It is more than just recruiting!

Membership VP Sarah Ellis

Last month, I congratulated the chapters that reached growth for the 1st Quarter. The mechanics of membership growth are easy. We recruit new members, renew current members, and then compare numbers from the beginning of the quarter to the end of the quarter. However, growing your chapter isn’t just about looking at the numbers.

Real chapter growth is a step or two beyond the mechanics. It involves asking and answering the following questions:
• What is the progress of the chapter plan?
• Are members participating?
• Are members complaining?
• Do members seem satisfied with projects and project assignments?
• Are board members serving the members?
• Are board members promoting the ultimate goals of the chapter?

Real chapter growth has two components: the number of new members and scheduled activities and real results. The following questions should be asked and answered:

• What is the chapter’s image in the community?
• Does the community turn to the Junior Chamber for help?
• Does being a Jaycee stand the member in good stead in the eyes of the community?

Real chapter growth also involves the lasting effects involvement has had on past members. The following questions should be asked and answered:

• Did being a member of the chapter give past members the skills they needed to get a better job?
• Did their involvement make them better citizens?
• Did their involvement give them the courage to stand and be counted?
• Did their involvement give them more confidence in taking and completing tasks?
• Does the community recognize their accomplishments?
Note: True chapter growth is not a year-long goal. It is a lifetime goal for the chapter. A member’s improved standing in the community should be indicative of personal growth. After all, the Junior Chamber is all about learning and improving ourselves and our communities.

A chapter that is not healthy will not grow. Not sure how to improve the health of your chapter? Join the District Directors for their training on the habits of a healthy chapter at the Leadership Conference this weekend!  If you can’t make it to conference, reach out to your district director.
Membership Tip of the Month:

Encourage your members to enroll in the Passport to Leadership Program. This program provides a path for members to follow to learn about the Junior Chamber and experience personal growth in a logical manner. It is also a great tool for the chapter to activate new members and ensure that they have every opportunity to gain the benefits of membership.