Starting a Gun Club Newsletter


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Felonious Monk
October 21, 2005, 12:09 AM
Those of you who belong to a shooting club, how many of your clubs actually publish a membership newsletter?

We've got over a hundred and fifty members, with many dedicated folks willing to put time, effort, and money into all aspects of maintaining and improving the club. Communication is a realy problem though. The last bowling pin match was communicated to the membership by pinning a folded over piece of printer paper to the gate of the range, for anyone who just happened to come by to see.
This is not working very well, and I would like to put together a regular newsletter for the group.

Since we have the full spectrum of hunters, handgunners, target and self-defense shooters, sporting clays, plinkers and black powder guys, it will be fairly general in nature, and some things I plan to include will be as follows:

Upcoming hunting seasons, where to buy licenses.
2nd Amendment voting issues within our state as well as national issues.
Calendar of events
4 rules (every issue), maybe with an emphasis in more depth on one in particular on a rotating basis.
Articles (with permission) such as Metal & Wood, the story of Thermopylae,
a few "lighter side" humorous cartoons & such
Listing of elected representatives
New guns, related product introductions
maybe a shop & swap section-- wanted/wtb, for sale.

1) What else do you think would be good to include?
2) MOST important, do ANY of you belong to a club that actually puts out a newsletter? If so, could you please PM/email me and send me a copy to look over?

Thoughts and opinions would also be appreciated.
Thanks millions,
FM

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mpthole
October 21, 2005, 12:23 AM
Yes. In fact, I recently took over the news letter duties for our club. I also handle the website (Holmen Rod & Gun Club (http://www.holmenrodandgunclub.com)). Communication is still pretty poor at our club even with the website and the newsletter.

At this time, we only publish the news letter 3x/year. Mostly because its almost impossible to get any members to contribute a column. I can (and am willing to) only write so much - especially since I've got plenty of other club duties. Since I've changed the format, there seems to be more interest in getting me information. This is a good thing and I hope it continues. Its kind of an evolving process for us.

As far as the website goes, most of the club members are not computer savvy, which is sad to say, and that's even if the *own* a computer. Where the web has helped us has been in generating some new, younger members and helping out-of-town people find the out what is going on at the club with regards to the number of matches we hold. So its probably paid off in the respect.

EddieCoyle
October 21, 2005, 12:25 AM
Monk,

My club used to put out a newsletter but it got too expensive (>300 members). We're contemplating doing a website with all of the info that you listed as well as applications for membership, club rules, raffles (for fundraising), and a section where we look for volunteers to sign up for various work that needs to be done.

We plan to put a log-in req'd "Memebrs Only" section where we can put meeting minutes, etc. We're also going to allow members to post pics from their latest hunting/fishing trips.

Anyway, you can have a website hosted for about $7 per month and the start up costs are minimal (I'm assuming one or more of your members would be able to set up and maintain it). For the cost of producing and mailing one newsletter, you can cover the website costs for over a year. Just a thought.

losangeles
October 21, 2005, 12:50 AM
Monk,

My club used to put out a newsletter but it got too expensive (>300 members).

An idea that real estate agents use for their personal realty newsletters is to get others to subsidize their newsletters, such as lenders, mortgage brokers, appraisers, home inspectors, etc. For a gun newsletter, you can ask dealers, gun companies, gun organizations, or any type of gun vendor to subsidize it, and in exchange they can be the "official" sponsor and also get in some advertising.

Standing Wolf
October 21, 2005, 01:09 AM
Put it on the club web site. Think of all the trees and postage you'll saveónot to mention the cursing and hair-tearing that generally accompany exercises involving QuarkXPress or Adobe In Design.

Felonious Monk
October 21, 2005, 01:36 AM
mpthole-- can you send me a copy, either via email or snail mail? PM or email me: fignozzle at yahoo dot com.

Eddie, Standing Wolf-- I'll probably be setting up a website as the next phase of the whole thing.

I'd LOVE to do it all electronically; however, there are just some old fella's involved who wouldn't in a million years be willing or able to get into the 21st century technology.

Thanks for the suggestions, guys.
Keep 'em coming!

mpthole
October 21, 2005, 10:55 AM
Monk, click here (http://www.holmenrodandgunclub.com/Newsletter.asp), they're all available electronically.

dakotasin
October 21, 2005, 10:59 AM
monk- depending on the time of year (hunting season, etc), maybe consider including a 'tip of the month' or whatever. ie, this time of year, put in hunting tips (how/where to find game, meat care, shooting skills/anatomy), and in the middle of summer somthing along the lines of basic gunsmithing (how to install your own iron sights, how to calculate sighting area, reloading tips, etc).

anyway, good luck - i hope it works out.

md2lgyk
October 21, 2005, 02:04 PM
I am currently the Secretary of my gun club (about 250 members). We publish a newsletter every other month. I write most of it, with inputs from the rest of the Executive Board and other members. It always includes the next two months' calendars showing events, meetings, matches, etc. Members with items to sell can also have them put in the newsletter.

Only about 60 members actually get a paper newsletter mailed to them. The rest get it by e-mail. Newsletters are also posted on our website (www.monocacypistolclub.com).

Havegunjoe
October 21, 2005, 03:40 PM
It includes the minutes of the last meeting and finacial statment. A calendar of upcoming events is part of it.

Standing Wolf
October 21, 2005, 11:35 PM
I'd LOVE to do it all electronically; however, there are just some old fella's involved who wouldn't in a million years be willing or able to get into the 21st century technology.

Simple solution: print a few copies of the relevant web page(s) for the dinosaurs.

Felonious Monk
October 22, 2005, 12:12 AM
md2lgyk,
Check your PM's.

All,
This is going to be alot of work, but very rewarding as well.

Thanks to all for your input!
FM

iamkris
October 22, 2005, 12:28 AM
Here's my club's website http://www.bristolranges.com/

Here's an example of our newsletter

http://www.bristolranges.com/Newsletter/2005/CCKC1005.pdf

Remander
October 22, 2005, 12:30 AM
My gun club has a paper newsletter. Very nice, but only monthly.

Another hobby club I belong to uses a Yahoo e-mail club group. It's free.

If a member has an event (Bob and Tom are going to shoot steel at 3:00 Thursday; Jane and Sue are looking for skeet shooters on Saturday morning, etc.), he or she just sends an e-mail to the Yahoo group address and all persons signed up (even if they do not use Yahoo mail) get the word immediately.

I signed up for the "digest"version of the Yahoo group so that I get one e-mail each day that contains all club messages for the day in one mail. You can choose to get each message as soon as it is sent if you want, but it makes for some clutter in a busy group.

It's a free and simple option to consider. My other hobby group no longer sends a paper newsletter. The Yahoo group is so instant, the newsletter would be stale.

Ol` Joe
October 22, 2005, 12:54 AM
I belong to two clubs and both send news letters. They are quarterly though, not monthly, and up-dates are available on their webs sites or the clubhouse bulletin board.

http://www.lindensportsmenclub.com/Newsletter.html

http://www.durandsportsmen.com/quick%20news.htm

P0832177
October 22, 2005, 05:23 AM
I belong to two clubs, one has a paper monthly newsletter for those that are computer challenged and an email version.

The other club has dedicated website hosted buy firm that specializes in clubs.

The electronic version is great because one club has a lot of LE training going on. So knowing which range is closed or open saves some gas and time!

One club in the past relied upon post cards to notify of meetings.

I once complained to the State Shooting Sports Assn. president about not getting a newsletter! Guess who got to be the editor? :banghead:

El Tejon
October 22, 2005, 12:03 PM
FM, we do, our club is approximately 475 members. We publish it monthly. We have sections on the various disciplines: action pistola, steel critters, highpower raffle, etc. so each of the section leaders is responsible for a part of the newsletter.

We have a President's column and a listing of upcoming events--training, contests, etc. We also publish a calendar for the year with the events (matches, training, work days, club meetings, etc) listed.

I'll check the website thingy see if we have one listed.

El Tejon
October 22, 2005, 12:13 PM
FM, our newsletter is right on the front of the website things on the left column. Our address is http://www.wvrpc.com. Check it out and see what you think.

Disclaimer: I have no idea why the website person went nuts with all the aerial photos of the club. Some groundview shots would have been nice. Geez.

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