Expanding the ANA’s Membership and Outreach Using Technology to Make the ANA More Accessible to All Members

Technology is a great tool to reach out to current members and engage new members. As a member of the Board of Governors, I want to accomplish:

  • Build a technology platform to support delivering services to the connected numismatist
  • Expand the ANA’s education objects by adding courses and seminars online
  • Extend the National Money Show and World’s Fair of Money into cyberspace
  • Bring more of the library and museum to the members electronically
  • Make the ANA Technology Committee a permanent advisory committee to the Board of Governors

A number of reports said that more than 3 million people were collecting State Quarters since the program started in 1999. Why hasn’t that interest translated into more ANA members? ANA membership has remained a steady 25,000-28,000 during the last decade. While the ANA has a great Young Numismatist program to attract younger members, the ANA is not doing much to retain those collectors after their time as a YN ends.

I understand the challenges because I was one of those young numismatists who returned to collecting later in life.

I believe that if the technology was as available as it is today, I could have integrated collecting into my young adult activities into his life and continued with my collecting interests.

Not only does the ANA need to embrace the future, but find ways of keeping young numismatists engaged after they reach 18 years old instead of waiting for them to find their way back after 40.

First, the ANA has to build an technology infrastructure to support the connected numismatists. With more than 30 years in the computing industry, I can help guide the board in purchasing these services so that it will best support the members while keeping costs manageable.

Once the infrastructure is built, then the ANA can expand services to our members. Since the primary mission of the ANA is education, the infrastructure can support e-learning to bring education to all members. The same software that colleges use to offer online courses can be used by the ANA to deliver courses and seminars to the members. Imagine being able to attend virtual classes to interact with members from around the world to add to your numismatic knowledge.

Technology can extend the ANA shows to the desktops of members who cannot travel to the shows. Money Talks seminars can be streamed to members so they can also watch, listen, and learn. The technology will allow the creation of ANA-TV that can include audio and video reports from the bourse floor, updated information for attendees, interviews with numismatic celebrities, and offer an opportunity for dealers to support the effort through commercial endorsements.

The ANA Library has the world’s most extensive collection of numismatic information. But today’s collector wants quicker access electronically. With the right tools and support from the community, more of the library can be make accessible to more members. One idea is to make ANA videos available to stream online. Videos can be used by member clubs as part of their educational programs. To make this happen, I want to work with numismatic publishers to have them help support and sponsor expanded access to information in the library.

Did you know that the ANA Money Museum has one of the greatest collections in the world? Unfortunately, it is mostly not accessible to members who cannot make the trip to Colorado Springs or see the small exhibits that travel to shows. Why not make exhibits available online? Virtual exhibits and tours can be used to reach out to more members and non-members to entice them to become members. Technology’s tools should be made available to the museum staff to unlock the information and make it available to members. This will open an avenue of special sponsorship opportunities from ANA members and supporters.

As a member of the Board of Governors, I can work with the ANA to ensure their technology future. But there will come a time when the Board members may not have the technology background to ensure the success of these programs. This is why I want to make the current ad hoc ANA Technical Committee a permanent advisory committee to the Board of Governors. The permanent committee would consist of technology aware members with the background in technology infrastructure, information security, applications, and usability to help provide oversight to the ANA’s use of technology. The permanent ANA Technology Committee would be answerable to the Board of Governors but provide direct advice to the executive director and the headquarters information technology (IT) staff.