November 2019 Council and Chapter News

November 2019

10 Tips to Help Retain Chapter Members

These strategies can help MOAA chapters combat the challenge of retaining their members.

Though many affiliates work hard to recruit new members, they sometimes forget about the equally important challenge of retention. Don’t negate all your hard work to increase your chapter’s membership. To help retain members, consider these 10 tips:

  1. Vary programs and events and meeting times and days to meet member needs.
  2. Invite relevant speakers, such as legislators or city officials, to chapter meetings.
  3. Organize special events and raffles, gift exchanges, etc.
  4. Recognize the accomplishments of members by publishing their biographies on your website or in your newsletter.
  5. Offer community service opportunities to bring members together to achieve a goal.
  6. Provide opportunities for involvement on short-term, one-time-only projects and special issues.
  7. Keep costs economical, but don’t let price be the driver of what type of activity to hold.
  8. Provide invoices for dues paid by members.
  9. Offer ride-sharing programs to chapter activities.
  10. Contact inactive members before terminating their chapter membership.


Recruiting Made Easier

MOAA’s Common Join Form incorporates the enrollment requirements for MOAA membership and chapter membership. We’ve included detailed instructions on how to add your chapter’s name and logo on a fillable PDF or Word document. To access the instructions for both of these formats, visit the Bridge to National MOAA webpage. 

Third-Quarter Recruiting Awards

Sept. 30 marked the end of the third quarter of the 2019 Chapter Recruiting Program competition.

During the third quarter (July 1 through Sept. 30), MOAA affiliates recruited a total of 395 new monetary incentive qualified chapter members.

A $250 incentive is awarded quarterly to the top council in each of our four regions whose chapters recruit 40 or more new chapter members during the quarter. Those councils are:

Florida — 81

California — 69

A $100 is awarded quarterly to the top non-affiliated chapter (no state council) that recruits 10 or more new members during the quarter. That independent chapter is:

MOAA Surviving Spouses Virtual Chapter — 24

View chapter-recruiting resources, sign up new chapter members, and check out your results via the chapter-recruiting tracker at

Surviving Spouse Corner: Making the Best of the Holidays After Loss

The holiday season can be tough for some, especially those who recently have lost a love one.

By Cindy Bondi, Surviving Spouse Advisory Committee member

Holidays come around at their own pace, whether we’re ready for them or not. Personally, I’ve always enjoyed the season, which starts around Halloween and really doesn’t end until the New Year.

After the loss of my husband, that first set of holidays was a whirlwind. My blended family came around with little planning, as they made sure I wasn’t alone or sad. They were grieving too, and it seemed natural to be together.

The years since that first set of holidays after my husband’s death have not been as traditional. I’m ready to set a new tradition, but I find it difficult because the circumstances in my life have changed, as has my growing and changing family.

Last year, all the kids decided to coordinate spending every other year with their in-laws, and so it was the first year that I would have to find another way to spend Christmas without them. My sister invited me to spend Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with her and her husband and her two grown kids. I accepted, but I had not expected it to be much fun.

It turned out to be one of the best times I’d had in years. We opened presents one by one, and it literally took six hours! It reminded me of the way my sister and I opened presents in our family when we were kids. Our dad always examined every gift and made a big deal out of the smallest things.

I left her house with a new perspective. I will try to keep an open mind about the holidays and remind myself the following:

  • I am not alone.
  • I’m thankful for even the smallest things.
  • I know there are people who care and want to help. I need to learn to accept help.
  • I try not to worry or let fear take over. It’s usually a waste of time.
  • It becomes more evident that everyone who I have crossed paths with has been there for a reason.


As I move into the 2019 holiday season, I know there will be some struggles, but there also will be joys along the way.

Find past Surviving Spouse Corner articles on 

Tell Us About Your Veterans Day Activities

Is your council or chapter involved in a Veterans Day event in your community? If so, national MOAA wants to hear about it. Email high-resolution digital photos in .tif or .jpg formats, as well as caption information, to Your affiliate could be spotlighted on

From the Field

MOAA chapters give back to their communities through fundraising efforts, community-service projects, scholarship programs, and other initiatives. Here are some recent activities.

  • The Mahoning and Shenango Valleys (Ohio) Chapter supported the fourth annual golf event benefiting the Youngstown State University Department of Military Science and Army ROTC on Sept. 15. The chapter sponsored a hole, as did several individual members, and numerous chapter members also played in the golf event, which raised over $14,000.

  • The Greater St. Louis Chapter partnered with the Gateway ROTC Battalion at Washington University to host a special training event for 150 Junior ROTC (JROTC) cadets. The event, held at Scott AFB, Ill., brought in ROTC members from college-level units to train their high school-age comrades. The JROTC cadets were divided into teams under the mentorship of senior cadets to go through 10 stations to test physical tests based on the Army Combat Fitness Test.