Has anyone looked into the possibility of simply offering membership without the necessity of having to join a club? Simply offer an affiliation fee and reap the benefits the NZACA offers to fishermen.
Reality is, as much as noone wants to hear or admit it, some clubs need to take a look at themselves. Within a club there are many little "clicks" and it can actually make for an atmosphere that isn't always to the benefit of the club as a whole. In fact, in my experience a reputation or perception of someone outside a club can make a difference, and to simply work with the idea "Oh well, we don't want them anyway" moves away from the fact that maybe you do, and the persona needs to change to encourage people to do exactly that and absolutely do join. I still encourage people to join my old club, even though my personal experience was mixed.
Club membership should be about bringing all types of people together to enjoy the sport as a whole. While I met and enjoyed many good times with club members, I can honestly say that it was not always that way. There seems to be a lot of emphasis on keep everything to yourself, or within your little group, and if you think differently to this idea then you are outcast, instead of simply accepted.
Personally, my belief was always that as a club you would promote your chosen sport, support your club, encourage others to join and get behind a cause as a unit. In my experience that isn't what was happening to a greater degree.
I'd like to see a more welcoming response and a more open feel to helping people out. Noone need expose a spot, that to them is special, but to ostracize people for having an open view and freely offering advice and very generalised locations to people with lesser knowledge than me seems somewhat narrow minded. To me that detracts from what a club is about, and by encouraging people outside the club you change the perception and encourage membership and create an inviting environment.
This is not a slight on any individual or club. It is only my personal thoughts.