Recruiting & Keeping Members
People join organizations for a number of reasons including a sense of belonging, friendships, personal interests, and responsibility. Therefore to gain and keep members student organizations must fulfill at least one of the person's reasons for joining.
Whether your student organization is new or established, you should always be looking for new members.
- Know and understand the groups purpose. You must know the product before you can sell it.
- Set recruitment goals.
- Who are your potential members? How many new members should we gain by the end of the semester? How will we keep our membership high?
- Sell your group.
- Attend the SGA Student Activities Fair (Sept 1) or have joint meetings with another student group. Many people want to be connected to multiple groups.
- Plan a special meeting or two just for new members. The beginning of the year is a busy one, so plan on a 'new members welcome meeting' a few weeks into the semester and another during the second semester.
Keep Your Members
They're here! Now what? Fulfill their expectations. This can be challenging as each member may hold different ideas of what the group should be. Therefore, incorporate the following into each meeting:
- Involve everyone so they feel part of the group.
- Listen to everyone's ideas.
- Encourage people to participate in discussions or try things.
- Ask for feedback and input on the group meetings.
- Welcome them to the "family". Each family has history, traditions, and values; be sure to remind everyone of them at each meeting.
- Share expectations of members. People need to know how much time they should dedicate to your group.
- Include diverse perspectives. While everyone is interested in your group's purpose, why they are connected can vary from person to person.
- Challenge each other respectfully.
- Infuse a global, racial, gender or other perspective into conversations and programs.
- Meet with other student groups to make connections.
- Make them feel special. Everyone likes a handwritten personal note, Facebook poke, or given a candy treat.
- Energy is contagious! If you are positive and enthusiastic then your members will be too. Play a game.