Presentation on theme: "Attracting New Members to Freemasonry Angela Berger University of St. Thomas."— Presentation transcript:
Attracting New Members to Freemasonry Angela Berger University of St. Thomas
What is Freemasonry? Fraternity designed to teach morality and ethics and train good men to improve themselves and provide better service to their families and communities.
How Do the Masons Differ? Initiation process is secret to non Masons Only male members allowed Non traditional recruitment methods - “To Be One, Ask One”
Question to Study Are the Attributes of Masonry Attractive to New Members?
Common Attributes of Minnesota Lodges Charitable works Ancient rituals and traditions Masonic education programs Social activities for men
Why Study if Masonic Attributes are Attractive? Masonic membership totals have declined every year since Lodges are struggling financially. Not enough members to conduct basic lodge business and run events.
METHODOLOGY Mailed 756 written surveys to Masons who had joined a Minnesota lodge in the last five years. Received 130 written surveys from non-Masons who visited the Masonic State Fair booth.
FINDINGS New Mason Perspective 76% of New Masons had a POSITIVE impression of Freemasonry prior to joining. 81% of New Masons still have a POSITIVE impression of Freemasonry after joining.
What Attracted Current Members to Masonry? Only 21% joined because of the organization’s attributes. 54% joined because someone they respected was a Mason or a friend or co-worker was a Mason.
What Attributes are Most Satisfying to Members? Charitable works 40% Social activities 29%
Non-Mason’s Impression of Masons
What Do Non-Masons Think Freemasonry Is?
CONCLUSIONS Did Current Members Join Because of Masonic Attributes? - NO Only 21% of New Masons said they joined because they thought Masonry was an organization that closely met their values. 76% of New Masons joined because it is tradition in their family, someone they respected was Mason or their friends or co- workers are Masons. These are not attributes of Masonry.
Are the Attributes of Masonry Attractive to Non Masons? - NO Only 24% of surveyed Non Masons had a positive impression of Masonry. Only 9% of Non Masons said they would consider becoming a Mason.
Recommendations Concentrate recruitment on family, friends and co-workers of current members. Realize that the unique attributes of Masonic education and traditions and rituals are not attractive to new members or satisfying to current members.