Chapter 2 - Attracting and Recruiting New Members
|1.||Developing a Strategic Plan:|
A strategic plan is a plan, or mission statement, that defines an organisation's reason for existence and how it will achieve its goals, eg., "The Society for Creative Anachronism is an international, non-profit, educational organisation dedicated to researching and re-creating pre 17th Century, European History." One of our broad goals is to attract, educate and retain new members.
So . . . . . how is your group going to accomplish that goal at the local level?
There are several ways to attract new members . . . . . personal contact, demos, flyers in libraries and shopping centres, advertising through printed and electronic media, or simply by chance.
|1.||Brainstorm: At Council, ask for suggestions for demos, advertising, etc. At this point, the feasibility of the idea should not be discussed. Simply record all suggestions for discussion later. If possible, use "flip chart pages" and brightly coloured marking pens to record the ideas. Blue-tac each page on a wall (or board) if possible, to help participants stay on tract and avoid duplication.|
|2.||Discuss and Refine your ideas: Once everyone has had a chance to make suggestions, discuss each idea as a group. In your discussions be sure to consider what resources your group will need, (people, time, money, materials, equipment, site, etc.) to go forward with a recruitment activity. Once you have discussed all the suggestions, come to a consensus on a few activities that are reasonably within your group's scope to implement. If you pick too many, you may find that your ideas will not be met with too much enthusiasm, or your group will get burned-out try to conduct too many demos!|
|3.||Develop a plan: Now that you have determined what activities you want to pursue, it is time to determine how you are going to implement them. To be sure that your group "stays on track", develop a written plan. For each major activity, your plan should include the various tasks required, the target completion dates for those tasks and the name of the person who agreed to complete the various tasks.|
|4.||Solicit Support: Before you start to implement your plan, it is a good idea to ensure that you have the support of the general populace. If you don't, you won't have many volunteers to help you put your plan into effect. Therefore, discuss the plan at a Council meeting, publish your plan in your newsletter and on your web-page, send out to your group's email list. Make sure you provide an opportunity for members to give you some feedback. Review the feedback you receive and revise your plan if necessary.|
|5.||Implement the Plan: Find volunteers to organise the demo or an activity and / or develop flyers and articles for publication or posting etc. You may find that you will need to revise the plan during the implementation process, due to unforeseen circumstances. It's good to be flexible, just be sure that you don't radically change "the plan", or its intent, without discussing it with your group first.|
|6.||Measure your Group's Success: Your success is not necessarily measured by how many new members you were able to retain. As a group, discuss what worked well, what didn't work well and why. If possible, get some feedback from newcomers who attended the activity, or saw your "ad" in the paper / publication. If you conducted a demo, ask for feedback from the site owners. Review the feedback that you have gathered, analyse it and learn from it.|