View Full Version : What does Fellowship mean to you?

02-12-2008, 07:34 PM
Another topic started to partner the other affiliate discussions going on here!

In a recent conversation with a friend, we were discussing the fellowship programs that are a part of affiliate organizations. I strongly feel that the fellowship program directly affects membership within an organization, and the strength (or weakness) of that organization.

So, I pose this question to you: What does fellowship mean to you in your organization? How does it make you feel? What does your fellowship do for your organization? If you have a strong fellowship program, what do you feel contributed to that?

02-12-2008, 08:13 PM
For one thing...it's showing up on meeting night to support the organization even though you know that you're not going to get anything out of the program.:D

02-12-2008, 08:16 PM
I should clarify- I am referring to degrees earned within our affiliates....

02-12-2008, 08:24 PM
In California, our fellowship is a "stepping stone" to persuing the Masters. For us, it signifies that you are one of the best in the state. The criteria is that you must earn 20 state merits for images 78 and higher to receive the medallion. I still wear mine proudly as I received mine in 1986. Our "Service" award is for volunteering services and education. It is awarded not only for state contributions, but for contributions to the smaller affiliate associations.

These certainly help in the "unification process" of the association, but I don't think it is as strong as it should be in this day and age. The WIIFMs are strong in this new generation of photographers and the fundimental shift for success or failure of the associations are more towards the overall experience of membership.

02-12-2008, 08:25 PM
I enjoy my organizations and participate pretty freely. I decided to capitalize on what I was already doing, so I started a long time ago turning in an updated list of "points". I have my full fellowship in my local PPA guild and also from my State Association....I believe I am one of only 30 or so at the state level in Texas to have their full fellowship.

02-12-2008, 08:54 PM
There's nothing wrong with WIIFM--it's the only honest natural emotion in a human. In the long run, you can't keep an organization running on total altruism.

The trick is to sell the "customer" on the propostion that what you are giving him is of value to him. And it should be of true value. This should not be a new concept to any of us. As Stan put it in another topic, "You owe us" isn't a selling point.

02-12-2008, 09:28 PM
Nope. Never said there was anything wrong with WIIFMs. But, it has changed the landscape of the professional organizations and volunteerism. If associations do a "business as usual", just like any businesses, they will fail.