GRowan Pains: Successfully Recruiting and Retaining Members [National Conference Recap]

Rowan University Chapter Development Session presenters. Photo courtesy of Nicolette Giordano.
Rowan University Chapter Development Session presenters. Photo courtesy of Nicolette Giordano.

Session: “GRowan Pains: Successfully Recruit and Retain Chapter Members”

Presenter: Rowan University

Recap: Rowan University used videos and skits to show the importance of retaining and growing your Chapter. Chapter leaders should reduce friction between current members to help retain new members. If new members see tension between current members, it will scare them away. Do some research on what your university thinks of your organization and confront those speculations. Reach out to majors outside of public relations, such as marketing, journalism and communication studies.

Raising awareness of your organization can help to successfully recruit new members. Establish partnerships with other organizations on campus. Utilize orientation, classroom visits and university events to promote the organization. Refer to the Fundraising Bowl Playbook for ideas on fundraising events. First, find a message about your Chapter worth listening to. Find out what your members want. Then you can use awareness tools to recruit and retain.


  •      Reduce friction. Ask your members what they want out of the organization. Make any changes necessary to include new members and make them feel comfortable.
  •      Promote yourself. Make your Chapter visible on campus. Choose a message to establish the organization and spread that message on your campus.
  •      Demonstrate your value. Give students a reason to join. Create a message worth listening to and raise awareness of the benefits of the organization.

Brooke Burlingame is a junior studying public relations at Northern Michigan University where she works in the campus’s marketing and communications office. She hopes to work with social media and photography once she graduates. Follow Brooke on Twitter @bburling96.

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