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Suggestions on better leveraging our membership

Old 05-26-2020, 10:42 AM
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jcmors
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Default Suggestions on better leveraging our membership

Just a thought and an effort to try to foster some constructive ideas for action.

Though our membership is declining, we do have members from all walks of life, skilled in many different areas, who could potentially be encouraged into action beyond just commenting on an NPRM or sending letters to our congressmen. I am not in any way minimizing the need to do those things but, perhaps it is time for an organization wide call to action.

Perhaps we could begin at the club level. Are there suggested talking points that AMA headquarters could outline and suggest to club leaders to then take up at local club meetings?
Just from what I have seen on the forums and those I have met at my local club we, the AMA, have a great many intelligent, talented and passionate individuals among our membership.

Possible topics could be:
  1. Talking about ways to try to increase membership on a local level.
  2. Discuss and ensure that members understand the current legislative situation we find ourselves in as I believe many members really are not aware of the ramifications of RID and the coming government regulations being proposed.
  3. Fostering discussions on how to become more visible on a local level to the public in general and highlighting the difference between us and the sensational news items of idiots doing stupid things with "drones". How can we, as local clubs, perhaps generate some positive press in other words.
  4. Discuss ways to make our local club websites more discover able by the public.
  5. Ask for suggestions at the local club level for things we can or should try doing as an organization.
I'm sure there are others here with more suggestions as to what could be suggested for local club meeting discussions.
This hobby requires some degree of intelligence in order to even successfully participate and I believe we have a lot of very smart members, people who just may have ideas others haven't thought of. Suggestions could be collected at club meetings and a list of suggestions could be sent back to AMA headquarters. Wouldn't it make sense to try to make use of what I believe is the best resource our organization has? Members?

Trying to come up with some positive ideas here.

Thoughts?




Old 05-26-2020, 11:01 AM
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https://www.aviationtoday.com/2020/0...te-id-service/
Old 05-26-2020, 11:52 AM
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jcmors
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I've seen that article. Are you trying to say it is too late to try to do anything or is this a suggestion as to a topic that AMA headquarters could send out to club leadership as a potential topic for a club meeting discussion? I have to say that while I admit it may be too late to do anything at this point, I'm not willing to roll over and give up. I don't want to just lay down and watch my hobby die.
Old 05-26-2020, 12:10 PM
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I'm totally with you on that. As I will never give up. I've been at it for over 4 decades. I wasn't trying to say anything, just bringing it to the attention to those who may not have seen it yet.

Last edited by fliers1; 05-26-2020 at 12:12 PM.
Old 05-26-2020, 02:02 PM
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I don't think the hobby will actually die but I do see the AMA not being part of it. That said, ALL ACTIVITIES that require instruction and dedication, not to mention practice, to actually participate are hurting, be it model aviation, dancing, woodworking, etc. I know this has been said before, but people today don't want to do anything that requires effort on their part. Take most to a bar, give them a few drinks and walk them through the Electric Slide, they consider that a great night. Hell, most guys under the age of 55 won't get on the dance floor until they've had at least two or three drinks. Most don't know how to use a circular saw of any sort or how to drive a nail. I've had people, at work, that don't know the difference between a #1 or #2 Phillips and a 1/4" flat screwdriver. This is, to me anyway, is very frightening as most of the people I work with are under the age of 35 or at looking at retiring. And these are the people we are turning the country over to in the not too distant future
Old 05-26-2020, 08:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Hydro Junkie View Post
I don't think the hobby will actually die but I do see the AMA not being part of it. That said, ALL ACTIVITIES that require instruction and dedication, not to mention practice, to actually participate are hurting, be it model aviation, dancing, woodworking, etc. I know this has been said before, but people today don't want to do anything that requires effort on their part. Take most to a bar, give them a few drinks and walk them through the Electric Slide, they consider that a great night. Hell, most guys under the age of 55 won't get on the dance floor until they've had at least two or three drinks. Most don't know how to use a circular saw of any sort or how to drive a nail. I've had people, at work, that don't know the difference between a #1 or #2 Phillips and a 1/4" flat screwdriver. This is, to me anyway, is very frightening as most of the people I work with are under the age of 35 or at looking at retiring. And these are the people we are turning the country over to in the not too distant future
Agreed, all hobbies and activities that require actual thought or real effort are declining. That's ok with me actually though it certainly doesn't bode well for the futureof our planet, let alone our hobby. I would much rather have a smaller number of members in a modeling organization than to attempt to force people who want nothing to do with us to join by force of law. MAAC, from what I understand has under 20,000 members and yet they stayed true to their core and managed to negotiate reasonable carve outs for their membership. An interesting contrast wouldn't you say?

I truly appreciate the thought you put into your posts here Hydro. I find it rather interesting that when the AMA is being criticized, many of the faithful take the time to jump in and defend the organization. Here is a thread trying to foster some positive suggestions and things that perhaps could be done to help our organization become more pro active in the hobby and find it's way again and.... where is everyone? You took the time to make a thoughtful post, to me that shows that you care about the hobby in general. The hobby != the AMA as much as our leadership would have liked things to go in that direction. If the AMA wants to continue to be part of the hobby, something needs to be done differently from what we have been doing.

I wish I had your faith that the hobby will not die. Perhaps I should rephrase my thoughts here. I believe that the RC model aircraft hobby as we know it is "dead hobby walking" for lack of a better way to put it. I am really hoping for a hail Mary here, some thought or idea that may just save some semblance of what we had. Do I have the answers? Nope, not even close. I was just hoping that as a group we might be able to brainstorm some idea that hasn't been tried yet. At least such an idea would have the benefit of not having been tried instead of repeating the same steps over and over and expecting different results. Maybe it isn't a single idea, maybe, most likely, it would take a great many ideas, suggestions, action plans.

Old 05-26-2020, 09:24 PM
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The way I see it, the first thing that needs to happen is the AMA needs to go back to what they did years ago:
1) Being a source of plans and information
2) Being a source of insurance
3) Be a lobbyist for modelers to the members of Congress, not the FAA
When the AMA tried to become all things to all modelers, that's when things started to go down hill for the AMA.
We, as modelers, need to forget trying to bring in new members because, as I've seen happen in other activities, it chases people away, normally at a fast walk to actually running. If someone really wants to learn, they will come out on their own. Once someone shows up, we need to treat them in a welcoming manner, not just hang out with our "flying buddies". I've seen this many times, again in other activities.
What we need to do is secure flying sites and show our Congressional delegations that we are flying in a safe manner. Those that are only flying to get those great shots to post on line need to be banned from these flying sites as well. The individual flying sites need to also coordinate with the local FAA office and, if possible, get their sites posted on the local sectional maps. I see this as a start to reviving the hobby.
Old 05-27-2020, 03:53 AM
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Spot On Hydro! Agree 100%.
Old 05-27-2020, 04:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Hydro Junkie View Post
The way I see it, the first thing that needs to happen is the AMA needs to go back to what they did years ago:
1) Being a source of plans and information
2) Being a source of insurance
3) Be a lobbyist for modelers to the members of Congress, not the FAA
When the AMA tried to become all things to all modelers, that's when things started to go down hill for the AMA.
We, as modelers, need to forget trying to bring in new members because, as I've seen happen in other activities, it chases people away, normally at a fast walk to actually running. If someone really wants to learn, they will come out on their own. Once someone shows up, we need to treat them in a welcoming manner, not just hang out with our "flying buddies". I've seen this many times, again in other activities.
What we need to do is secure flying sites and show our Congressional delegations that we are flying in a safe manner. Those that are only flying to get those great shots to post on line need to be banned from these flying sites as well. The individual flying sites need to also coordinate with the local FAA office and, if possible, get their sites posted on the local sectional maps. I see this as a start to reviving the hobby.
In the last AMA election there was a candidate running on the premise that "The AMA has lost it's way". He was berated in the magazine for speaking his mind. IMHO he was also correct. Just as you said, we need to go back to the what we did as an organization years ago.

Perhaps the AMA could open up their online forum. We used to be able to comment on blog posts on the AMA site. I think a little difference of opinion from time to time keeps an organization from becoming stagnant. Years ago I really enjoyed the magazine, but like so many other paper magazines, it is very difficult to publish with current content that hasn't already been discussed for months in the RC Forums.

I agree 100% with all of your suggestions.

I can also see your point in the futility of trying to drive membership numbers up. Perhaps just being more visible as a local recreational resource is all that can be done here. I believe that in many communities where there is an AMA field, the majority of the public doesn't even know it is there.

A little good publicity from the hobby certainly could help to differentiate us from those "scary drones" the public has been conditioned to despise.

Working with the local FAA office is also a great idea. As you pointed out, lobby Congress but work with the FAA office to make them aware we are there and of the safe way we fly at our fields even if we don't have a need at our particular field to request higher altitudes. We could be actively demonstrating that we really are not the problem. I also really like the idea of banning those folks who fly in an unsafe manner, a far better tactic than trying to force them to join us!

When you say we need to secure flying sites, I think one thing that people may not realize is, I believe you can get a group of hobbyists together and secure an RC flying site even if your group isn't interested in being an AMA chartered club. It has been done, there are, though relatively few, clubs that have been established outside of the AMA. It may be a bit more difficult to accomplish but it most certainly could be done.

Last edited by jcmors; 05-27-2020 at 04:48 AM.
Old 05-28-2020, 02:29 AM
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Originally Posted by jcmors View Post
Just a thought and an effort to try to foster some constructive ideas for action.

Though our membership is declining, we do have members from all walks of life, skilled in many different areas, who could potentially be encouraged into action beyond just commenting on an NPRM or sending letters to our congressmen. I am not in any way minimizing the need to do those things but, perhaps it is time for an organization wide call to action.

Perhaps we could begin at the club level. Are there suggested talking points that AMA headquarters could outline and suggest to club leaders to then take up at local club meetings?
Just from what I have seen on the forums and those I have met at my local club we, the AMA, have a great many intelligent, talented and passionate individuals among our membership.

Possible topics could be:
  1. Talking about ways to try to increase membership on a local level.
  2. Discuss and ensure that members understand the current legislative situation we find ourselves in as I believe many members really are not aware of the ramifications of RID and the coming government regulations being proposed.
  3. Fostering discussions on how to become more visible on a local level to the public in general and highlighting the difference between us and the sensational news items of idiots doing stupid things with "drones". How can we, as local clubs, perhaps generate some positive press in other words.
  4. Discuss ways to make our local club websites more discover able by the public.
  5. Ask for suggestions at the local club level for things we can or should try doing as an organization.
I'm sure there are others here with more suggestions as to what could be suggested for local club meeting discussions.
This hobby requires some degree of intelligence in order to even successfully participate and I believe we have a lot of very smart members, people who just may have ideas others haven't thought of. Suggestions could be collected at club meetings and a list of suggestions could be sent back to AMA headquarters. Wouldn't it make sense to try to make use of what I believe is the best resource our organization has? Members?

Trying to come up with some positive ideas here.

Thoughts?
"Rich Hanson stated that the future of the organization is in new member acquisition. He would like to see more focus on a strategy for new member acquisition. Eric Williams stated that if clubs aren’t doing as they had in the past and growing their clubs, AMA needs to find a new gateway to attracting new members. The committee is enthused about entertaining all possibilities and sharing them."
Old 05-28-2020, 03:02 AM
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Originally Posted by fliers1 View Post
"Rich Hanson stated that the future of the organization is in new member acquisition. He would like to see more focus on a strategy for new member acquisition. Eric Williams stated that if clubs aren’t doing as they had in the past and growing their clubs, AMA needs to find a new gateway to attracting new members. The committee is enthused about entertaining all possibilities and sharing them."
The problem today is that people don't want to have to do anything but put in batteries and go play. These are the same people that don't want to be tied to any organization or be bound by rules. As I said in a previous post, if you go after new people, you will end up chasing them away. Rich Hanson has already shown me that he's a good one for twisting a story but, when you look at society today, the statement "If you continue to do what you've always done, you can expect the same results" never rang more true. The results of going out and trying to recruit new membership failed in all sorts of ways. That just means trying to recruit new people isn't going to work. Doing demonstrations won't work either as I've seen people watch a demo but as soon as someone approaches them, they run in the opposite direction. We need to be able to do things out where the public can watch, ask questions and, MOST OF ALL, NOT FEEL LIKE THEY'RE GETTING THE HARD SELL!!!!!!!! Treating spectators like they are targets of a used car salesman will chase people away almost as fast as yelling "BOMB!!!!!!!"
Old 05-28-2020, 04:41 AM
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Originally Posted by fliers1 View Post
"Rich Hanson stated that the future of the organization is in new member acquisition. He would like to see more focus on a strategy for new member acquisition.
If nothing else, Rich Hanson is indeed a master of the obvious.

The minutes going back decades are full of surveys, and discussions, etc. over this issue. The EC minutes have consistently talked about the need to bring in new members going back as far as 1999. So this is hardly a new revelation. I'd as what have they been doing about it for the last 21 years? Has any of it worked (other than juicing member numbers by giving away free memberships to youths)? Even on that specific point, I can't help but notice the youth membership issue continues to go "around the circle" yet again. They were minimal cost decades ago, then some cost, then free, and now back to some cost. Another example of trying the same thing and expecting different results.

What does our esteemed EC member think the organization should do? What are his specific policy proposals to acquire new members*?

* I'd add "paying members" since they're the only ones that really count
Old 05-28-2020, 04:54 AM
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Originally Posted by franklin_m View Post
* I'd add "paying members" since they're the only ones that really count
How about paying AND voting members?

Astro
Old 05-28-2020, 05:17 AM
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Originally Posted by astrohog View Post
How about paying AND voting members?

Astro
Good point. It think it would be really interesting to survey the following:

- Why people don't renew
- Why all free or reduced cost youth do not become full paying members upon hitting age limit
- Why people downgrade membership (go from full to PF)
- Why people don't vote
- "Is the quality of the local flying field a factor in your decision to renew or not?"
- "Is the existence of a national flying site in Muncie a factor in your decision to renew or not?"
- "Is the existence of a model aviation museum in Muncie a factor in your decision to renew or not?"
- "Have you ever visited Muncie?"
- "If so, how many times?"

Added:
- "Do support continued publication of magazine(s) if they are not revenue neutral or better?"
- "How many times has your District VP or AVP visited your field?"
- "Do you compete in sanctioned events?"
- "If yes, how many times?"
- "Do you participate in sanctioned fun flys?"
- "If yes, how many times?"

Last edited by franklin_m; 05-28-2020 at 06:43 AM.
Old 05-28-2020, 06:45 AM
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What I don't get is after all the discussion in EC minutes of surveys, going back to 1998, why have they not asked definitive yes/no questions about some of their big ticket spending items?

Could it be that they don't want to know that most of the membership doesn't value these things as much as they do? That would explain a lot.
Old 05-28-2020, 07:10 AM
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Originally Posted by franklin_m View Post
What I don't get is after all the discussion in EC minutes of surveys, going back to 1998, why have they not asked definitive yes/no questions about some of their big ticket spending items?

Could it be that they don't want to know that most of the membership doesn't value these things as much as they do? That would explain a lot.
We have our AMA website. It would be relatively easy to create some polls right there in the website for members to express their opinions and views as to what is important to us and what is not. Why not have a forum area on the official website for members to discuss ideas and make suggestions? I am beginning to think that they don't really want to know, for if they did, finding out would be extremely easy.

I mentioned at the start of this thread that I believe within the membership of the AMA we have some "pretty smart people". Those pretty smart people are not all members of the EC or in leadership positions. Leveraging the intelligence of the collective membership to solve problems and work towards common goals should be intuitive. Even at the club level we rarely have discussions on things during our meetings that affect the hobby, or the organization as a whole and normally concentrate on local club business. Nothing wrong with focusing on local club business and issues but I thought that perhaps club meetings could be an interesting venue to foster some discussion and the collection of suggestions and ideas to then be collected by the club secretary and sent upstream to AMA HQ. HQ could send out a few suggested topics for discussion at club meetings and I think there would be a good level of participation. I could be wrong though, admittedly it wouldn't be the first time. (Don't tell anyone I admitted that ok? )
Old 05-28-2020, 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted by jcmors View Post
Just a thought and an effort to try to foster some constructive ideas for action.

Though our membership is declining, we do have members from all walks of life, skilled in many different areas, who could potentially be encouraged into action beyond just commenting on an NPRM or sending letters to our congressmen. I am not in any way minimizing the need to do those things but, perhaps it is time for an organization wide call to action.

Perhaps we could begin at the club level. Are there suggested talking points that AMA headquarters could outline and suggest to club leaders to then take up at local club meetings?
Just from what I have seen on the forums and those I have met at my local club we, the AMA, have a great many intelligent, talented and passionate individuals among our membership.

Possible topics could be:
  1. Talking about ways to try to increase membership on a local level.
  2. Discuss and ensure that members understand the current legislative situation we find ourselves in as I believe many members really are not aware of the ramifications of RID and the coming government regulations being proposed.
  3. Fostering discussions on how to become more visible on a local level to the public in general and highlighting the difference between us and the sensational news items of idiots doing stupid things with "drones". How can we, as local clubs, perhaps generate some positive press in other words.
  4. Discuss ways to make our local club websites more discover able by the public.
  5. Ask for suggestions at the local club level for things we can or should try doing as an organization.
I'm sure there are others here with more suggestions as to what could be suggested for local club meeting discussions.
This hobby requires some degree of intelligence in order to even successfully participate and I believe we have a lot of very smart members, people who just may have ideas others haven't thought of. Suggestions could be collected at club meetings and a list of suggestions could be sent back to AMA headquarters. Wouldn't it make sense to try to make use of what I believe is the best resource our organization has? Members?

Trying to come up with some positive ideas here.

Thoughts?
Anybody want a job?
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Old 05-28-2020, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by fliers1 View Post
Anybody want a job?
That is almost funny... The Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) is looking for someone to lead our membership acquisition efforts, all within the backdrop of an exciting and growing aeromodeling hobby! I must have missed the huge growth in our hobby recently! Or, do we consider the hobby as growing because we are still pursuing the photography hobbyists who just want to fly anywhere without regard to safety in order to get spectacular shots of the Blue Angels (and other such things)?

Exciting, yes, to me and many others.

Growing? Not so much.

If we don't do something about the coming regulations in fact, it will be shrinking. Who wants to join the hobby right now (if they were aware) and spend hundreds to thousands of dollars on equipment that is likely to be obsolete in just a few years?

I disagree with the idea of hiring someone for such a position. Membership growth, I believe, should be mostly a function of the local clubs and individual modelers. Advertise the existence of the AMA and what we are about, let people know we are out here, offer real value for membership dollars and let those that are interested come to a local club meeting where (hopefully) they receive a warm welcome!

Last edited by jcmors; 05-28-2020 at 01:30 PM.
Old 05-28-2020, 02:37 PM
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Originally Posted by jcmors View Post
That is almost funny... The Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) is looking for someone to lead our membership acquisition efforts, all within the backdrop of an exciting and growing aeromodeling hobby! I must have missed the huge growth in our hobby recently! Or, do we consider the hobby as growing because we are still pursuing the photography hobbyists who just want to fly anywhere without regard to safety in order to get spectacular shots of the Blue Angels (and other such things)?

Exciting, yes, to me and many others.

Growing? Not so much.

If we don't do something about the coming regulations in fact, it will be shrinking. Who wants to join the hobby right now (if they were aware) and spend hundreds to thousands of dollars on equipment that is likely to be obsolete in just a few years?

I disagree with the idea of hiring someone for such a position. Membership growth, I believe, should be mostly a function of the local clubs and individual modelers. Advertise the existence of the AMA and what we are about, let people know we are out here, offer real value for membership dollars and let those that are interested come to a local club meeting where (hopefully) they receive a warm welcome!
What I see is they are looking for a scapegoat. My reasoning is this:
  • The powers that be are in danger of losing their cushy jobs due to declining membership and don't know how to stop the trend
  • By hiring someone with a marketing degree, they think that person will be able to come up with a marketing plan that will attract those that don't know anything about model aviation or the problems with drones and the FAA
  • They are betting, foolishly in my opinion, that who ever they hire will be able to bring in enough "new blood" to offset the salary they're being paid. Did anyone besides me notice that there was no mention of a pay range in that ad?
  • If the person hired doesn't get that increase of members the EC is hoping for and the membership keeps falling, as it is now, they can shift the blame to the person they hire, leaving themselves with clean hands and no "egg on their faces"
I see this as a "self preservation" move that was designed to make the EC able to say "We did everything we could" in the event the AMA keeps losing members. It doesn't do anything to address the real issues:
  • Unsound fiscal planning and budgeting
  • Failure to discontinue programs that are not "self sustaining"
  • Failure to provide value for the money they are charging for dues
  • Inept management and failure to require performance out of the office staff
  • Failure to negotiate in "good faith" with congress and the FAA
IF the powers that be were to address the issues, I can see the AMA being around for many more years. As things are being run right now, the AMA will be gone as an entity within the decade, if it lasts that long
Old 05-28-2020, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Hydro Junkie View Post
The powers that be are in danger of losing their cushy jobs due to declining membership and don't know how to stop the trend
Read the 26 January 2019 EC minutes, item #3, and see who was assigned the task of growing membership. Now it appears they're hiring out ... which lends support to the idea that they're searching for a scapegoat.

Hanson et. all have tried to grow membership for almost 20 years w/o success ...

And our resident EC member is STILL silent on HIS ideas for growing membership.
Old 05-29-2020, 04:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Hydro Junkie View Post
What I see is they are looking for a scapegoat. My reasoning is this:
  • The powers that be are in danger of losing their cushy jobs due to declining membership and don't know how to stop the trend
  • By hiring someone with a marketing degree, they think that person will be able to come up with a marketing plan that will attract those that don't know anything about model aviation or the problems with drones and the FAA
  • They are betting, foolishly in my opinion, that who ever they hire will be able to bring in enough "new blood" to offset the salary they're being paid. Did anyone besides me notice that there was no mention of a pay range in that ad?
  • If the person hired doesn't get that increase of members the EC is hoping for and the membership keeps falling, as it is now, they can shift the blame to the person they hire, leaving themselves with clean hands and no "egg on their faces"
I see this as a "self preservation" move that was designed to make the EC able to say "We did everything we could" in the event the AMA keeps losing members. It doesn't do anything to address the real issues:
  • Unsound fiscal planning and budgeting
  • Failure to discontinue programs that are not "self sustaining"
  • Failure to provide value for the money they are charging for dues
  • Inept management and failure to require performance out of the office staff
  • Failure to negotiate in "good faith" with congress and the FAA
IF the powers that be were to address the issues, I can see the AMA being around for many more years. As things are being run right now, the AMA will be gone as an entity within the decade, if it lasts that long
So, the way to correct the current trend of deficit spending and budget problems is not to tighten our belts but to try to bring in more members. Where are these new members going to come from? Those who are true model aircraft enthusiasts, I believe, are well aware of the existence of the AMA. Many join to be able to fly at local clubs or to have the insurance and many do not because they have perfectly viable rural areas they can fly at and have no need for what the AMA is offering. Then there are the droners, not folks that build multirotor drones for racing or flying LOS but the long range FPV type who are interested in the photography hobby or are simply thrill seekers that want nothing to do with rules and regulations and certainly have no interest in flying at the same club site taking video of the same scenery week after week. The first group, modelers that fly in rural areas and don't need club fields or insurance, would only be attracted to join by giving them something of value for their membership. The second group who would not want to join no matter what we do, we should not even WANT to attract into our organization as members because if we were to bring in these FPV long range risk takers we would have to stop saying that our members are not the problem.

Hobby shops and manufacturers have tried to attract people into the hobby for some time. If you even still have a hobby shop near you have you noticed their stock changing over the recent years? The one closest to me used to have a nice selection of planes, ARF, RTF, balsa kits and balsa along with the materials and supplies needed to build and finish them. They used to carry a decent selection of helicopters as well though nowhere near the selection for planes. Go into that same hobby shop today: One parkflyer, one UMX plane, a coaxial indoor helicopter, almost no parts and.... shelves upon shelves of mutirotor, self stabalized drones. If the hobby were growing do you think these hobby shops would have abandoned these lines of products?

Hydro, at least you will still have your RC boating hobby when the dust settles from all this regulation. Perhaps it is time for me to look into something other than model aircraft as well!

I could be wrong but I believe we are trying to solve the wrong problems with this move. I would really like to hear the opinion of others on this.



Old 05-29-2020, 08:50 AM
  #22  
franklin_m
 
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Originally Posted by jcmors View Post
So, the way to correct the current trend of deficit spending and budget problems is not to tighten our belts but to try to bring in more members. Where are these new members going to come from? Those who are true model aircraft enthusiasts, I believe, are well aware of the existence of the AMA. Many join to be able to fly at local clubs or to have the insurance and many do not because they have perfectly viable rural areas they can fly at and have no need for what the AMA is offering. Then there are the droners, not folks that build multirotor drones for racing or flying LOS but the long range FPV type who are interested in the photography hobby or are simply thrill seekers that want nothing to do with rules and regulations and certainly have no interest in flying at the same club site taking video of the same scenery week after week. The first group, modelers that fly in rural areas and don't need club fields or insurance, would only be attracted to join by giving them something of value for their membership. The second group who would not want to join no matter what we do, we should not even WANT to attract into our organization as members because if we were to bring in these FPV long range risk takers we would have to stop saying that our members are not the problem.

Hobby shops and manufacturers have tried to attract people into the hobby for some time. If you even still have a hobby shop near you have you noticed their stock changing over the recent years? The one closest to me used to have a nice selection of planes, ARF, RTF, balsa kits and balsa along with the materials and supplies needed to build and finish them. They used to carry a decent selection of helicopters as well though nowhere near the selection for planes. Go into that same hobby shop today: One parkflyer, one UMX plane, a coaxial indoor helicopter, almost no parts and.... shelves upon shelves of mutirotor, self stabalized drones. If the hobby were growing do you think these hobby shops would have abandoned these lines of products?

Hydro, at least you will still have your RC boating hobby when the dust settles from all this regulation. Perhaps it is time for me to look into something other than model aircraft as well!

I could be wrong but I believe we are trying to solve the wrong problems with this move. I would really like to hear the opinion of others on this.
Everything AMA is discussing now has been tried and failed at least once over the last 20 years. Yet they continue to try doing the same things over and over again and "hope" for a different result. Much like our esteemed EC member, who despite numbers opportunities to discuss HIS plan for growing membership, remains curiously silent. I think there's a reason. They don't have a clue what to do. That when combined with a severe resistance to slash spending, means that the EC is putting the AMA on a path to financial ruin.

They started the current AMA Fiscal Year (jan-dec) in a deficit. COVID has negatively impacted not only revenue but also investments. And yet they're hiring? Unbelievable. They should be slashing. This level of incompetent management is astonishing. When they finish this year with their second deficit in a row (unless they continue selling off investments to make budget - meaning even less revenue earning investments next year), they have surely put the organization on a path to financial destruction.

But hey, "they're the only ones ..." right? Well, they won't be the "only ones" if they don't survive financially.
Old 05-29-2020, 02:41 PM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by franklin_m View Post
They started the current AMA Fiscal Year (jan-dec) in a deficit. COVID has negatively impacted not only revenue but also investments. And yet they're hiring? Unbelievable. They should be slashing. This level of incompetent management is astonishing. When they finish this year with their second deficit in a row (unless they continue selling off investments to make budget - meaning even less revenue earning investments next year), they have surely put the organization on a path to financial destruction.

But hey, "they're the only ones ..." right? Well, they won't be the "only ones" if they don't survive financially.
As I said above, they are hiring a "scapegoat". They know they are in trouble and, if they hire someone to "right the ship" before it sinks, they have a win-win. If that person actually does "right the ship", the AMA survives and the powers that be keep their jobs and keep spending as they always have. If that person can't "right the ship", the AMA brass can say "We did what we could but our person dropped the ball", freeing themselves from having to take on any of the blame. Either way, the powers that be will be patting themselves on the back for their cleverness
Old 05-29-2020, 03:31 PM
  #24  
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Well so much for the premise of this thread... leveraging the talents and intelligence of our membership and trying to come up with action plans and suggestions through them! I'd be willing to bet that there are several AMA members that have marketing skills and talents AND also know the hobby. In addition by polling members or suggesting topics to foster discussion and suggestions at AMA club meetings perhaps there would be some solutions proposed that have not been tried. I see there is also a posting looking for a Drupal developer for the website. Oddly enough I offered to help with the website back when we were having errors and issues during the change in design and move to using Drupal... but then I only have over 30 years experience in software engineering and design including the use of content management systems such as Drupal so what do I know.

FWIW I truly do believe we have a great many intelligent members from all walks of life who would be more than willing to try to help find solutions to some of the problems our organization is having. But then, apparently, if you are not a leader member or a member of the EC, you couldn't possibly be smart enough.

I know there is a member here who has a unique and apparently very successful method for training new pilots who has also offered to help which could have resulted in more members... another talented member wasted.

Last edited by jcmors; 05-29-2020 at 03:33 PM.
Old 05-29-2020, 03:56 PM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by jcmors View Post
I know there is a member here who has a unique and apparently very successful method for training new pilots who has also offered to help which could have resulted in more members... another talented member wasted.
Thanks a bunch. I am an AMA Flight Leader Member and they won't give me the time of day. AMA did add my method on their web site, but refused to go the one step further. All I wanted was for them to send just one to me so I could teach them this method. I still have an open invitation for anyone to do so. Imagine 2400 clubs with someone able to literally instantly teach most anyone to solo status within a couple of hours on the average? I've done that hundreds of times over the years and contrary to the thoughts of some, all I've trained were very safe solo pilots right from the get-go. Yes, they were all "cut loose" and flying very skillfully and some even became club flight instructors right away. I can and have easily brought in many new members for the AMA and local clubs. When I had a hobby shop, that's how I kept my doors open, as I couldn't depend on local clubs to send customers to me.
My plan is to teach others how to do this and they can in turn do the same, so on, so on, and etc. This is not just theory, I've done this on a very limited basis in my local club, The Brauers Aviators. I've even trained Gary Fitch, AVP (not certain of his position). For those who are already skilled solo pilots, it should only take about an hour to learn this method. You can practice on your own several ways.
I hope it's not too late. The potential is astronomical Just takes a little imagination.

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