From J. Michael Allen
Instead of having the President or Program Chair introduce all the speakers at your meetings, rotate that role among some of your newer Members. It gives them a fairly non-threatening way to get involved and to get some recognition.
Instead of listing your Members alphabetically in a directory or in your Club bulletin, list them in order of their length of membership in the Club
Remember that your retention rate is also one of your most important tools for recruiting new Members. A high (and growing) retention rate tells prospects that membership in your Club is so valuable that Members don't want to leave.
One reason people hesitate to get involved in organizations is the fear that once they agree to serve in a volunteer role they'll be committed for a long period of time. To get more Members involved, create jobs that have a limited time commitment. Task forces, rather than committees, are designed to be disbanded once their task is complete.
Remember that your retention rate is also one of your most important tools for recruiting new Members. A high (and growing) retention rate is a great testimonial. It tells prospects that membership in your Club is so valuable that Members keep coming back year after year.
Pre-assign some of your officers and leaders to sit next to new Members at your meetings. Too often the leaders of the Club spend their time talking just to their friends or other leaders. Ask them to spend some time with new Members. It could make a difference.
Consider asking some of your newer Members to serve as "greeters" at your next meeting. It is a non-threatening way for these new Members to meet others and to feel more a part of the Club.
When recruiting new Members, identify why they joined - what specific program or service attracted them to your Club. Take note of that and contact the Members during the year when something in their specific area of interest is coming up. It shows you paid attention when they joined.
Look for ways to get your members involved in member retention. Sometimes it's easier to ask a member to stay than it is to ask someone to join. Keep the "member" in membership.
Pay attention to "milestone Members" - Members who are reaching milestone anniversaries with the Club, like their 5th, 10th, 20th, etc. Recognize these Members publicly. It will impress other Members and send the signal that when they reach these milestones they will get similar recognition.
At the end of a specified period of time (i.e., six months after a Member joins) send a "How Are We Doing?" survey. Find out if your Club is meeting new Members' expectations before they start getting dues notices.
As Club President, contact first-year Members when it comes time to pay dues for the next year. Tell them how glad the Club is to have them and how much their contributions during the first year have meant to the Club.
Put together a list of your Club's "Most Wanted" delinquent or recently dropped Members. Bring the list to a Board meeting and ask the leaders to make personal appeals to these people to ask them to reconsider and join for another year.