Wednesday, February 6, 2008

We went to the meeting last night...

...where were you?

The country's leading charitable organization in support of the shooting sports, Friends of the NRA is trying to organize a fundraising banquet in our area and needs people to sell tickets, gather donations, find a venue - that sort of thing. The secretary/treasurer said that they currently have a little over $500. That's it - and they want to have the banquet in May, or June at the latest.

So it was just a couple of guys, with a cause and a few hundred bucks, asking for help so that they can help others.



By the way, I was the only woman in the group and to be honest, I can see why. The NRA needs a serious makeover. Shooting isn't just for camo-wearing sportsmen who eat candy out of a dish made of antlers anymore.

Now, I know that the stereotype is false, but it seems the NRA doesn't. I could hardly blame any woman who, upon seeing the image the organization portrays, said, "Oh, shooting and guns...that's guy stuff."


George said...

It's a sign of the times that the NRA discontinued Women's Outlook. Way lame.

Less said...

You know... I shot bullseye for a while in Morton Grove, IL (yes, THAT Morton Grove - first town to ban guns in America...) at the American Legion Post.

Hell, I'm a big guy and I was a bit intimidated! "American Legion", war stuff, cannons, etc...

The folks were good enough, but they had no young people (I'm ~30 and was the youngest BY FAR in the room!) and there was only one woman - the wife of the club president who was an excellent shot.

Ok, so that's a local club and all, but the reality is that it's a pretty apt cross section of what the NRA is composed of nowadays and I can totally see why more women aren't into it...

What is hearkening is that sports like IPSC have a high proportion of women since the standards are usually much higher.

Besides, "NRA"? Yawn...

I'll donate directly to the guys that are filing the DC v Heller amicus brief.

Just my $0.02

Bitter said...

Shooting isn't just for camo-wearing sportsmen who eat candy out of a dish made of antlers anymore.

Now, I know that the stereotype is false, but it seems the NRA doesn't.

This is actually a bit of a challenge they face. It's not that they don't know, it's what sells.

I've been to several Friends dinners in several jurisdictions. The packages you looked at are the basic items that sell just about everywhere. They know that in general someone will buy it. I mean I bought the hunting sign for Sebastian last year to put over his reloading table, and I have to say, it's pretty damn cute there. Not something I would normally buy out on a trip to the mall, but it has a place. For some odd reason, that place seems to become apparent when you're actually at a Friends dinner.

That said, the way to overcome that is with local donations. (I knew the Friends Committee near Sebastian was in trouble when one of their local donations was vitamins...) That's where you get the cool stuff. The big Arizona Friends Committee once had a raffle with 11 guns - all valued at over $1K each, some as much as $8K - and had a 300 ticket raffle for tickets at $100/each. They sold out, made $30,000 on guns worth well under that, and everyone felt like they had a good shot at winning. (Most of those guns were of the EBR variety IIRC.)

Use the local donations to really turn it into what your community best responds to, and make sure the strange items are just the novelty on the table.

That said, I'm trying to decide right now if I want to jump into a dying Friends Committee in a community where I know absolutely no one, and try to turn it around. It was so frustrating watching most people walk out of there having bought nothing while the guys who could afford to buy stuff were the ones bidding on lots of items. I want to have a couple of big ticket items for them to bid on and have the rest compete for the smaller things. Or put more of it in games/raffles where you know how much money you're going to make so you can plan accordingly.

Earl said...

Although I seem to be a Life Member of the NRA, I just want to shoot and it seems like the only place that is easy for me to do so is on the Army base on the weekend. But I am not impressed with the AARP nor AMA either - and I will remain old, riding a motorcycle, and shooting my guns. Don't need the associations as much as they need me, and you, and her, and him over there.