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How Many NANFA Members


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#1 Chasmodes

Chasmodes
  • NANFA Member
  • Central Maryland

Posted 02 April 2019 - 05:10 PM

Hi everyone.  

 

I know that we come from all walks of life and careers.  But, I'm just curious.  How many official members do we have in NANFA now (approximate, round number)?  I was trying to explain our organization to a couple of friends of mine, and the question arose to me, and I had no idea.

 

Thanks.


Kevin Wilson


#2 Matt DeLaVega

Matt DeLaVega
  • Forum Staff
  • Ohio

Posted 02 April 2019 - 05:20 PM

Michael will give you an exact number I'm sure. The number fluctuates, but I think there are typically about 400 actual members.


The member formerly known as Skipjack


#3 Fleendar the Magnificent

Fleendar the Magnificent
  • NANFA Member
  • Ohio

Posted 02 April 2019 - 06:22 PM

I know and talk to a lot of people who like fish, aquariums and have expressed interests in keeping native fish, but have always told me that they never followed through because of how hard it would be to keep natives. I have told them the hardest part(for me) was getting them converted to flake and frozen foods with the hardest part of that being the waiting 2-3 days until they get hungry enough to eat. Aside from that, I don't think that keeping natives is that much different than keeping tropicals. So I tell them that if they want to know more and get interested, to visit this site and I direct them here. Hopefully word of mouth will help numbers grow!



#4 Michael Wolfe

Michael Wolfe
  • Board of Directors
  • North Georgia, Oconee River Drainage

Posted 02 April 2019 - 07:59 PM

Yes, our membership as of the first week of March was 455.

 

However, we only have 60-80 people that show up for most conventions and even fewer that are active here or on other social media.


Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. - Benjamin Franklin

#5 Matt DeLaVega

Matt DeLaVega
  • Forum Staff
  • Ohio

Posted 02 April 2019 - 08:11 PM

Wonder how many of the Facebook members would tell you that they are NANFA members simply because they don't know differently. A thousand out of the 5000 there? More?


The member formerly known as Skipjack


#6 Casper

Casper
  • NANFA Fellow
  • Chattanooga, TN alongside South Chickamauga Creek, just upstream of the mighty Tennessee River.

Posted 03 April 2019 - 03:58 PM

?

Wonder how many of the NANFA Facebook members would tell you that they are NANFA members... near ALL of them.

Free Milk.

Somehow they need to become Dues Paying NANFA Members and thus Supporters of NANFA's Good Works.

American Currents Quarterly is a huge advantage to being a True NANFA Member.

 

This should be a major conversion effort.


Casper Cox
Chattanooga, near the TN Divide on BlueFishRidge overlooking South Chickamauga Creek.

#7 Matt DeLaVega

Matt DeLaVega
  • Forum Staff
  • Ohio

Posted 03 April 2019 - 07:53 PM

?

Wonder how many of the NANFA Facebook members would tell you that they are NANFA members... near ALL of them.

Free Milk.

Somehow they need to become Dues Paying NANFA Members and thus Supporters of NANFA's Good Works.

American Currents Quarterly is a huge advantage to being a True NANFA Member.

 

This should be a major conversion effort.

Drives me nuts. I honestly bet only one out of ten know that there is an actual organization. I have ran into two people in the GSMNP in the last 4-5 years on separate occasions that were NANFA members. Only upon further discussion did it become apparent that they thought the Facebook page was the organization. Someone is offering bowfin up for sale on there. That is not necessarily a problem, but I highly doubt that he has even remotely looked into the legality. Unfortunately this free for all has become the public face of NANFA, whether we like it or not. Luckily it tends to be mostly fish and wildlife enthusiasts there, not just monster fish keepers.


The member formerly known as Skipjack


#8 olaf

olaf
  • NANFA Member

Posted 06 April 2019 - 11:32 AM

One easy step in the right direction would be weekly posts on the facebook group that say: NANFA is an organization dedicated to... and about grants... and that members receive AC 4x/year. Then a link to the join page (which should be made as easy as possible to use and pay quickly). 

 

But in terms of enticing people to pay to join, aside from AC and (for a very few people) the ability to apply for the grants, what are benefits to membership that people would consider worth paying for? Most states have no activities or gatherings, few members go to the annual convention, and NANFA as a whole doesn't have any projects or goals that people can take part in. I'm a member because I like fish, but that's not going to be enough for most people. They can like fish for free. 


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#9 Casper

Casper
  • NANFA Fellow
  • Chattanooga, TN alongside South Chickamauga Creek, just upstream of the mighty Tennessee River.

Posted 06 April 2019 - 02:49 PM

I would like to see this as a big motivational concern for our leaders and membership.  Even when Chris Sharpf was lending his time to make American Currents great and timely our membership was always around 500... and still is today... which baffles me.

 

We have so much fun as NANFA members and American Currents just continues to get better and better.

 

Having the two NANFA FaceBook site continues to confuse me even though it has been explained a few times.  I'm sure it confuses most.  I'm not sure how to correct this.

 

I have to support what Olaf says here...

 

One easy step in the right direction would be weekly posts on the facebook group that say: NANFA is an organization dedicated to... and about grants... and that members receive AC 4x/year. Then a link to the join page (which should be made as easy as possible to use and pay quickly). 

 

This would be a good direction to start a membership D R I V E.


Casper Cox
Chattanooga, near the TN Divide on BlueFishRidge overlooking South Chickamauga Creek.

#10 olaf

olaf
  • NANFA Member

Posted 07 April 2019 - 11:20 AM

I have a lot of thoughts on this issue, but I'm not sure how the entire organization could best have a productive discussion. I believe that if there was a way to get every member who's actually interested in NANFA (not just renewing out of habit, charity, or as a subscription to AC) involved, then good, NEW ideas would emerge. 

Obviously not the forum, as that would exclude most members. 

The BOD could discuss it, but that eliminates the chance of ideas coming from the membership.

There could be editorials in AC--I've got a long list of ideas and thoughts that I could write up, and I'm sure I'm not the only one. That would also be a chance to call for input and ideas, to try to get some members fired up. I didn't realize it until just now, but there's very little in AC that's about NANFA as a whole. I'm not a member of any other organization that publishes something, but it seems a little odd now that I think about it.

 

Last time I looked over the mailing list there were members in 46 states (and DC), and 32 of those states had 10 or fewer members. (5 states and DC had 1 member, 8 states had 2, 3 states had 3, 3 states had 4, 3 states had 5, 9 states had 6-10. The bigger states: 8 states had 11-19 members, 6 states had 20-29, and 1 state was over 30.)
 
A membership drive would be a great idea, but only if we can provide people with reasons to join and renew. Otherwise it's just asking for one-time donations. 
Growing NANFA will require a lot of sustained work. That's difficult to make happen in an all-volunteer organization, especially when there isn't a specific, vital cause at the heart of it driving people. If we were saving whales or fighting a corporation bent on exterminating some ecosystem, it'd be easier to get and keep people fired up. I'm not suggesting that we look for a crusade to embrace. As a person who spends a huge amount of time working for NANFA every year, I'm worried. My work on AC gives me that feeling of having a mission within the organization. I am driven to do it because I want NANFA to be putting something important and of high quality into the world. If I don't know what we, as a whole, are really doing, then how must the lone member in some state far from other members feel?

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#11 Matt DeLaVega

Matt DeLaVega
  • Forum Staff
  • Ohio

Posted 07 April 2019 - 07:28 PM

You make a lot of sense there Olaf. Actually more than I would wish.


The member formerly known as Skipjack


#12 olaf

olaf
  • NANFA Member

Posted 09 April 2019 - 07:38 AM

You make a lot of sense there Olaf. Actually more than I would wish.

 

The other big question we have to ask is what NANFA wants to happen.

Do we want to grow, or is the aim to remain a limited club?

 

On a practical level, getting big enough (over 1000 members? more?) would make individual copies of AC cheaper to print. Don't know exactly how much, but could be substantial. It would make it more likely that states or regions would be able to have more events for members and that there would be enough people with the drive and energy to take on issues and projects. It would also make it possible for us to give more grants and have more impact in terms of conservation and promotion of native fishes and habitats. All of which would make it easier to recruit and retain members. 

Staying small makes it easier to manage and keeps it fun and relaxed, but natural attrition may mean it slowly shrinks.


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