Time to Clean up Those Post Rosters

'It is up to all members to keep tabs on each other'

With the start of a new decade, now is a good time for Post leaders to clean up their membership rosters. VFW Membership Deputy Director Rick McKenna reminds quartermasters that they have a “fiduciary responsibility” to annually keep track of all members.

“It’s critical to know where your members are living or whether some members have died,” McKenna said. “VFW shouldn’t be spending money on mailings going to an address where a member no longer lives.”

person working on a laptop to update contact information When a member is deceased, McKenna said, that information needs to be reported as soon as possible. VFW’s Donor Services Department sends a message of condolence to the family of the deceased veteran.

“There is nothing worse than not reporting when a member is deceased, and six months later it’s reported and the spouse of the deceased receives a card all those months later,” McKenna said. “We need to try to be more considerate and be mindful of the spouse’s feelings.”

Furthermore, McKenna added, a lot of VFW members rely on the U.S. Postal System, not email for membership notifications. So if a member’s address is wrong, he or she will not receive those notifications in the mail.

While a Post quartermaster is ultimately responsible for the membership roster, McKenna said all members have a responsibility to communicate changes.

VFW’s Online Membership System (OMS) allows members to have direct control over their membership. They can renew their dues online and update their mailing address, phone number and email address in just a few moments.

“Membership communication is key for other reasons,” McKenna said. “If a member is in the hospital, someone should go for a visit. It doesn’t take much to pick up a card and let that member know the Post cares.”

Posts with larger memberships may find it more difficult to account for all members, but that’s why it’s all the more critical for communication, McKenna said.

“It is up to all members to keep tabs on each other,” McKenna said. “And if you don’t have an OMS account set up, you should really consider doing so.”