Bring them in, and keep them coming back.

Many of you will have noticed a growing need to attract younger members to your organization. These will be the future leaders who will ensure the long-term success and growth of your society, and you want to be sure you can bring them in early so as to cultivate a rich and productive relationship over the years. However, many organizations struggle to make these connections before they’re in a crisis.

If you’re in that position, here are some actions you can take to begin connecting with younger prospects.

6 tips to help you attract younger members to your organization

  1. Show that you have value for younger members. It may be that your current organization is perfectly suited to the needs of your current membership, but it may not be providing the same value for your younger target. If bringing in new members is your top priority, make sure you have something to offer them.
  2. Make sure you can be found. This means a good website with top-level SEO, but also presence on social media. Appear in places where your younger prospective members might be looking: be on the right websites, in the right magazines, and on the right signage.
  3. Pull down barriers to entry. This means examining your dues and organizing more affordable events. Consider waiving or reducing membership dues for the first year, or holding more events with a cocktail hour and paid bar rather than full-course meals.
  4. Foster relationships with interested prospects. Have your current members formed cliques that fail to welcome new members at your events? Make sure that your membership greets each new face personally, that visitors are engaged, and that they are remembered when they come back for a second look.
  5. Invite engagement and leadership. Encourage new members to begin thinking of ways they can invest in your organization. Ask them to join in event planning and the organization of your society. Trust them with leadership roles and let them start deciding where your organization will go.
  6. Give credit where it’s due. Take time to highlight and celebrate your younger membership. After you’ve taken the time to draw them in, show them how much you value their contribution to your society. After all, they’re making your organization a better place to be.

Published 06/07/16 by Laura Lynch