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We have already started to receive blogs from Clubs who have held successful events during Membership Month 2017, which you can read below. We wish you all the best with converting your “leads” into Members:
We contacted Clubs who had amazing results from their Membership Drive in 2016, and four Clubs each provided us with a blog detailing how they did it. Their blogs can be access below and may provide useful tips and definitely inspiration to other Clubs who are deciding what to do to increase their Membership:
We receiving some great photographs of Clubs’ Membership Month events, and have created an album on Flickr for them, which you can view below for inspiration:May 2016 was the first SIGBI-led “Membership Month”. A survey of Clubs which was subsequently carried out produced some good initiatives for holding recruitment events, which should give you ideas and inspiration for your recruitment events.
We held an open meeting with an interesting speaker. We visited local women, business premises in the surrounding areas to hand out invitations to our event. Members were also encouraged to bring along guests. We had members on hand to answer any questions whilst having a cuppa with guests, very relaxed and informal.
We contacted everyone afterwards to see what they had enjoyed about the visit and if they wished to attend a Club meeting. Several prospective Members took up this invitation and after some time where they got to know our organisation more, we spoke with them to see if they were interested in becoming Members.
We were very successful in recruiting 5 new Members from this event.
Where did they come from and what are the lessons we can share?
Our new Members come from a variety of sources. Most were introduced by word of mouth. It’s important that we all talk about being a Soroptimist so that the women we meet in our daily lives become familiar with the SI goals and values. Millie said that she “was excited and impressed to learn from her friend about SI and its work at local, national and international level to transform the lives of women and girls”.
One or two others were introduced via the website. Carol was looking for something fulfilling to do now that she’s retired. She said that “she was excited to find out about Soroptimism online”. This led her to the club’s website which “confirmed that this was the organisation I had been looking for where I could meet likeminded women and become involved in worthwhile projects”.
One new Member transferred from another SIGBI Club in a different area. Jane said that “it was an instant way to make new friends who share the same ideals”.
Two more new Members were “returners” who’d been SIGBI Soroptimists previously in SI Nigeria and SI Bebington.
And there’s an element of happenchance in how our new Members come to join us. Sue comes from South Africa where her parents still live. They heard Soroptimist mentioned on the radio and recommended it to her. Sue looked the Canterbury Club up on the website and learned of the friendship link with SI Cape of Good Hope, which sealed the deal for her.
We have learned that prospective Members appreciate:
Canterbury has developed a New Member’s Checklist which lists the things to be done by each officer and includes following up every woman who has made enquiries.
We have held a specific recruitment evening that we advertised in the press and through fliers and when each Member endeavoured to bring a potential Member with them. We served wine and nibbles and the president gave a short power point presentation about Soroptimists. From this chatty, social and informative evening we did recruit a few new members.
An idea was put forward to invite a group of potential Members and bring them all in at the same time. Since we normally take in just 1 or 2 at a time, there were a few concerns about this approach e.g. changing the tone of the club etc but as EMO I thought that the club needed not just more members but an injection of new blood and energy. Members were asked to submit names and a group of 12 ladies was invited to brunch. Since they could not all attend on the same day, two similar events were held.
They were warmly greeted and well fed! There was a lot of casual conversation and jokes and a little taste of Soroptimist followed….all informal. We also invited the new Members to come up with ideas for a project to work on as a group – to educate, empower and enable women/girls. The idea was to make them immediately feel useful and by working together we thought it would be a way for them to bond. This led to a lot of discussion regarding their interests and what they were passionate about. The project will be guided by two Club Members.
A power point presentation followed – showing Club projects and fun pictures from Christmas and other events.
The potential Members were invited to a business meeting. Five of them offered apologies because arrangements for children had not yet been put in place or because of work issues. Two attended and are quite keen. Two others attended a social put on for the visit of Federation President Jenny Vince. They are also very keen.
This approach has yielded positive results and we expect to have at least 6 new Members inducted by year end with a few more in the next year.
An active programme which is open to guests means we haven’t needed a membership event. Every event is a membership event including our business meetings. Our club invites prospective Members to attend our meetings in order to understand better what we do. This includes speaker meetings business meetings and social events including local events we participate in.
Our Communication Officer writes a monthly report for the Cockermouth Post and Keswick Reminder.
One Member updates our Facebook page on a daily basis. The local reporter checks it and requests photos and articles guaranteeing almost weekly publicity https://www.facebook.com/cockermouthsoroptimists.
Another Member ensures the website is current https://www.facebook.com/cockermouthsoroptimists.
We have had steady recruitment, 3 in the last year and 3 more visitors this year, all in their 40’s.
We find that fun active events like the Tiger Boats draws younger Members in.
We have Members in every age group from 20’s to 80’s apart from 30’s.
We have brought a paper to the Club looking at different sorts of membership.
Ensure that all Members, especially new ones, get involved in our projects. New Members have taken a lead on a number of projects recently – with support from ‘older’ Members.
We are hoping to target an activity for IWD in March at a large employer which will be part of their women’s network activity and open to all employees. This will expose us to a different and wider group of women.
Considering a Freshers event next Autumn – with help from our youngest Member who attends the local University.
We are planning a recruitment evening by inviting named personnel from Solicitors, Accountants, Schools, Hospitals and local business by letter. We will probably produce posters and place an advertisement in the local press. The evening will be informal offering possibly a glass of wine and something to eat. The venue maybe different from our usual meeting place.
The evening will show the programme action work that the Club does and Members will be on hand to talk to possible interested ladies. The evening is in its infancy yet and nothing is cast in stone. We are still discussing various ideas and taking advice from Clubs who have been successful in this regard.
We are still in the planning stage but in order to flag up the Programme Action campaigning and practical support that we give to Violence Against Women, we’re planning a Study (half) Day on Sat.14th May. We feel we are more likely to attract women who are normally too busy with families etc in the weekday evenings. We would offer it as partnership working with like minded orgs as well as at individuals. We have a major International Women’s Day event in Cambridge on 5 March and would push it hard then with flyers etc.
I targeted the Chamber of Commerce, hoping that this group of professional women would be interested in joining Soroptimists. Many were interested, but had family and business commitments and would consider joining in the future.
Targeting the County Council was an opportunity to speak to elected Members and staff/employees. This generated a lot of interest; we have several potential Members attending as guests.