Way back when...
I received an old copy of the PNW4WDA by-laws from 1975 from a friend. I thought it might help to read about how things were back then to maybe better understand where we are today. I was 7 years old back then and my family was not a PNW4WDA family - I joined when I was 19 years old after I bought my first Jeep...
Some of my favorite parts of those old by-laws go like this:
Non-voting associate clubs of the PNW4WDA will pay annual dues of $25.00. Non-voting supporting members will pay annual dues of $25.00. Non-voting contributing members will pay annual dues of $50.00. Members of the advisory council wil pay annual dues of $100.00.
Annual dues of the PNW4WDA voting member clubs will be due on the basis of January 1 as a fiscal year for the organization. The amount of the dues shall be $5.00 per member vehicle per 12 month year based on the number of member vehicles in each of the voting member clubs at the time dues are paid.
Although the dollar amounts are obviously a little outdated - it seemed like a reasonable, fair and inclusive way of doing things. I am hoping that some of the more seasoned PNW4WDA members can help me understand how we got from "there" to where we are today or what circumstances caused such a dramatic change from all-inclusive to practically exclusive.
Thanks in advance for any insights you all are willing to share...
How exactly are we "exclusive" any club can join and have the same "rights" as all of the other clubs. We also have the individual membership that allows people that want to support without belong to a club. Other than that the important thing to remember is that the members ("clubs") make all of the rules that govern our association.:luke:
I'm not trying to be argumentative - I'm just trying to learn.
It looks like back in 1975 that there was an "easy" and "affordable" tier-type membership system for clubs to be a part of and support the PNW4WDA even if they were unable to strong-arm ALL of the members of their club to pay PNW4WDA dues.
I'm just curious what was so wrong with the 1975 system that it had to become what we have today? I'm not necessarily saying that today's system is bad - but it appears that membership does not seem to be increasing, but rather decreasing in the Association.
I would guess there are conservatively 500-1000 4x4 clubs in the Pacific Northwest. That would include any and all organized, loose-knit, internet, or family based type clubs regardless of the basis of their official structure. I'm saying any group of more than one family who regularly gets together to go 4-wheeling and identifies themselves with a moniker of some sort.
Using the "guesstimate" above, the PNW4WDA is less than 10-20% of the Pacific Northwest 4-wheel drive community as a whole. Wouldn't we be more powerful in our endeavors if we could find a way to get everyone on the same page and fighting the same battle?
I know that we've created a system where individuals can be "supportive", but not be able to vote - but why haven't we created a system where clubs can be "supportive" but not able to vote? Are we not an Association of Clubs?
Relax Jim - I'm not attacking what currently is - just wondering how we got here and how it could be better...
Not a problem at all. In fact a good discussion. I think one of the real problem is "rules" not dues. People these day don't seem to want to have to follow "rules" In fact there is "another" association that was formed a couple of years ago because someone didn't like "our rules". This group grew momentum quickly based on the premises that "we" were creating rules that all had to live by. Truth be known that we went the ones creating the rules and in fact this new org. soon found out that rules had to be followed and members didn't like that so their membership dropped like a rock. Younger folks these days don't seem to want to belong to a group that has rules to follow. its far to easy to just form up a run on a forum and go do whatever you want. I agree our numbers are down and we need to figure out a way to increase them. Another huge problem I see is older clubs dieing off because they don't actively recruit new members to replace the once lost. We all need to recruit new members all of the time even if that means stepping out of our "comfort zone" when it comes to vehicle types. If clubs want to survive and grow then they need to replenish the gene pool now and then. :luke:
As Jim stated...starting another association from scratch is tough. I have always felt the PNW4WDA could offer more. Specifically, I'd be excited to see the PNW4WDA make an effort to actively recruit new members...I know anyone can join, but what is the PNW4WDA doing to figure out what is important to the younger generation & then use that to bring in some new faces. I don't feel that rules or dues are the issue...to me, the PNW4WDA has a public relations problem (I'm not talking about you Diana :wave:).
What is the PNW4WDA doing to actively recruit new members? Ultra4 racing is pretty popular these days...how many of those style races has the PNW4WDA held? Straddleline is on the right path with the Best in the West Series and the PNW4WDA should get involved with that effort as a sponsor. Rock crawling is also pretty popular...why isn't the PNW4WDA trying to convince WE Rock to hold an event in WA again?
I feel like the PNW4WDA could be the one to represent ALL 4x4 users in WA State, but the organization is missing out on some great opportunities. The perception (and unfortunate reality) is that the PNW4WDA only represents a small percentage of the 4x4 community (its members) AND isn't doing much to change that. Just my opinion.
Along the lines of what you're saying Crystal....Years ago I was a member of a PNW club and a PNW member myself also. All members of the club were not PNW members and one year a change was made where all club members had to be PNW members...My babbling is confusing I know. :peepwall:
Anyways what happened was one year the PNW wouldn't accept our dues money. Many people took this as "PNW is arrogant and just too big for their britches"....Parted ways.....
This is old news and water under the bridge but over the years things like this has painted a bad reputation for the PNW to many people in the wheeling community. It's very hard to reverse the damage done and weighs on the organization for years to come.
Last couple years or so I've been active with PNW racing and constantly trying to get new people to try it as it really is huge fun! The single biggest obstacle I've run into is the simple fact that the PNW name is associated with the racing so people don't want to try it.
I'm sure this same mentality applies to the more important aspects of PNW business where new people just don't want to be part of anything associated with the PNW name. Yes it's wrong but this is what I've observed.
Offroading as a whole is in bad shape these days in the Pacific northwest and I fear that if things don't make a big change soon we could lose our final battle. I think it's going to take a attitude change by the people in general to make this big change but I just don't see it happening.
Anyone read the book called SWITCH from Chip & Dan Heath? In their book they talk about how you need to find the feeling, if you want change to stick.
So what feeling is the PNW4WDA tapping into?
The supporting, contributing and advisory members were and still are the Associate Members that we have today.
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