Program Manual

Membership Retention


MEMBERSHIP RETENTION – Dennis Trainor, Chairman


It is not by recruitment alone that our Order grows, but by making sure that our current members are engaged with the Order. Therein lies the directive of Membership Retention, from the State level to the Councils. Every Brother Knight should be afforded the opportunity to practice the principles that drive our Order – Charity, Unity and Fraternity.
Retention efforts must start immediately after the Admission Degree has been conferred on a new member.
 Encourage the new member to take the Formation and Knighthood degrees as soon as possible.
 Establish a "welcoming committee" of several council members to provide the member and his family with information on the council, show them around the council's facilities and answer questions they may have.
 Present the new member with a ‘New Member’ package, as an example:
Council Ball Cap
Council Name Badge
T-shirt emblazoned with the Order's emblem and the council number
Admission Degree Certificate
 A new Knight's proposer should:
Introduce him to other council members
Inform him of the dates and times for council meetings and activities
Establish a car pool to bring new and old members to meetings. 
 Get new members interested in earning the Shining Armor Award to help their knowledge and involvement in the Order grow.
For those members who have become non-participative, inactive, and in arrears of council dues, it is imperative to find out WHY:
 Has the member become ill, or unemployed, or even worse, has died. There is nothing more uncharitable, non-benevolent, and embarrassing than to suspend a brother Knight in a time of need.
 Is the member no longer a Catholic?
 Does the member feel as if he doesn’t belong?
 Has the member moved to another parish or town?
These are issues which can be addressed by a viable Council Retention Committee.
On the other hand, if a member just doesn’t want to belong to the Knights of Columbus anymore, there are processes in place that can accomplish the dropping of a member. (Refer to Texas Proper Billing Procedures in this section.)


Retention Committee
Every council should establish a Retention Committee:
 The Deputy Grand Knight (Usually assigned as Chairman)
 Trustees
 Membership Director (Retention falls under his direct authority)
 Others as may be directed by the Grand Knight
 Grand Knight as an ex-officio member
Determine the cause of members who are not paying their dues or participating in the council and provide possible solutions to the problem. 
Examine the “council’s conscience” often to find possible reasons why a member loses interest in maintaining his active membership and then work to eliminate those reasons. (Surge ... With Service Program Manual)
Suspension for Non-Payment
Every council loses members due to deaths and withdrawals. Withdrawals are normally a result of a resignation from a member who is no longer a practical Catholic. They should not be the path of least resistance to removing a member from the council. There are numerous examples of withdrawals accepted which cite reasons such as health, financial troubles or the member has moved (frequently to another town with a council and no offer of help transferring to the new council). 
But suspension for non-payment of dues represents the largest group of losses to the Order each year. Thus, it is of vital importance that proper billing procedures are followed before the process to suspend a member begins.


Financial Secretary Responsibilities
With regards to retentions and suspensions, the Financial Secretary is reminded that:
1. He is not a member of his council’s Retention Committee nor is he eligible to serve as the council’s Retention Chairman. His only true duty is to provide a list of members who are in arrears in their dues when requested by the Grand Knight. It is the responsibility of the Retention Committee to contact each member, review each member’s situation, and make a recommendation to the Grand Knight as documented on the Texas Membership Conservation Report (Form TX-1845A)
2. He must follow the procedures on the Intent to Retain Form 1845, and to provide a copy to the District Deputy and the State Retention Chairman at the time he sends the original to the Supreme Council. In addition, the council must have a Form 365 on file at the Supreme Council Office showing that a Council Retention Chairman and a Council Retention Committee has been appointed, and the council must have the last two consecutive audit reports (Form 1295 A&B) on file.
3. He must provide a copy of the Texas Membership Conservation Report (Form TX-1845A) to the State Retention Chairman, which is signed by him, the council Grand Knight, the council Retention Chairman, and the District Deputy.
4. He must abide by Section 168, paragraph 3, of the Supreme By-Laws when proceeding with the filing of a suspension of a member. This paragraph states that a member has three months to pay his dues from the date of those dues being levied. This generally means that a member is not delinquent until April 1st.


Suspension Forms
The Notice of Intent to Retain form, also known as Form 1845, is associated with the suspension process defined by the Supreme Council and is typically filled out by the Financial Secretary and must be signed by the council Grand Knight and the council Retention Chairman.
The Texas Membership Conservation Report, also known as Form TX-1845A is an additional form associated with the suspension process and was developed by the Texas State Council in compliance with Supreme Council requirements. This form is required by the State Deputy and must be signed by the council Financial Secretary, the council Grand Knight, the council Retention Chairman and the District Deputy with a copy to the Diocesan Deputy, and State Retention Chairman. (Refer to Texas Proper Billing Procedures for more details in this section.) FS signatures on the contact attempts to be conducted by the Retention committee will invalidate the Form TX-1845A.
District Deputy Check List 
1. Discuss each council’s anticipated suspension activity as the billing process begins. If the anticipated suspensions are large, you should be working up a plan with the council to work this over a period of time which ensures you have time to complete your portion of the process (which requires you to attempt contact with each proposed drop). Contact the State Retention chairman with a heads up if significant suspension activity is anticipated.
2. Review Texas State Council Review of Suspension Request Form 1845-R
a. Verify that the council has filed Form 365 (Service Program Personnel Report) with Supreme.
b. Verify a council Retention Chairman has been identified on Form 365.
c. Confirm that the council has submitted the last two consecutive semi-annual audit reports to Supreme. (Form 1295)
d. Confirm that the council Financial Secretary, the council Grand Knight, and the council Retention Chairman have signed Form 1845 (Notice of Intent to Retain).
e. Confirm that Form TX-1845A has been completed in its entirety by the council Retention Committee and has been signed by the council Retention Chairman, the council Financial Secretary, and the council Grand Knight, and the District Deputy.
f. Confirm that the all sections are complete and legible.
g. Do a follow-up to make sure that members submitted for suspension are not out of work or in distress.
3. Confirm that members of “Honorary” and “Honorary Life” age and tenure are not being suspended. Make sure the Financial Secretary applies for an “Honorary” and/or “Honorary Life” membership card and, thus, avoiding an embarrassing suspension. (As of March 1, 2011, the Supreme Board of Directors directed that this task must be completed by the Supreme Council Membership Records staff as members become eligible and meet the criteria as outlined in Section 118 of the Charter Constitution Laws of the Knights of Columbus.)
4. Make sure that questions of Catholicity and being a practical Catholic are handled as a withdrawal. Requires judgment by the council chaplain or pastor. If the member is willing to sign a letter or email indicating he is no longer a practicing catholic, you may attach that note to a form 100 withdrawing the member. Otherwise, a note from your Chaplain will be required.
 


 

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