Are You a Ghost Member?

ghost member

Those of you who are card-carrying members of Push Bikes (thank you very much) will likely know that this year I got the fun task of trying to sort out the membership database. I say database, but in reality it was a neglected Excel spreadsheet that had been around the block way too many times. Since it was so difficult to find someone willing to take on the task, membership management became erratic, and then collapsed altogether. In order to help me out, I sought the services of a chimpanzee, because as it says on the Mailchimp website, chimpanzees are good at doing emails. Now you might be thinking that's because they simply bang away randomly at a typewriter for long enough to generate something useful, but it's monkeys that do that.

So the chimp assigned to us (pictured in front of his V4000 super-computer terminal, doing something very complicated no doubt) sent everyone in the spreadsheet three emails, to see if they still wanted to be a member, and were happy to be in our new Mailchimp database. Those that didn't respond received a letter. Members who paid by standing order were sent their membership card, whilst everyone else was sent a renewal notice. The vast majority of those sent a renewal notice paid their membership subscription, and thus were sent their card.

But we have a problem, Birmingham. On a regular basis we receive bank transfers, presumably standing orders, from people who are either not in the spreadsheet, or who are but don't respond to emails or letters. I can at least send a membership card to people in the latter group, in the blind hope their postal address is still correct, but that is clearly impossible with people in the former group. So please could you contact us if:

  • You are paying for membership, but have not received a membership card this year.
  • You are paying for membership and have received your card, but either you didn't respond to our emails and letters, or you heard nothing back from us after you did respond. If you didn't respond to our emails and letters, you can simply sign up with Mailchimp.

Although you can send us a letter to our address at the Friends of the Earth building, there is a good chance that this wont work, as Push Bikes, like much of the world, has moved online. Whilst we are aware that this is a problem for some of our members, it is simply a reality that we no longer have active members who have the spare time to deal with paper-based systems. For those with internet access, which is the vast majority of members, Mailchimp makes it very easy to amend your details so that your card is correct and goes to the right address.