Chairman's Report

October 2008

-- Parent Club Breed Flier Valuable Tool to Recruit New Members --

The American Kennel Club recognizes the need for parent clubs to build a strong foundation of members in order to secure their breed's future in this country. Membership rosters should be a diverse list of knowledgeable responsible breeders, breed health enthusiasts, dedicated rescue volunteers and pet owners. That's why we want to encourage participation in the Parent Club Breed Flier Program which can help clubs reach hundreds, if not thousands, of potential new members annually.

Recruiting new members remains a perennial challenge. Potential members can range from those with a demonstrated love of the breed to those eagerly seeking mentorship from a responsible breeder. Some clubs reach new applicants when a breeder member tucks a membership form into the puppy information packet that goes home with the new owner and their lively bundle of joy.

During the early 1990s, a handful of parent clubs representing some of the most popular breeds asked the AKC to include educational literature in dog registrations in order to reach a wider audience. The clubs provided fliers that were inserted into the registration envelopes. The popularity of this service grew to 16 fliers and the AKC quickly instituted a more efficient method that could handle all breeds. In early 2001, the breed fliers were automated to print along with the registration certificates rather than as an insert.

Many parent clubs have taken advantage of this opportunity to educate new owners on the breed standard, special events, breed-specific health and training tips, club contact information, and breed related educational materials published by the club. Working in conjunction with the parent club, AKC handles the graphic design while the club provides the content. AKC approves content and suggests enhancements such as mentioning microchip enrollment with AKC CAR or mentioning that if their club has a Donor Advised Fund with the AKC Canine Health Foundation.

This cost effective program allows clubs to pay a one-time start up fee of $150 and then only three cents per flier for printing costs. AKC pays for postage. Clubs are also sent a PDF of the flier. This enables members to print out copies for use at educational booths such as at the AKC Meet the Breeds® at the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship or AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Day events.

Just like their breed standards, parent clubs own the material and have the right to update them. Because AKC prints fliers on demand versus ahead of time in bulk, clubs are able to update information quickly. Club fliers are also made available on our web site. For example you can view the Nova Scotia Duck Toller flier here.

Currently, there are 98 breed fliers in circulation. The 99th and 100th - the Kerry Blue Terrier and the Belgian Tervuren – are close to completion with the Clumber Spaniel, Papillion and Irish Water Spaniel right behind them. Today, approximately 75% of all registrations include breed fliers, which translates into educating more than half a million registrants annually about their particular breed and membership in the parent club.

More than 30 additional parent clubs have expressed interest in this valuable public education program. If your club has not yet taken advantage of this useful member recruitment tool then please contact Toni Hutto at 919-816-3625 or tmh@akc.org for more information.

Sincerely,


Ron Menaker
Chairman