Your recruitment efforts are paying off. That’s awesome! You have new people attending and a breath of fresh air to your meetings. Maybe you even have a few new members who are interested in leadership roles or whom have resources to offer and share.

Welcoming New Members

The trick to new members is engagement right away. A recent article posted by Associations Now discusses the California Dental Association’s  “member concierge” and their tricks for engagement right off the bat. Check out the article here.

In this example, new members get phone calls in the first week of their membership from a representative of the CDA. Those initial calls are welcoming as well as information seeking, and the caller is able to enter information not necessarily gathered during the recruitment process. Those calls are followed up with E-mails, and the “member concierge” shares highlights of those conversations with the association’s staff.

This is A LOT to ask of a small staff association. As run by the CDA, the “member concierge” is practically a full time job. Since small staffs usually don’t have the resources to hire another person, how can those “personal touch” responsibilities be rolled into already-established staff or membership positions?

If you’re rolling in “greeting duty” to existing paid association staff, take it slow. Don’t feel like you need to contact every new member in one day, or send out all the E-mails at once. Maybe take 10 minutes out of your lunch break daily to make those calls instead of overwhelming yourself with an hours-long commitment.

If you’re adding “welcome wagon” to a volunteer position, it might be a good idea to split it up. If you have two or three willing volunteers, why not split up the roster of new members? Or perhaps it would make more sense to divide up the greetings into stages? One volunteer makes the initial call, another volunteer follows up with an E-mail, and so on. That way the new member would have two potential contacts when they’re ready and able to engage.

Remember that personal touch will go a long way in solidifying relationships. Chances are, new members are super excited about the association when they join, but their interest can decrease quickly once life gets in the way. Strike while the iron is hot!