Members at Large
Organize a New Club
Gardening From Heart
Organize a New Club
Building a new club in your community is a
It will benefit both your members
and your community. Most of the 50 member
clubs affiliated with TGOA/MGCA across the country
have two primary activities and goals--
- Gardening education for members and visitors
- Improving the landscape and general condition of green space in the community
Take a look at the
club activities of multiple clubs across America to learn something about the activities
of our clubs. This listing is a good starting point for your club.
Affiliation with our national organization, The Gardeners of
America/Men's Garden Clubs of America, has many
Our organization has a
and we would be proud to have you as
part of our future.
Contact the president of one of the
clubs near you and they will help sponsor your
new club. Or contact one of our national
national directors or
and you will get first-hand advice and help in getting a club
organized in your community.
Or, contact us at our
national headquarters in Johnston, Iowa, and tell us you want to
start a new club --you will receive a prompt response. We
will be glad to provide you with detailed information on starting a new club by
providing you a brochure, "How to Organize a Men's Garden Club or Gardeners of
America Club", which gives detailed information on how to do this--this will be
sent to you promptly. You will also receive copies of our bi-monthly TGOA/MGCA Newsletter,
plus other descriptive material about The Gardeners of
America/Men's Garden Clubs of America. Also, one of our members
will contact you promptly by telephone or Email to offer personal
assistance and suggestions.
In general, the suggested plan for organizing a
new club includes these steps:
Concept Meeting (optional)
Develop a prospective member list of
- Friends and acquaintances at work
- Fellow church members
- Graduates of the Master Gardener course
- Known gardeners from
your County Demonstration or Extension Agent
- Suggestions from leaders of organized garden clubs in the area
- Suggestions from the sponsoring club or
other nearby TGOA/MGCA clubs
- Nurserymen, garden center owners and
- City Parks personnel, Community
Beautification leaders, etc.
- Garden editor of the local newspaper and
- Life Members or At-Large Members of
TGOA/MGCA (names available from National)
- Post invitations on church, civic club,
business bulletin boards; also at supermarkets, etc.
- Seek local newspaper and radio publicity
via Garden Editor, write Letter to the Editor, etc.
- Contact Senior Citizens groups, Master
Gardeners, organized womens garden clubs, etc.
- Sponsor a garden clinic, garden tour or
plant sale for the pubic
- Talk to your Chamber of Commerce
- Talk to your County Extension Agent
- Call together a group of gardeners (maybe 10 or more) who have a) personal interest in
gardening and learning to be better gardeners and b) who
are interested in community beautification to discuss
organizing a Mens Garden Club or another unique
garden club to be affiliated with The Gardeners of
America/Mens Gardens Clubs of America
This group might include one or more of the following
This group might have been
developed from prior activity such as:
- Effort of a near-by "sponsoring
club" of TGOA/MGCA interested in building new
(A manual, "Sponsoring a New Club Affiliated
with TGOA/MGCA" is available from
- A newspaper or radio appeal for
interested gardeners to organize
- A local group or person familiar with
TGOA/MGCA who encourages a new club and promotes its
value to the community
- Not essential, but consider arranging
a brief but effective program on some phase of
gardening for the first meeting
- Discuss the many potential advantages to
and enjoyment for prospective members and value to the
community of a unique garden club affiliated with the
national organization "The Gardeners of
America/Men's Garden Clubs of America"
- Discuss what other TGOA/MGCA clubs do and
why they are important to both their members and to their
communitymaybe members of the sponsoring club or
other close-by clubs will meet with you. (Club Activities)
- Discuss the value of being
part of a nationwide group of gardeners. (Member Benefits )
- Get names, addresses and telephone numbers
- Appoint a temporary leader and a secretary
to take notes
- Ask each person to tell his/her interests
in gardening and gardening activities and identify
expertise of attendees
- Distribute copies of The
Gardener magazine and other literature furnished by the TGOA/MGCA office. If
not available, request this material for the next meeting.
- Ask each member present to develop a list
of 10 or more prospective members and contact them
- Decide on time and location for the next
meeting which might be a Second Concept Meeting or the
Organizational Meeting. (Locations might include a garden
center, social room, cafeteria, restaurant, school,
church, members home, etc.; the location be
permanent or temporary--this can be decided later)
- Discuss potential club dues, based
on TGOA/MGCA dues of $15 per year and an initial charter fee of $20 for the new club. Dues of many clubs are low ($30
or even $20) and supplemented by projects such as plant
sales, calendar sales, etc.
- Arrange for a horticulture-related or
community beautification program for the Organizational
Meeting and begin development of future program topics
- Begin to identify future community
beautification projects of interest and value
- Mention the "Spade Club" and
"Life Membership program of TGOA/MGCA
- Appoint or elect a Nominating Committee of
three people to report at the next meeting names of
persons willing to serve for the balance of the year as
President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer (and
Newsletter Editor, if possible)or defer this action
until the next meeting
- Appoint someone to prepare a news release
to obtain publicity and potential members (see
suggestions in Manual)
- Promote strongly the concept of recruiting
new members while enthusiasm is higha minimum of 10
members is necessary to charter a TGOA/MGCA club
- Review all items suggested for the Concept Meeting
- Plan details for and time/location for the
- Invite representatives of TGOA/MGCA
national or regional, or from a local club, to attend
- Welcome all attendees by the temporary
leader and report on:
- previous activity by the concept group
- value to the members and to the
community of a new, unique garden club
- importance of organizing a unique
garden club affiliated with The Gardeners of
America/Men's Garden Clubs of America
- the types of activities in which other
TGOA/MGCA clubs participate
- Hear nominations from the Nominations
Committee and elect a President, Vice President,
Secretary, and Treasurer (and a Newsletter editor, if
possible) to serve for the year.
- Welcome the newly elected president to
- Clarify the time, dates and location of
- Explain the importance of the forthcoming
Charter Meeting (preferably the next meeting).
- Encourage every attendee to recruit new
members who may become Charter Members at the forthcoming
- Decide on dues and collect dues along with
names, addresses and telephone numbers of all Charter
Members present. (Many clubs subsidize dues through plant
sales, sales of TGOA/MGCA calendars, etc.)
- Discuss the name for the Club, to be
confirmed at the next meeting.
- Select a Nominations Committee or ask your
new officers to recommend Directors and other officers
for election at the next meeting.
- Select a group to prepare By Laws for the
Club to be adopted at the next meeting. Generic By Laws
are available from National. By Laws conforming to those
of TGOA/MGCA are required.
- Consider, very preliminarily, possible
community beautification or other projects and special
interests of the Club as well as program topics and
- Introduce the horticulture-oriented
program for this meeting.
- After the meeting,
- Notify the TGOA/MGCA office , the
TGOA/MGCA Regional Director (or the President of the
Region) and your sponsoring club of completion of
your Organizational Meeting and specific date and
plans for your Charter Meeting.
- Expedite submission of the following
to the national office of TGOA/MGCA to assure receipt
of your official Charter prior to your Charter Night
meeting and that members begin receiving The
Gardener and the Newsletter:
- Your Petition (available in
Manual or from National).
- Your list of 10 or more
Charter Members (available in Manual or from
National) with mailing addresses. Additional
charter members may be added at the Charter
Meeting and submitted immediately afterwards.
Your check for the Clubs Charter Fee
- Your check for
Membership Dues (currently $15 per member, or $7.50 if
submitted July 1 through November 30).
- Arrange for all members to be notified of
the next meeting, preferably via a
- Publicize your next meeting using the news
media, bulletin boards at Garden Shops and Nurseries,
post cards, a news-letter, etc.
- Confirm the program for the next meeting.
- Arrange for plants or other
garden-oriented materials as door prizes for the next
- Arrange for light refreshments (e.g.,
cookies and apple juice) for after adjournment of the
- Arrange in advance for attendance of
TGOA/MGCA national or regional officers, members from the
Sponsoring Club and/or active members of other nearby
- Arrange for a few key members to greet
- Give a hearty welcome to all and introduce
guests by the President.
- Ask attendees to introduce themselves and
share their particular garden interests.
- Hear recommendations by the Nominations
Committee and elect Directors and other officers.
- Confirm the official name of the Club
- Approve club By Laws, if not done so at a
previous meeting, and attend to other housekeeping
- Introduce a representative of The
Gardeners of America/Men's Garden Clubs of America to
welcome the new club and present its official Charter
(and perhaps present the keynote speech).
- Arrange for the person most responsible
for organizing the Club to be presented the Gold Spade
Pin and Spade Club Pins to all members responsible for
recruiting two or more members (obtained from TGOA/MGCA
- Encourage guests and visitors to join and
become Charter Members (allow them to sign the Charter
Member list and pay their dues).
- Encourage recruitment of new members and
bringing of guests for the next meeting.
- Introduce the gardening-oriented program
for this meeting.
- Promote attendance at the next meeting.
- Distribute door prizes.
- Invite participation in discussions during
informal refreshment time after adjournment.
- After the meeting
- Open a bank account for the Club, if
not done previously.
- Add names of new Charter Members to
the list and submit to National along with their full
addresses (with zip plus four) and Membership Dues
(currently $15, or $7.50 if submitted July 1 through
November 30). The Charter Fee should have been
submitted with the Petition previously.
- Assure that the Treasurer and the
Secretary make permanent entries of all Charter
Members for the Club history and for due recognition.
- Ask the Treasurer to send full and
accurate names, addresses, including "zip plus
4" codes of all members to the national office
along with names and offices of officers with their
telephone/fax numbers and Email addresses.
- Remind the Nominations Committee to
select Directors for election at the next
meetingterms are normally staggered to insure
- Arrange a meeting of the President and
officers to plan programs, suggested projects, etc.
prior to the next meeting, work with the By Law
- Arrange for publicity for the
Details on the following subjects
are included in the "How to Organize..." manual:
- Mature and Ongoing Clubs
- Information Order Forms
- Life Membership
- The Petition Form
- Charter Members Form
- Sample letters for
- Sample media and news
Go to the
Contact us page
and request your organizational
kit and a personal contact from The Gardeners of America/Men's
Garden Clubs of America.
The TGOA/MGCA staff, Regional
Officers, or near-by clubs are prepared to assist you with
promotional material and information--and to help you in any way
possible to organize YOUR new club.
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