What’s a student-run organization without any members? What’s any organization without members? The answers simple: nothing.
Eager to learn how to boost our already growing SJFC/AMA chapter, I attended a “leading your chapter to success” session on membership run by four large, successful chapters.
Both surprisingly and unsurprisingly, we already utilize many of the tactics larger chapters use to increase membership. Something that I found particularly unique and am excited to implement next year is trying to hook potential members before they officially start their college careers. By attending open houses and pitching SJFC/AMA to incoming students, we could effectively and efficiently “sell” them on all the benefits of SJFC/AMA, including our annual trip to NOLA.
The sooner we can students and aspiring marketers excited, the greater chance they’ll stick with the club throughout their college careers, thus increasing membership.
Something else that larger chapters talked about was implementing a point system which awards students points for everything they do; for example, if they attend a fundraising opportunity, they get 10 points. This ranking system compares students to each other based on performance and involvement and allows those with the most involvement to participate in certain events, like NOLA.
Another suggestion was that you give members prizes for each point “milestone” achieved to provide more of an incentive to stay involved. I found it interesting that as a small club we were already doing this very type of system to encourage participation and that we too could modify our point system to encourage even higher membership.
The other big tactic that was talked about was ensuring all students feel included in every meeting and have a reason to stay. I think our club at SJFC does a great job of this by getting all members and potential members into subcommittees where their input is considered and all members are taken seriously.
It was a great session to sit in on and it was even more welcoming to know that our small chapter is well on its way to continued growth. The key is to keep members involved and really try to get potential members involved early on during their college careers.