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  Membership

 

 

HISTORY:  The Auxiliary became the VFW’s “Partner in Service” in 1914.  Since then, our members have contributed thousands of volunteer hours and raised millions of dollars to support programs that benefit veterans who defended our country and assist veterans’ families in need of our assistance.  Eligibility has changed over the years, but our patriotism and spirit have survived the test of time.

 

RECRUITING NEW MEMBERS:  

 

1. Ask someone to join. Don’t keep membership to yourself—share it. 

2.  Visit military installations and family support groups.  Explain what our organization can do for them as we support our troops.

3.  Be prepared at all times with application cards, Fact Leaflets and Join Us brochures.  Give prospective members reasons to join our Auxiliary family.

4. Use media outlets to “tell the auxiliary Story” while conducting Membership drives.  Newspapers, radio & TV stations, store fronts, shopping malls, and oth4r public areas allow us to show our youth, and reveal common endeavors to assist our communities, enrich family living, and honor our Veterans.

5.  Contact Member-At-Large and invite them to join the Auxiliary so they can enjoy belonging to a family unit that takes pride in their membership with the Ladies Auxiliary VFW.

 

RETAINING CURRENT MEMBERS & REINSTATING FORMER MEMBERS

 

1. Communicate with members. Give them a desire to volunteer in their home towns, make new friends, and participate in our various programs.

2.  Host Early Bird breakfasts, lunches, or dinners for members who pay their dues early.

3.  Recognize members for the service.  Satisfied members make the best Auxiliary Sisters.

 

WHO ARE THE LADIES AUXILIARY VFW?

 

Wives, widows, mothers, foster and stepmothers (who have performed the duties of parent), grandmothers, daughters, granddaughters, foster and stepdaughters (who attained that status prior to age sixteen and for whom the duties of parent were performed), sisters, half sisters, foster and stepsisters (who attained that status prior to age sixteen) of persons who were or eligible for membership in the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States. Members must be citizens of the United States and not less than sixteen years old. Women eligible for membership in the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States shall be eligible for dual membership in the Ladies Auxiliary.

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

 

Who is a member-At-Large?  How can she transfer to an Auxiliary?

 

A:  See current Bylaws, ARTICLE I Membership, Section 102 – Application – New Members and Section 113 – Annual Transfer for complete explanation.

 

Is a Non-Member widow of an eligible Veteran who haws married a man not eligible to the VFW, eligible for membership in the Ladies Auxiliary through the eligibility of her deceased husband?

 

A:  Yes.  Refer to the current Bylaws, ARTICLE I Membership, Section 114 Membership—Widows and Divorcees.

 

What is a Member in good standing?

 

A.  Refer to the current Bylaws, ARTICLE I Membership, Section 110—Members in Good Standing for the answer.

 

MORE FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q.

Where can I find out who is eligible to join the Ladies Auxiliary VFW?

A.

In the current Bylaws, ARTICLE I Membership, Section 101 - Eligibility.

Q.

How does the Auxiliary determine the admission fee and dues?

A.

In the current Bylaws, ARTICLE I Membership, Section 103.

Q.

How do I find out how to transfer to another Auxiliary, and what is my responsibility in securing the proper documentation to maintain continuous membership?

A.

In the current Bylaws, ARTICLE 1 Membership, Section 113.

 

MORE GREAT IDEAS:

RECRUITING NEW MEMBERS...

• Invite families of overseas military persons to a support dinner or tea.

• Have Welcome Home programs for troops who are returning from active duty overseas.

• Personally contact potential members through a door-to-door campaign.

• Conduct local Membership drives.

• Contact eligible female military personnel.

RETAINING CURRENT MEMBERS...

• Hold Early Bird dinners for members who pay early.

• Sponsor competition among Membership teams.

• Publicize membership criteria in local newspapers.

• Conduct telephone campaigns.

• Have membership booths in malls and other high-traffic locations.

  

CAMPAIGN SUGGESTIONS

 

The following are ideas and suggestions that have proven to be successful:

 

Teams:

          Appoint two (or more) captains, each of whom will head a recruiting team. Team members should be appointed by the Auxiliary President, Membership Chairman or Team Captain. The number of members on a team may vary, but generally smaller groups are more effective.

          Teams should collect dues from continuous members, call on former members, follow up leads on prospective new members, conduct door-to-door campaigns and telephone roundups.

Competition:

          After you select your teams, set up contests among them. Allow a certain number of points for new, reinstated and continuous members. The team with the most points at a given date is the winner. Make the membership drive interesting, fun and challenging.

Incentives:

          Set up awards for individuals or teams who perform the best during the membership campaign. Utilize National, Department and District Membership awards.

          Stimulate competition by announcing that the top recruiters will be guests at a dinner paid for by the Ladies Auxiliary. Have the losing team treat the winning team to dinner or have the losing team prepare a dinner for the winning team.

          Offer prizes to individual members who sign up the greatest number of members over a certain period of time.  Publicize the results in your Auxiliary publication and on the bulletin board.

 

Start Early:

          This will allow more time to devote to other Ladies Auxiliary VFW programs. If your membership year is drawing to a close, or a contest deadline is approaching and your goal has not been reached, then you should go back to the basic ideas and suggestions offered in this manual. Put your plan back into action.

          • Start a telephone round-up to collect continuous dues.

          • Organize a door-to-door campaign to recruit new and reinstated members.

          • Ask for referrals.

          • Set up membership booths in public places.

          It is never too late to plan a campaign. This could spell the difference between success and failure.

          Recruiting is a continuous process. Growth cannot be accomplished without (1) retaining continuous members, (2) reinstating former members and (3) recruiting new members.

          A membership campaign should start early and continue throughout the membership year. Add ideas of your own to suggestions that are offered here and you will have a successful Membership Program.

 

PERSONAL CONTACT

 

           While well-run Auxiliaries can keep going with continuous members, they cannot grow without new blood. A constant campaign for new and reinstated members must be conducted to replace members who die, move out of town or drop out of the Auxiliary for other reasons. The best method of convincing women to join the Ladies Auxiliary VFW is personal contact.

          One method is a door-to-door campaign which involves two or more members going door-to-door introducing themselves and asking those eligible to join the Ladies Auxiliary. Each member should take another member along for training in this method of campaigning so that your working force will increase significantly and a wider area can be covered.

 

PROSPECTS FOR PERSONAL CONTACT

 

          Anyone -- your next-door neighbor, your mail carrier, your banker, your best friend -- may be eligible for membership in the Ladies Auxiliary VFW, so long as she is a citizen of the United States and not less than 16 years old. Membership is limited to wives, widows, mothers, foster and stepmothers (who have performed the duties of parent), grandmothers, daughters, granddaughters, foster and stepdaughters (who attained that status prior to age 16 and for whom the duties of parent were performed), sisters, half sisters, foster and stepsisters (who attained that status prior to age 16) of persons who were or are eligible for membership in the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States.

 

          Women eligible for membership in the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States shall be eligible for dual membership in the Ladies Auxiliary.

 

          Check past and present membership files. Compile a list of names, addresses and telephone numbers of members who have not paid their dues. Consult these for further leads: newcomer and/or Welcome Wagon lists, and referral names submitted by present members. Prospects obtained from these sources should be contacted personally at home during the week, evenings, Saturdays or Sundays. The "grapevine" or referral system produces a certain number of new and reinstated members in every Auxiliary. Each member knows veterans who are eligible and might be interested in joining the VFW. Encourage each member to furnish names of eligible veterans and relatives. If possible, have the member along with someone from your Membership Committee, personally contact the eligible veteran and relatives.

 

PERSONAL CONTACT TECHNIQUES

 

Face-to-Face:

1.     Have a good appearance and good attitude.

2.     Talk to both husband and wife at the same time (if possible).

3.     Be confident and knowledgeable about Auxiliary procedures and programs.

4.     Offer background and history of the Ladies Auxiliary VFW (advantages of belonging to the Auxiliary), and give the prospective member a Join Us brochure.

5.  Explain membership requirements and goals of Auxiliary, District, Department and National levels.

6.  Present in simple language.

7.  Adapt your approach to the reaction of each prospect.

8.  Sell the Auxiliary, its past achievements and its future goals.

9.  Don't forget to ask the prospective member to JOIN.

 

PERSONAL CONTACT CAMPAIGN

 

Membership Booths:

          One method of recruiting new and reinstated former members is a membership booth. This method is fairly simple and can be used by nearly any Auxiliary, regardless of its size or location.

 

          The following general outline will produce NEW MEMBERS and help to REINSTATE FORMER MEMBERS.

 

A. Preparation:

1.                 Contact the manager of a shopping mall, trade show, state or county fair, or any place there is a large public gathering. Ask permission (or pay) for space to set up a membership booth. Serve refreshments (if possible) at the booths.

2.                 Give advance news releases to your local newspaper and radio stations regarding your membership booth.

3.                 Place recruiting posters and signs in store windows, post signs at the entrance to your city and along major thoroughfares or any place the public will notice them.

4.                 Obtain an adequate supply of informational material from the Ladies Auxiliary VFW Supply Department at National Headquarters.

 

B. The Operation:

1.                 Decorate your booth with recruiting posters. Display informational material on the table. At least one Auxiliary member should be in the booth at all times. Display a sign large enough to let everyone know you are there.

2.                 If local and state laws allow a drawing, get a member or merchant to donate a gift. Prepare tickets with stubs that show name, address, and telephone number. Hold the drawing and save the stubs for later contact.

3.                 As prospects visit the booth, inform them of the VFW and Ladies Auxiliary programs and pass out informational material.

4.      THIS IS MOST IMPORTANT! As prospects visit the booth, have them fill                    out a form giving information on their relative's military service and                         whether they are interested in joining the Ladies Auxiliary VFW.    If they wish to join immediately, SIGN THEM UP.  If they don't wish to join at this time, DON'T BECOME DISCOURAGED. Just make sure that you get their names and addresses and find out when they will be home so that the investigating committee can check the veteran's service record for eligibility.

 

C. The Follow-Up:

1.     Within a few days, send out teams of members to contact the prospects and talk to them about joining the Ladies Auxiliary VFW.

2.     Be sure your membership teams are well-acquainted with the various programs sponsored by the VFW and Ladies Auxiliary. They may be asked questions, which they should be able to answer.

3.     When a new member joins, make her welcome. Ask the new member to take an active part in the Auxiliary ... and to help recruit others. Remember that everything you do prior to calling on a prospective member is a form of advertising and public relations. Actual recruiting is done in homes, where a prospect feels at ease and can give full consideration to the importance of being a member of our organization.

 

TELEPHONE CAMPAIGN

          Proper use of a telephone campaign can be a most effective way to collect dues from continuous members and former (reinstated) members. Teams should prepare lists showing the names, addresses and telephone numbers of members who have not paid the current year's dues. The teams should be organized so that those members who have a pleasant speaking voice and who are familiar with the Auxiliary staff the phones.

          Advise each delinquent member that the Auxiliary is now conducting its annual membership campaign. Urge the member to pay her dues NOW. Say that several Auxiliary, members are working on the drive and someone will stop by to pick up the dues following your telephone call.

          Many Auxiliaries conduct telephone campaigns via a phone operation. Team members with phones are dispatched to pick up delinquent members' dues. This method is new, innovative, time-conserving and productive. Telephone campaigning can be done at any time, but is most effective if it is done on Saturday or Sunday, when members are more likely to be home.

 

TELEPHONE PROSPECTING TECHNIQUES

 

Telephone Approach:

          1.  Be sure to smile just as you would if you were meeting a prospect

              "face to face."

          2.  Use a pleasant speaking voice.

          3.  Speak slowly and distinctly into the phone.

          4.  Be specific and to the point.

          5.  If the first attempt to obtain payment of dues is not successful, point                       out the advantages of belonging to the Ladies Auxiliary.

          6.  If a member's reason for refusing to pay dues is vague, try to                                   overcome it and try again for the dues.  If the person is unable to pay, remind her of the Ladies Auxiliary Relief Fund. The Auxiliary may pay the dues from that fund.

          7.  Sell the organization, its past achievements and future goals.

          8.  Don't get angry. Accept criticism of your Auxiliary, District, Department    or            National. Overcome criticism by emphasizing the good points of the Ladies Auxiliary VFW.

          9.  Stay calm, cool and, above all, dignified. You represent the Ladies                  Auxiliary VFW.

 

TELEPHONE TALK TO OBTAIN DUES PAYMENT

 

_______________this is _____________I'm with the Ladies Auxiliary VFW to

              (member's name)          (recruiter's name)

Post No.______ I hope I am not disturbing you. Do you have a minute to talk?

 

IF YES:

          Our Auxiliary is conducting its annual membership drive. I noticed that you have not paid your current year's dues. Our goal is to collect the dues of last year's members and to recruit new members as early as possible. Some members are in your area today collecting this year's dues. I would like to know what time would be convenient for someone to stop by and pick up your dues? (If no time is stated, suggest one).

 

(If there is no objection)

 

          Thank you very much ___________________.

          We certainly appreciate your continued membership in our Auxiliary. We will have a member stop by at (Repeat Time). Stop by the Auxiliary (club room, etc.) the next time you are in the area (downtown, etc.). We would be glad to see you. Goodbye.

 

(If there is an objection)

 

    Well, we feel there are many advantages to belonging to the Auxiliary (name one or two advantages and wait for reaction ... try again to collect her dues).

 

IF NO:

          I'm sorry I called at an inconvenient time. When would be convenient for me to talk to you for a moment? If the response is such as ... "What's this about?" State "Our Auxiliary is conducting its annual membership drive and..."

          If no time for calling back is specified by prospect ... would________(day)___________(time) or (day)____________(time) be better?

 

SAMPLE OBJECTIONS AND ANSWERS

 

I CAN'T BE ACTIVE.

 

I CAN'T ATTEND AUXILIARY MEETINGS.

 

I DON'T HAVE THE TIME.

 

Well,_____________I realize that you (state the objection). We feel that every member who pays her dues is active and makes a contribution to the Auxiliary. Your name on our membership roll lends support to all of our programs. Without people such as you, we would not be able to carry on the programs that benefit not only veterans, spouses and dependents, but citizens of our community as well. Nor would we be able to secure the Legislation to help veterans.

 

I DON'T HAVE THE MONEY.

          I certainly can appreciate that. Would (state a time and day) be more convenient for you? (If no stated time, determine real objection and overcome it). Our Auxiliary has a relief fund which can be used to pay your dues. Can we help you?

 

WHAT DOES THE AUXILIARY DO FOR ME?

          Your membership in the Auxiliary benefits veterans in this community as well as the state and nation. While you may not be receiving any veterans' benefits directly, your membership in the Auxiliary allows us to maintain and improve veterans' benefits so that they will be available, if and when veterans might need them. Perhaps your family has ... or is currently taking advantage of some veterans' benefits, such as GI Home Loan, GI Education, VA Hospitals, Compensation, Pensions, etc.

 

I DON'T DRINK.

I DON'T LIKE THE PRESIDENT.

I DON'T LIKE THE WAY THE LADIES AUXILIARY VFW IS RUN.

          For these situations, you must remove any reference to personalities or operations of the Auxiliary. Be positive

          Talk about the advantages of her membership.

          There are many other objections that you may encounter. Deal with each objection in a positive manner. Be polite, and don't hang up. Overcome the objection and collect her dues.

DUES REMINDERS

 

          Letters and dues reminder notices should be mailed to members by your Ladies Auxiliary. Dues reminders and envelopes can be ordered from the National Ladies Auxiliary Supply Department.

 

MEMBERSHIP IDEAS

 

          It is not the responsibility of Auxiliary Membership Teams to do all the work. Every member should be involved and made to feel a part of the Membership Program. A strong, active Auxiliary and fun activities help promote membership. Some membership "builders" are:

          • Activities in community service, Americanism and youth programs

          • Capable service officer to assist veterans in the community

          • Dances, dinners and other social functions for VFW and Auxiliary members and their guests

          • Publicity about all Post and Auxiliary events

          • Clean, well-managed Post home

          • Interesting Auxiliary meetings

          • An active, cooperative VFW

 

          Once again, establish a Membership Program. Initiate action ... be aggressive ... use originality ... publicize your program ... exercise all your abilities to activate workers within your Auxiliary ... Personal Contact ... Telephone Campaign ... Dues Reminders ... Incentives ... Awards ... Contests.

ADOPT A PLAN. PUT IT INTO ACTION.

 

ADVANTAGES OF LADIES AUXILIARY VFW MEMBERSHIP

 

1.     1. As a member, you are automatically enrolled in the cancer insurance program, if your Auxiliary has voted to carry the plan. The Ladies Auxiliary VFW also offers several self-paid insurance programs, including hospital insurance, burial insurance and Medicare supplemental insurance.

2.     After one year of membership, members who are battling cancer may be entitled to receive a cancer grant.

3.     Members may apply for Auxiliary credit cards and membership in the VFW Credit Union.

4.     You have the opportunity to take an active part in patriotic, community service and youth activity programs. You'll gain valuable leadership experience, develop interpersonal skills, learn how to run an effective meeting, and gain self-confidence as you sharpen your public speaking skills before peers and community groups.

5.     Your entire family will have the opportunity to be involved in community projects, and you will make social contacts and friendships that you will treasure throughout your life.

6.     You'll gain the satisfaction of knowing that you are supporting an organization that supports veterans' rights and a strong national defense.

7.     As part of your annual or lifetime dues, you'll receive an annual subscription to the Ladies Auxiliary VFW Magazine.

 

INSURANCE AVAILABLE TO MEMBERS

 

          Our organization offers various types of insurance to the members of the Ladies Auxiliary VFW. Unlike the group Cancer Insurance which is outlined on the next page, the following insurance policies are handled directly between the individual member and the insurance company. Some insurance products are not available in every state and some have other limitations such as age. The insurance company periodically mails promotional materials on different insurance products to a sampling of our members. This does not necessarily mean that a member who does not receive the offer in the mail is not eligible for the coverage.

          The insurance products currently offered directly to our individual members at a discounted price include the following:

                                      • Birthday/Life

                                      • Burial Benefits

                                      • Heart Attack/Cancer/Stroke

                                      • Term Life

                                      • Travel Accident

Individual Cancer Insurance and Individual Return of Premium Cancer Insurance (These are individual policies, not to be confused with the Group Cancer Insurance previously discussed.)

           

          Other insurance products available to individual members include:

                                       • Hospital Indemnity Insurance

                                      • Medicare Supplement Insurance

                                      • Modified Whole Life Insurance

                                      • Juvenile Life Insurance

                                      • Accidental Death & Dismemberment Insurance

                                      • Long Term Care Insurance

 

          Also available to individual members are the services listed below:

                                      • MasterCard

                                      • VFW Credit Union

                                      • Platinum Plus Reward Card

                                      • MBNA Deposit Program

 

          Information about the available insurance products may be requested by contacting the National Headquarters Member Benefits: 816-561-8655 ext. #29, or bgrisham@vfw.org.

 

WHAT IS CANCER INSURANCE?

 

          Cancer Insurance is not to be confused with cancer grants from the Cancer Aid & Research Program. Cancer Insurance is offered to members by National Headquarters as a group policy for Specified Disease Insurance (hereafter referred to as Cancer Insurance.) This is the only insurance policy for which the premiums are processed at National Headquarters. With this policy, all members of a local Auxiliary will be covered if the Auxiliary votes to have Cancer Insurance and submits the proper premium amount to Ladies Auxiliary VFW National Headquarters. Cancer Insurance is not available in every state, and in some states Auxiliaries may renew existing policies but no new policies may be issued. This is subject to each state's laws, which frequently change. For a current list of states with exceptions to the Cancer Insurance policy, please contact the Accounting Director at National Headquarters, 816-561-8655.

          There are several plans from which each Auxiliary may choose. The premium amount is based on the prior year's membership count as of December 31, and must be paid on all members of the Auxiliary including Life Members, or the entire Auxiliary cannot have coverage. Applications will not be accepted for Auxiliaries with dues paid on less than ten members.   Renewal notices will be mailed to the Auxiliary Treasurer approximately six weeks prior to the annual due date.

          The Auxiliary Treasurer or Cancer Chairman of insured Auxiliaries should assist Auxiliary members in filing claims for Cancer Insurance. She should keep a supply of claim forms on hand at all times. If an old name or address for the claims administrator is listed on a claim form, the claim form may still be used but should be mailed to the new address.

          Requests for Cancer Insurance applications, I.D. cards and claim forms, and questions regarding premiums and coverage, should be directed to the National Headquarters office of the Ladies Auxiliary VFW.

 

LADIES AUXILIARY VFW CREDIT CARD & PLATINUM PLUS REWARDS CARD

 

          A Ladies Auxiliary VFW MasterCard credit card is offered through MBNA Bank The cards display the name and emblem of the Ladies Auxiliary VFW and are currently issued with no annual fee and a low introductory rate. MBNA Bank periodically promotes the MasterCard by mailing applications to a sampling of our membership or by requesting information on a member benefits coupon in the Ladies Auxiliary VFW Magazine. Any member may request an application for the Ladies Auxiliary VFW Credit Card by calling MBNA Bank at 1-800-437-0180.

 

VFW CREDIT UNION

 

    Membership is open to VFW and/or Ladies Auxiliary members and their immediate families. The Credit Union offers the same financial services as other institutions at better rates. For more information about the products and services currently available, call 1-800-201-0205 or write to VFW Credit Union, 406 W 34th St., Suite 818, Kansas City, MO 64111.

 

LIFE MEMBERSHIP INFORMATION

 

          Any person eligible for membership in the Ladies Auxiliary VFW may become a Life Member upon the acceptance of her application and payment. Section 112 of the Bylaws provides the official guidelines regarding Life Membership. Life Membership can be purchased by using cash, check, money order, MasterCard, Discover or Visa.

 

LIFE MEMBERSHIP CANCER INSURANCE

 

          Please note that the Life Membership fee does not cover Cancer Insurance premiums for the members of insured Auxiliaries. If an Auxiliary has Cancer Insurance, Life Members are responsible for their own premium payment.

 

TRANSFER OF LIFE MEMBERSHIP

 

          Life Members have the privilege of transferring and being accepted in a new Auxiliary in the same manner as any member of the Ladies Auxiliary VFW, under the provisions of Sections 113 & 113A of the Bylaws. When a Life Member transfers, the Treasurer of the accepting Auxiliary shall forward the Membership Request Change Form, signed by the Auxiliary Treasurer and the Life Member, to the National Secretary-Treasurer. She shall send a copy of the form to the Department Treasurer along with a duplicate accepted application card. A new Life Membership card will be issued by National Headquarters showing the new Auxiliary number.

          National Headquarters will not process transfers for new Life Members who join between September 1 and December 31 until after January 10, or for new Life Members who join between January 1 and June 30 until after July 10. This is so the Life Member dues payout will go to the same Auxiliary in which she was counted as a Life Member.

 

NAME CHANGES & REPORTING DECEASED LIFE MEMBERS

 

          When a Life Member's name changes and she wishes to have a Life Membership card with the new name, she must send a written request with a $5.00 check, payable to the Ladies Auxiliary VFW, to the Life Membership Department at National Headquarters.

          A death of a Life Member and her date of passing should be reported promptly to the National Secretary-Treasurer.

 

LIFE MEMBER PERPETUAL CHARTER

 

          A Life Member Perpetual Charter for an Auxiliary may be obtained at no charge after securing 25 Life Members. A written request must be received by National Headquarters with the date that the 25th member was sent to the Department Treasurer. There will be a $15 charge for replacing perpetual charters.

  

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