Intent to Retain
The number one reason for suspending Brothers from our Order is failure to pay dues. To avoid this Councils, recruiters, and Degree Teams should guarantee that every prospect (and later) every new Knight should hear this message time and time again:
“We are a charitable organization. Please be sure to pay your dues so that our fundraising can go to worthy causes. Don’t make us spend our money paying for your dues unless you are experiencing financial hardship. Also, be sure to update your contact information whenever it changes so we can keep in contact and so you are sent your dues notice on time.”
Recruiters should include this message when talking to prospects. Let them know the ways we support needy causes. Say, “You don’t want us to take money away from these worthy causes to pay for your dues, right?” This same message could be delivered at the end of the First Degree Exemplification. Remind the new Brothers to pay their dues now, and each and every year. Details explaining some of the Council’s charitable contributions could be given to men who have not paid this year’s dues to remind them that our funds should go to these worthy causes, not to pay their dues.
Recently Supreme has asked Councils to change their thought patterns and look towards ways to promote retention of members. One simple step was to ask Financial Secretaries to send out letters titled “Intent to Retain” if a Brother has fallen behind in his dues instead of sending out “Intent to Suspend” letters. This simple alteration subtly informs our Brothers that we really want them to stay in the Order.
Another suggestion that the California State Council has requested is to make it your Council policy to only request the current year’s dues. If the Financial Secretary and the “Worthy Shepherd and Apostles” (Retention Committee) is on task, multiple letters were sent to the updated address provided by the State and updated phone numbers were used to make personal contact this year. Don’t ask for past year’s dues! If a Brother is asked to pay multiple years of dues, he almost certainly will ask to be dropped or ignore your request. Ask him to pay the current year’s dues, tell him your Council has chosen to forgive the past year’s dues, and inform him that you expect him to keep current on dues from now on or to inform the Council if he has financial difficulties.
Together we can make a difference and keep more Brothers in the Order.