Effective Leadership In Membership Activities

To be an effective leader, you must have an effective and active membership. One way to achieve increased member involvement is by encouraging participation on the membership committee. A group's, district's/region's membership committee can generate many creative ideas and approaches to membership issues and activities. It brings firsthand experience to the work of Scouts Canada. Greater involvement in the organization results in greater benefits for members. In turn, this will enhance their effectiveness in recruiting.

Effective leadership in membership activities might include the following:

* Extending invitations to members to serve on the committee, whether in person, by telephone, or by personal letter.
* Providing potential committee members with a brief description of the role and activities of the committee, the term of office, and the number and dates of meetings.
* Clearly expressing the committee's charge; for example, to attract new members, retain existing ones, and attract former members.
* Involving the committee members in setting the goals for membership recruitment and retention.

To encourage commitment, initiate a "challenge" for the committee to secure a certain number of new members by a specific date. In addition, the committee chair should strive to create an atmosphere in each meeting that promotes expression and discussion of new ideas.

Work with the committee. Take time and care at the beginning to ensure that goals and expectations are mutually understood. Also, be certain that committee members have the proper tools to accomplish the work. Impress upon the committee members that it is always better to ask rather than assume. What the membership committee did last year may not be what is required this year.

Remember the thank-yous! An essential ingredient in the success of any effort is awareness and recognition of committee members' contributions. A good way to do this is to publicize their accomplishments for the benefit of all members as you thank them publicly. A little "thank you" can go a long way toward happy and active members!

Contact your Provincial Office. They may provide further materials and information on leadership development and membership.

Reproduced for Scoutscan.com by permission of Scouter Douglas Moore - Nova Scotia