So you’ve started your Club, and you’ve got your official status. But how do you get more students involved and excited to make a change?
Best Methods to Recruit
- Reach out to people personally! Even if you only have 5 people in your club right now, if everyone talks to 5 other people and gets them to join, you’ll have 25 members! Talk to people in person. Let them know what your club is about—your passion and energy can really show through and inspire them!
- Recruit people with specific talents. People are more likely to get involved if they feel needed or have a specific role. Go to club meetings and reach out to students with different viewpoints: student government, athletes, students from different backgrounds, artists, and so on. Even if they don’t all join as individuals, you’ll develop connections and help build a stronger community that might come in handy for future projects.
- Give people opportunities for different levels of involvement. Some people might want to be leaders, and some might be really busy and can’t be involved in all the planning. You can still get them to commit and show up for certain events. You can also set up different committees (for different projects or for publicity, etc.) that people can get involved in. That way, they can take on more or only get involved in the stuff they’re interested in.
- Set up a table where you can hand out flyers and talk to people. Find someone who has artistic skills and make a banner for the table. You might also want to offer free stuff, like snacks, to attract people to your table.
- Put up flyers advertising your new club.
- Put an ad in the campus newspaper.
- Make an announcement over the school PA system and in classrooms before classes start.
- Host a fun event like a kickball game or pizza party! Whatever you can do to get a bunch of people together and then talk about the goals of your Club!
How to Retain Members
So you had 50 members at the beginning of the school year, but the numbers have dropped. How do you make sure people keep coming back?
- Set rules and guidelines for membership at the beginning of the school year so that everyone knows what’s expected of them.
- Make sure you have a meeting time that works for most people. If you can't find a meeting time that works for everyone, then you can try having more frequent meetings at different times. This way everyone will have the opportunity to stay engaged and active!
- Follow up regularly with people after meetings and projects to see how they’re feeling. Some people might not come anymore because they feel like they don’t have a say in the club or want to do different projects. Make sure that people’s opinions are heard and respected.
- Schedule social time outside of meetings and projects to help strengthen connections in your club. People who don’t have as many friends in the club might feel shy, so help build friendships by going out for ice cream after an event, for example. Giving yourselves outside time to goof around can also help make the meetings more efficient.
- Offer incentives like free food at the meetings or recognize a volunteer of the month.
- Structure your meetings to make them most efficient for people. For example, if there are a lot of people in your club and only some of them are involved in most of the planning, you can have separate meetings for the planners. That way, other people don’t have to spend time talking about details they don’t know anything about.