Cathy Jones, State Chairman and Third Vice President 2018-2020
Building a better community through GFWC membership!
The GFWC GA theme for the Membership Committee is “Building a better community through GFWC membership.” It’s important to have the right tools and techniques to build our membership on a solid foundation that will withstand the test of time for our future generations. One of our State President’s goal is to increase our membership by 10%. This is an achievable goal for all of us if we use the tools provided in this year’s Membership guide a/k/a Membership Toolbox. Below is a general overview of some of the tools listed in this year’s Toolbox that should help you build your membership during the 2018-2020 term.
MEASURE UP: Evaluate Your Club
A club assessment is crucial to keeping current members engaged and active while also ensuring your club is attractive to prospective members. Taking an objective look at the club regularly can reveal both its strengths and areas in need of improvement. Organizations of all types succeed when encouraging members to voice their opinions. This improves engagement and lowers the likelihood that they’ll spend their time elsewhere.
- Gather Data
- Analyze Results
- Share your Conclusions
BLUEPRINT FOR SUCCESS: Planning
An action plan is a written plan created to improve your club. It takes long term goals and breaks them down into smaller manageable steps. The plan should include goals, steps, assignments, and deadlines.
Use a team approach to ensure a wider and more varied range of ideas. Your plan will be stronger if all or the majority of members provide input. This ensures buy-in by members since they are a part of the decision-making process.
- Choose Goals
PUT YOUR SAFETY GOGGLES ON: Get A Clear Vision
Establishing a clear purpose for your club will allow potential members the ability to see what they are joining before they come to a meeting. The purpose can be established through a few shared ideas, creating your organization’s vision and mission, goals and values, and articulating what functions your club will perform.
Mission and vision statements are concise, inspiring statements that clearly communicate the direction and values of an organization. These statements can powerfully explain your intentions, and they can motivate your organization to realize an inspiring vision of the future.
Vision – A vision is the internal idea that the club has about itself and how it wishes to function as a club. The vision should be a long term picture of where the club will focus its efforts, who it should serve, and its value to the community. Vision statements also define your organization’s purpose, but they focus on its goals and aspirations. These statements are designed to be uplifting and inspiring. They’re also timeless: even if the organization changes its strategy, the vision will often stay the same.
Mission – A mission is an external view of what the club considers its priorities or goals. The mission is extremely important in communicating the importance and the services of the club. The mission may be used in marketing strategies to give details about what your club holds to be its strongest values. Mission statements define the organization’s purpose and primary objectives. These statements are set in the present tense, and they explain why you exist as a club, both to members of the organization and to people outside it. Mission statements tend to be short, clear and powerful.
Goals and Values – Before you can engage members, your club needs to have a set of goals and values for which it stands in order to clearly articulate to potential members what the purpose of your club is. Developing long and short term plans helps to keep your club centered and prepared for the entrance of new members. Showing potential members your club’s goals and values will increase your retention efforts. Seek feedback from members following projects to determine areas in need of improvement.
TOOLS for BUILDING MEMBERSHIP: Recruitment
- Be visible
- Be proactive
- Be gracious
NUTS & BOLTS: Engaging Members –Membership is the responsibility of every member, not just the Vice President in charge of membership.
- Who is an engaged member?
- How do we keep members engaged?
NUTS & BOLTS: Retention
When does membership retention start?
- The day a member joins.
- Largest majority of non-renewals come from first year members.
- Loss rate can be as high as 50 percent.
What is the reality?
- It is cheaper to retain a member than to recruit a new member.
- Education is vital to retention.
- When a member is lost, two must be recruited to grow.
- When a member is retained, new growth occurs with every new recruit.
How do you keep new member recruits beyond the first year?
- Respond and welcome promptly.
- Demonstrate personal interest.
- Offer high-quality continuing programs and education.
- Provide up-to-date resources.
- Members’ needs change; so does the need for ongoing research to evaluate a clubs’ projects.
The above outline provides a few topics contained in Membership Guide a/k/a the Membership Toolbox – download the entire guide for more detailed information and let’s get to work!
Hard work pays off – Awards and Recognition
Clubs should report their membership efforts for both statistical purposes and for recognition of the dedicated work put forth in this category.
GFWC Club and District Grants
Grants are available from GFWC to clubs to assist with recruitment efforts and to districts to assist with club building efforts. Funds are designated each GFWC fiscal year beginning July 1 and ending June 30 to help underwrite membership recruiting and rebuilding in your community. GFWC offers $50 for club member recruitment programs and $100 for district new club building programs. To apply for a club membership grant, please visit http://www.GFWC.org/Membership, e-mail GFWC@GFWC.org, or contact 202-347-3168. Please note that you must return the application form to GFWC Headquarters at least 45 days prior to your event. While a GFWC club or district may submit grant applications for separate events, GFWC will award a maximum of one grant per club/district per GFWC fiscal year.
There are many tools available to promote the value of GFWC/GFWC Georgia clubs. Please visit our Tools for Success page here for more forms and useful guidelines.
Join GFWC’S Seasonal Recruitment Campaign: GFWC’s “United by Our Diversity” Recruitment Campaign
To submit the names of those successfully recruited during your membership campaigns, please complete the GFWC Seasonal Recruitment Campaign Report Form and return it to GFWC Headquarters by the deadlines noted.
- Summer – “Retention” June, July, August (Report Due September 1)
- Fall – “Recruitment” September, October, and November (Report Due December 1)
- Winter – “Mentoring” December, January, and February (Report Due March 1)
- Spring – “Recognition” March, April and May (Report Due June 1)
Clubs achieving and reporting three new members as a result of their seasonal recruiting efforts will be recognized in GFWC Clubwoman Magazine.
Check out GFWC GA’s Day of Service Event Page and join us this year!