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02/19/2009Jack Smith, Doug Hilton, Mary Wade & Chris Ramsey 1 RETAINING MEMBERS “Winter School 2009” Tennessee Master Gardeners Lebanon, Tennessee Jack.

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Presentation on theme: "02/19/2009Jack Smith, Doug Hilton, Mary Wade & Chris Ramsey 1 RETAINING MEMBERS “Winter School 2009” Tennessee Master Gardeners Lebanon, Tennessee Jack."— Presentation transcript:

1 02/19/2009Jack Smith, Doug Hilton, Mary Wade & Chris Ramsey 1 RETAINING MEMBERS “Winter School 2009” Tennessee Master Gardeners Lebanon, Tennessee Jack Smith - Certified Master Gardeners - Doug Hilton Mary Wade -- Extension Agents -- Chris Ramsey Mary Wade -- Extension Agents -- Chris Ramsey

2 02/19/2009Jack Smith, Doug Hilton, Mary Wade & Chris Ramsey 2 Retaining Members Retention of members in your organization can be briefly described as “having something for people to do”. Retention of members in your organization can be briefly described as “having something for people to do”.

3 02/19/2009Jack Smith, Doug Hilton, Mary Wade & Chris Ramsey 3 Retaining Members It can become more complicated than just keeping people busy. The following information attempts to give a breakdown of some of those problems that arise and to give some suggestions to prevent or solve them before or after they occur. It can become more complicated than just keeping people busy. The following information attempts to give a breakdown of some of those problems that arise and to give some suggestions to prevent or solve them before or after they occur.

4 02/19/2009Jack Smith, Doug Hilton, Mary Wade & Chris Ramsey 4 Retaining Members Projects Projects Members will be lost if they do not have projects they can be involved with. Members will be lost if they do not have projects they can be involved with. Engage members by asking them to do specific things that have a beginning and an end. Engage members by asking them to do specific things that have a beginning and an end.

5 02/19/2009Jack Smith, Doug Hilton, Mary Wade & Chris Ramsey 5 Retaining Members Projects -- Con’t Projects -- Con’t If you ask a member to do a volunteer job, make sure it’s a worthwhile job. If you ask a member to do a volunteer job, make sure it’s a worthwhile job. Never allow people to feel that you wasted their time or that they weren’t really needed. Never allow people to feel that you wasted their time or that they weren’t really needed.

6 02/19/2009Jack Smith, Doug Hilton, Mary Wade & Chris Ramsey 6 Retaining Members Recognition Recognition Thank members for their support and let NO good deed, no matter how small, go unrecognized. Thank members for their support and let NO good deed, no matter how small, go unrecognized. Public recognition for those members who show up and do the association’s work is the best way to retain their interest and commitment. Public recognition for those members who show up and do the association’s work is the best way to retain their interest and commitment.

7 02/19/2009Jack Smith, Doug Hilton, Mary Wade & Chris Ramsey 7 Retaining Members Recognition – Con’t Recognition – Con’t Pay attention to “milestone members” and acknowledge their 1st, 5th, 10th, & 25th anniversary as members and list them on your website or in your newsletter and thank them for their service. Pay attention to “milestone members” and acknowledge their 1st, 5th, 10th, & 25th anniversary as members and list them on your website or in your newsletter and thank them for their service.

8 02/19/2009Jack Smith, Doug Hilton, Mary Wade & Chris Ramsey 8 Retaining Members Recognition – Con’t Recognition – Con’t Contact people immediately after they join and welcome them to the organization. Contact people immediately after they join and welcome them to the organization. Recognize new members at meetings and by publishing their names in your newsletter. Recognize new members at meetings and by publishing their names in your newsletter. Recognize members for their accomplishments through local and state awards. Recognize members for their accomplishments through local and state awards.

9 02/19/2009Jack Smith, Doug Hilton, Mary Wade & Chris Ramsey 9 Retaining Members Recognition – Con’t Recognition – Con’t Ask new members for their ideas – they may have some fresh exciting thoughts and asking for their input will show you are interested in their opinions Ask new members for their ideas – they may have some fresh exciting thoughts and asking for their input will show you are interested in their opinions

10 02/19/2009Jack Smith, Doug Hilton, Mary Wade & Chris Ramsey 10 Retaining Members Meetings Meetings Keep your monthly meetings short to retain the interest of those who attend. Keep your monthly meetings short to retain the interest of those who attend. Make sure you have a meeting time that works for most people. Make sure you have a meeting time that works for most people. Don’t let activities become stale. Don’t let activities become stale.

11 02/19/2009Jack Smith, Doug Hilton, Mary Wade & Chris Ramsey 11 Retaining Members Meetings – Con’t Meetings – Con’t You will lose members if they feel they are getting nothing out of the meetings. You will lose members if they feel they are getting nothing out of the meetings. Leaders should spend time talking with members and getting to know them. Leaders should spend time talking with members and getting to know them.

12 02/19/2009Jack Smith, Doug Hilton, Mary Wade & Chris Ramsey 12 Retaining Members Communication Communication Communicate the successes of your association frequently to all members. Communicate the successes of your association frequently to all members. Take advantage of as a fast, inexpensive way to communicate frequently with your members and collect addresses regularly. Take advantage of as a fast, inexpensive way to communicate frequently with your members and collect addresses regularly. After an activity send a note to those who didn’t attend saying “Here’s what you missed”. After an activity send a note to those who didn’t attend saying “Here’s what you missed”.

13 02/19/2009Jack Smith, Doug Hilton, Mary Wade & Chris Ramsey 13 Retaining Members Communication – Con’t Communication – Con’t When important issues arise, call or some of your least active members and ask their opinion. When important issues arise, call or some of your least active members and ask their opinion. Members may not renew due to a lack of communication. Members may not renew due to a lack of communication. Encourage membership renewals. Encourage membership renewals.

14 02/19/2009Jack Smith, Doug Hilton, Mary Wade & Chris Ramsey 14 Retaining Members Evaluation Evaluation Evaluate your membership plan regularly and discard things that don’t work. Evaluate your membership plan regularly and discard things that don’t work. Conduct exit interviews with dropped members to learn why they are not renewing their memberships. Conduct exit interviews with dropped members to learn why they are not renewing their memberships. At least once every year or two, you might send out a survey questionaire to every member with specific items on which you want feedback. At least once every year or two, you might send out a survey questionaire to every member with specific items on which you want feedback.

15 02/19/2009Jack Smith, Doug Hilton, Mary Wade & Chris Ramsey 15 Retaining Members Evaluation – Con’t Evaluation – Con’t Periodically survey your membership about program preferences by mail, or phone. Periodically survey your membership about program preferences by mail, or phone. is a quick way of sending mini- surveys of important questions and issues as they arise. is a quick way of sending mini- surveys of important questions and issues as they arise.

16 02/19/2009Jack Smith, Doug Hilton, Mary Wade & Chris Ramsey 16 Retaining Members Involvement Involvement People are more likely to get involved if they feel needed or have a specific role. People are more likely to get involved if they feel needed or have a specific role. Some people might not come anymore because they feel like they don’t have a say in the organization or want to do different projects. Make sure people’s opinions are heard and respected. Some people might not come anymore because they feel like they don’t have a say in the organization or want to do different projects. Make sure people’s opinions are heard and respected.

17 02/19/2009Jack Smith, Doug Hilton, Mary Wade & Chris Ramsey 17 Retaining Members Involvement – Con’t Involvement – Con’t Without specific-short and long term activities which encourage and require membership involvement, people will simply not remain members of your organization. Without specific-short and long term activities which encourage and require membership involvement, people will simply not remain members of your organization. Members leave when they feel useless or frustrated. Members leave when they feel useless or frustrated.

18 02/19/2009Jack Smith, Doug Hilton, Mary Wade & Chris Ramsey 18 Retaining Members Mentoring Mentoring Establish a member-mentoring plan by assigning new members to current members. Establish a member-mentoring plan by assigning new members to current members. Assign a host/hostess to each new member for a few meetings, so that he/she has someone to sit with. Assign a host/hostess to each new member for a few meetings, so that he/she has someone to sit with. Have new members serve as greeters during a meeting so they can get to know all the members. Have new members serve as greeters during a meeting so they can get to know all the members.

19 02/19/2009Jack Smith, Doug Hilton, Mary Wade & Chris Ramsey 19 Retaining Members General General Membership growth is easiest if you can keep your current members! Membership growth is easiest if you can keep your current members! Keep records of activities and results to assist planning for subsequent years. Keep records of activities and results to assist planning for subsequent years.

20 02/19/2009Jack Smith, Doug Hilton, Mary Wade & Chris Ramsey 20 Retaining Members General – Con’t General – Con’t Send member profile forms to new members to gain information. Send member profile forms to new members to gain information. There are only two forms of currency that we can use to pay our members: Recognition and Tradition! There are only two forms of currency that we can use to pay our members: Recognition and Tradition!

21 02/19/2009Jack Smith, Doug Hilton, Mary Wade & Chris Ramsey 21 Retaining Members General – Con’t General – Con’t Look for any opportunity to recognize any member’s contribution. Create a tradition in your organization and recognize those that uphold that tradition. Look for any opportunity to recognize any member’s contribution. Create a tradition in your organization and recognize those that uphold that tradition. Remember that the best time to retain members is BEFORE they show signs of dissatisfaction. Remember that the best time to retain members is BEFORE they show signs of dissatisfaction.

22 02/19/2009Jack Smith, Doug Hilton, Mary Wade & Chris Ramsey 22 Retaining Members General – Con’t General – Con’t If members start missing meetings give them a call to find out why before it becomes a chronic situation. If members start missing meetings give them a call to find out why before it becomes a chronic situation. IF you do not manage your members well, you will soon have to recruit new members. IF you do not manage your members well, you will soon have to recruit new members. Organize social events for members such as picnics, parties and outings. Organize social events for members such as picnics, parties and outings.

23 02/19/2009Jack Smith, Doug Hilton, Mary Wade & Chris Ramsey 23 Retaining Members Why Members Leave Why Members Leave There were some minor/major disagreements within the organization. There were some minor/major disagreements within the organization. The group made decisions that they couldn’t agree to support. The group made decisions that they couldn’t agree to support. They may have left due to not being elected to an office, or getting the committee appointment they wanted, or otherwise didn’t get their way. They may have left due to not being elected to an office, or getting the committee appointment they wanted, or otherwise didn’t get their way.

24 02/19/2009Jack Smith, Doug Hilton, Mary Wade & Chris Ramsey 24 Retaining Members Why Members Leave – Con’t Why Members Leave – Con’t They did not renew because they thought meetings were chaotic or boring. They did not renew because they thought meetings were chaotic or boring. Meetings were to long. Meetings were to long. Members do little other than listen to leaders talk. Members do little other than listen to leaders talk. They complained but no one paid attention. They complained but no one paid attention.

25 02/19/2009Jack Smith, Doug Hilton, Mary Wade & Chris Ramsey 25 Retaining Members Why Members Leave – Con’t Why Members Leave – Con’t Actions of the Executive Committee were not explained. Actions of the Executive Committee were not explained. The group didn’t seem able to accomplish its stated purposes. The group didn’t seem able to accomplish its stated purposes. The group didn’t meet their needs or measure up to their expectations. The group didn’t meet their needs or measure up to their expectations.

26 02/19/2009Jack Smith, Doug Hilton, Mary Wade & Chris Ramsey 26 Retaining Members Why Members Leave – Con’t Why Members Leave – Con’t Members felt they could not achieve required volunteer hours. Members felt they could not achieve required volunteer hours. No one asked them to be involved, or they didn’t become involved. No one asked them to be involved, or they didn’t become involved. Did not receive the degree of prestige or status from their involvement. Did not receive the degree of prestige or status from their involvement.

27 02/19/2009Jack Smith, Doug Hilton, Mary Wade & Chris Ramsey 27 Retaining Members Why Members Leave – Con’t Why Members Leave – Con’t They did not renew because they felt slighted by the leadership They did not renew because they felt slighted by the leadership A small clique has all the power and does not encourage others to get involved. A small clique has all the power and does not encourage others to get involved. Members may not renew membership because no one asked them to renew. Members may not renew membership because no one asked them to renew. After not renewing their membership no one followed up and asked why. After not renewing their membership no one followed up and asked why. THEY FEEL BURNED OUT! THEY FEEL BURNED OUT!


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