Efficient technique for scrubbing membership

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mcarp5
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Efficient technique for scrubbing membership

Postby mcarp5 » Thu Feb 10, 2011 3:03 pm

I am a fairly new Ward Clerk and have been asked to "scrub" our ward membership records. There are almost 600 members, but only 180 attend each week. Many have probably moved and/or their contact info has changed. Any ideas? Email blast? Letters? Priesthood activity to visit as many homes as possible? I'm not sure how to best handle this. Thank you for your input!

techgy
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Postby techgy » Thu Feb 10, 2011 3:13 pm

mcarp5 wrote:I am a fairly new Ward Clerk and have been asked to "scrub" our ward membership records. There are almost 600 members, but only 180 attend each week. Many have probably moved and/or their contact info has changed. Any ideas? Email blast? Letters? Priesthood activity to visit as many homes as possible? I'm not sure how to best handle this. Thank you for your input!


You're probably going to have to implement all of your ideas to get the best coverage. I would also suggest getting the full-time missionaries involved as they can visit part-member families and those who have been flagged as inactive. I don't think that any one method is going to completely cover the entire ward, especially with 600 on record.
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dobrichelovek
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Postby dobrichelovek » Thu Feb 10, 2011 3:39 pm

We have talked about utilizing the map tool to 'verify' addresses of people on the ward list. Since the maps allow you to do all sorts of cool things, including filter on those who are still unverified and zoom in on a certain area and print out the map, it could provide a useful tool for keeping track of those households that still need to be verified. New move-in households will automatically be unverified, so you will be able to take care of those quickly while you are chipping away at the rest. As for the actual method of validating the households, it sounds like you have some good ideas already.

One ward I was in used sending Birthday Cards to everyone on the ward list as a way of keeping track of good and bad addresses. The Bishopric ended up signing a lot of cards that got returned, but the benefit of it was they were able to use that to identify households they could investigate further to ensure that they really weren't there.

Good luck! :)

pwilson
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Postby pwilson » Thu Feb 10, 2011 4:54 pm

For a quick start effort, send a letter to all of the less active members using ward stationery. The post office will return the envelopes of anyone who has moved or has a forwarding address to your bishop (the return address on the envelope) and then you can make the changes in MLS.

Make sure you use Church stationery so it has the "RETURN SERVICE REQUESTED" (if you don't you won't get the envelopes back). We do this a few times each year and usually get back several letters with updated addresses usually outside the ward. We typically write a nice letter signed by the bishop inviting families to ward activities, general conference, ward conference, stake conference, etc (whatever happens to be coming up).

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gregwanderson
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Postby gregwanderson » Thu Feb 10, 2011 6:27 pm

We don't have nearly as many "unknown status" members in our ward but this is something we discussed at the most recent P.E.C. meeting. The High Priest Group Leader and Elder's Quorum President were charged with checking out specific contacts and using the home teaching forces too. Our Ward geography isn't too large and most people have a pretty good idea about who lives in their neighborhood.

I would say this is a perfect opportunity to get the entire ward council involved to see who's ever had any contact with the people on your list or might know someone else who has. This shouldn't fall on just you to sort out.

idjeeper2
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Postby idjeeper2 » Sun Feb 20, 2011 7:32 am

As said before, you will probably need all of your suggested methods. The birthday cards, invitations to stake conference, and the visiting teaching mail-outs have all worked well for us. In my last calling in the YSA branch, I even resorted to using Facebook to find people - rarely got an address but I could usually narrow locations down to a city/state and if they were married or "playing house". Sometimes this gets you information you really didn't want to know. :eek: I found out one of our members actually lived in S. California and had been cast in two movies (never heard of either one of them but she is in IMDB).

kisaac
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It's a ward project!

Postby kisaac » Sun Feb 20, 2011 4:26 pm

mcarp5 wrote:I am a fairly new Ward Clerk and have been asked to "scrub" our ward membership records. There are almost 600 members, but only 180 attend each week.


Welcome to the forum!

I'm also a ward clerk, and I'm sure you and your bishop know this is a ward "project."

Have you reviewed "locating Members" in the wiki?

I think "membership audits" at tithing settlement are an excellent way to keep current the contact info for your ward. Do them each year! Don't rely on your finance clerk or bishopric to "push" this like you would as ward clerk. When members look over their IOS, ask them to check email and phone numbers.

We prepared an "invitation to tithing settlement" to every member on our records-those that donated also received their donation summary in the same envelope, handed out before settlement began. Clerks Hand-delivered most of them at church, then home delivered others, and those that were unknown were mailed. In the end, you'll have a stack of letters, some returned by the post office, others that the clerks could'nt deliver...are these in your ward?

At other times, why not send around your phone -email list in each organization's sunday meeting with a note that asks the members to check their phone and email info, making corrections on a list that is handed back to you?

Other ideas...

In reality, your ward is looking for lost sheep, and not just asking you as ward clerk to update email addresses in MLS.

Hand to your bishop a list of those "members not assigned to be home or visit taught" and the bishop can lead a discussion about those names in each PEC. (print this list under HT or VT reporting in MLS.) Why are they not assigned-because they are no longer there? My bishop asks each leader to report back on these unassigned (and often unknown) names monthly- sometimes they make presidency visits, sometimes they ask home teachers or family members or the ward missionaries to investigate.

If no home or visiting teaching visits are being made to a member, why not? Are they not in your ward anymore?

If leaders find nothing, I try the other techniques mentioned here, phone, email, letters, sometimes on church stationary, sometimes plain envelopes with just my name and return address handwritten, but always with "return service requested."

New Records
What is your ward process to find members whose records arrive in your ward, but faces never show up at Church? Implement an ongoing monthly ward process of discussions and assignments at ward council to check each new membership when it arrives in your ward. We use a combination of the organizations and the ward missionaries. IE. Youth leaders check on youth-aged names, and all other Quorums, RS and YSA leaders check on those that are new to their organizations, as appropriate, and report back to the council.

PPI's
Our bishop also uses PPI's with each organization's presidencies to go over their membership rosters. If there are unknown names, the leaders try and find them, and return and report.

Your entire ward council would make a giant force to "scrub" your membership- after all, they are called to be the shepherd over their organizations!

Have a discussion about these issues in ward council...

davesudweeks
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Postby davesudweeks » Mon Feb 21, 2011 12:20 pm

One other suggestion that is sometimes appropriate: Our full time Missionaries have options to assist (your situation depends on direction from their Mission President). When they are on exchanges with members and all their appointments fall through, this is a perfect opportunity to go with the ward member to try to find some who are unknown by the ward. In our case, many of these are part-member families anyway.

You can create a custom report in MLS that will list the name of every ward member who has a non-member spouse listed in MLS (note: there are specific guidlines in the Handbook for adding non-members to MLS so check that before you add any). This can get you started as long as you remember that less-active "singles" are often married and the ward doesn't know it. Our missionaries have this report available for when they don't have anything more productive to do. I have created this custom report so if you would like a copy of the formatting, send me a private message and I'll upload the settings so you can just import them into your MLS.

Dave Sudweeks

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Mon Feb 21, 2011 1:38 pm

davesudweeks wrote:One other suggestion that is sometimes appropriate: Our full time Missionaries have options to assist (your situation depends on direction from their Mission President). When they are on exchanges with members and all their appointments fall through, this is a perfect opportunity to go with the ward member to try to find some who are unknown by the ward. In our case, many of these are part-member families anyway.


That's a good idea.

davesudweeks wrote:You can create a custom report in MLS that will list the name of every ward member who has a non-member spouse listed in MLS (note: there are specific guidlines in the Handbook for adding non-members to MLS so check that before you add any). This can get you started as long as you remember that less-active "singles" are often married and the ward doesn't know it. Our missionaries have this report available for when they don't have anything more productive to do. I have created this custom report so if you would like a copy of the formatting, send me a private message and I'll upload the settings so you can just import them into your MLS.


This report already exists (and is downloadable) on the wiki at Part-member families. And that report doesn't require the non-member spouse to be in MLS -- it just requires that the member's record properly notes that the member is married to a nonmember.
Questions that can benefit the larger community should be asked in a public forum, not a private message.

davesudweeks
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Postby davesudweeks » Tue Feb 22, 2011 11:25 am

Our report does not require the non-member spouse name either, but if it is there, I show it on my report. If the spouse is not listed but a marriage is recorded, the spouse name is left blank on the report.

One other caution: I advise you clear all report distributions with your bishop. Sometimes a seemingly innocent request can cause a sticky situation. When I discuss them with the Bishop, I tell him what information is on the report, who wants it, and give him a copy of the report to look at. Then it becomes his call to approve it. As well stated elsewhere in the Wiki and in the handbook, there are specific guidelines on what information can be made available and what cannot.


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