By Dave Twit Linberg
Any member old or new, will not stay with an
organization or group unless they are comfortable
inside the fabric of the group. To feel
comfortable with a group you need to feel a part
of the group. So how does that happen? It's
something you and every other member of ABATE of
Wisconsin can help newer members with; some people
call it mentoring and here are the basics. I hope
everyone reads this, because this month we have
two excellent opportunities to mentor other
members at: Officers' Training and Lobby
Introduce the new member to other members.
Simple but true. The more people within the
organization the member knows the more likely they
will feel a part of it. The other members that
they are introduced to will also help with the
mentoring process every time a conversation
occurs. And they in turn will introduce the new
member to more members and we continue to add more
value to the ABATE membership.
Get to know the new member. Asking a few
simple questions will go along ways towards giving
you more tools to make the new member more
comfortable. By knowing what they like, you have a
better idea of leading them towards ABATE
activities that they will enjoy.
Simple questions like--"what do you
ride? Do you like to ride in small groups, large
groups, or by yourself? Just thought I'd
ask, we have a couple of different rides set up
for this summer ... "
"Would you be interested in jumping on a free bus
ride and going to Lobby Day with me? I've
been there before and can help you through the
day ... "
"Ever been to a swap meet? Want to check out
the swap meet next week? We have a group going
over, you'd fit right in."
Point out what's going on. You can
see some examples of this in the last section, but
there is more to it.
ABATE can be pretty confusing to a new person.
ABATE of Wisconsin has only one mission: to
protect the rights and safety of motorcyclists.
Because we go after this mission from many
different angles and methods, it can be hard for a
new member to grasp all that is going on at once.
You can't just ask, "Do you have any
questions?" Because most new members
won't even know what questions to ask at the
beginning. Do what you can to help them through
Show them one of our newsletters and point out
which regional report(s) cover your area. Turn to
the calendar of events and let them know if
you're going to any of them and invite them
along. Offer to attend a meeting with them and
introduce them to the regional officers. Offer to
be at their side at their first Lobby Day.
When you introduce them to the regional officers
would be a great time to explain, "Yup.
These are the volunteers who keep things going in
this area. These guys report to a District
Director, who then reports to the board of
directors that we elect every two years ... the
board of directors and the State Officers you see
in the newsletter are the people who "run
the organization" with everyone else's
Sound like a mouth-full? Yes it is, so break it
into small chunks. Just by working ABATE into
conversations, they'll catch on ... If
they have a question that you can't answer,
help them out by finding someone who can (like
your regional rep or district director) and
you'll learn more in the process too.
Being a part of it--the Upgrade Process.
By upgrade I mean that they have the
opportunity to be invested in the group through
Something as simple as buying a couple of 50/50
tickets can be a start--or better yet ask
them if they'd help you sell the 50/50
tickets at the meeting.
Ask them their opinion--but be careful not to
be judgmental of whatever opinion they may
present. Thank them for their opinion and move on.
Include them in the discussion of the next event.
If they join the discussion, they may even join
the event team.
All of these little steps together will form into
what smoothly looks like routine contact, because
that's what it is. It's not calculated
to "trap them into membership".
It's a group of polite and welcoming steps
that will validate the initial decision of the
member to join ABATE in the first place.
It's simply saying, "You joined and
you are welcome here, and we invite you to grow
with us." When we can say that, we have done
This routine contact helps to build solid
relationships so that when it comes time to ask
for the renewal check, the member feels like they
are not just a funding machine, but rather, they
are a partner with the whole group. This is far
an away the best part of getting them to Lobby Day
- they get to see first had exactly what their
membership funds - a very talented and dedicated
group of VOLUNTEER Motorcyclist Grassroots
Looking forward to seeing many of you at
Officers' training and at Lobby Day!
Linberg, Dave Twit. "Comfort Level." ABATE of Wisconsin Newsletter Feb. 2017.