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Nathaniel Lim
I believe the $8k is the total cost not per person. However, I no longer have the meeting minutes to verify. Nicky Bleiel can probably clarify it.

The cost is academic at this point anyway. According to Nicky on Friday, 08 July 2011, STC is switching systems this year, so I am sure the cost to implement it in the new system would be different anyway.
Wednesday, 09 May 2012 17:04
Li-At Ruttenberg
Hi all,

Thank you for this discussion. I'd like to add my 2 cents' worth:

* I agree with those who said that recognizing individuals for their volunteer efforts is important. It may not get them more prestige or more money, but it will let them know that their efforts were noticed and appreciated. As someone who received the DCSA, I can say: I certainly didn't volunteer so that I would some day receive the award, but it sure felt flattering and wonderful to know my peers thought my help had been worthwhile.

* $8K per person is definitely not doable. If I'd received an honor/rank, knowing that it took away $8K from our Society--only so that I could receive this honor/rank, I'd be quite upset. I do not condone spending this sort of money per member, but I hope this is somehow wrong or can be brought way down.

* If the $8K is not per person but, instead, a total expense, I suggest considering it. After all, the reason there are so many people to recognize is because there are a lot of people that donated a lot of time and energy to establishing and continuing this Society. I understand this statement may be on the Pollyanna-ish side, but I want to see more of our money spent on things tangible to members at-large rather than overhead and whatever else most of our dues money goes towards. (I promise to keep learning where our money goes.)

* I agree with those that envision the "Distinguished Senior Member" category as an honor rather than a membership level. And I agree that "once a Distinguished Senior Member, always a Distinguished Senior Member."

Wednesday, 20 July 2011 18:10
Ray Gallon
Hi all,

I think Leah makes some good points, but a little too strongly. What is true is that STC has to pare down its costs, so it can pare down the dues bill. The society is floundering trying to define a new value proposition in an environment that is totally alien to the one in which the society was founded, and we are not finding this easy.

Leah is probably right that this may not be the moment to embark on something that involves extra costs, though I think the $8000 per member figure can be significantly pared down, as many of us have expressed here.

On the other hand, I do think that it is important for the society to recognize people who render service. Nicky is right in citing the distinguished chapter service award, but a serving chapter officer cannot receive this award, so in some ways, at the chapter level, we have the same bind as for serving elected officers and directors at the international level. That said, many chapters have created their own local awards, and nothing prevents them from defining their own rules and qualifications for these.

Let's look at what we're trying to do here:

- Senior member is a status gained by "seniority."
- Associate Fellow is a high honour, that you must be nominated for, and that has a high bar. Seniority is part, but not all, of the picture.

We are seeking to find a way to recognize people who have been active, be it at chapter, international, or both levels, that would fill a gap between attaining senior member status (which you do nothing for except pay dues for five years), and the time when they MIGHT get nominated as associate fellow. Some of these people will never be AF's for one reason or another.

Like Nathaniel, I think this is a good idea. HOWEVER - I also take Leah's point, and add my own: internal recognition in the society is valuable when the society itself is perceived as being important. Today, when we are in such dire need of redefining ourselves, I think the perception of the society in the eyes of its members is a more important focus than this new membership level.

That said, I support the idea, and sooner or later, I think we need to do this. Perhaps we can find a way that is not costly, and that can be implemented quickly. If not, I will continue to support and discuss Nathaniel's proposals, even if it means waiting a bit longer to implement them.
Tuesday, 19 July 2011 15:27
Nicky Bleiel
Recognizing volunteers at STC is considered important! That's why we have so many different recognition programs for both individuals and communities.
Tuesday, 19 July 2011 14:56
Nathaniel Lim
“Even getting an AF has no impact on your professional status or income.”

If this is the case, then why do so many Fellows and Associate Fellows put their honorary ranks on their resumes? Why does the Society continue to spend money to recognize Fellows and Associate Fellows? Would not they be able to save money by eliminating those honorary ranks all together?

Research has shown that a little recognition can go a long way to get a member to contribute to an organization. The member benefits by volunteering. The organization (especially a voluntary one) benefits from the member’s contributions. It’s a win-win. Below is an excerpt from an article on recognition.

Recognizing volunteers
27 September 2005
by Mary V. Merrill

Volunteers should be recognized for their contributions to the organization, the clients and the paid staff. This serves not only to satisfy basic human needs but also to motivate volunteers to continue their involvement. Recognition lets volunteers know that others acknowledge and appreciate what they do. It tells them they are doing something well and that they have something meaningful to contribute. Recognition and approval give volunteers a feeling of warmth, pleasure and accomplishment.

Managers of volunteers and programme managers should consider recognition as a process rather than a product. When effective volunteer recognition is integrated into the total volunteer management process, volunteers feel rewarded, valued and positive about the volunteer programme as a whole. Recognition by and in front of peers, professional associates, friends and/or community neighbours is the most meaningful kind of recognition (Bruny, 1981). Meaningful recognition leads to increased satisfaction, which leads to increased volunteer retention.

To read the full article, see
Thursday, 14 July 2011 13:58