Recruiting New Members
The key to an outstanding organization is excellent members. When recruiting members for your organization, focus on quality, not quantity. Recruitment of new members should be an on-going goal of organizations. All members of an organization should help with recruitment.
Know your Organization
Potential members know nothing about your organization. They are relying on knowledgeable members to answer their questions about the organization. You need to present clearly who you are and what you do. A simple fact sheet with the following information may be helpful:
- organization’s purpose;
- past successes;
- types of activities;
- future plans;
- expectations of members;
- benefits to members.
Develop a Recruitment Plan
Different people respond to different stimulus; you should have a variety of ways to attract members. You need to know what types of people you want to recruit for your organization. A complete recruitment plan answers the following questions:
- WHO? Are there any specific types of students you want to reach? Any set criteria to belong to your organization? Publicize to the population you want to join your organization.
- WHAT? What is your goal? How many students do you want in your organization? Make sure to set a reachable goal.
- WHEN? When are you going to recruit? Recruitment is a full-time commitment. All members of your organization should be involved. Summer Orientation and Fall Fest are great opportunities to recruit new members.
- WHERE? Where you are going to recruit is determined by who you are going to be recruiting. Can you recruit campus wide? In residence halls? In academic departments?
- HOW? Have your members discuss all the ways which they were attracted to join. Everyone has a different reason why they joined. Most members join through word of mouth. Have members bring a friend to a meeting.
Other things to keep in mind while recruiting may be:
- Know what sets your organization apart from the others. What makes it special?
- Escort people to their first meeting. (Remember how scary it was to walk into a room full of strangers, hoping to belong?).
- Make their first meeting an exciting one, put together an orientation program, give new members an idea as to how they would belong in your organization.
- Get their attention! Use posters, flyers, and table advertisements. Be creative.
- After their first activity with your organization, take new members aside for any questions they might have.