This is your fourth installment of what we hope you are finding to be a valuable free course. It has been proven that if you put into practice what we have discussed thus far, it will have a major impact on the ongoing success of your organization. We have covered; membership retention, recruiting members, and recruiting volunteers. Hopefully you can see that it’s both practical, and easy to make use of immediately.
Now that you have found recruiting new members to be easy, you need to make sure that you get them off to a good start so that they keep coming back. There are three primary basics to making sure that happens; 1) give them homework, 2) follow up with a phone call, and 3) keep good notes.
- Give them homework. – At first this may sound counter-intuitive to you, but it works, when handled correctly. Too many times new members (new volunteers as well), leave their first organizational meeting with a bunch of information, but no real direction. Depending on the particular organization, sometimes they’re given so much that it can be overwhelming. So they leave with no idea what they’re supposed to do—or what they may ultimately be doing—except keep coming to meetings.
You want your new members/volunteers to leave their first meeting with a sense of purpose and direction. Sending them home with some homework is one of the best ways to accomplish both. Just make sure that it has meaningful purpose behind it, that it won’t take a lot of time to complete (less than an hour), and that it’s very specific. You don’t want them having to try to figure out what you want, so it should be clear, and actually something they’ll enjoy completing.
- Follow up with a phone call. – Though this should be obvious, it’s always surprising how many organizations don’t do it. As it is with most any kind of task, when there is no follow-up, or at least some kind of acknowledgement that it’s expected to be done, it seldom gets done. Like the status calls discussed in a previous message, these calls should be made by one of their peers.
Keep it light, but make sure you ask how the homework is coming, and if they have any questions that you can help them with. You also want to make sure that you get a verbal commitment from them to come to the next meeting, without it sounding too demanding. You always want your new members to feel comfortable with their decision to join your group, so every call and meeting should be a confirmation that they made the right decision.
- Keep good notes. – This is always important, regardless of the size of your organization and number of calls that someone makes. It’s too easy to forget who said what, and failing to take good notes can sometimes result in problems that could have easily been avoided.
You particularly want to note the following; who you called, the day and time you spoke with them, if there were any concerns that need to be addressed (before or during the next meeting), and whether or not they will be attending the next meeting. You can create a simple form to keep this on and place it in a notebook, or you may want to use the form provided with your free trial of Best Attendance. This free trial includes a module that will assist you with everything covered in this course.
Recruiting new members and volunteers is one of the most vital aspects of maintaining a successful and growing organization. But once you get them onboard, you must implement a few basics to make sure that your new members keep coming back.
This post is part of our series: The Ultimate Online Guide to Recruiting Volunteers.
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