Program Manual

Membership Retention

MEMBERSHIP RETENTION - Ed Glisky, Chairman

The growth of the Knights of Columbus depends not only on recruiting new members, but also on retaining current ones. These retention efforts for new members begin once he joins the Order. In addition efforts must be made to retain longstanding members and to keep them enthusiastic about the Order. Below is some information on starting your council's membership retention efforts. Also, at the bottom of this page is a table of links to other information your council can use in retaining members.

Retention efforts must start immediately after the First Degree has been conferred on a new member. Encourage the new member to take the Second and Third 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 baseball cap, name badge or T-shirt emblazoned with the Order's emblem and the council number. A new Knight's proposer should introduce him to other council members, help make him feel at home and inform him of the dates and times for council meetings and activities. Establish a car pool to bring new and old members to meetings. Also, as soon as the First Degree is over, get new members interested in earning the “Shining Armor Award” to help their knowledge and involvement in the Order grow.

Above all, when a member has become non-participative, inactive, and in arrears of council dues, it is imperative to find out why. Perhaps the member has 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. 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
Suspension of members is a serious problem in the growth of our Order and its councils. The first step toward retaining members is the establishment of a strong, active Membership Retention Committee. It is suggested that the Deputy Grand Knight be named as the council’s Retention Chairman and that his committee be made up of the council’s trustees.

Determine the cause of suspensions 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, page 35)

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. 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. The Retention Committee includes the council Grand Knight, the council Retention Chairman, the council Membership Director, council Trustees, and the Proposer, if available. (Financial Secretary Handbook, page 87).
2.    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)
3.    He must follow the procedures found outlined on pages A-3 and A-4 of the Financial Secretary Handbook which includes obtaining his own signature as well as the signature of approval of the council Grand Knight and the council Retention Chairman on the “Intent to Suspend” 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 on file.
4.    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.
5.    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.
6.    A member must be in arrears at least four months before he can be suspended for non-payment of his dues. (Financial Secretary Handbook, page 51)
Suspension Forms
The “Notice of Intent to Suspend” 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.)
District Deputy Check List 
1.    Verify that the council has filed Form 365 (Service Program Personnel Report) with Supreme.
2.    Verify a council Retention Chairman has been identified on Form 365.
3.    Confirm that the council has submitted the last two consecutive semi-annual audit reports to Supreme. (Form 1295)
4.    Confirm that the council Financial Secretary, the council Grand Knight, and the council Retention Chairman have signed 
    Form 1845 (Notice of Intent to Suspend).
5.    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.
6.    Confirm that the “Remarks” section is complete and legible.
7.    Confirm that all member information on the form is legible.
8.    Do a follow-up to make sure that members submitted for suspension are not out of work or in distress.
9.    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 Supreme By-Laws.)
10.    Make sure that questions of Catholicity and being a practical Catholic are handled as a withdrawal. Requires judgment by the 
    council chaplain or pastor.
11.    Fulfill the following responsibilities as outlined in the District Deputy handbook (Form 916).
a.    Under the 1845 procedures, upon receiving his copy of the “Notice of Intent to Suspend”, the District Deputy must make personal 
    contact - as soon as possible and within 10 days - with the delinquent member to discuss the nonpayment situation. Suggestions 
    as to a possible solution should be recommended, and the District Deputy will volunteer to assist the member, if the need exists. The 
    District Deputy determines whether personal contact has been made by the council. The response and reaction received from the de
    linquent member is recorded on the reverse side of the “District Deputy Copy” of Form 1845 and then sent to the State Deputy (State 
    Retention Chairman) for review. (page 25)
b.    Financial difficulty is not a valid reason for suspension. (page 44)
c.    The “District Deputy Copy” is sent to the District Deputy. He telephones the delinquent member to discuss the nonpayment 
    situation. In the course of the telephone visit, suggestions as to a possible solution should be recommended, and the District Deputy 
    will volunteer to assist the member, if the need exists. That determines whether personal contact has been made by the council. The 
    response and reaction received from the delinquent member is recorded on the reverse side of the “District Deputy Copy” of the Form 
    1845 and then forwarded as soon as possible to the State Deputy (State Retention Chairman) for review. (page 44)

The table which follows presents our drop goals for the State of Texas. We know and understand that every journey will have its bumps and bruises. For the Knights of Columbus, those bumps consist of suspensions. We would love to keep our suspensions to <= to 1,500 members. To make it fair for everybody, the chart below shows a summary of the recruitment goals, retention limits and the anticipated net gain for each of the Dioceses in Texas. Please use your allotment wisely and help those councils that really need the help. See pdf attached (Divisions)


 


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