time to renew. Some VVA and AVVA members intend to renew but lose
track of their expiration dates. When chapter membership chairs
show a personal interest in maintaining the account, it guarantees
a favorable impression. Compare this to your experiences with a
good salesman: the familiar face and friendly handshake are the
two best tools to "make the sale." This is also a great time to
suggest the life-member option.
The next step is to confirm the memberís information (address,
phone number, e-mail, etc.). Here in the VVA Membership
Department, we send more than a thousand member cards a week
during peak season. At least 20-30 cards come back undeliverable
from each batch because of incorrect information. For this season,
the contractor who mails the renewal forms for VVA has done a
change-of-address search prior to the mailing. This helps us find
members who have moved since last year. It has been especially
helpful for locating at-large members.
I am proud to claim success with the VVA membership database.
Many remember the tough transition that occurred two years ago,
but the bugs are gone and we are turning out renewal forms and
mailing cards within two weeks of receipt. Your comments and
concerns from previous years were taken to heart, and weíve worked
hard to be able to offer such a guarantee.
Our thanks go to Network Express, the contractor who designed
the system, and to the VVA membership technicians who spend long
hours processing your forms. To help us maintain our track record,
I remind you to send all VVA membership monies to VVA, P.O. Box
64299, Baltimore, MD 21264-4299 and AVVA membership monies to P.O.
Box 64732, Baltimore, MD 21264-4732.
With the move to Silver Spring, the turnaround time is
increased when chapters send their renewal forms and monies to us
rather than to the Baltimore addresses. Itís also important to
separate VVA dues from AVVA dues. Send separate payment checks
(made out to VVA or AVVA, as applicable) and remember to send the
full $20 for Associate dues.
VVA Membership Committee Chair Bill Meeks asked that I include
a reminder about the Membership Outreach and Recruiting Program
(MORE). The MORE program has been in existence for many years, yet
few chapters or state councils are aware of how it can help local
member drives. VVA National supplies the tools for you to recruit
Vietnam veterans and family members to VVA and AVVA. For example,
MORE kits include applications, Agent Orange and PTSD VVA Benefit
Guides, copies of The VVA Veteran for complimentary
distribution, and when desired, a large, tabletop display unit.
The display unit fits on a typical 3'x6' table and contains
photos and signage to attract potential members. We ship it to
you. The only cost is the return shipping fee for the display
kit--normally less than $50. Itís a great deal and yours for the
asking. There are two tabletop displays, so we recommend that you
reserve them in advance. Contact VVA Membership at 800-882-1316,
extension 115, to schedule the displays for 2002.
Finally, VVA has begun a big push to enter membersí e-mail
addresses into the main database. Our goal is to insure that we
can send out critical information on veterans benefits,
legislative issues, and simple VVA information quickly and at low
E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
and ask for your chapterís roster in the EXCEL format. Iíll
include the e-mail field from the database and chapters can update
this information and return it to VVA Membership. Itís a simple
way to insure VVA takes the next step to offer better customer
services to our membership.