“Can we join you”
The proof of the plan put in place by Ross on Wye Lions Club to recruit new members is that local people are asking how they can get involved.
“We’ve almost been startled by our success,” says Sue Wilding – who, as MD Membership Coordinator, is keen to help other clubs flourish.
“It’s important that club members have a shared desire to maintain and grow membership,” explains Sue. “With everyone’s support a small group of two or three Lions can take action, which over time will deliver results.”
Based on the experience of the Ross on Wye Lions, Sue summarises a simple plan that all clubs can adopt. It is based on three words: flexibility, visibility and tenacity.
BE PREPARED. Seek the views of club members on areas that need improving. Use an anonymous questionnaire available from your district membership officer to identify where changes can be made. Perhaps your meetings could be more relaxed. Members may have thoughts about different social events. Or they agree on new service project ideas that will appeal to potential members. Being open and flexible to change will help the new members you recruit to feel welcome and able to suggest new ideas of their own.
BE PROUD. Ensure your club has a strong local presence. Can you create a visual display in a local shop window to show how the club has made a difference in the community? When you take part in events, display the Lions emblem with pride. Wear branded clothing and use high profile signs with a large logo. Make sure these are visible in photographs you take to send with your stories to the media or post online.
Keep your website updated, build a relationship with local media, and create an active Facebook page. Focus on being seen in the local community. Become well known for the good work you do. Always have postcards, flyers and posters to hand out that include a contact number and email address for the club. [See PR & Marketing area on this site]
And remember to ‘sell’ Lions – support community events by taking stalls or acting as stewards. Don’t feel you have to go to great lengths to create fancy fundraisers – just promote Lions. When you meet people, talk about how your club helps others, share your personal enthusiasm for volunteering as a Lion, and ensure they realise the fun and fulfilment that membership offers.
BE PERSISTENT. Never give up. There are lots of things to try to gain new members. The district officer has a huge Membership Menu to give you ideas. Pick up the phone, send us an email, and we’ll be happy to help. We believe in you and know your club has potential to grow. It may not be easy – not everything works, and results take time to be seen. Keep trying and undoubtedly you will make a difference.