Strategy 4 directs DGT Alumni Association, its leaders and members to "dramatically increase the number and involvement of active members. It includes Goals 6, 7 and 8 of the Plan. Goal 6 is to "grow the number of active, dues paying alumni to 200 in five years through outreach and the development of programs, benefits, and social and professional networking activities of interest to the alumni." Under Goal 7 of Plan, the call is to "develop and implement a technology-based Communications Plan that supports information dissemination from the Association to its members, and remote participation in the meetings of the organization's membership." Finally, Goal 8 is to "Develop and implement a program connecting alumni with this Plan, including developing an annual series of events that offer social and professional networking opportunities for alumni…"
Bringing about 200 active members in five years is on track, assuming we can continue to double active membership as we have, from seven dues payers in 2013, to 14 in 2014, and 31 to date in 2015. At that rate, in 2016 active membership should total more than 60, 2017 more than 120, and 2018 more than 200. However the steps (objectives) envisioned in the plan to bring this about are not all on track.
As called for in the Plan, the Association did obtain cloud based donor management software that now serves as a database containing the names, profile, and contact information for more than 247 individuals (Objective 6a). Ongoing research and data entry to recover names and documentation is now conducted on an ongoing basis by three individuals, Tom Fiorella, Gil Gerald and Josh Yavelberg. Email addresses are up to date for more than 90 members, and mailing addresses are up to date for another 50 for whom DGT Alumni Association does not have an email address. On the deficit side of progress to date, a case statement for why members should become active dues paying members (Objective 6b) has not yet been developed. Also, not yet developed is an annual, "each one reach one" membership campaign to provide coordinated support to those who are already involved in engaging additional members in their personal network.
Under Goal 7, developing and implementing a communications plan, there has been progress on all five of its objectives, and four out of the five have been completed. Austin Lawther, thankfully, served as the volunteer communications professional we needed, and led a workgroup in developing a communications plan which set the foundation for a branding project (Objective 7a). Chas Martin, working with the Board from his remote location in Portland, OR was compensated for a very modest fee to develop our brand, which now has "Connections" as our core brand value, and "we help initiate and preserve connections among creative leaders to enhance their personal and professional development." Martin also developed, as part of his charge, a logo and the www.dgtaa.org website (Objective 7b). The communications plan developed under Lawther's leadership identified the purposes for the use of social networking, including LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc. (Objective 7c). Also completed and outlined in the Communications Plan is the type and frequency of communications with members (Objective 7d).
The last objective related to Goal 7 is objective number 8 which calls for developing specifications for a system for web-conferencing to provide for remote participation in meetings. This objective is partially complete in that a convenient temporary system is in use, employing GoToMeeting ® by Citrix, a conference web-cam donated by a member, and the personal lab-top computers of members. A more permanent solution, possibly involving an LCD projection system and a retractable screen, or a large flat screen monitor, and more robust capacity for quality transmission is needed to be able to check off Objective 8 as having been completed. Realistically, this project will to full fruition later as part of the design and finishing of the restored first floor, and the Chapter Room.
Goal 8's objectives are not yet on track as envisioned. There is only a sketch of a plan for celebrating, integrating and displaying the history of the fraternity (Objective 8a). The Program Plan for the House, developed under Strategy 3, calls for finishing and conditioning (temperature, humidity, etc.) the cellar to contain and store historical documents and artifacts for display in the Chapter Room an other parts of the House on some yet to be determined rotating or event related calendar. There has not yet been any innovation in the program of events and activities beyond the customary Alumni Day, Thanksgiving Dinner, and Backyard BBQ reunions (Objectives 8b and 8c).