Recruiting members is the lifeblood of any organization—regardless of the type organization it is. It could be a church, a football team, a civic club, or a youth group; just to name a few. With every one of these, as well as any others you may come up with, if you aren’t constantly recruiting new members, its future will be short-lived.
And to enjoy any kind of ongoing success in your recruiting efforts, you absolutely must adhere to these three vital ingredients:
- There has to be a written plan in place.- It not only must be in writing, it should contain specifics, i.e. who is going to do what. For example, if the goal is to have ten new members; you need to set a deadline, break it down into doable tasks, and know exactly who is going to be getting the job done.
- It must be understood and accepted by the key members. – Once you know what the goal is, you need to come up with a few people to assist. Have a meeting that’s strictly about recruiting members, and decide on exactly what needs to happen in order to reach the goal. Get input from those who are going to assist. Then make sure that everyone involved understands their part, and get them to sign that they do understand what is required of them and that they will follow through until the job is completed. You can make it as light or formal as you think the circumstances call for.
- You have to implement some form of accountability. – Put together a simple form that shows the tasks to be completed, and have them submit a report to the person overseeing the recruiting members effort. Some like a weekly report, but usually once a month is sufficient. There shouldn’t be any heavy penalty for failure, but there should be some kind of reward for all those who succeed in doing their part, and a frameable certificate (or something), for the one who recruits the most new members. It’s also a good idea to announce their success to the rest of your members at one of your regular meetings.
As you implement the methods for maximizing your membership retention, as discussed in a previous article, you will find that the often daunting task of recruiting members is actually quite easy. It’s never difficult to recruit to an organization that you believe in and enjoy being a part of.
The old ways of general type invitations through mass communications, whether it’s print or online, may draw an occasional new member, but even then some are not what you’re looking for. All your efforts should be directed to specific individuals by those who at least know who they are. This will help achieve better results in both numbers and quality, and that’s what recruiting members is all about.
This post is part of our series: The Ultimate Online Guide to Recruiting Volunteers.
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