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Monday, November 11, 2013

Add a member, eat ice cream

Robin Stanhope and Chris Stearns are co-chairing the PNW District Membership Committee this year and they've organized a district-wide plan for membership growth based on the model that has been used in the Twin Falls Optimist Club for the past three years. It's worked for their club, allowing it to grow from 75 members to its current status of 131 members, and earn Honor and Distinguished Club recognition along the way. Most important, the new members have brought new ideas and allowed the club members to tackle new programs for their community.

The crux of the membership program is to get everyone involved. We all have associates, friends and family that would benefit from belonging to an Optimist Club, but without extra encouragement from your club about increasing membership, we often forget to ask them to join. Through the membership plan, Robin and Chris suggest that you recruit membership chairs (yes, more than one) and then allow them to organize a friendly competition inside the club to see which group can add the most members.

The plan recommends potential target membership groupings: Torch Carriers, Business Partners, Non-English Speaking, Invitation Plan, Family Plan, Friends of Optimist, Matching Funds Members, Prospective Members and 30 under 30.

Most important, the plan also focuses on retention. When you add new members, and for those clubs who have added members recently, be sure that the new members are involved and understand the organization that they have joined. We can't grow our clubs when members are coming in the front door and going out the back door at the same time.

Finally, the co-chairs have also proposed a district competition. District leaders, including the executive committee and past governors will make up one team. Everyone else makes up the second team.

At the 4th Quarter Convention, the winning team - the one that has added the most members - will be served by the losing team during an ice cream social.

It's just about fun. And growth. And doing more things in your communities. Now go get that new member.

Read more about the membership plan here. 

Contact Robin and Chris here. 

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