Membership Retention Tips
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Always make it a point to contact the new member before each council meeting and bring him to a meeting if necessary. If the new member becomes inactive in council activities, try to find out why. Call and ask to visit with him. Explain your concern about his absence and offer support or assistance. If the Knight becomes in danger of being suspended, his proposer should work with the retention committee to find out the reasons for his lapsed interest and to work to conserve his membership. With a little personal effort you can help guarantee that your recruit becomes not only an active member of the Knights of Columbus, but a member for life.
Establishing caring and concerned relationships among council membership will encourage your members to participate in council activities. By showing interest in new and old members alike, your council will confirm its commitment to members and will increase their willingness to assist in programs. Main reasons that members drop out are feeling neglected, unmet expectations and lack of communication.
Establish a retention committee to examine reasons why Knights become inactive and let their membership lapse. This committee plans programs to conserve the council’s membership and anticipate and solve problems that may cause membership suspensions. The deputy grand knight should be named to the position of retention chairman and his committee be composed of the council’s trustees.After discovering problems, the committee should work with council officers to remedy them.
Each committee member should have nine or ten members who are not very active. They should contact three each month. This would mean four contacts with a member each year. Call or visit to say happy birthday, Merry Christmas, Happy Easter, anniversary of First Degree and specially to invite them to help with an event such as the council Special Needs Campaign, Wheelchair for Veterans Campaign, Easter Lily Sales and Poinsettia Sales – these only require about ten minutes after Mass.
Marked decline in meeting attendance and committee involvement among formerly active members is a sign of lost interest. Although these members may have compelling reasons for reducing the amount of time they give, do not give up on them. Handle such members with tact and consideration. Make missing members feel valued and needed by asking them to take on a task that “only they can do,” one which their experience truly counts. Ask them to give just a small amount of their time to one particular project. Explain that their contribution is very important. Take time to say thanks. Honor members with a luncheon, ceremony, award or certificate in recognition of their years of involvement and service.
Keep council meetings interesting and relevant. If a member asks himself, “Why am I here?” then something is wrong. Start meetings on time and keep discussions, comments, etc., within proper limits. The grand knight should refer any nonessential matters to the appropriate committees. Hold meetings on a night convenient to most members. Allow all members to voice their opinions in an orderly way and try to keep meetings open and relaxed.
The financial secretary should provide the retention committee with a list of members in danger of being suspended. Contact these members and discuss their reasons for being inactive. Urge them to become active again. The financial secretary can also furnish a list of suspended members. Contact former Knights who still meet membership eligibility requirements and ask them to rejoin.