Growing Your Membership: In a Nutshell

Last Updated: June 25, 2010

This article appeared in the June 2010 Rural Policy Matters.

The RPM summary of how to create a successful membership drive, based on a June 2010 presentation by the Rural Community Alliance. (Read the full article here)
  • Articulate a worthy cause that people care about. The Rural Community Alliance is committed to keeping schools and school governance in rural communities and to improving educational and life opportunities for all citizens.
  • Give new members something worthwhile to do and ways to shape and take ownership of the overall work. The local chapter structure of the Rural Community Alliance helps members begin work immediately in their own communities and it connects members to the statewide organization. Trainings, publications, and statewide meetings help members be successful. All members can help shape and implement the organization’s statewide agenda.
  • When conducting a drive, give everyone involved clear responsibilities. The Alliance made contact assignments and set individual membership goals.
  • Identify the strategies that will improve the likelihood of success. The Alliance decided to grow their membership from within by reaching out to people whom members already knew.
  • Make it fun. The Alliance created friendly competition to see who could enlist the most new members.
  • Provide support and accountability. Email bulletins and weekly check-in helped the Alliance support everyone involved in the drive.
  • Celebrate your success: you’ve got a great organization that people want to be part of. The Alliance provided a prize and recognition to the chapter leader who enlisted the most new members and shared their successes through their website and newsletters.

Read more from the June 2010 Rural Policy Matters.

Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters

Related Tags: Community Organizing