When you join us, renew your membership, receive the latest issue of The Quilter magazine, find your regional and/or Special Interest Group’s newsletter within your email inbox, book your place to attend the Conference & AGM, or contact us about your membership in any way – then you have had a connection with the Membership Team.
There isn’t really a typical day because membership is so multi-layered. We create new membership records, process renewals, update personal/contact information, set up Direct Debits, manage changes to memberships and we also support staff members, our volunteers within the regions, specialist groups and trustees. We also generate all of the membership information that is used by regions and Special Interest Groups.
Christopher’s Top Tip:
“To make sure you never miss out on an issue of The Quilter, once you have received your renewal correspondence, renew your membership as soon as you can, and before your membership year has expired if possible. This way everything continues seamlessly. If you can’t, or if you forget, don’t worry. Just renew as soon as you are able but be aware a gap may occur – which we will always aim to resolve.”
We have to be good problem solvers, helping with any kind of query that might range from explaining when membership cards will arrive, right through to ensuring that in the advent of a global pandemic we adapt what was once a 100% office-based system and reliant on large paper-based print runs, to doing as much as possible using email and figuring out how and when we can do those important print jobs – such as printing thousands of membership cards which can’t be done from anyone’s home. And if we can’t resolve a problem (this occurrence is rarer than a blue moon), we have to find a wo/man that can.
As a relatively small organisation, we don’t have access to IT systems and resources enjoyed by the Amazon’s and other tech and corporate giants in this new world. Members may wonder why certain admin tasks aren’t straightforward. In reality, we have a broad ranging membership offer, with 10 different membership categories all at different membership rates, which are assigned to one of 18 regions across the UK (or 1 of 5 international regions). Additionally, members can join up to 5 additional Special Interest Groups.
We have a rolling membership system, so not everybody joins or renews at the same time. Our job is to ensure that when you receive your annual renewal correspondence, it is sent to you not only at the right time but that the contents of your correspondence is correct for your membership. Nobody else has the exact same letter.
There is no escaping the fact that to work in Membership, as well as being brilliant problem solvers, you have to have an excellent geographical knowledge of all the towns, cities and villages within the UK. Or at the very least know how to use Google Maps to black belt Ninja level (with Hons). Where you live determines which region we allocate your membership to. Did you know that Preston is in Region 13. But also Region 11. And Region 14. Who knew? Not me, until recently, when I inadvertently added a membership to the incorrect region!
It can’t have escaped many people’s notice, but whilst some of our colleagues deal with nice tangible products like fabrics, Membership deals with data; digital data, printed data and any other kind of data. (Editors’ note: This may explain a lot – see above image).
What about the ‘man that can’, you ask? Well, prior to working at The Guild HQ, I’ve worked on developing various community based environmental and heritage projects. I’m a keen photographer – primarily in music and theatre (all of which has been brought to a complete standstill these past 12 months or so). You can take a glimpse into my world by visiting my website – it totally rocks!
Writing this, I realise that I became the Membership Officer way back in July 2013 – for 6 months Maternity Cover!!
The membership team consists of me (Chris) and Carol. Chris works full time, Monday to Friday whilst Carol works part time, Wednesday to Friday.