100 Ways To Recruit New Members

This article originally appeared in the November 2004 issue of Membership Matters, written by Chris Offer. Source: Membership Matters, Vol. 4 No. 5 November 2004, via ClubRunner Newsletter. 

Clubs are always looking for ways to grow and recruit new members. There are many things club members can do in order to attract new members. Here, you’ll find a hundred viable approaches that one could use in order to recruit more members.

  1. Ask someone
  2. Bring a guest to meetings
  3. Advertise in newspapers & cable TV
  4. Have a clear club goal & a strategic plan
  5. Letters or personal contact with local businesses
  6. Contact with Chamber of Commerce
  7. Place customized bookmarks in library books
  8. Have public meetings at malls, outdoors, etc.
  9. Have a booth at malls, fairs, festivals, etc.
  10. Place pamphlets in doctors’ offices, hospitals, cafeterias, libraries, etc.
  11. Host an Open House
  12. Hold a club assembly only on membership
  13. If you have a Rotary Club, ask Rotary Foundation alumni to join
  14. Give the membership chair one minute at every club meeting
  15. Make the membership chair a club director
  16. Put together guest information packets
  17. Service projects that serve a need in the community
  18. Invite family members to join
  19. Send letters to people in the news with an invitation to visit the club
  20. Print club business cards with club meeting location and time
  21. Distribute extra copies of magazines that relate to your club in waiting rooms, etc. (e.g. Rotarian)
  22. Hold high-profile meetings
  23. Hold wine and cheese receptions for prospective members
  24. Ask for help from RIMC/RIMZC
  25. Have a special guest day
  26. Send club members to district membership seminar
  27. Make prospective members feel important
  28. Honor outstanding community members with awards
  29. Don’t take age into consideration
  30. Make some meetings social events
  31. Build a club website
  32. Use group email to promote your club
  33. Put posters in public areas
  34. Ask corporations and employers to sponsor or subsidize membership
  35. Have a reward program for those who bring in new members
  36. Create more fun
  37. Give a money back guarantee—if after three months a new member does not want to be a club member, return their fees
  38. Invite the media to cover well-known speakers
  39. Use word of mouth
  40. Network with coworkers, friends, and family
  41. Follow up with guests
  42. Place a colored dot on the watch of every member to remind them to bring a guest
  43. Lead by example—how many members have you recruited?
  44. Have members give talks at other organizations
  45. Provide guests with free meals
  46. Update your club's classification survey
  47. Look for members in ethnic groups not represented in your club
  48. Provide brochures for new employee packets in members' companies
  49. Advertise at sports events
  50. Ask the district for help
  51. Hold joint meetings with other groups
  52. Share your club experience with others
  53. Participate in community events
  54. Write letters to the newspaper about the campaigns your club is working on 
  55. If a prospect can’t attend your meeting due to time, suggest another club
  56. Publicize club successes, elections, events in local newspapers
  57. Circulate the club newsletter widely
  58. Design a club brochure
  59. Hold recruiting events with two or more clubs
  60. Form/join a speakers’ bureau
  61. Wear your club's pin
  62. Mention your club at meetings of other organizations during announcements
  63. Send newsletter to guests
  64. When asked about your leadership skills & career success, tell them about your club 
  65. Ask the AG to attend a board meeting to talk about membership
  66. Ask every member to submit three prospects to the membership chair
  67. Make it FUN
  68. Give every member a club decal or bumper stickers for their car
  69. Give testimonials about your club while guests are at the meeting
  70. Repeatedly invite prospective members
  71. Practice selling your club at Club meetings—have a one-minute elevator speech ready 
  72. Conduct a Membership Satisfaction Survey (RI Publication #417)
  73. The club president asks three club members, as a personal favor, to each recruit one new member
  74. Bring your boss to a club meeting
  75. Make direct contact with women’s business associations
  76. Bring your co-workers to a club meeting
  77. Bring your subordinates to a club meeting
  78. Have new member kits
  79. Use books, brochures, videos and posters from RI
  80. Hand out invitation cards for a “Free” lunch (breakfast, dinner)
  81. Have members constantly promote and rave about your club 
  82. Meet at a good location
  83. Assign every member to a five-person recruitment team—each team brings in a new member every six months
  84. Develop a strategic plan: membership is a year-round priority and needs to be planned
  85. Have incentives for recruitment
  86. Have a large poster that lists all the members who have sponsored a new member in the past year
  87. Select a missing classification and work on filling it
  88. Display a thermometer showing progress towards club goal
  89. Feature a member’s “benefit of the month” in the club newsletter
  90. Induct new members with pizzas & invite spouses/partners
  91. Develop a welcome letter from the president for all new members
  92. Contact all members who have resigned in the past three years
  93. Use billboards at bus stops and road sides
  94. Ask club members to put club ads on their commercial trucks
  95. Recognize new members in newsletters
  96. Regularly check the RI website for ideas
  97. Subscribe to the Rotary Membership Minute on the RI website
  98. Invite spouses to social functions
  99. Ask recipients of Rotary service or donations to speak for Rotary
  100. Pass out M&M candy to remind members that “Membership Matters” and that we need “More Members”