Currently I’m part of a small group helping the remnants of 70+ year old radio club “merge” into another club.
The exact details of why this had to happen mostly sound like bitterness when retold except for a couple standout observations:
First without regular infusions of new blood a club will die. Parents need to encourage their children and their children’s friends to join the hobby, and join the club to make a go of it.
Second is if members lose trust in the leadership a club is done for. If the leadership is seen as self-serving and given a pass rather than held accountable by the members the cancer is too great to cure.
Third a club needs bench strength. Without enough willing talent to take on club roles when someone in leadership is transferred away or becomes ill, it’s done.
Fourth there is a critical membership mass below which their is no long term durability to a club. Maybe a bridge group can make it some years with just enough players to fill out the hands, but a club needs leaders, players, learners and camp followers all to carry on.
Fifth the member’s needs have to be all about participating rather than “having somebody serve them.” If the members are all “take” and low on the “give” part of the equation there really isn’t even a club there anymore.
Sixth is that fixation on money, assets, gear and other stuff is foolishness that misses the real reason a club happens – it’s all about the people. It is only the folks involved that matter.
My observations is that to survive a club can’t violate too many of these six precepts, at least not for the long run. YMMV in your specific club, but if you get these things right the club is going to do much better at being around for the next generation.