2019-2020 National Membership Ambassador
Invite Include Invest
YOU, as a member of the VFW Auxiliary, can make a difference. Imagine what a half million members who are committed to help veterans and their communities can do when we work together. If our half a million members “Get their ASK in Gear” and invite someone who is eligible to join our TEAM, we’d be one million strong!
Let’s work together as a TEAM to make this organization even greater and stronger by Inviting and Including members. You are Investing in your Auxiliary’s success and future when this is done. Remember, membership is everyone’s job, not just the Membership Chairman’s. We should all be enthusiastic when talking about the Auxiliary and its great programs.
One of the most critical aspects of any membership program is new member orientation. New members need to know that their Auxiliary is active and interested in them. Below are seven ways to make new members feel welcome:
- Send a welcome letter to let the new member know that his/her membership is appreciated.
- Provide the new member with local contacts if he/she is new in the area and notify him/her of upcoming activities at the unit, district and department levels.
- Add new member names to your mailing list so that they will receive regular unit publications.
- Match each new member with a mentor.
- Create a packet of information for new members highlighting unit activities and introducing your officers and committees. Include with your welcome letter items such as a list of committees and chairmen, a calendar of events and volunteer opportunities, a recent newsletter, and facts about the Auxiliary.
- Have designated greeters at every meeting; outgoing people who volunteer to chat with people as they arrive.
- Take the first five minutes of every meeting to have the audience introduce themselves to someone they have not met.
Visit the Membership Recruitment & Retention Resources page of the National website for materials you may want include in a membership engagement packet.
Why do members leave and not renew? Members leave because they are not involved, not aware, not educated about the Auxiliary’s mission, goals and activities; and/or they are excluded from decision-making. Include members by making them feel welcome, providing meaningful opportunities to contribute, involving them in decision making, using their skills and talents, and by valuing their contributions. Make them feel they are part of the TEAM!
Here’s five ways to reach out and renew members:
- Host a membership sale for renewals and new members where dues are a few dollars or two cheaper. Who doesn’t love a sale?
- Ask the Auxiliary to co-sponsor a two for one sale. Sign up a new Auxiliary member and the Auxiliary member gets a discounted rate as a thank you for the new member!
- Take your membership roster and divide the list of non-renewals among several people.
- Make a personal phone call to those members who have not renewed.
- Take some time to speak with them and see how they are doing.
- Be sure to invite them to your next meeting. (They may not even know when that is.)
- Offer to stop by their house to pick up the check for the renewal.
- Drop off a membership application and ask the member to pass the application on to a family member or friend.
- Ask the Post Quartermaster for a copy of their roster to contact Post family members.
- Nurture the needs of the younger members in the Auxiliary (i.e. if possible offer child care so members can attend a meeting).
- Contact all members at least once a year for something other than money or dues.
Will your Department reach 95% by November 30?
There are several Departments on track to achieve 95% in membership by this date. A reminder of what you are working toward:
- Department Award #1 for 95%+ membership by 11/30/19 = $500
- Department Award #2 for 100% Plus membership by 1/31/20 = $500. The Department will also be reimbursed the cost of the banquet ticket at the 2020 Mid-Year Conference for the Department reaching 100% Plus in Membership
- Department Award #3: The Department with the highest increase in membership (based on June 30, 2019 membership statistics) will receive premium seating at the 2020 Celebrating America’s Freedom Event at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.
- Department Award #4: Any Department not attaining 100% Plus by January 31, 2020 is eligible for $100 for the Department if 100% Plus is attained by May 31, 2020.
Attention ALL Auxiliaries: 50/50 Award!
$50 to each Auxiliary that reaches 95% by November 30, 2019, and $50 to each Auxiliary that reaches 100% Plus by January 31, 2020, based on the June 30, 2019, total membership numbers.
Do you have any S.W.A.P. stories? Share Wonderful Auxiliary Projects/Programs … recruiting events, new member orientation, members working together. Sharing our success stories may help or trigger more ideas for other Auxiliaries to try. That’s Teamwork!
Membership Matters TEAM!