As you can probably tell by my avitar, we got our club going. We took warlocks00 advice and assessed the interest in a club by gathering nominations for "would-be" board members (like he said...no use in forming a club if you cant get enough people willing to run it). A few spots were even contested (which was a bit surprising...but also a good thing), but in the end we got our 5 board members. We gave out nomination forms at the minis for 6 weeks (July/August) and held elections before the last mini of the month in August (with plenty of advertising so no one could say they didnt know about it).
Its a little bit of a backwards way to form a club (5 board members representing 0 club members), but we CLEARLY made it known that these "board members" would be responsible for forming the club (mission statements, by-laws, short and long term goals) throughout the rest of 2009, then hold an official kickoff event (membership drive) at the beginning of 2010. The board would then serve the membership for 2010 with elections for 2011 Board spots sometime at the end of the year. So really, they elected a "club formation committee" that would morph into the Board of Directors once they had members to represent.
This method of forming a club would not work everywhere, but it worked for us. I think the important things to keep in mind are 1) to make your club something that everyone wants to be apart of, 2) take it seriously, and you will be taken seriously, 3) communicate, communicate, communicate. Heres some of the things we did to accomplish those goals...
1) We had the benefit of funds from an old club that dissolved several years ago, so we used that money (plus money from recent disc sales) to put together a solid membership package that members will get when signing up (high-quality aluminum bag tag, custom stamped mini, sticker with club logo and member #, among other things..). Also, after we got our structure set (mission statment, by-laws) we submitted requests for club logos and had the "would be membership" vote on them so they already felt apart of deciding the future of the club. We also came up with ideas for fund raising (1 day event formats, chaninging existing formats, asking for ther opinions and ideas, etc.) and put them together in the form of a questionaire to see what "would be members" thought (making them more likely to want to be apart of what was coming).
2) If you are assinged a task at meetings, follow through with the task...and report back what you found out at the next meeting. We all have lives outside of disc golf, but taking the time to follow through on responsibilities will go a long way in showing that your serious about what your doing. This shouldnt really be an issue, but its something worth conveying to everyone nonetheless.
3) Probably the most important. We announced things that were happening with the club formation at every mini, began work on a new and imporved website, we posted approved minutes out at the course, we advertised the membership drive, benefits of being a members, etc. NONE STOP for the last month, and we encouraged any and everyone to ask questions....TALK to us! Even with all that over communication, there were still some issues we had to get strait with people (mostly because this person did not ask ANY questions and relyed on assumptions) but we got it worked out. There could have been more skeptisism and issues arise if we hadnt tried to over communicate, but I think we avoided alot by trying to be as open and transparent as possible from the start. Will that avoid problems and disgruntled members? Nope, but its much better than under communicating...or not communicating.
Hope some of this helps. If you have any other questions, feel free to e-mail me at [email protected]