Wednesday, 14 March 2012 16:26

Evaluation and Review

One of the key roles of the Provincial Mentor is to monitor all mentoring activities within his Province. By receiving pdficon small Lodge Mentoring Report from individual Lodges, he will be able to compile an annual report for the Provincial Executive.

The format of this report will depend upon the amount of information requested by the Executive, but as a minimum it should include the following:

  • Number of Lodges actively employing Mentoring within the Province.
  • How many Lodge Mentoring Coordinators and Mentors there are within the Province.
  • Any training/workshop/road show activities within the last year.
  • Any feedback received on such activities.
  • Best practice identified.
  • Any notable successes to be celebrated.
  • Improvements identified for next year.

In addition to the above, the Provincial Mentor should consider providing data relating to how successful Lodges are in retaining their members - and by definition, also measuring the loss of members.

This can be done in two ways.

Membership Turnover; this is calculated by the following method:

Number of Leavers in Year * x 100 (to give %)
Total Lodge Membership **

* Resignations + exclusions + expulsions
** Membership at start of Masonic year + joining members + initiates

For example a lodge with 65 members and 3 leavers will have a loss ratio of 4.6%

It is accepted that this is the ultimate 'big picture' measure, as there will be many reasons for people leaving the Lodge. However, one may note the following points:

  • As the ultimate aim of mentoring is to help secure the future of masonry, what better way to see if it is working than this figure
  • If mentoring is working, it will contribute towards a more dynamic, vibrant lodge. If this is so, it may prevent other, longer serving members from leaving as the Lodge evening becomes more enjoyable. What may be termed 'knock-on effect'
  • This top line figure will give a good indication of which Lodges to look to for 'best practice' (what are they doing right?) and will also identify those needing further monitoring and possible support from Province
  • It will give a Provincial average with which to compare all Lodges within the Province
  • If all Provinces were to do this, it would not only give a national average, but also highlight regional variations

An example of how this report could be formatted at Provincial level can be seen in this ms excel Membership Turnover Report.

The resultant % allows objective comparison. There are two tabs on the spreadsheet. One is by numerical Lodge order; the second, and more interesting, has them sorted by leaver % order.

Being particularly interested in New Members, the Provincial Mentor would apply a similar calculation as follows:

Number of resignations with less than 5 years membership x 100
Number of brethren with less than 5 years membership

Hence a Lodge with 11 members of less than 5 years service that has seen 3 of them leave will have a loss ratio of: 27.2%.

Figures are easily presented in a spreadsheet format. Please note that the figure of 5 years is arbitrary and could be changed to 3/7/10, if so required.

It is recognised that these are only some of the mechanisms available and are not necessarily the only way to measure the health of a Lodge or a Province. They are, however, useful as a guide and to establish trends.

A further interesting use of such evaluation is to apply these calculations to particular groups, such as those members who have been through the Chair (Number of IPMs who have left over Number of IPMs). There is anecdotal evidence that the years immediately after a brother has been through the Chair may see him leaving Freemasonry, having achieved his initial goal and finding there is little challenge thereafter.

This of course raises the question 'When does Mentoring stop?' and, in truth, the answer is probably 'Never'. It is an area of future debate about how mentoring can support such issues, but calculations such as these will allow objective analysis of the situation within each Lodge.

Published in Library