Recruit, Retain Members
One of the best ways to encourage interested members to stay involved and contribute to your group’s goals is to help individual members get to know each other, and to give each member purpose in activities, meetings, and events.
- Know who you are and what you do—Develop a mission statement as a way to help members of your group-and potential new members-understand who the group's purpose and identity. Make sure all members of the organization can talk about what the group stands for, ways the members can participate, and benefits of participating with the organization.
- Have a regular meeting time and use an agenda—An agenda is crucial to keeping you on track. Format your agenda before the meeting starts. Consider including information highlighting what the group has accomplished, benefits of participation, and contact information.
- Greeting and introductions—Introduce new members any time someone joins the group. Consider doing a short ice breaker or team builder at each meeting to help members get to know each other and develop a sense of group identity.
- Be mindful of others—Encourage punctuality to meetings and events and follow through on tasks. Using agendas will help meetings and appointments stay on task, and will help members budget their time for longer conversations or more difficult tasks.
- Delegate responsibility—Asking "does someone want to be in charge of this?" will help divide up larger projects into manageable portions. Delegation helps everyone keep a more manageable to-do list. Allowing others to take on tasks for the group also helps keep members invested in the organization by giving them a tangible way to contribute.
Check-in—When having a regular meeting, give a quick recap of what has been discussed. Remind people of what they are responsible for and any upcoming deadlines. State when the next meeting will be and where it will be held. Sending meeting minutes to the group is a great way to capture this information.
- If tasks have been delegated, it is important for the organization leader to check in with members that have been assigned tasks. This check-in helps keep projects moving forward and helps the leader ensure members working on tasks have the information they need to complete the assignment.
- If new members or potential members participate in a meeting or event, check in with them a few days later to see if they have any questions about the organization. This is a good way to show new members that the organization is active and organized.
- Allow for feedback—When holding a meeting, open the floor to members to introduce any issues that need to be discussed or resolved. After your group holds an event, take a few minutes in your next meeting to collect feedback on what went well and any areas the group would like to improve upon during future events. Keep records of this information so that if a similar event is held in the future the organization can build on the previous successes and suggestions.
- Recognition—As you know, students are busy people. Take a few minutes at some point in the term or year to thank organization members for their dedication and commitment to the group. This doesn't need to be anything formal or fancy, a card or note, some snacks at a meeting, or just a spoken thank you goes a long way in letting your members know that their time and efforts are appreciated.