Re: CPN needs much improvement with handling memberships

From: Jay Lechtman (
Date: Fri May 14 1999 - 18:53:21 PDT

Date: Fri, 14 May 1999 21:53:21 -0400
From: "Jay Lechtman" <>
Message-Id: <aabcdefg1678$foo@default>
Subject: Re: CPN needs much improvement with handling memberships


Before I sign you up as ICPS treasurer <grin>, let me explain a bit
about how CPN subscriptions (actually, ICPS memberships) are

Checks come to our p.o. box in California, USA. (It would be
faster to have checks sent directly to the ICPS officer handling
memberships, but since officers change from time to time, we'd have
to change the mailing address, with incredible potential confusion).

Those checks are batched (to save money) and sent to our membership
coordinator (he also keeps this discussion list and the CP database
running in his spare time) who process the checks, updates the ICPS
membership list and sends back order requests to another volunteer
who handles those.

This takes a while. Memberships that are sent in after the first
issue of the calendar year is sent take even longer, because back
issues (the missed issues of the year) have to be sent as well.

Yes membership dues are very important to the ICPS. They, as you
know, are what allow us to publish the Carnivorous Plant Newsletter,
maintain the seedbank, keep the web page going, help fund the
international conventions (San Francisco, USA in 2000), etc.

Yes we are all volunteers. Are we doing the best we possibly can
for our members as an organization? Undoubtedly not. What can help
improve response time and services?

More volunteers. As president of the ICPS, I respond to membership
requests and other queries that arrive via both postal and
electronic mail. I also keep the society's finances, am working to
secure non-profit status for the organization, and try to help nudge
along the various projects .... all for the benefit of our members
.... that are in the works and championed by other officers.

Many of the other ICPS officers work harder at their volunteer jobs
than I do. Barry and Jan, the CPN co-editors, Rick, our membership
coordinator, Tom, our seedbank and back-issue coordinator, et al.

Mike (and anyone who reads this):

If you want to see things improve, get involved. I encourage you to
run for the ICPS Board of Directors (that's what I did when I wanted
to help fix the same things you speak of), but you don't need to be
on the board to help.

Tell me your skills, your interests, and your available time, and I
promise to put you to work. Deal?

Jay Lechtman, president, ICPS ------------------- Good Day, I really
didn't want to post this here, because it deals with my dues. But
after thinking , it deserves to be covered by everyone involved with
the ICPS. I have not been a member of the CPN for a few years. Yet
my history with the ICPS/CPN goes back to the beginning. I sent my
dues in on Feb. 13, 1999. Realizing I wouldn't get the March
issue. Yet as of this date the check hasn't cleared the bank.
Maybe it never even was received? I don't know. I tried to contact
a source on May 3rd to find out the status of my membership. Again
I realize its certainly not a top priority, but I have not received
a reply. While talkng with other members about this matter they all
say the samething, "Oh it takes forever and a day!" While this has
always been true. I never remember it being this bad. If we as a
group are going to be moving in a more recongized worldwide
organzation this situtaion must be improved dramaticlly and should
IMO be a top prority. After all we are talking about the collecting
of funds that do and will operate the soceity. With the other clubs
and societies I'm a member of (and some are slow) none are as bad as
it appears to have become with the ICPS. Most people, business,
organzations have no problem collecting funds. I know I certainly
don't :-) This isn't ment to be a nasty post, no far from it. Its
still my understanding that collection of membership information is
done on a voluntary basis. Its a large work load. I doubt there
are people standing in line for this position. But can't we try and
get some idea's going on rectifying this problem? I am very
impressed with the how the ICPS is utilizing the internet. I did
read that soon we will be able to charge funds to the ICPS via
credit cards. I also am pleased to see the creation of a gift shop
and the mouse pad is awsome with Bill Scholl's photo of the S.
flava in the soft burn. I for one will offer anything I may to
help, if it would be of service to make ICPS operate better.
Sincerely, Michael Hunt St. Petersburg Fl

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