The necessary formalities were soon completed and we learned that the Society now has almost 900 full members, the vast majority at the Steel level.
Graham Barnstaple reported on the Society's activities over the past 14 months and in particular on efforts to drive up membership. While around 130 new members were recruited, the numbers fell short of expectation and the board began to consider other membership schemes.
Experience elsewhere suggests that a Direct Debit model might produce more revenue and help the Society move to the goal of fan ownership. The meeting approved of the idea and the board will take on board the suggestions that came forth and come up with a new plan. The recent survey produced 1300 responses and suggested a possible way forward.
The benefits associated with members' annual subscriptions are not cost effective. The club incurs a loss and the Society's funds are not growing. The feeling at the meeting was that these 'perks' should be reduced or eliminated and that a monthly contribution scheme should be introduced to allow funds to grow. There may have to be two versions - one for founders and another for new members.
Recent disappointing results have made it certain that the club will have to make some use of the Society's 'overdraft facility' to even out the inevitable cash flow gap that is faced by all clubs in the spring but if the long term security of MFC is to be assured it is vital that the Society continues to build up its reserves of cash and increases its membership.
More information about the Society here.