21 August 2007

What is FGS?

Over 1,000 genealogists attended the FGS conference in Ft. Wayne, Indiana last week. More have heard of FGS, but how many really know what FGS is and what the goals of FGS are?

FGS stands for the Federation of Genealogical Societies and its overridding goal is to support genealogical societies in their work for genealogy. Genealogical societies provide services to their members via newsletters, websites, publications, workshops, and the like. Societies are often in the forefront of local records preservation and access (or they should be).

FGS exists to support these societies in their mission of serving their members, both those members that live in the local area and those that live a distance away. One day of each FGS conference is devoted to society management so that officers can better serve their society, reinvigorate their society, encourage the volunteers they already have and motivate additional individuals to volunteer for the society. FGS is also a way for society officers to network with others to share ideas and techniques.

Individuals do not join FGS; societies join FGS. Membership dues are based upon the size of the society, with smaller societies paying lower fees than larger ones. Each member society appoints one delegate who serves as a conduit between the member society and FGS. Delegates elect members of the FGS Board.

FGS also publishes papers on a variety of genealogical society management topics, from working on a newsletter to handling volunteers. These are all written by experienced genealogical society members who want to share their knowledge with other societies in order to help them thrive and grow...one of the goals of FGS.

To learn more about FGS and the services it could offer your society, visit it on the web at www.fgs.org. More about society membership can be seen here.