay our fantastic lobbyist and our awesome attorney and publish The Californian, but that’s not the only reason we need new members. Our members are our backbone, our strength. Our members ARE GSMOL.  In order to be able to continue to carry out our mandate to help and protect MH owners, we have to keep growing. 

And we CAN keep growing even in the midst of the pandemic – it depends upon YOU, and the other residents in your park.

The Membership Action Team (MAT)

The Membership Action Team is essentially made up of the GSMOL members who have been appointed Membership Coordinator (MC) for their park, but we also consider that all the Zone Vice Presidents and other Board members, Region Managers, Associate Managers, and the other Chapter officers are part of the MAT as well.

The MAT is led by the Membership Committee, which is the decision-making body for any membership-related policy or proposal that is to be brought before the Board of Directors.

The MAT “Idea Bank”

In order for GSMOL to grow, we are always looking for new ideas. We especially need them now, when we are unable to do some of the things we usually do – such as having park meetings and Conferences to meet people in person.

This section of our website, which is the MAT’s “corner”, can be an “Idea Bank” where we can post and share our leaders’ and members’ best ideas to help GSMOL grow.

We want to get ideas from our upper level leaders and Membership Committee members, of course, but we particularly need ideas from those who are “in the trenches”, our MCs  and local leaders. 

(An MC – Membership Coordinator – is a GSMOL member who promotes GSMOL’s growth in their park, either as a Chapter officer or, if there is no Chapter, as an independent officer supervised by a local leader.  Our goal is for EVERY park to have an MC.)

If you have ideas for growing membership, leaders, Chapters, Super-Chapters, or Coalitions, we want to hear from you! We particularly want to share ideas that WORK, so that others can try them with a reasonable expectation of success.

Toward that end we will be restoring our blog “This Works For Us” and posting ideas sent to us from our members and leaders.

Our Diversity Requires Different Kinds of Ideas

There is no “One Size Fits All” plan for growing GSMOL.  We need a variety of different ways to promote growth – ideas for

  • large parks and small parks,
  • senior parks and all-age parks,
  • urban parks, suburban parks and rural parks,
  • parks where many people speak a language other than English,
  • parks with good resources and parks with none.

We particularly need ideas that can work in a virtual environment – by email, telephone, website, social media, Zoom, YouTube, etc.

Ideas with Legs

Of course, while pitching ideas, we need to be thinking of how we can put an idea that we think will work in our park into action. It’s good to give each idea the Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How test. In most cases the biggest problem is the Who. We in the Membership Action Team often say things like “The Chapter officers will do such-and-such” or “The Associate Managers will do this and that”, but if we don’t get a buy-in from the Chapter officers or the Associate Managers, it ain’t gonna happen.   The same is true in your park…  you need to be sure that you will have a person or team that will step up and carry out your plan.

Anticipate the Challenges

We know it is not going to be easy bringing in new members and new leaders. We are familiar with these responses:

  • I don’t care. (Apathy)
  • We are fine here. (Complacency)
  • I’m afraid to stick my neck out, the manager will paint a target on my back. (Intimidation)
  • I’m too busy. (Overcommitment)
  • I’ve been through too much hassle and can’t take any more. (Burnout)
  • I can’t afford it. (Poverty)
  • No hablo Ingles.  Tôi không nói tiếng anh.  나는 영어를 못합니다.  (Cultural and language barriers)

We understand that there are valid reasons why we get these responses, but we hope to be able to find ways to work through the challenges.   We want to hear from those who are apathetic – what would get you excited?   We want to hear from those who are afraid – tell us how you are being oppressed.   We want to hear from those who are too busy or burned out or wearing too many hats already – maybe there is some small way in which you can assist some other volunteer who has more time and energy.

We need to hear from people of all ages, and find out how to get young people interested in GSMOL, or else there will be nobody left to run our organization when the older leaders have retired.   We  want to hear from representatives of every ethnic community to help us learn how to reach out to your people in a way that they will relate to.

Queremos escuchar a los representantes de cada comunidad étnica para 
que nos ayuden a aprender cómo llegar a su gente de una manera con la que 
se relacionen.
Chúng tôi muốn lắng nghe ý kiến ​​từ đại diện của mọi cộng đồng dân 
tộc để giúp chúng tôi tìm hiểu cách tiếp cận với người dân của bạn theo 
cách mà họ sẽ liên quan.
모든 민족 커뮤니티 대표의 의견을 듣고 사람들이 공감할 수있는 
방식으로 연락하는 방법을 배우고 싶습니다.

The MAT meets on the second Wednesday of each month at 9:30 AM.  This is a Zoom/telephone meeting where we can discuss the challenges of growing GSMOL, pitch ideas, and make plans.  We welcome ANY GSMOL member to join us!   If you would like to be invited, please send an email on our Contact Us page, use “General Questions” as the category, and ask to be invited to the next MAT meeting.  

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