Together we make a profound difference

BEST PRACTICE: Converting to iMember

HOW-TO: Manage your membership with the Simple QBE report

New online: Lodge audit course

Masons4Mitts bats 1,400

Masonic Resource Fairs

Question of the month

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BEST PRACTICE: Converting to iMember

Background: Those that use iMember know the difference: less paperwork, greater flexibility, current information. Three lodge secretaries explain how they’ve incorporated iMember into their routine, and why they can’t live without it.

The following secretaries contributed:

  • Jim Clark, Las Palmas-Ponderosa Lodge No. 366
  • Chris Holme, North Hollywood Lodge No. 542
  • Richard Rosenberg, Los Altos Lodge No. 712

Time savers

  • Automatic updates:
    • When Grand Lodge receives updated contact information for our members, our lodge records are automatically updated, too.
    • As soon as I receive a member application, I enter it into iMember, and it automatically assigns a member number. I can print investigations and everything else we need right away.
  • No commute: As members contact me with new phone numbers and other updates, I log onto any Internet connection and make changes on the fly.

TIP: Be meticulous. If you make a mistake, you’ll have to contact Member Services to correct it.

  • Less paperwork:
    • No need to mail monthly membership reports to Grand Lodge.
    • No need to mail an officer nomination report to Grand Lodge.
  • Instant access: Before iMember, I couldn’t search for members in other lodges – I had to call Grand Lodge. Now I have access to all California member information.

Other benefits

  • Secure data: Grand Lodge backs up the data daily. It puts my mind at ease knowing that our member information is secure.
  • Work remotely: Because iMember is online, I can access lodge information from any computer. I can do much of the secretary's job at home, on my iPhone, even while out of town.
  • Reminders: Before iMember, we didn’t have any widows recorded. With iMember, when you enter a member’s date of death, an icon pops up reminding you to designate his wife as a widow.
  • Current info at a click: iMember is always current information, more so than the administrative Web site. We can print any kind of report we need, and we know it’ll be up-to-date. Just click and get it.

Favorite features

  • Electronic forms: I can create .pdf versions of the Candidate Investigation Forms, which our master simply e-mails to his investigating committee.
  • Print-outs: Every month, I print birthday lists and mailing labels.
  • Dues: I process dues individually, because I like to use member checks to verify information like phone numbers and wives’ names. With iMember, I can print out individual dues cards – which is also handy for new members.

Training

  • Group work: Discuss iMember at a Secretary’s Association, or get your own group together. We recently started an informal Secretary’s Association in the Fresno area to share tips and ideas, and plan to start basic iMember training: How to put members in; how to do investigations; how to update records.
  • Training wheels: Member Services puts new users on iMember Temp for as long as they need – the full iMember experience, except no changes are saved to the actual database. It’s a stress-free way to get familiar with iMember.

Remember, iMember is only as good as the person entering the information. Be thorough, and soon you’ll have all lodge information just a click away.

For more information, contact:

Jim Clark, jimclark1@att.net
Chris Holme, chris@chrisholme.com
Richard Rosenberg, rlrosenberg@sbcglobal.net

 

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HOW-TO: Manage your membership with the Simple QBE report

There are already 212 lodges on iMember. If you’re one of them, you can take advantage of the Simple QBE report feature.

QBE stands for Query By Example – a search that’s run off of certain characteristics. The Simple QBE report lists all members with those characteristics.

 

Ways to sort data

  • Membership type (ex. Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft, Master Mason, widow)
  • Valid versus invalid address
  • Prospects
  • Suspended Non-Payment of Dues (SNPD)

 

5 uses for a Simple QBE report
The Simple QBE report is a quick and easy way to organize yourself, and presents valuable opportunities for managing your membership. Some suggestions:

  1. Create a prospect report for your membership committee. They can send each prospect an invitation to visit the lodge.
  2. Create an SNPD report for your member retention committee. They can follow up and assist those brothers in need.
  3. Create a widows list and distribute it to your membership. Divide up the list and assign a brother to contact each widow.
  4. Create an invalid address list, and distribute it to members so they can provide their current information and help obtain others’.
  5. Create lists of Entered Apprentices and Fellow Crafts. Hand them out at lodge as a reminder for members to welcome and encourage their newest brothers.

 

Have we forgotten something? Please e-mail suggestions to communications@freemason.org with How-To: Manage your membership with the Simple QBE report in the subject line.

 

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New online: Lodge audit course

More than 200 members have completed online training since November 1 – and now, there’s a new course on the curriculum.

Lodge Audit is a new course offered online by Grand Lodge. Learn how to prepare for and conduct a lodge and/or hall association audit.

The course is created for

  • Lodge audit committees
  • Hall association boards of directors
  • Trustees
  • Treasurers
  • Secretaries

 

The following courses are now available online:

 

Each course costs $30. Select from the links above, or go to freemason.org and select Leadership Development from the Member Center pull-down menu.

Call Kim Hegg, Grand Lodge program manager, at 415/292-9111 for more information.

 

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Masons4Mitts bats 1,400

On August 26 the Masons4Mitts campaign celebrated its conclusion with baseball fans at San Francisco’s AT&T Park: In a home plate ceremony, Grand Master Larry Adamson and representatives from competing lodge teams presented more than $28,000 to the Junior Giants — enough to give baseball gloves to more than 1,400 underprivileged children.

This was the first year that the Masons of California teamed up with the Junior Giants, a charitable program of the San Francisco Giants. The program offers a free noncompetitive summer baseball league to underserved youth throughout California.

Beginning May 1, three teams of Bay Area lodges competed to fund the greatest number of mitts for the Junior Giants. A fourth team, representing Masons from the rest of California, was formed August 1.

2009 Masons4Mitts results:

East Bay Aces   528
San Francisco Sluggers 528
South Bay Bombers 312

 

Members supporting the California Red Stockings, added August 1, purchased an additional 59 mitts.

Look for information about the 2010 Masons4Mitts challenge in April.

 

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Masonic Resource Fairs

These free events are scheduled throughout the state to support Masons struggling with unemployment, loss of a home, and other effects of the economic downturn. Remind lodge members to mark their calendars.

ATTENTION Fresno area:

Fresno Fair is Thursday, September 3
2 - 7 p.m.
Fresno Lodge No. 247
3444 E. Shields Avenue, Fresno, CA 93726 

Information about:
Mortgages
Employment transition
Education and retraining options
Asset and debt management
Starting and managing your own business
First-time home owner programs
Managing stressful life changes

To register: Call the Masonic Family Resource Center at 510/429-6435. Late lunch will be served.

 

Upcoming Masonic Resource Fairs:

September 17
2 - 7 p.m.
Sacramento Lodge No. 40
1123 J Street, Sacramento, CA 95814

September 29
2 - 7 p.m.
Reading Lodge No. 254
195 Masonic Avenue, Redding, CA 96003

October 20
2 - 7 p.m.
San Diego Lodge No. 35
1895 Camino del Rio S., San Diego, CA 92108 

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Question of the month

Last month we asked if your lodge has a Lodge Plan. Of the 123 that responded:

56% - yes
44% - no

 

Of those that said yes, 44 percent said a special committee developed their Lodge Plan.

Here’s your next question.

 

 

 

 

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Please e-mail questions to communications@freemason.org.






Contact Us

Grand Lodge of California
1111 California Street
San Francisco, CA 94108

p: (415) 776-7000

e: memberservices@freemason.org