Here is a list of ideas to consider implementing to increase your branch membership. These will not only bring in new members, but experience shows that this type of involvement also helps retain members. Please let us know if you have other suggestions that we can add to this list!
- Host a “bring a friend meeting”. Encourage members to bring someone.
- Reach out to former members.
- Create a branch “Business Card” so members can easily share info on your branch. Include a referral line so the member gets credit for referring someone new.
- Consider referral perks or freebies to motivate members, gift cards, a shout out during a meetings, etc.
- Host a Member Thank you meeting, maybe a brunch, picnic, or other fun gathering.
- Consider a handwritten card to a new member or thank you to the referring member.
- Establish a Welcome Committee to introduce new members and help them connect with other members of the branch.
- Get some testimonials to add to your website and social media so you can give prospective members a visual reminder of how engaged your current members are.
- Follow up with prospective members attending meetings, asking them if they want to join.
WEBSITE RECRUITMENT IDEAS
- Add a “Join Us’’ action button to a membership section of your website. Testimonials would be a good place for this section.
- Make joining online as easy as possible, helping to attract a wide range of Begoniacs. Diversification will keep membership interesting and fresh.
- Use Google Analytics or link tracking with Goo.gl or Bit.ly. These applications help you find out the most effective methods for getting new website traffic so you can double down on them.
- Member-only sections or a Facebook Group for members only can entice interest. Non-members can come across it and wonder what they’re missing out on.
- Create Member-Only Events, swaps and field trips.
- Offer free members-only workshops at meetings. Non-members can pay a small fee to cover costs. This is a great demonstration of the value of becoming a member.
- Provide a Welcome Packet for guests, mission, calendar and contact info and information about becoming a member.
- Follow-up with email or postcard or phone call thanking the guest for attending and to consider membership. Sending out a post-event survey can also help determine what prospects are looking for in branch membership.
- Make sure promotional material is available at any public event with contact information.
- Partner up with other garden branches on events to expose them of your branch offerings.
- Give a talk at other plant organizations sharing your mission and activities.
SOCIAL MEDIA RECRUITMENT IDEAS
- Create a Facebook page for your branch.
- Encourage members to share branch activities on social media.
- Create a Social Media photo release form so you can get permission to tag members in pictures. This will ensure photos show up in their friends’ feed.
TRADITIONAL MARKET RECRUITMENT IDEAS
- Create an informational brochure about your branch, include your mission and activities, as well as contact information.
- Create a flyer to post in related businesses.
- Announce meetings in local newsletters and special interest newsletters whether online or paper. Consider MeetUp or Eventbrite, SpinGo and Next Door.
- Put meetings up on community calendars. Usually this can be done quickly and easily online.
- Send media releases to newspapers when you’ve completed a project for the community.
MORE RECRUITMENT IDEAS
- Work together with other branches to increase your visibility. Consider planning a branch mixer to get to know each other.
- Put up a sign at your meeting place. It’s surprising how many people will discover your branch just simply walking or driving past a sign.
- Report membership numbers and goal process with your membership. Keep members up to date and motivate them to help.
- Create a bumper sticker! Put your name out there!
- Consider an online registration and payment method.
- Set a membership goal.
- Check with other branches to see what methods give them success.
- Track how members learn about your branch and join. You’ll be able to assess the effectiveness of your membership recruiting activities.
- Create better benefits and resources. If you can provide something special that people can’t get anywhere else, your membership will flourish.
- Focus on your existing membership. Giving them a good experience and word-of-mouth will likely increase membership.
- Offer discounts to members only