As I have discussed in this column during the last several years, our Club is in a state of flux with several changes coming down the pipe. Over the years, change has been necessary for our Club to remain viable, which has allowed the Club to grow and attract new members. After all, if a club or group does not change to meet the demands of the membership, it will wither and die.
Therefore, several new changes have been announced and discussed at the annual Chapter Congress recently held in Dallas. I will briefly try to summarize each of these changes here.
Due to declining advertising revenue from Roundel, because advertisers wish to advertise in electronic publications, dues will increase January 1, 2020 to $58 a year. You can renew for one year or multiple years prior to January 1.
BimmerLife will be a new publication from the National office. It will be a regional publication released two times a year with articles from each Chapter within a region. This action replaces the requirement that each Chapter publish a newsletter. Our chapter is still debating the future of NewsWerks and how it will look and be published.
Roundel will be reduced from 12 issues a year to 10 issues a year because of reduced advertising revenue. All print magazines and newspapers are experiencing this problem, so the BMW CCA is not immune.
Oktoberfest will change in some way, especially the name. The BMW CCA will continue to offer a national event annually that will be closely related to the past 50 Oktoberfests, but the final format is still in discussion. Possible changes are a shorter event with more ala carte choices for meals and events. These changes have been discussed for several years now, but as our forefathers said, “let’s not throw out the baby with the bathwater.
For anyone born after 1980, the methods of communication and relating to one’s peers have changed from past generations. Prior to the internet and instant communication, people tended to, and needed to gather together in social settings to feel the importance of belonging to a group.
Today, with instant communication via the internet and social websites, a group can gather in a matter of minutes to create a social setting where people of like interests can gather.
Unfortunately, this has had a tremendous impact on established groups created for people who have had similar and shared interests in certain topics. Most all of these types of groups, who have had a long and storied history, are diminishing in importance and have a shrinking membership. The BMW CCA is included in the groups who are struggling to maintain or grow their membership at a constant pace. Therefore, the BMW CCA has created a new rebate program to help foster membership retention and create growth. The following statement is reprinted from the BMW CCA statement concerning the attraction of new members who may be interested in purchasing a new or CPO vehicle from an authorized BMW dealer. I hope you or someone you know will take advantage of this new program.
The BMW CCA has announced a major update to the Membership Reward Rebate Program. Individuals who purchase a club membership of three or more years will now immediately qualify for the Membership Reward Rebate Program and may be eligible to receive a rebate of up to $1,500. Yes, that means you can now skip the old waiting period of 365 days and immediately apply for a rebate with this new option! It’s important to note the membership must be purchased within 15 days of the purchase/lease date of the vehicle or any time prior to. Also, the member must apply for the rebate within 60 days of purchase using the form found at bmwcca.org/vehicle_rebate.
With the changing dynamics of BMW vehicle purchases, more and more sport activity vehicles are being sold by all major car companies with a decline in traditional sedans and sports cars, what is the future of our car club, or any car club with the focus on “car culture” and belonging to an organization especially designed for people who love cars.
As widely reported, many timeless organizations with a rich history of membership have lost membership over the last decade or so. It appears many organizations with a tradition of people belonging to that organization because of the mutual beliefs of the members, have all seen a decline in attracting new and younger members to replace older members when they leave the club or organization. As the national BMW CCA grapples with how to adapt to a new generation of car enthusiasts who may share many of the same values as the current membership, how to we get those younger people involved with the current club.
What does our club need to do to attract and retain members who may not feel the same attraction to joining organizations because of a mutual interest? As our local club is not growing at a pace we would expect to be healthy, we must change in order to bring in new members who have many of the same interests as current members. The question then arises, what new and different activities should we offer, or how do we need to change our structure to ensure the longevity of the organization we care so deeply about. All current Board members are open to discussion involving this topic. Please contact a Board member with your opinions.
Do you like the events and activities which are planned and hosted by our club? Do you have an idea for a new event or one which occurred years ago?
Now is your chance to voice your opinion! For the past several years, our chapter has held a “club members annual planning session” to discuss and plan the activity calendar for the following year.
The Board of Directors feel this annual planning session is very important in giving members a voice in the activities we plan for the club, and to put together a comprehensive yearly plan which tie our activities together. We will once again be soliciting information and ideas for new and different activities which might be interesting to our members. We will discuss which club events were successful and would like to sponsor again and which those that should drift into our memories.
All ideas brought to the meeting will be discussed on their merit, interest to club members and feasibility. We hope to have a large group with new and interesting ideas brought to the table.
You are all invited to attend our yearly “annual planning meeting” in November to discuss new and old activities. Please bring your ideas for us to discuss and help plan next year’s calendar for your club. This meeting will feature free lunch and conversation beginning at noon. Stay tuned for location and date. Hope to see you there!
Recently, I was notified by the BMW CCA Foundation office that the Iowa Chapter has won the recent Brick Fundraising Chapter Challenge. We won our division based on membership of clubs with under 400 members. The Brick Fundraiser supports the BMW Foundation Museum in Greer, South Carolina.
Fundraising with engraved bricks for the BMW CCA Foundation Museum makes sense for several reasons. First, it allows donors to visibly attest to their support of the BMW CCA Foundation and the history of our club. People love finding their names displayed in a place that has great significance to them. Secondly, with the customizable colors and designs, engraved bricks can be easily integrated into the existing look of the BMW CCA Foundation museum.
Museums serve many important functions in society, from educating the public to generating tourism for communities. The American Alliance of Museums estimates that more than 850 million museum visits occur in the U.S. each year. Yet despite that staggering
number, most museums remain very dependent on donations to fund their programs. In order to protect and preserve the history of BMW CCA in America, this fundraising campaign supporting the Foundation Museum will serve our members for generations to come.
There is still time to donate to the Foundation and purchase a brick if you have not done so yet. Please visit http://www.fundraisingbrick.com/bmwccafoundation to purchase your brick and put your name for visitors to observe for many years to come.