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Mr. TC Bulk

From: Association of Collecting Clubs
18222 Flower Hill Way #299
Gaithersburg, MD 20879

To: Digital Reprieve, Inc.
From: Association of Collecting Clubs

Subject: ACC Update, Vol 4, No 6, April 3, 2006

Club Promotion - Membership Recruitment/Retention - Networking

With this ACC Update we are continuing our current emphasis on promotion and membership recruitment. As always, we like hearing your comments on how you are promoting your club, recruiting new members...keeping your members...and trying networking ideas. We welcome the opportunity to share your experiences with the leadership of other clubs.

Share the Hobby. Member Recruitment with a Cash Incentive

The American Philatelic Society has a campaign whereby members can propose a new APS member and earn $5.00. Their message is simple and direct:

"Do you correspond or trade with other stamp-collectors? Do you buy or sell via Internet auctions? Do you edit a newsletter or publish price lists? Well, consider distributing APS Business Referral Cards in your mailings to other collectors.

"The cards not only are a great recruiting tool for the APS, they also serve to identify you as a member of America's national stamp society.

"For dealers who can display it in a retail store or at stamp bourses, we have available a distinctive 9" x 12" card-display plaque. A smaller plastic fold-up counter box for displaying free APS membership brochures also is available.

"And, best of all, you will receive a $5.00 check every time someone joins APS as a result of your referral. Cash it and buy lunch, or send it back to us as a tax-deductible donation. Actually, we hope you'll "reinvest" this money somewhere in the philatelic marketplace.

"Sponsor at least five (5) new APS members in the same calendar year and we'll also give you one year's dues FREE in addition to the checks you receive. So recruit five new APS members you'll receive $25 and a year's FREE dues!

"Become an APS Booster! These free cards can mean members for us, and $5 for you! Only APS members may distribute these cards. you must provide a valid APS member number to obtain these."

To view the referral card and ordering information form, go up on the American Philatelic Society website:

We asked Ken Martin at APS how the program has been working. Ken says the program is working well enough that APS will continue to offer it, but it has not generated as many new members as they had hoped. He adds, however, that the program has been more cost effective than paid advertising or direct mail solicitations. Ken states that over the past year about 375 members recruited at least one new member and a portion of the recruiters donate back their earnings to the Society.

Like many other clubs and societies, Ken says that dealers and auction houses remain their largest source for new members. For the 15th time in the last 16 years, Donald Sundman of Mystic Stamp Company in Camden, New York, sponsored the most new applicants for membership in APS.


ACC Club Promotion Traveling Loan Library

As promised in the last ACC Update, the Club Promotion Traveling Loan Library is now available. If you are thinking about developing a new promotion piece, or upgrading your membership brochure, you might want to borrow this loan library to review some samples of what other collecting groups are using. Perhaps you have an upcoming board meeting where you would like to share them.

The loan library consists of over 50 examples representing that number of clubs. We have several sets however ask that you keep the Traveling Loan Library for no longer than two weeks and that it be returned in the same condition as received. Your only obligation is to return it on time and to pay the return postage (which we estimate as being below $6 in the U.S.).

If you are interested in receiving this loan library please let us know what date you would like to receive it, along with full postal mailing address and the contact name and club to whom it should be addressed. (If you have optional dates that would be helpful.) Send your request information to:


Club Promotion Brochures...The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

Well, it may not really be that bad - but there are examples of all kinds of printed promotions that can easily illustrate what to do and what not to do. Club leadership needs to remember that what you are using to promote your group, no matter whether a tri-fold brochure or an 8-1/2 x 11 flier or something else, for many people...and potential members...this is their image of what you are all about. Next to your website, it may be the most important visual thing you do.

The Association of Collecting Clubs has just reviewed the promotion pieces used by several hundred clubs. As a critique, we offer the following points to consider when planning a club promotion piece:

1 - Identity. Make sure the club name is highly visible on the cover if a brochure, or at the top if a single-sheet flier. Using the club logo can serve this purpose IF the logo is easily readable...many of them are not.

2 - Size. Our preference is rack card size because of its versatility - 8-1/2" x 3-3/4" vertical. Many clubs use tri-folds (6-panels) which fold to this size, or even quad-folds (8-panels) if you have a lot to say, but single panels - one side or two sided are also good and you can get 3 copies from just one sheet of card stock. The standard 8-1/2" x 11" flier, single sided or 2-sided, is also a popular size selected by a number of clubs but not quite as functional as the rack card size. Rack card fliers can easily be put into an envelope, and remember all those promo pockets that many antique & collectible malls have just for this purpose.

3 - Full Color versus one or two color piece. More and more clubs are going to full color promotion pieces, but there is no reason why a well done piece in just one color or two colors can't be just as functional. One factor here - in this age of digitized printing full color is not necessarily cost prohibitive. Also, use the Internet to shop around. There are printers who specialize in this sort of printing, including small runs, who are exceedingly competitive - even with the cost of having to pay shipping from their location.

4 - Layout and Design. This area may be the biggest weakness of the promotion pieces ACC critiqued. Make it easy on the eye, clean...a piece someone wants to pick up and to read. It should "sell" the organization. If you use photos, make sure they are in focus, properly cropped and give the image you want to convey. A picture of a group of "good old boys" hunkered over a display table at a show may not exactly convey the image you are looking for. Anything printed in multi-color should be tested by running it through a black & white photocopy machine while still in the design stages to make sure it is readable in black & white in case someone wants to copy the color version. Shocking colored paper stock may be an attention grabber, but again remember this is the image of your group - select wisely. If designing a tri-fold, make sure the copy flow makes sense after the piece is folded.

5 - Content. Our recommendations: A brief statement about the collecting area itself, objectives of the club, membership benefits including services and activities, contact information including website address if your club has a website, and membership application. Some clubs get preoccupied with including a lot of club history...this belongs in another publication, not the promotion piece. We feel the same way about listing club officers...probably totally meaningless to most people picking up the brochure or flier. Listing dates and announcements for your next annual convention or for shows totally dates the piece and should not be included unless you have plans of revising your promotion piece every year and destroying the old copies. The important thing here is to remember that you don't have to tell them everything. A clear, concise message written in a convincing way, and visually appealing, should be the objective.

6 - Self-mailer versus Cut-off member application versus insert. All club promotion pieces with the objective of recruiting new members should definitely include some form of member application. We have seen effective examples of all types of application treatment and don't really have a preference so long as it makes sense. One caution, if doing the application as one panel on a tri-fold leaflet, make sure the information on the opposite side is well planned so there isn't a major loss of information once the application is cut off and mailed. Again, for tri-folds or quad-folds, a separate application form slipped inside might be a good consideration, thus preventing the dating of the promo piece.

7 - Small Quantities. If you are a very small club and require only a small quantity of promotion pieces, you may want to check out the pre-printed stock now available in dozens of designs at any office supply store. If you find an appropriate design to compliment the look and feel for your club, you can buy a ream of full color border or background stock and simply print your message in one color.

8 - Final comments. Remember that your club's promotion piece conveys your image. Make sure you are satisfied with the look and the message. Also, a professional looking piece does not have to be expensive.


Join A Club Program Off and Running

The ACC's new program to assist clubs recruit more members is now fully launched. Check-off sheets allow collectors to indicate clubs from which they would like to receive more information. The queries comes into ACC and are sent out directly to clubs for you to handle as you deem appropriate.

Quantities of check-off forms are being placed in major antique malls, at shows, flea markets, auction houses and museums. If you have an upcoming show or event let us know when it is and where to send the Join A Club kit and we'll get one out to you. Besides general check-off forms there are both geographic and topical forms. Geographic forms cover various sections of the U.S. as well as forms for Canada and for Great Britain. Topical forms are great for specialty events such as glass shows, paper shows, stamp shows, toy shows, etc.

People can also use the "check-off" sheets on line at http://JoinAClub.Org If you have not visited this site, we urge you to do so. Be sure to check out the participating clubs.

For all clubs which have a website, we urge you to have your webmaster place a JoinAClub link on your site in a prominent location. Help all clubs recruit new membership! You can find a JoinAClub.Org Member Club button in the logo store ready for your use -

For our partners...there is also a "Supporting partner" button. We hope you will consider placing this on your website to help support all collecting clubs. Thanks


Atlantique City Report

The Association of Collecting Clubs had a good show at Atlantique City. Although we had an expanded area (3-1/2 booths), we also had 50 additional collecting clubs participating by sending materials so had no problem filling it up. For a full report, including a listing of the nearly 300 participating clubs, go to the http://Collectors.Org website and "click" on the Atlantique City button on the home page.

The American Breweriana Association and Musical Box Society International had booths directly across the aisle from us, plus we were near where the Peanut Pals, collectors of Planters Peanuts, had an impressive display as part of the Planters' Peanuts 100th anniversary exhibit.

The ACC booth had a lot of activity, particularly on Saturday. Leaders representing several clubs stopped by. (Also had three or four board members from clubs not represented at the booth come by, wondering why their club was absent.) We plan on returning to Atlantique City in October - Oct 14-15, 2006.


Flea Market Directory Provides a Ready Resource

Spring is here and for many collectors there is no better activity on a nice weekend than "taking in" a flea market or two. With any luck, you'll find something to add to your collections. If not, its still an enjoyable, fun time for spending a leisure Saturday or Sunday. The Flea Market Directory located on the ACC/NAC website at http://Collectors.Org/FM/ provides information on hundreds of the major flea markets, listed by city under state headings. There is a wide range of events included, from traditional "flea markets" to farmers markets, antique markets, court days and traders' marts.

We are pleased to announce that our Flea Market Directory has been chosen as the major flea market directory link on two important, related sites - and - both operated by Jerry Stokes who has been active in flea market promotion for many years.

ACC views flea markets as one of the important areas for the JoinAClub displays, reaching out to new audiences who probably are not familiar with most of the collecting clubs.


Club Insurance

We have a lot of interest in the club-sponsored Collector Insurance Program. If your club hasn't looked into this program yet, we urge you to take a look:

Making sure your members have insurance on their collections is one of the best services a club can provide.

This link also offers information on the new liability insurance program for club conventions and events. If you have questions write to:


That's all for now. Let us know any time that we can be of assistance.

Larry Krug & Rick Moses
Association of Collecting Clubs
18222 Flower Hill Way #299
Gaithersburg, MD 20879

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