Creating Strong Clubs
- Being a member of both an amateur radio club and a Rotary club, I often compare the two. One of the things that Rotary International does that the ARRL fails to do is to actually provide the clubs with training and materials on how to make the clubs stronger.The January 2014 issue of the e-mail newsletter Rotary Leader includes the article "Creating a Strong Club." It suggests that you should treat your members as customers. While I'm not totally sold on that particular idea, the article does include a list of common mistakes that clubs make with regard to membership. They are:
- Focusing on recruiting new members, while neglecting engagement.
- Forcing new members to adapt to the club and not thinking about how the club can adapt to new members.
- Failing to understand the needs of new members.
- Blaming new members for dropping out rather than evaluating what the new members need.
I do like this list. I think amateur radio clubs make many of the same mistakes.
CW Geek, Ham Radio Instructor
Station Manager, WA2HOM at the Hands-On Museum (www.wa2hom.org)
Read my ham radio blog at http://www.kb6nu.com
- Excellent point, Dan. I am a Life Member of American Business Clubs
(AMBUCS) and it also has training and materials on growing and nurturing
existing Chapters, and some of these focus on retaining existing
members, as well as recruiting new members.
I will see if I have anything that can be posted and shared as you have
with the Rotary ideas.
(Boo... Hiss... Boo... - we have a friendly rivalry
with our local Rotarians, and always boo and
hiss the very mention of them... all in good fun ...
nothing personal... I am sure you understand)
;-) ;-) ;-)
---------------------------- K8JHR --------------------------
On 2/1/2014 10:18 AM, cwgeek@... wrote:
One of the things that Rotary International does that
> the ARRL fails to do is to actually provide the clubs with training and
> materials on how to make the clubs stronger.
- 10 STEPS TO RECRUITING MEMBERS
1. Establish Contact --
Consider everyone a potential member. Don't assume that he will not be
interested. You may be surprised. Call or visit potential new
members and explain you represent the club and that it is looking for
members to expand and promote its work in making friends and providing
service to the community. Indicate the Club invites him to the next
meeting or project and ask him to consider becoming a member. Ask if
you can send follow-up information about the Club and follow up with a
thank you letter or some other follow up contact with information about
2. Make an Invitation --
Invite him to attend a meeting. He won't come if you don't invite him.
Sometimes that is all it takes to get him involved. Offer to pick
him up and that you will drive you both to the meeting. Tell him you
will introduce him to the rest of the guys. Set him at ease so it will
be easy and comfortable for him to go along and meet the other members.
3. Demonstrate Your Loyalty --
Wear your membership pin or other indicate of membership. People will
ask about it, which gives
you the opportunity to talk about the Club. Car window clings, T-shirts
featuring Club events, etc., will also generate questions. One guy in
our regular Friday Lunch Bunch group wears an official ARRL Name Badge
on his shirt to each luncheon meeting. If you don't learn his name and
call sign, it is your fault! It is a nice touch and makes others feel
like he wants to be remembered by them, and that makes them feel
important in return.
4. Make An Invitation --
This bears repeating. Many operators are just waiting to be invited
before attending your Club meetings. Some operators do not feel
comfortable just showing up and diving in, so invite them and make them
feel wanted from the outset. During the Meeting, you need to promote
new members, and make guests feel important and welcome. Recognize
guests at the beginning of the meeting. You will also thank them at the
end of the meeting. The meeting should help sell the organization to
both new and old members, so make sure there is some sort of promotional
bit every time.
5. Generate Awareness --
Mention, describe, and promote Club activities in your conversations
with potential new members. Display national brochures, copies of your
newsletter, Club activity brochures, banners, etc. at every meeting,
and at your place of business and at other meetings you might attend.
Promotion is an ongoing activity that needs to be nurtured continually.
6. Arouse Interest --
Always, always assign a couple of outgoing members to serve as meeting
greeters. This makes your own members feel welcome and it certainly
makes guests feel welcome. Use guest name badges and registration
forms. This helps other members remember guest names plus the
registration form gives you the information you need to follow up.
Name badges for members and guests signals the fact they are
individually important and that others want to learn and know their
names and call sings.
7 Promote Upcoming Events --
Plug the Club at all times and opportunities. Do this during meetings,
as well as at other times, when you can promote the Club and its
activities. Calendar and provide advance notice of all upcoming events
at every chance. A white board is a good way to do list meeting dates
and speakers, social activities, projects, items such as the national
and regional conventions and hamfests. The idea is to look like you
have something going on.
8. ASK FOR A COMMITMENT --
At the end of the meeting recognize any new members in attendance as
well as thank each guest for attending. Call them by name. At your
first opportunity ask, "What would it take to get you to become a member
of our Club?" Some people are uncomfortable with doing this. If you
are, find someone else to take that role.
9. Follow Up --
After the meeting, the chapter president or secretary should send a
letter thanking the guest for coming. Use this opportunity to mention
reasons he should become a member of the Club.
Also, you can send your newsletter to guests and it is a good touch to
mention them in the newsletter as being an honored guest at a club
meeting... that makes them feel important and like you care if they join
or return. Their names should be mentioned prominently in the
newsletter, so they are sure to see it. Send follow-up information
such as Club calendars, local and national information, invitations to
special events, etc. All correspondence should should "plant the seed"
about becoming a member.
Anyone who brings a guest should write a short, handwritten note
thanking that guest for attending and inviting the guest to come back
for the next meeting. Some Clubs have simple forms or printed post
cards to accomplish this. While a fresh letter is best, a fill-in post
card is better than nothing.
10. CLOSE THE DEAL --
Every salesman knows he has just one job to perform - i.e., close the
deal. You MUST MOVE TO CLOSE THE DEAL, or the prospective member will
drift away and lose interest. You must ask for a commitment. That
makes him obligated to follow through or quit.
Make sure all new members are assigned someone to follow up with him,
and always, always assign him to an active committee so he has a duty, a
function, and is part of something going on - that will invest him in
the Club and make him feel important and useful. Many new members lose
interest because they don't fit in, and lack a meaningful place in the
Club. By making sure he is placed on an active committee, he will be
integrated into the Club's activities, and he will feel like he is a
part of a going concern, stimulating his interest and sense of duty and
And you can always do more... this is just a beginning outline.
// K8JHR //