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#MemberMonday: Younger Members Are More Than Just a Key to Club Longevity

By Brandi McGrath Kong, Director of Conferences & Communications

Throughout the spring Regional Convention season, Sertomans across the country talked about the evergreen, ever-popular subject of recruiting “younger” members. As we all know, “younger” is a relative term and means different things to different people at different points in their lives.

The same is true for our clubs. What represents a younger member in a club where the average age is 70+ is going to be different from a club with people in their 50s. Figuring out what younger means to your club is key to deciding why you want to recruit these potential members in the first place The easy answer is so that “our club doesn’t die out.” While that is obviously true, you also need to dig a little deeper.

Benefits of Recruiting Younger
Community Connections: Members of different demographics, including age, are likely to have different community connections. From where they work to where they spend their free time to their personal affiliations, the circles they run in could help expose your club to new potential donors, sponsors, members and volunteers. While they might not be running the groups or companies that they are part of yet, they will be in 5-10 years.

New Ideas: The more diverse your club is, the more diverse your ideas will be. Just like older members have a wealth of life experiences to share, younger members can have insights into the trendy activities that are popular in the area or new causes in your community that can use support. The key is to not only listen to these ideas but also to foster them by truly engaging your younger members in their execution.

Natural Leadership Development: Most people don’t want to serve as a club officer forever, and they often get burnt out after running the same fundraiser or event year after year. Getting members involved at a younger age provides an opportunity for inherent leadership growth so that they will be ready to lead your committee, event or club when the time comes.

Brainstorming as a Club
We encourage you to use this piece at your next membership committee or club meeting to start thinking about how your club will recruit younger members. Some questions to ask in the discussion might include:

  • What does younger look like for our club?
  • Have we ever made recruiting younger members a true priority?
  • If you haven’t ever tried before, why or why not?
  • Why is this activity important to our club, now and in the future?
  • What are some things we have done in the past to recruit other members that could be honed to specifically target younger members?
  • Are there things in our club that need to change to make it more attractive to our potential younger recruits?
  • What do we have to offer to younger members?

If your club has been successful in recruiting younger members, we would love to hear about it so that we can share your tips with other clubs! Reach out to me by email at