Sometimes I bite off more than I can chew. I have been struggling for a week with how to best write an article about the future of the ANA—struggling because I have always thought of them as sort of an “old boys’ network.” That is, until I found the strategic plan on their website.
Their mission: “To encourage and educate others about the world of money in its many forms.”
The theme of their current strategy: “A New Approach—continuing a legacy of numismatic education and fellowship. We aspire to be the premier go-to Association for all things numismatic!”
- Enhance educational resources
- Exceptional membership service
- Ensure sustainability
PRIORITY #1—Enhance Educational Resources
Have you been to money.org lately? In my quest to write about the ANA, I spent plenty of time on the site. It has a contemporary look and, more importantly, it’s largely clickable—a visitor can click on darn near everything. It’s a solid site.
We live in the age of online schooling. Even brick-and-mortar colleges use the Internet to enhance their students’ experience. Thus, under “Educational Outreach” we find online diploma programs and other action plans. Personally, I am more apt to tackle an online numismatic course than a mail-order one. This project is ongoing, so keep an eye out for online numismatic classes from the ANA.
Also under “Educational Outreach,” we have “Development of a syndicated column for web news outlets.” Heck yes! I get 90% of my news online. The other 10% comes from two sources:
- 8%—my wife
- 2%—my three-year-old son, who likes to educate his dad about, well, whatever pops into his head. (For example, splinters are “owies.”)
My Suggestion: Crowdsourced Numismatic Encyclopedia
Think of it as Wikipedia run only by ANA members. It would be available to everyone, but only members would be able to add or edit entries. Can you imagine the amount of information that would be available after just a few months? This is the type of feature that would bring in a younger crowd of potential members.
PRIORITY 2: Exceptional Membership Service
Consumer and Hobby Protection
The ANA has been around for 125 years. When an organization turns a buck-twenty-five, it is for good reason—they know what they’re doing and, as a result, have some pull with the right people. The ANA is consulted on numismatic legislation and possesses an under-utilized (in my opinion) social platform that could be used to influence lawmakers to be more collector-friendly.
Priority 2 also addresses member needs/expectations and the Association management system.
My Suggestion: Step Up the Social Media
This isn’t a new idea; it is, however, a time-consuming one. I love the ANA and what they have to offer, but I wish they were more interactive. How cool would it be to have the ANA comment on your coin photo on Facebook, or drop you a line about your numismatic Tweet? With as much time as people spend on social media, an active presence there can work wonders for a group seeking members.
PRIORITY 3: Ensure (Financial) Sustainability
This priority includes a wide range of club-outreach and fund-development programs. One of these is “Numismatic posters, lesson and games sales.” Which brings me to—
My Suggestion: Numismatic Smartphone Games
It was the games that caught my attention. Wouldn’t it be cool if there were a numismatic game for your smartphone? Maybe something like the old Carmen San Diego games, where the player has to hunt down a specific coin based on clues—or a coin-collecting/trading game in which, by completing small tasks (solving puzzles, etc.), players would earn random coins that they could then trade with other players.
Of course, this was just a glossing over of the document itself, with my opinions scattered throughout. To read the ANA Strategic Plan in its entirety, click here.