Harold Koopowitz, California

COME TO MINNESOTA

August 3, 2015
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Category: General

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Come to the Fall Board Meeting.

The fall board meeting this year is going to be a little different. We are going to hold a workshop to try and come up with five and a ten year plan of what the American Daffodil Society wants to be in the future. This is your chance to voice your input.

The current mission statement for the American Daffodil Society was formulated in 1982 and is as follows:-

“The Mission of the ADS is to be an internationally recognized not-for-profit association of individuals, organizations, companies, and/or universities dedicated to the encouragement of widespread interest in daffodils, and to research and education with respect to their culture, breeding, preservation, diseases pests, testing, and exhibition.”

To accomplish its mission the ADS set up ten goals for itself.  These date back over thirty years ago. It is worth enumerating them here:-

  1. To actively promote, in a variety of ways, increased public awareness and appreciation of the daffodil as an important plant.
  2. To embrace all types of daffodil hobbyists, and to continually recruit new daffodil enthusiasts in order to maintain a healthy organization. To CREATE more daffodil hobbyists of all kinds.
  3. To serve gardeners’ needs to learn more about all aspects of growing daffodils.
  4. To actively encourage improvements in daffodil breeding by both amateur and professional breeders.
  5. To create more public exhibits of daffodils, both shows and public plantings.
  6. To provide information exchange among daffodil enthusiasts, and to serve as a conduit for information between isolated groups, both nationally and internationally. To document daffodil information to prevent its loss.
  7. To set standards for daffodil shows and judges; to continue to improve the quality of judging in shows.
  8. To provide registration of new cultivars, and to work with international authorities on matters of daffodil classification.
  9. To provide financial security consistent with all tax laws pertaining to 501 (c) 3 organizations.
  10. To promote and encourage scientific research on the genus Narcissus.

For the most part we have consistently carried out activities to promote our goals, although the second goal does not appear to have been actively pursued until recently. Now we need to examine our mission and our goals anew. It may be that we will be satisfied with what we have achieved and not wish to change anything. But the daffodil world of 2015 is quite different from that of 1982. Can we improve on the mission statement and its goals?

How can we best serve our membership? What do you want and expect to get from belonging to this society? At the same time the society is facing several challenges. We have lost most of our sources of specialty show daffodils and the annual daffodil shows were one of the main reasons for our existence. They will continue but we wonder what will happen to the quality displayed at the shows. The society is still fragile in terms of membership, even though our dwindling membership seems to have been stemmed for the moment.  It will be easy to slip backwards to where we were only a year ago. We rely on membership income to run our Journal and Internet web services and we need a stable income for the future.

The Journal is the way we communicate with most of the membership. Only about 20% of the membership comes to the Spring Convention or the Fall Board Meeting. For the majority of our members the journal is the only tangible thing that they receive from the ADS. So it becomes most important that we know what they want to see in this publication. This is your chance to have input into our decision making process. What kind of articles do you want to read?

The membership can be justly proud of daffnet, daffseek and dafflibrary and other Internet services. They are the envy of the horticultural world. But we need to take steps to protect them. How are we going to do that? One way would be to set up an endowment. This will entail a lot of work and involves several questions. How long will it take us to raise the amount of money we will need and where will it come from? Very few of our members can be described as really wealthy and many are on fixed incomes. Where will the money come from? Perhaps we will need to approach Foundations and other sources of grant money? Who is to do that?  Does the ADS membership really appreciate what the web services provide? How often do you use it? An enormous number of web users are not members of our society and they come from around the world. Maintaining our Internet services clearly falls under the current mission statement.

We need your input. Contact any of the office holders, their names and addresses are on the inside front cover. Send emails, postcards or long letters. Or come to the Fall Board Meeting yourself. All members of the American Daffodil Society will be welcome. Even if you are happy with the way things are and want no changes – let us know. Likewise, if you are not. If you want changes in the ways things are done let us know. What can we do to improve your ADS membership experience? This is your society, tell us what you want.

 

Harold Koopowitz

President, American Daffodil Society

 

One response to “COME TO MINNESOTA”

  1. Loyce McKenzie, Mississippi Loyce McKenzie, Mississippi says:

    Reading this excellent letter, I wonder if we need new goals, or perhaps more important, just more effective second-decade-of-the-21st-century ways to reach those worthwhile goals.
    I hope people will respond, in writing, and I would especially like to challenge those who read DaffNet and are not (yet) members of the American Daffodil Society to share their ideas!