I am so thrilled to announce that 2013 was yet another record year for new member applications at DAR. During this past year DAR approved 13,906 applications, which is more than any other year in the Society’s 123 year history! For more information about the record number of new members in 2013, click here to view the press release.
Thank you so much to all of our genealogists at Headquarters for getting these applications approved and to all of the registrars for helping their prospective members complete their applications. We truly could not have this kind of success without your hard work and dedication.
It’s exciting to know that DAR membership has been growing continuously since 2007 and that the past three years have all ranked in the top five for years with the most applications approved. This speaks volumes about the resources DAR has made available for genealogical research over the past few years, in particular the GRS, which was launched 7 years ago. This makes it easy to see the correlation between availability of genealogical resources and DAR membership growth. The more readily available these resources become the more easily people will be able to prove their lineage and become DAR members. We are thankful for the creation of these research tools which were funded in large part by the President General's Projects of Mrs. Watkins and Mrs. Wagoner.
Oftentimes when I tell people about our growing and thriving membership they ask me what I attribute this success to. There are so many things that influence women to join our Society and while these reasons are unique for each woman, overwhelmingly there are a few things that are common amongst a majority of members.
In local communities chapters are making strides in their grassroots efforts which in turn attract local women who see this group making a difference and they want to be a part of it. Many women see membership in DAR as a way to honor their family history and preserve their family genealogy for future generations. Others see DAR as an organization of women who share their common interests and hobbies and a great place to make new friends. As I mentioned earlier, the increased availability of genealogical materials in recent years has made family genealogy research easier. In addition to this, DAR has many genealogical resources of our own available to the public. DAR has also worked recently to improve the application process by making the completing and approval of the application much quicker and easier, including implementing a monthly approval process which just began in January.
Of our now more than 177,000 active members, we have many who have been members for much of their lives and with our substantial growth over the past few years we have many who are new to our organization. I enjoy seeing how all of our members work together to use their experiences to contribute to the future of DAR. Those members who have been part of DAR for many years help keep the traditions and history of DAR strong, while those who are newer to the organization bring a fresh perspective and new ideas to the Society. What each member brings to the table in turn energizes and inspires other members to create the vibrant organization that is DAR.
We are so proud of this growth and it is such exciting news for DAR that I think is relevant to share in your local communities. I want to encourage chapters to use the press release to share to your local media or community. Please also feel free to use information from the press release and include additional specific information about your chapter membership growth and other interesting past or upcoming events to highlight your local involvement.
Keep up the good work! We’re proud of this growth, but I encourage you all to set challenging chapter goals for membership growth so that we can make 2014 our next record breaking year for new members!