By Brandi McGrath Kong, Director of Member Services and Conferences
Does your club hold membership recruitment events? For many clubs trying to sustain and increase their membership, they can play a significant impact on your growth strategy. Recruitment events allow your club to showcase what you have to offer, give prospects the chance to get to know your current members, and share your impact in the community that you serve.
Unfortunately, many clubs have held these kinds of gatherings in the past and had them not be as successful as they would have liked. This doesn’t mean that we should be discouraged and give up. Things change, and if anything has proven true over the past two years, people yearn for a sense of community and face-to-face socialization. In fact, now might just be the perfect time to bring people together again — with a little social distancing, of course!
RECRUITMENT EVENT IDEAS
Work with your local trade schools, community colleges and universities to support one of their existing events like an alumni mixer or a career fair. People getting out of college are often looking to make important connections in the area as they start their careers, while alumni seek out civic organizations as part of their professional lives.
Host a community meetup like a coffee hour, happy hour mixer or ice cream social where people can come together just to hangout. Assign members to work the crowd to ensure that conversation is flowing and people are talking about your club. You’ll also want to have membership collateral (i.e., flyers, brochures, etc.) on hand as well as an appointed person ready to sign up new members.
Partner with a local business on a service project or fundraiser. A built-in clientele gives you a whole new audience for membership exposure. Wear club shirts or Sertoma pins so that your name is at the forefront of everything that you are doing.
Throw a “speed networking” event where people in the community can come together and hold very short conversations on an array of topics. This can be a great way to do an idea exchange and explore important community solutions. Make sure to start and end the event by talking about what your club does and how it supports your hometown through Service to Mankind.
Volunteer with other nonprofits in your area as an example of how your club membership benefits the community. Publicize it beforehand by inviting members of the community to join you and follow it up with a news story highlighting the event. Local food banks, Habitat for Humanity, shelters and other charitable organization can always use extra helping hands.
Sponsor a pre-event social before a local sports game, community fair, concert, arts festival, etc. Put together appetizers and drinks and invite prospects and friends to join you. Stick around for the event so that you can meet other attendees. Show them that being a Sertoman can be fun too!