An update from the FoH for the month of September.
This is our story
The club museum officially opened its doors to the public on the 23rd of September. Located in the old club shop on Tynecastle Terrace, the museum beautifully tells the story of our club’s rich heritage from 1874 to the present day. Among the tales of legendary players, cup wins and the McCrae’s Battalion era is a section dedicated to the latest chapter in our history – the story of how the fans saved the club. Entry to the museum is free of charge and we hope members find the time to visit and reflect on the magnitude of what our collective efforts have achieved. Ours is a history worth fighting for. The FoH members stepped up when it mattered to help ensure Heart of Midlothian Football Club will be preserved for generations to come.
It was fantastic to see more pledgers join us in the Gorgie suite in August and September for our latest round of plot ceremonies. Pictures will be made available soon but in the meantime you can watch this short video (available here) of our August ceremony. We hope all attendees enjoyed their day at Tynecastle. In the words of Director Garry Halliday, “you are the heart and soul of this football club”.
As a reminder, members will be invited to ceremonies in the order in which they achieve the required level of points and if you fail to respond to two invites we will assume you do not wish to attend. The next ceremonies are planned for 16th October, 6th November and 20th November.
Email to lapsed pledgers
We are fully committed to increasing pledger numbers while at the same time maintaining our existing pledger base. With this objective in mind we continually look for feedback that can help better inform future marketing and retention initiatives. As part of this we recently contacted members of the Foundation of Hearts whose pledge had stopped at some point since our inception in 2013, to find out why.
We sent approximately 1,800 emails and received a total of 87 replies (4.8%). We received a varied response and following a detailed review can summarise the main reasons as follows;
- Change of financial circumstances due to job loss, illness or maternity leave and moving away (72 responses)
- Issues with Paypal and Go Cardless or pledging under a different email address or ID (9 responses)
- Footballing matters (6 responses)
In addition to the above, a few of our members have very sadly passed away and we have shared our gratitude and condolences with their families.
From the responses we did receive it is apparent that a large portion of member churn occurs due to changes in personal financial circumstances. At the FoH we only ask ever that fans contribute what they can, when they can. We will always be grateful to everyone who has stepped up to help the FoH on its journey. Every pledge really does make a huge difference and we hope to be able to welcome back those who find themselves able to contribute again in the future.
We have looked into the points raised regarding Paypal and GoCardless and are currently working with these providers to resolve the issues identified and also to improve the ease with which pledgers can adjust their contribution.
We are very grateful to all of those who took time to respond to our email and would welcome any further feedback to our inbox firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would like to pledge for the first time or rejoin as a member, you can do this by visiting the website at www.foundationofhearts.org and click on pledge now, which will take you through the relevant steps.
On a similar theme, we are currently working on a Foundation Member Survey to gather more ideas and views from our members so watch this space. Your views and feedback will continue to guide the future direction and strategy of the FoH.
Heineken’s Hall of Fame Ticket Offer
This month the club announced a discount for FoH pledgers and season ticket holders on all tickets remaining for the forthcoming Hall of Fame ceremony and dinner. Associate sponsor for the event. Heineken UK has chosen to show their gratitude to Hearts’ fans by subsidising remaining tickets for the event. They hope that their gesture will enable a broader group of fans to attend what is the most prestigious event in the club’s calendar.
Set up in 2006, the Heart of Midlothian Hall of Fame honours the legends that have graced the famous Tynecastle turf. This list celebrates the great players, whose grit, skill, dedication and professionalism has wowed thousands of adoring Jambos. The 2016 ceremony will take place on this Saturday (1st October) when we will induct the latest set of legends. Full details are available here.
We hope that some of our pledgers are able to take advantage of this offer and enjoy what is sure to be another amazing night at Tynecastle.
Tynecastle Redevelopment Funding Update
At the date of publishing this blog FoH members have contributed £625k to the Tynecastle Redevelopment Project, just over 20% of the promised total and in line with schedule. We will continue to include a running total of contributions in future blogs.
Edinburgh Council are due to visit Tynecastle this month with a final decision scheduled to be made by the planning department in October. The club has been in dialogue with the council for a number of months and all going well work on the stand should begin in November and be operational within 12 months.
Match day information desk
Our match day information desk will be open at all 3pm Saturday home games this season at our usual location in the reception at McLeod Street. All fans and pledgers are welcome to drop in and ask anything of the Board. We are at your disposal from 1.30 until shortly before kick off.
In memory of Robert Wilson – part of our Foundation
The FoH Board were extremely saddened by the news of the passing of Robert Wilson last month. Robert was instrumental in putting together the strategic and financial plan for the FoH bid team when Hearts were in administration, and over this challenging period, he played a very important part in drawing up the vision and the subsequent development of the Foundation. It was heartwarming to see his contribution to Heart of Midlothian acknowledged by a minute’s silence at a packed Tynecastle before the Hamilton game. A lifelong Hearts supporter, Robert was a key figure in the saving of our club and his legacy will never be forgotten.
If you have any questions or comments on this month’s blog, please feel free to leave them below or direct them to email@example.com.