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What is the best way to get members at a gun club

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by moose!!!, May 16, 2012.

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  1. moose!!!

    moose!!! Member

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    We have a small gun club Trap, Skeet, Sporting clays, and 5 stand. The membership numbers are lower than they should be. We are kind of looking for ideas that have been succesful for some of your clubs to help promatethe games and club. Thanks for your input
     
  2. Star4Ever

    Star4Ever Member

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    If you happen to have a gun shop in your area, say within one hour's drive of your club, maybe you could ask the owner if he/she would allow you to put a poster on their wall saying your club has open membership.... (have take away fliers).

    That would be a good first step.

    Second, contact your local NRA rep and ask his advice, maybe he can get the word out.

    Third... get involved at a local Ducks Unlimited event and raffle off a membership or two...
    Again have your posters up at that event with take away fliers.

    Lastly... word of mouth is best... challenge each current member to bring in one good friend as a new member.

    Good Luck.
    My club's membership is CLOSED as we have too many members!

    Art
     
  3. oz

    oz Active Member

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    they probably heard your club sucks or your members treat people like $hit. do you have lifetime members that get everything for free? Do they treat other members like subjects? change your charter.
     
  4. Dr.Longshot

    Dr.Longshot Banned

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    Be very shooter friendly, talk to everyone, if your club has components offer some good prices, reasonable target prices, Try some different style of shoot programs, promote a ladies event, you can advertise free in The Sunday paper here on the outdoors page on shooting events, you get 300,000+ readers.

    I now some shooters that won't go to a club that have dogs in them, ladies don't want dogs slobbering on them, and they don't like the smell, it gets on their clothes.

    Offer some merchandise shoots for wads or primers to start with.

    Shoot an International Style Slider shoot 19 yds to 25 yds charge an extra .50 cents per shooter and hi score gets $2.50.

    Shoot some 10 bird events.
     
  5. rooferbob

    rooferbob Active Member

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    Location:
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    Offer some "FUN " shoots and give prizes to the winners. Possibly some small calcutta shoots?
    Money will always attract people.
     
  6. Barry C. Roach

    Barry C. Roach Well-Known Member

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  7. 391 shooter

    391 shooter Well-Known Member

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    By all means make sure you treat each new face with a smile and glad to see them and thank them for comming, as the conversation goes on that day ask them to tell their buddies about your place and welcome thwm to join in as well.

    Being freindly is the number one thing to do that costs nothing and reeps big rewards.

    At the same time be on the look out for goobers and idiots, yeah, they show up also.

    Understanding that new shooters are always tentitive when they get to the new club, work to make them comfortable with the shooting and watch them closley and ask them if they have ever shot Trap, if not make the first step to this easy for them, offer to work with them one on one on a seperate field to get them comfortable. This has worked for me over the years very well.

    I have been to clubs that are very unfriendly to a new face and I never never go back. I spend my money where I feel welcomed.
     
  8. RoverLee

    RoverLee TS Member

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    I agree with some of the others. The more new people you expose to the club the better the chance you will gain members. In addition to the members friends coming maybe try doing something for the community.
     
  9. wlc

    wlc Member

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    A league that is set up to favor new shooters has generated lots of interest at my club.
     
  10. Twinbirds

    Twinbirds TS Member

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    don't forget the youth programs, get the younger generation involved. Good food, friendly atmosphere, neat and orderly appearance of the facilities, have fun, fun games, derbies etc. Have a membership drive day.
     
  11. Chango2

    Chango2 Active Member

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    Youth organizations to give kids a chance to try shooting is an important avenue. One of the saddest things I have observed at my local public range is a single lady taking her son to shoot. It's often expensive for her, the rented gun doesn't fit, there is no instruction. One kid just lit up with happiness when I lent a shell pouch. That very simple gesture, a little walk to my pickup truck, did wonders for sport PR IMO.

    Make people feel comfortable...
     
  12. GunDr

    GunDr Active Member

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    What's driven me from a couple of clubs...Beer drinking. Seeing garbage cans full of empties, and cans lying in the grass. Also a weak BOD that do not remove unruly attendees from the club. I've seen lazy club members throw trash in the parking lot, spill popcorn on the floor and not clean it up, all the while several BOD members stood by and watched, to afraid to rock the boat.



    Now, We're in northern MN, and do not have the large population centers to draw from, so what has brought in 90+ new members to our club last year?

    1- I would first say cleanliness. The property is "spic-n-span".

    2- The manager will walk from the clubhouse to the parking lot to greet a new face.

    3- We have instructors willing to go 1 on 1 with a new shooter.

    4- Have a website and keep it current. Post all of your monthly BOD minutes for the membership to read. In the past at our club, transparency was about the same as Obama's, a brick wall, 2 feet thick. Now everythng is posted, very transparent, and we get more input from the general membership.

    5- Have small flyers made up. Ours are about 3x6, printed on both sides. Take them to all the sporting good shops and ask to place them on their counters. Don't forget the hardware stores that sell ammo and the big box stores that sell shooting supplies. Our local pawn shops even have them.

    6- Plan some type of fundraising banquet for the club. We get about a dozen new memberships at this event, plus a few thousand dollars net.

    7- Plan a fundraiser for a local charity or even a national one (we're doing one on June 16th for the Wounded Warrior Project). This will attract many that have never heard of the club. Regarding the Wounded Warrior fundraiser, we've teamed up with the local American Legion and VFWs. The club is donating the targets and the armed services organizations are covering the food. We've had so much interest in the shoot, that we will be able to raffle off 3 firearms.

    8- One of the ladies from the club is running an "NRA Women on Target" program this summer...ladies only, no men except a few instructors.

    9- Youth shooting probably has been our biggest asset. For the past three years, our club donated the targets and ammo. The kids' parents do not need to hold a membership, but many will buy. Thanks to the Friends of the NRA, we now have an ammo grant this year.

    10- Regarding the youth shooting...we also have a "Kid's Day at the Range". We have kids from 6 yrs old to 17. Besides being able to shoot 22s, and shotguns, we have a local hunting dog trainer running his dogs through the retrieving gamut. The MNDNR brings out their laser gun and screen for the kids to play with inside the clubhouse, we have a pellet gun range set up to shoot at targets that tip over(very popular), we use donated small bows for the archery range, a couple of fishing rods for a casting contest, free juice and milk, along with hotdogs and chips. At the end of the few hours, we raffle off prizes to each and every participant...donated from the local merchants.


    For years, the work around the club has been volunteers, but it was always a struggle to schedule the workers. When someone was scheduled, they wouldn't show because the weather was nice and decided to go fishing. Also, a few volunteers would take it upon themselves to start making changes on how the club should run.

    About 5 years ago we started paying for employees and having a manager. WOW!!this made a difference. The manager and "his" employees get $10 per hour. The manager now answers only to the BOD. The club previously was only open 3 days a week, expanded to 5 days, and now during July and August, 7 days per week. The club is closed during the winter months.

    We never quit trying to bring people in. It's a lot of work, but if you lose the club for lack of interest, its gone for ever.

    Doug
     
  13. pdq

    pdq Member

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    Encourage shooters to bring friends, especially those that have never shot before. Then, make it the most fun day they've had in months. Do the same for experienced shooters who show up for the first time. Make both want to come back asap.

    At one of the clubs here, we encourage families to come. Husbands and wives shoot, kids can watch, or play with their electronic games. We have free earplugs, a bunch of pairs of shooting glasses, a number of quality break open club guns they can use, shells they can buy, then safety training and help in shooting. Members stand with new shooters on the line watching for safety, but also helping them with shooting. Key with new shooters is to get them breaking targets.

    I'm of the mind that the reason that sporting clays has seen such popularity is that people walk away thinking how much fun that was, because it's not the same thing every time. Include games, i.e. protection, Annie Oakleys, wobble, wobble doubles. Trap can be the same.

    Pete
     
  14. Ajax

    Ajax Active Member

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    The main thing is to make the new people feel comfortable. We have a couple of members take the new people and explain the game. We work with them when they are shooting. The look on a persons face when they hit that first target is great to see. We keep the "Oh, you gotta have a new gun to shoot this game" away from them.

    We have two traps. One set up for practice with voice calls and a game trap. 80% of the people on the game trap shot their first target on our practice trap and saw how much fun the games are. We have some that shoot PITA and like the formality of registered shooting. We have an ex president that sells components and shells to keep help the cost down.

    All of these things help but you have to make the feel welcome!

    Ajax
     
  15. spritc

    spritc Active Member

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    Good food served promptly each day you're open. Why do you think most of us are a little on the "fluffy" side?
     
  16. W.P.T.

    W.P.T. TS Member

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    If what your doing is not working, try doing the opposite and see if that works ... No charge for the consultation ... WPT ... (YAC) ...
     
  17. Palos shooter

    Palos shooter Member

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    Try not to hit the new shooter over the head with stupid prices..Charge them 50 cents over what the members pay..Nobody wants to pay 7 bucks or more for targets..it is a turnoff..4 bucks a round for new shooters sounds good to me..
    The higher the prices the less shooters you will get to shoot..Targets are 10 bucks a case ..How much money do you want to make on them..Use a little Carma..
    Not everyone has won the lottery..most people have to work for a living..
    The clubs that charge less for targets make it up in volumn..When the supply gets to expensive there is less demand..Simple economics..That is why I shoot 7/8 for 16's..Frugal?? yes////
     
  18. Ljutic111

    Ljutic111 TS Member

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    All of the above is great advice but if you don`t have rifle and pistol or a kitchen then you just have to offer friendly advice and make them feel comfortable when there . We have a small 2 trap club with only 25 members and it`s hard to recruit new people but we offer much to the members and families . Still we need new people too since its a hands on club for all members . With only a $1.50 between member-non-member costs , some still figure why do work if you can cover the differences ?? Free give-away rounds and 2 pie shoots with no extra changes per shooter and 5 special shoots with $ prizes or trophies with still no extra changes to shooters make little difference in gaining members for the last 5 years . We donate $2,000 to charities per year when possible and have a free food day for all shooters with free rounds for members and family and still have a time gaining new members ?? The local police have never come to our club for 40+ years and they are only 3 miles from the club and 1 across the street from my home but this year we have 5-6 officers coming to shoot which is very surprising to me but one officer has been a friend of the family for 30 years and finally stopped in while we had a shoot going on and was amazed what was happening in his territory ?? You can ask, beg and advertize but until the general public stops in to see what you have to offer , you are sucking wind . And even then you have shooters come for years and are just satified with being able to shoot at their convenience and thats all you`ll get from them no matter how hard you try .
     
  19. larrystrollo

    larrystrollo Member

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    Put on a continuing education class on trap and skeet shooting via your local community center, vocational center, or high school, make it one night a week for several weeks so there is time for people to really learn and get the hang of it. Provide the ALL the equipment (guns, shells, eye and ear protection). Many people would like to try it but don't have the equipment or know people that do. New shooters are not going to spend money on gun just to try this out. It's a chicken and egg problem. This is how I was introduced to the sport - had it not been for that, I never would have tried it, and I've been hooked for 15 years.
     
  20. grnberetcj

    grnberetcj Active Member

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    A well stocked bar with "club pricing"...

    A good looking female bartender who is also personable.

    Curt
     
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