Posted by Gail Gosse on Sep 28, 2018
There was a buzz about Membership at the Zones 24/32 2018 Conference in Montreal.  Delegates know that our data shows that most Districts in North America have seen a decline in numbers. They also know we have imbalances of age, gender, and ethnicity. Themes of attracting and retaining members cropped up at many sessions.
One take-away I share is the membership session’s List of the Top 10 of Is Your Club Ready for Prime Time:
  1. Review our traditions. Are they old-fashioned and exclusive? Examples included grace and anthems.
  2. Up-date our lingo. An example is that is Sergeant-at-Arms has military overtones, might host or hospitality be fresher? Is our humor offensive or disrespectful?
  1. Use social media (in a variety of forms) to attract new members. Keep Facebook and Web Sites; add Twitter and Snapchat as they seem to be popular with younger people.
  2. Reduce costs wherever we can (about 1/3 members left due to cost). One club has three meal options at the meeting (no meal, a light meal, and the full meal). We might try not to pressure members into buying tickets. Some reduce costs for younger members. Family Memberships can help here, too.
  3. The Council on Legislation has given us the flexibility to change our styles of meeting and even have fewer meetings. We are encouraged to use it.
  4. Make it personal – acknowledge members’ birthdays, achievements, and the like. One club said they provide day care at the meetings and events.
  5. Mentorship: Too many members leave in the first few years and we should connect better with them. We heard of one club’s process for On-Boarding new members to ensure basic information and orientation are offered, and that members make connections and have fun.
  6. Meet and Don’t Repeat: Change it up. Differ the venue, the time, and the format. This keeps meetings fresh and offers a variety of options for busy people.
  7. Go Mobile: younger people use texts, not telephones.
  8. Fewer brochures and more digital media. Brochures are an older form of communication, get out of date quickly, and are not environment friendly. We are encouraged to move to digital if we want to attract younger people. Rolling pictures (carousel) of a club at work was one best practice we saw.