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I’m sending a second Irons message this month for several reasons:

Our membership card fundraiser that is in the mail right now has a major snafu. The card itself has 2010 on it. Jean sent out an e-mail blast to everyone explaining that Marketing General is issuing another card and letter. I want you leaders to know that Marketing General is also paying for the mistake. That by no means excuses the mistake and we are reevaluating our relationship with MG. By the end of the month we will have had the opportunity to look at the four fundraising appeals that MG did for us this year and evaluate that against the most recent Christmas Card program years. Every marketing company that I have spoken with believes in multiple appeals throughout the year vice one simple annual appeal. That is one reason we have made the change that we made. Another is that the Christmas Card program was in year over year decline. BTW Bob and I have received fewer than ten people asking “where are the Christmas Cards.”

No matter what fund raiser(s) we decide to do it is hard to expect increasing revenues from a declining base. Membership continues a slow erosion so that affects fundraising as well as dues revenue. As an aside the Naval Reserve officer pool, including drilling and IRR Reservists has shrunk by around twelve thousand over the last eight years. What this tells us is that 1) we have to work harder to gain Reserve membership, 2) we have to begin gaining active component members.

I also wanted to point out the speech by SECDEF Gates that we recently posted on the web. You can find it in the Advocacy Updates column on the home page. It is the second item titled Statement on Department Budget and Efficiencies. Clicking on that will take you to the posting where you have the link to the speech. Some of you have already been chatting about this speech. I strongly recommend that all of you read it. It says a great deal about what we can expect in the coming year. We have written several times that the Defense Department is prime for targeting as Congress struggles with the deficit. In this speech Gates outlines his plans to head off major cuts by forcing Department efficiencies and making preemptive cuts himself.

Finally, when you go to the web click on community and then groups. This is where we are building the groups that will replace Groupsite. The Budget and Finance Committee voted last year not to renew the Groupsite contract. We are importing the current users of the FON groups into the web where they will be recreated. I encourage you to begin populating your region group and we will soon add other groups. This is where you can share ideas and collaborate on such things as NOSC recruiting opportunities etc.

That’s it for now.


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