Hi all, looks like it's time for an update on BCA membership cards.
Production of membership cards is ongoing, and is taking up all of my time, which is not so good as this role is only supposed to be part time!
When I took over this role in September 2006, there was no up to date membership database to work from (due to the fact that the previous job holder had to resign in early 2006 due to ill health, and no maintenance had been performed on the database since that time) . This fact has been reinforced by the amount of returns received from the 3 mailings BCA has posted in late 2006 and early 2007 (which utilised a merge of 3 previous address lists).
Currently I am building the 2007 membership database from scratch. I am using the 2007 membership renewals as they are received (there are well over 5000 members to enter). The process I have adopted is to build a file for card printing over 3 days, and on the 4th day print and post the cards (for example, I printed over 1000 cards last week). Building this file includes checking (or creating new) membership numbers (why don't clubs record membership numbers?), checking postcodes and addresses, transcribing DIM applications from scans into the file, ensuring the correct level of membership is recorded and checking that we have received the membership fee. There is a 4 to 6 week delay in that check, as currently applications and payments go to Great Hucklow (I live in Cheshire) and they are posted to me on CD at the end of each month (we are looking to improve this process in the coming months). Once the cards have been printed (and posted), the file is then entered into the master membership database.
Whilst this process is horrendously labour intensive, it does mean that membership renewals for 2008 will just be a matter of printing cards from an up to date database on demand.
In the meantime though, there are some things that you can do to help. If you have an issue on membership (cards or otherwise) contact me at: email@example.com
rather than here, as currently I do not have the time to monitor this forum. I can't guarantee you will have an immediate reply, as I really am working flat out to shift cards, but I will reply. Secondly, although maybe too late for 2007, clubs: please keep a record of your members BCA membership number, DIM's please write your details clearly on the renewal form.
I am hopeful that most, if not all, 2007 cards will have been posted by late May.
Specifics: BPC and ACG: I am waiting on the return of the CIM spreadsheet from those clubs.
And on the bright side: although later than hoped, cards are going out, which you have to agree is a better situation than last year.
British Caving Association