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Section 1. Developing a Plan for Increasing Participation in Community Action

Example: Questions to consider when recruiting members

Once I took on the challenge of starting a student organization. I had several goals to accomplish, so I asked myself the important questions:

Why do I want or need members?

I knew I needed members because it is hard for an organization to exist without members. Second, the university had specific membership requirements for a club to be recognized and eligible for funding.

How many members do I need?

In this case it wasn't necessary for me to decide how many members I needed, because the university told me the answer to that question was ten.

What kind of members do I need?

Easy, I needed students interested in what my club was about.

Who is going to find and get them?

Since the student organization was my own idea, I realized that I would be responsible for recruiting the members--at least the first "core" members (the people who would become leaders with me). Once there were a few of us, we could all try to recruit others.

Where are new members to be found?

Since I was trying to find students at a university, I did not need to look very far. I found that putting up flyers that gave out my e-mail address proved to be very helpful.

When is a good time to look for new members?

I began looking for members soon after I decided to start the club. I decided to coordinate my efforts with an event that was happening at the university that spring.

How should I approach potential members?

I decided to put up flyers with my name, telephone number, e-mail address, information about the club, and an advertisement for the event that was going to take place.

What happens if I get a yes, maybe, or no?

I was ready with information to give anyone who answered "yes" or "maybe." Fortunately, I was blessed with "yes" several times. A few of the "yes" respondents later assumed leadership roles in the club.

What are some obstacles I may encounter?

I was ready for anything, but mainly the possibility that nobody would call or e-mail, and then I would have to take more aggressive recruiting measures. Fortunately, a few people e-mailed and called, and our group was born.

Rob Kramer