MEMBERSHIP STRATEGIES DESIGNED FOR SUCCESS - STRATEGY ONE . . .
Doing More For All Youth, membership theme, emphasizes the fact that everyone is encouraged to be a part of the organization. When they join, they become part of the largest youth organization in the nation. Use this theme during "membership months" and as you recruit members throughout the year.
As the new year begins, take a fresh new look at your current membership campaign. Use this opportunity to increase your understanding of your potential members and their needs.
As a leader, you believe in the organization, and you'd like to see membership and involvement increase. But what can you do? First, recognize that there are many important human resources in your community. Know who these individuals are. They may be parents, teenage mothers and fathers, couples without children, grandparents, senior citizens, community leaders, local business people, school board, students, and teachers. Remember everybody can be a member!
Now that you have determined who your potential members are, what can you do to recruit them? Consider asking yourself these questions:
•• What are the benefits and services available at the local, district, regional, provincial and national levels?
•• What do prospective members want to know about Scouting?
•• How can our organization best meet those needs?
•• How will prospective members benefit from membership?
•• How can potential members contribute to our group/district/region?
•• What are our strengths, and how can we build on them?
•• What are our weaknesses, and how can we overcome them?
•• Do our materials reflect the cultural groups we are trying to reach?
•• What other programs and activities are our neighboring groups/district/regions doing to attract new members?
•• Are we publicizing our programs and projects from past years?
By addressing and answering these questions, you are on your way to customizing your local groups/districts/regions membership efforts. Some sample membership strategies might include:
•• Have a transportation service to and from scheduled events for those without transportation.
•• Organize a social event. Be sure to advertise that anyone may join at the door.
•• Include materials in information packets for new members.
•• Give recognition in your newsletter to every member who has recruited another member.
•• Ask a well-known personality in your community to serve as honorary membership chair, and publicize it.
•• Give presentations about your group/district/region to various service clubs. Emphasize the fact that membership is open to all.
•• Write letters to the editor about your groups/districts/regions accomplishments, and invite readers to join.
•• Let your members do the talking about the benefits and services; use other promotional materials.
•• Schedule meetings and sponsored events at convenient times for working and at-home parents.
•• Organize an evening and decorate your meeting place with youth's crafts. This always draw a big crowd and provides the opportunity to promote Scouting.
•• Divide the your committee into membership teams with specific assignments for recruiting new members.
In planning your membership year, remember that there is a wealth of information readily available to you that can help with your membership promotion efforts. Numerous resources, tips, stratagies, etc., are available through the Provincial Office. Please visit the Provincial website at www.ns.scouts.ca for more great ideas.
And remember, your membership efforts should continue year-round. The more you involve members in your membership recruitment activities, the more likely your membership will increase.
Reproduced for Scoutscan.com by permission of Scouter Douglas Moore - Nova Scotia