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Sharing Ideas For Growth


(“We” throughout this article refers to GSMOL in general, but in some cases these comments reflect the thoughts and ideas of specific GSMOL leaders, past and present.)

We need new members in order to keep the lights on at our office and pay our fantastic lobbyist and our awesome attorney, 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. 

We want to get ideas from our upper level leaders, the Membership Committee, and the Leadership Training Committee, 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.)

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.   GSMOL leaders might 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 work with 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.    If you want to give us feedback, contact your nearest GSMOL leader.  If you don’t know who your GSMOL leader is, see our Who’s Who page, or send an email through the email form on the Contact Us page

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.  Si desea darnos su opinión, comuníquese con su líder GSMOL 
más cercano. Si no sabe quién es su líder GSMOL, consulte nuestra página 
Quién es quién o envíe un correo electrónico a través del formulario de 
correo electrónico en la página Contáctenos.

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.  Nếu bạn muốn gửi phản hồi cho chúng tôi, hãy liên 
hệ với lãnh đạo GSMOL gần nhất của bạn. Nếu bạn không biết ai là người lãnh đạo 
GSMOL của mình, hãy xem trang Who's Who của chúng tôi hoặc gửi 
email qua biểu mẫu email trên trang Liên hệ với chúng tôi.

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