Forum for Membership Development

Activities in management, retention, marketing, and membership development in local communities, districts and regions can serve as models for other organizations. Scouting seeks to utilize our ‘Leader magazine’, local council newsletters and various Scouting web sites to promote dialogue and exchange about these local-based membership development issues. Helpful hints, new ideas and opinions will be highlighted and opportunities to contribute comments, questions, and your own opinions will also be available. Learn from the experience of others. To learn more about successful program descriptions check with your area commissioner, call any of your Service Team or even your Regional or Provincial Office.

Volunteer Group Management/Retention

Any groups best resource is volunteers. Handled correctly, they can provide valueable man-hours. Properly trained, they can carry the scouting message. The larger the district/region, the harder it is to personalize membership. Volunteers have this ability.

Volunteers look for recognition and satisfaction of helping their community. To maintain a consistent level of participation, two things must be considered:

1. Volunteers need recognition and satisfaction of helping their community. Volunteers will lose interest quickly if these elements are not included in volunteer involvement.

2. Volunteers need to understand what is expected of them. In today's business climate, it is important to be good stewards of volunteer's time.

The following is an outline of proven results--ingredients for a successful challenge campaign.

I. Planning
Plan at least four months in advance but keep the campaign brief (3-4 weeks); volunteers are easier to motivate over a shorter period of time.

II. Commitment/Communications
Make personal visits to all team leaders and clarify their responsibilities and incentives. Select team assistants from your district/region.

III. Volunteer Training
Use material covering scouting benefits, services, dates, techniques and emphasize commitment and job descriptions.

IV. Develop Prospect List(s)
Personally developed prospects are the BEST!

V. Team Member Awards/Incentive
If you fail to recognize volunteers for their efforts, in the end you will lose out.

VI. Think Big and Then Think Even Bigger
Be creative, original and have fun!

In summary, the basic ingredients for success: volunteer commitment, motivational awards, recognition and continual reinforcement to make a specific goal. Don't skip these basics!

Reproduced for by permission of Scouter Douglas Moore - Nova Scotia