Thursday, September 8, 2011

FGS2011: Plenary Session with David Rencher

Hello again from the FGS conference in Springfield. Wednesday was society day, where the events covered topics pertinent to society management and growth.

David Rencher of FamilySearch kicked off the day in the Plenary Session. He shared the statistic that 1/3 of the 35 charter FGS societies are no longer in existence. He then posed questions for our own genealogy societies. Do you know why your society exists? Would anyone notice if your society ceased operations? The common theme in Rencher's discussion was the necessity that genealogy societies be run as businesses, which is hard for some to do. However, it needs to be done. We need to know our costs per member and cut costs in all areas. This may mean moving to electronic publications or something else. All facets of a society need to be examined for ways to cut costs. There was also talk on staying relevant and providing value to the public. This theme was carried out through the day.

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