New Club Guidelines and Organizational Suggestions
- ESTABLISH A CORE GROUP:
Place an ad in a (preferably) free entertainment publication or use social media. Create interesting flyers and put them in bars or record stores (with permission, of course). The Atlanta Club’s initial ad read “The Atlanta Parrot Head Club now forming. For those who enjoy Buffett’s music, a variety of mostly outdoor social activities, and a chance to volunteer for community service and environmental projects. Call for more info. First get- together coming soon.” Initially, you will attract at least a couple of enthusiastic people who will want to help you get organized. Once you have some assistance, start planning your first get-together.
Always thank those who help out!
- FIND A CENTRAL LOCATION FOR MEETINGS:
We’ve found that two types of meetings are necessary on a regular basis. A happy hour at a local watering hole to attract new members, and a planning meeting for the principal organizers of the group. Try to find a popular bar or restaurant, preferably with a “Buffett”-type atmosphere, that is enthusiastic about having a regular group of parrot heads meet there casually twice (or once) a month, and who will sponsor club events, advertise your club’s association with them, and cover small club expenses (such as paying for club newsletter copies in exchange for advertising their establishment in your newsletter or on your website). Planning meetings should be held about once a month in a more sedate setting such as someone’s house or office. The happy hours should be casual social time, while the planning meetings are designed for handling club business (organizing volunteer functions and club social events, planning the newsletter, etc.) We cannot stress how important it is to have BOTH.
- PURCHASE OR MAKE A BANNER OR SIGN:
When you are meeting in a public place, this gives you instant recognition and build interest amongst other patrons. (Beer companies may make banners for your club for free. After all, it advertises their beer, and we are parrot heads! But also check out the websites for great, cheap opportunities)
- DESIGN AND MARKET A CLUB T-SHIRT:
Create a suitable logo design for your club, and have a professional artists or graphic designers do the artwork. It will be worth the investment. T- shirts are a small revenue builder, and they provide great recognition for your club. The Parrot Heads In Paradise, Inc. national club logo is available for use by all PHiP sanctioned clubs to show their mutual affiliation.
- ESTABLISH A CLUB NEWSLETTER:
Notifies members and potential members of upcoming activities, and recaps events from previous months. Usually a newsletter every two months is sufficient, but many of the clubs produce one every month. A calendar of all activities is another integral part of a good newsletter. You may also want to include parrot head trivia, crosswords, classifieds, etc. to make your newsletter more interesting and entertaining. While it is a good idea to always have newsletters on hand at happy hours and club activities, it’s best to establish a mailing list so that members can receive the newsletter at home. Stay in touch with the other clubs by sending or emailing your newsletter and club events. It may become expensive to send extra copies to non-members, so if you want to keep receiving any particular club’s newsletter, be sure to keep sending them yours – or make arrangements to “purchase” a non-member subscription.
- ESTABLISH COMMITTEES:
Get members to volunteer for committees that will organize:
- Social events – i.e., parties, cookouts, rafting trips, sporting events, etc.;
- Newsletter – if you decide to tackle producing one, you will need people to write, make copies, and mail it out. This is involved and is best handled by more than one person;
- Volunteer events – projects with local charities, community service, environmental clean-up, etc.;
- Memberships data base- to have on file at all times pertinent info on all members;
- Club account – to keep track of membership dues anniversaries and club funds. (Dues range from $10 – $35 per year depending on the club.);
- Communications – to contact members when something spontaneous comes up, or to remind members of important upcoming events. Get some members to provide social media, email, and even phone calls or cards to your members. This makes things more personal and inspires participation in club functions.
- KEEP YOUR MEMBERS NOTIFIED:
You will receive regular club listing updates and communications to let you know what group activities are being offered: cruises, regional gatherings, national charity & environmental events, annual Parrot Head Convention info, and opportunities to purchase group seats to the annual Buffett concert venue near your club (see “disclaimers” on the front page). Make sure this information is passed along to your members!
- CLUB INCORPORATION:
Several of the clubs have taken it upon themselves to incorporate. The process of incorporation varies from state to state, but in most cases is fairly simple and inexpensive. Incorporation helps protect you against personal liability. Although many clubs function fine without being incorporated, it’s worth looking into to see if it would be beneficial
to you. Please contact your Secretary of the State’s Office for information on incorporation in your state. A tax i.d. number from the I.R.S. is the only thing you need to open a club checking account, and that does not require incorporation. For further info, call the I.R.S. office that handles your personal taxes.
- HAVE FUN!
When considering starting a Parrot Head Club the most important thing to keep in mind is this, keep it simple & have fun! Although we do take seriously the community service/environmental support aspect of our clubs, a parrot head club should be primarily a source of enjoyment, relaxation, and fellowship.