Implementing the following seven laws can help your members experience greater satisfaction:
1. Treat all members as though they are prospective members (continually remind them of the benefits of membership).
2. View members as partners—an important part of a team.
3. Consider recruitment and retention as serious business.
4. Give your members the tools they need to build skills and develop personally and professionally.
5. Prepare for the inevitable conflicts that arise in any type of relationship with this thought in mind, "It’s how you handle problems that sets an organization apart from others."
6. Invite member complaints instead of just responding to what comes in.
7. Foster exchanges among your membership to obtain ideas on how to better satisfy members. Also, test what you assume is working, including your best programs.
Believing in Scouts Canada
One who is convinced is a great convincer. Reinforce this notion to active members and encourage them to "talk up" Scouting to potential members, using their own great experiences as a springboard for conversation.
Creative Membership Themes
Looking for some new and creative themes that will help promote membership? Why not help local units get a jump start on next year’s membership drive by sharing with them the following theme ideas:
• Ride the Scouting Wave—Use a seagull as a mascot, and position the bird on a surfboard riding the waves. Draw the waves at varying heights, and cap the wave crests with the membership numbers reached at different points throughout the campaign.
• Soar into the Future with Scouting—Come aboard the memberSHIP!—Picture a flying saucer soaring through space. Draw shooting stars, and include the number of members recruited within the stars.
• Scouting Makes a Whale of a Difference—Adopt a whale for Scouting. Depict a whale jumping over rocks to freedom. Use the rocks to show the number of memberships reached.
Deliver Value to Members
As a membership person it is our responsibility to deliver value to members—such as through benefits and services—not determining that value. Determining value is a responsibility of the members themselves. The idea behind delivering value on the members’ terms is to bring about an attitude of "that was worth what I paid for it" or "that was worth my time and commitment."
Building Effective Partnerships
Teamwork has become the model for success in business, and it is the key to success in education as well. Encourage local groups to build effective partnerships between parents and the group. The issue is teamwork and how as a team we can work together to improve the group. Involving all interested individuals in the decision-making process does not change a group or leaders stature, rather it enhances the value of the decision. Leaders should understand that meaningful and manageable collaboration results in better decisions. Remember, creating effective partnerships is a process, it doesn’t happen overnight. Persistence is the key!
Teach New Members How to Use Your Benefits
Provide plenty of detail to your members about the benefits your offers. It’s very important to inform new members exactly how to use them. Frequently, new members complain that they get copious announcements of events, programs, and the like, from their group, but they have little idea about what to do with all of it. Surprisingly, members who avoid your services don’t do so because they don’t like or want the services; they just don’t know how to use them. Consider listing your benefits and services in your Scouting newsletter or publishing the information in a separate brochure.