Hooking a person into active membership at or after an interaction with the organization is largely controlled within that individual. It is not within the leader’s power to make it stick with incentives; however, there are some time-tested methods that the leader can employ. These methods include:
- Setting up small group discussions for new members about the purpose of the organization. Give them printed materials to keep.
- Taking steps to be certain that new members get to know a significant number of others by name. Give them a list of individuals already in the group, with contact information, for their personal use.
- Arranging frequent, small-group informal discussions for the organization. Get away from the meeting place; hang out together at a restaurant or coffee house.
- Contact new members when they miss a meeting and say “We really missed having you there!” Never make a new member feel guilt or shame for missing a meeting.
- Assign mentors who will continually interact with a certain percentage of the individuals who are newly acquainted to the group.
- Try an all-day, half-day, or a weekend retreat with special programming for new members.
- Get new members involved in some way. We can assume new members want to get involved if they return to the meetings. They are less likely to drop out of the group if they have a personal commitment to it.
For further assistance with this or any other issue relating to your student organization, please do not hesitate to contact the Office of Student Activities and Involvement at (989) 774-3016 or visit UC 101.