20 April 2020

Call for nominations

You've likely received one or more calls for nominations for volunteer positions with a family history organization in recent weeks, either directly, in a newsletter or as a prelude at a streamed meeting. I've seen them from BIFHSGO, OGS and its various branches (Kingston, Ottawa, Toronto). There are undoubtedly many more.

They serve to show the organization is open to new people becoming involved and, especially, inviting those with experience on a committee or board to step up to chair or president roles.

Once you've served a term or two as chair or president you've acquired antibodies and are immune from further service in the role. Or you should be. An organization that retains or keeps recycling the same person or people in the top leadership role is not healthy.

These days, with organizations not holding physical meetings the job of nominating committees is particularly challenging. You may enjoy time working on your own family history but there's greater service to be rendered — there was never a better time for you to step forward.


Gail B said...

While it appears it is harder and harder for volunteer organizations to fill posts, I agree that any organization that relies on top posts (president, secretary etc) continuing past two terms is unhealthy. The organization becomes a kind of fiefdom.

Gail B

A Stressed Nominations Committee Chair said...

Thank you for this, John.

Mike More said...

John, recent studies have show that those antibodies are not as potent as they used to be. :-)

Judith's Genealogy said...

On behalf of the British Columbia Genealogical Society I feel your comment about recycling members in the leadership role requires some expansion:
> In the interests of continuity and the education of newcomers to the workings of a society’s board it requires those with history within the society to pass along their knowledge. This enables the society to maintain course and defers the repetition of the same actions previously tried to no avail. Newcomers often have ideas which, seen from the outside, seem perfectly sound, but do not necessarily work within the bounds of the society’s mandate. Which is not to say new ideas are not welcome. These thoughts must be discussed but tempered with previous knowledge of what is possible. There is a fine line between a healthy board and a lack of basic understanding of how the society functions. Keeping ‘old hands’ in different positions over many years can serve to make the society vital and forward looking. Judith Ueland, Vice President, BCGS 2020