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What do YOU want from the PPFA

Discussion in 'The Grumble' started by Rob Markoff, Feb 10, 2010.

  1. janetj1968

    janetj1968 PFG, Picture Framing God

    I think that perhaps older members probably appreciate the value of PPFA more and are more willing to contribute. The ones that contribute most (from what I've been reading here) are those that are established in the framing world in more ways than one.

    When I join an organization as a newbie (unless its for a non-profit), I consider what I will get out of it more than more than what I put into it. Perhaps that's a little selfish, but I don't think I'm unlike the majority. (And honestly, if we had a local chapter that was active and within a reasonable distance I would both join and volunteer.) It's only normal to become more active in something the longer you're involved or the longer you've been in the industry.

    Likewise, it isn't necessarily "as normal" for a new member (of anything) to volunteer. If nothing else, they probably feel like they should get their footing first. It's not a resentment thing. It's a tenure or experience thing in most clubs...and they're still wanting to feel more benefit than sacrifice.

    I could be wrong...but how many (new member) 20-year experienced framers is PPFA reeling in? Those would be the people I would expect to have more to contribute than someone who just cracked the wrapper off his first pack of mat samples.

    The last thing I would have to add (because I'm on the outside and I don't know) is that it would be helpful to list those items that are normal for a volunteer to handle within the local chapters of the PPFA. It would give me a better idea if its something I think someone new to PPFA could handle. If its daunting, perhaps they would resent it....but for now I really have no idea.
  2. Rob Markoff

    Rob Markoff PFG, Picture Framing God

    Oh JanetJ where to begin?

    At the chapter level is could be as simple as being at the door to check people in, give them a name badge and welcome them. (or buying the blank name badges at the office supply store - or if you are more creative, offering your computer/printer and making them as people register.)

    Or, being on the "contact" committee to either do a blast e-mail, or have flyers printed or liaison with a supplier to get them distributed. Or part of a "phone tree" to get the message out. Or bring your chapter into the 20th century by helping them build an e-mail data base.

    If there are refreshments needed, someone has to shop for them and set them up - get ice, provide an ice chest. Loan folding chairs. Offer your shop as a venue........

    Lots of little things can make a meeting run more smoothly.

    At the planning level, it could be to find a venue for an event, negotiate and be the contact person from the chapter for the room/shop where the event is being held. You could offer your home (as I have) as a place to stay for a speaker or offer to transport the speaker to/from the airport. Pretty cool way to get to know Baer or Brian Wolf or Molly Webb or Carol Graham!

    You could help get supplies as needed for a workshop or come help set up or clean up.

    At the chapter level, get on a committee (easier than being a newbie and an "officer" - but National provides excellent support and advice.) Board positions at the chapter level include secretary, treasurer, program chair, vice president, president. There are "membership chairman" opportunities, vendor relations, publicity - lots of things to make the chapter function. The more people participating, the greater likelihood there will be activities and events - and they can rotate from venue to venue or city to city depending on how large a chapter is.

    Want an activity close to your area? It could happen if you suggest it and work to make it so.

    From a "national" perspective - it could be as simple as posting on the Grumble about your involvement with PPFA and the programs you have found to your benefit - including something from the "other side" (meaning the PMA side) which we have access to but many do not take advantage of. Or something you read on a MMIE e-mail or a link to something cool that you realized a a benefit of being a member (like the shipping savings at Fed-Ex.)

    The one thing I have found - across the US and Canada (and Becky Florence is experiencing it first hand) is that framers are a friendly, welcoming group of people and you won't be a "newbie" for long.
  3. janetj1968

    janetj1968 PFG, Picture Framing God

    Well then I guess I'm a little mortified. To me those simple types of things aren't considered volunteering when you're in a club. It's called participating....which is part of the responsibility of being there to start with. But unless I wanted to do everything myself every single time if I had no volunteers, I would ask. It's a no-brainer. I can't believe anyone there would have a problem doing that.

    When I think volunteering, I think of normal things like the planning and cleanup.

    Then there are the loaded things like the website creation and compiling databases. Those things should be organized on the national level and then serviced on the chapter level...if for no other reason, consistency. So to me it sounds like the organizational part needs to trickle down from the very top in order to lighten the burden on the Chapter officers.

    As far as that stuff goes....no wonder they're frustrated by not having volunteers. It's a little too involved for most people. What if a geographic area has no such talented people? Do you offer additional national support or do the local level people simply dry up?

    Being a "membership chairman" seems like a lot of responsibility for someone new.

    Although having volunteers in any organization is essential, if an organization relies too heavily upon it and cannot function without a strong flux of volunteers--it is doomed. Eventually, people will tire of it because it is cumulatively overwhelming on the few that do volunteer. If these are the problems you are facing then more support needs to come from the top, down. (If this isn't the problem, then I have assumed incorrectly...and in that case I'm glad national is supporting you adequately...but things like websites and databases should be done at a higher level....I mean....how hard would it be to have someone design a template that every chapter can use???? "Volunteer" for database creation?...do you mean buy the software, create the style sheets and input the data??? That's a high expectation! How about data sharing? Again, a little consistency would make this easier.)

    Back to what I was saying...if members are paying for expenses (ink, paper, software, etc) then they should somehow be reimbursed, perhaps as a credit against their membership dues. But again, I don't know how things are funded. Perhaps they are!

    What you need is not to attract more volunteers, but have more organizational work done (and funded) on a national level to eliminate the need for as much of it. After all, that's what dues are for.

    Thanks for taking the time to respond.
  4. wvframer

    wvframer MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    Did I see something about a meeting in Atlanta on the horizon? The left coast is really difficult travel for me. Atlanta is a direct flight at 1 1/2 hrs, as are most of the cities in the east. I would really welcome some eastern half meetings. I will continue to go to Vegas or wherever whenever possible, but I don't see being able to go west every year.

    Incidentally, PPFA does provide significant support to the chapters. And I have found it impossible to donate even a pack of name tags to my chapter. The leadership is insistent on reimbursing expenses. I don't think there are any secrets involved, but I don't feel like it is my place to get into specifics. But I can say with certainty that chapters receive significant support.

    To receive the level of benefits that some folks seem to want, we would have to dramatically increase membership AND raise dues. The PMA folks seem to have figured all of the optimum numbers out long ago since dues are half what they were when PPFA was a freestanding organization and the benefits of membership have increased.

    PPFA isn't perfect, and I have my own complaints and concerns, but I can also say with certainty that my concerns receive a fair hearing and sometimes result in changes fairly quickly. I also think that both the board and staff listen to framers outside the organization just as carefully as they do members.
  5. Emibub

    Emibub PFG, Picture Framing God

    So well said. $149 a year is a pittance. Sure PPFA can take on a national advertising campaign. Sure they can design websites and offer support. But, the way the industry association works is we pay dues. We would have to pay considerably higher dues for that kind of support. I see so many people balk at the $149 and what they want for that amount of money. I think as an industry we tend to be more creative and less business wired. Need to pay more if you want more.
  6. Rob Markoff

    Rob Markoff PFG, Picture Framing God

    Well said about the dues- and why I am pushing for an "ala carte" type membership (which is sort of what we have now - a basic membership with the optional add on of PPFA + for an additional $300 year). Those who are only willing to spend the $150 per year get the basic membership. Those who see the benefits of enhanced services will pay more (and get more).

    I want basic members to have access to some of the PPFA+ benefits with the option of receiving them ALL for a "package" price (the $300).

    For example, you want to run a few ads, perhaps in June for Graduation and/or Weddings and need some prepared artwork, complete with great photos, copy and graphic design. You could buy the rights to use camera ready art for a fee, say $75 (much less than it would cost you to produce it). Or these ads could contain graphic components perfect for an e-mail ad campaign or newsletter.

    If it works and you like it, you can get the entire PPFA + art package (plus all the other benefits like Web Based education and more to come) for the $300 fee (per year). Or you could just buy the rights to another set of ads (Mother's Day, Father's Day). Or just pay a fee for a Webinar.

    Once people see what the enhanced benefits have to offer, the annual fee will be a bargain.

    Speaking of education- there are plans to offer Web Based classes so you can get education either at your chapter meetings (rent/use an LCD projector or bring in a large flat screen and share the cost of the class) or you can do it at your own pace at home or in your shop.

    Re: Atlanta- I was referring to the new DECOR Expo which will have great education too! Now, don't expect a WCAF sized show in the first year....the trade show at WCAF was just a few booths the first year too - it was always the National Conference that drove the trade show.
  7. janetj1968

    janetj1968 PFG, Picture Framing God

    Once a website template is made, its made. You own it.

    Why would it cost more for just one template to be made than having each chapter create their own? That doesn't make sense to me.

    It's duplication....and causing each chapter to have to reinvent the wheel.

    In fact, hosting could be shared, grouped and given a terrific rate.

    Doing things like this would only save PPFA money.

    As far as advertising on a national campaign... national would design it, local chapters would implement it. But the work itself isn't done more than once.

    Because volunteers work for free on the local level, doesn't mean that is not a waste. They could be using their time to find other ways to make PPFA better... and in the end, that's got to be more productive.
  8. Pat Kotnour

    Pat Kotnour SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I am already committed to a booth in the Decor Expo Atlanta, and I know for a fact that many other vendors are as well. It is going to be a great show, with lots of education that will help shops deal with the business concerns of the 21st century. Many new classes will be offered that include computer training for people like me who don't really get Face Book. I am also going to be giving a class there as well and am very excited about the show and hope that everyone will give the new Decor a chance.
  9. Jay H

    Jay H PFG, Picture Framing God

    I'm not sure my expertise would be all that welcome. I think most trade shows feature a minimum of one and probably more honest-to-goodness experts on the subject. They would seem like a much more obvious choice for web advice.

    I'm rather humble about my experience in this particular circle for the reason listed above. For me web-design is not a labor of love. I really dislike it. But it's something I can do with a moderate degree of success and I'm usually proud of the finished results. So yea, I'm game.
  10. Jay H

    Jay H PFG, Picture Framing God

    Only if you assume that all additional service would be included in the yearly dues. The post cards aren't free. I'm not sure why web development, radio and tv solutions, instore signage, and ad copy would be included in yearly dues. I would see the PPFA as the organizer of this and that would be covered by the dues. The actual fulfillment and payment would be supported by those taking advantage of the various offerings. I would expect the product to be better than I could provide myself and cheaper as the cost would be subsidized by the sheer number of people partaking.

    Rob, I don't think their should be staggered dues and all members should be able to participate. It's not like the first tier members aren't also funding the "extras" anyway. Each should pay for the benifits they use. Dues, to me, covers ONLY the managment and not the funding of things that I mention.
  11. Cliff Wilson

    Cliff Wilson SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    This is the model intended with PPFA+ or whatever we grow to. THe idea is that you pay extra for extra stuff.

    Jay, don't get so hung up on semantics. People use the word 'dues' and the word 'fees' somewhat interchangably. Just think "pay more for more stuff."
  12. Jay H

    Jay H PFG, Picture Framing God

    Yea as I read Robs post it was clear to me that he believes you should pay as you go for what you use. But the tiered system didn't make much sense to me and I believe that is intented to have two different costs for actual yearly dues right?
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