Sons of The American Legion National Commander James Roberts' philosophy and mine are nearly the same in the sense that we both believe in good communication. In order to be successful in any aspect of life, we must communicate with one another to get things done. This year we are attempting to increase communications, build lasting relationships and create networking throughout all regions.
We need to provide every member the opportunity to access information, whether that means is email, mail, social networking or conference calls. In this regard, we need to establish a communications network that will serve us this year and into the future. But this cannot be done alone — everyone needs to be onboard and contribute. Sure, messages can be sent out by national headquarters, but if we do not receive feedback and input from the membership within this organization then it's only a one-way street. If we can successfully communicate we shouldn't hear, "I didn't know that." Good communication is essential in any business, and we are in the business of helping others and promoting the ideals on which The American Legion was founded.
As an organization, we have the opportunity to once again make history in membership and total donations to the Child Welfare Foundation. We should reach 350,000 members by the end of the 2012 membership year — current membership stands at nearly 318,000 members. But, can we ever reach the 400,000 mark? I believe the answer is absolutely. If we can raise our overall renewal rate of 1 percent each year, along with maintaining our current rate of new membership growth, then over the next five years we can achieve 400,000 members. The $5 million mark in total donations to the Child Welfare Foundation was achieved this past fall, so as a goal let's strive to reach $4 million in donations in one year. This is very realistic goal with over $392,000 raised last year.
The most effective way to meet these goals is by communication! Spread the word; let others know what we do as an organization. By communicating within our organization and communities, we will see the growth in membership and donations that we need to continue to serve those that we have pledged to help. These goals will be great landmarks to reach, but we cannot be content when we have the ability and resources to do so much more. What we see today as a landmark will soon be tomorrow's benchmark, so let's set it high for all to see and look back on to lay the foundation for the future.
Mid-West National Vice Commander