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CASSOC Symposium for Growth and Success: Volunteers and Events

The Clans and Scottish Societies of Canada (CASSOC) 2023 Symposium for Growth and Success includes online sessions for Member Connections, (October 28, 2023), Volunteers and Events (November 19, 2023), Heritage (December 16, 2023), and Sustainability (January 20, 2024.)

Pre-registration is required. The full fee of $50 is required for non-CASSOC members. Attendance is free for all who are in member organizations of Clans and Scottish Societies of Canada. Attendance for member organizations of Council of Scottish Clans and Associations (COSCA) is available for $20 per organization. There is no restriction for how many individuals from an eligible organization can register. One fee is required for each organization and each individual needs to register separately and do not share join links. Membership in CASSOC is only available to groups and organizations including clans, families, societies, highland games, festivals and businesses. Membership is NOT restricted to Canadian organizations. Sorry, individual memberships are not available at this time.

This is a summary of the second session, Volunteers and Events.


Recruitment Challenges in Clan Council Committees

Paul Johnston, President and Chief Commissioner, Clan Johnston/e in America, highlighted that they often struggle to find enough volunteers, with some ending up filling multiple roles. To address this, they have implemented a membership system that automates certain processes and provides flexible timing to avoid burnout. With regards to outreach, engagement, and merchandise strategies, Paul presented on the effectiveness of their quarterly outreach efforts, emphasizing the importance of persistence in achieving breakthroughs.

Importance of approachability, inclusivity, and being memorable

Terence Myles, VP and Highland games Coordinator for Clan MacNeil in Canada, emphasized the importance of approachability and inclusivity. He also mentioned the use of attractions like an old Scottish map of the clans, a book called Kith and Kin, and tartan books. He emphasized that their focus is on providing a memorable experience for their members, rather than making a significant profit.

Recruitment Strategy, Social Media and Genealogy Resources

Barbara MacLennan, Executive,  Past President and Past Vice-President, Clan Maclennan Worldwide - Canadadiscussed her clan's use of social media and online seminars to stay connected and share information. She highlighted the efforts of their webmaster, in conducting genealogy research and organizing online seminars.

Clan Gatherings, Leadership, and Membership Challenges

Doug Doughty, Commissioner for Central Canada, Clan MacAulay Association, emphasized the importance of work-life balance among volunteers, the use of social media for communication, and the resources available to clan members, including a clan commissioners guide.  He also highlighted the value of clan gatherings in identifying potential leaders and encouraging younger member involvement.

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