of the most important activities of a Chapter are recruiting and
retaining members. Continual membership growth is needed to keep a
Chapter healthy. New members bring fresh ideas and experience to the
organization, and old members ensure vitality, continuity, consistency
of purpose, organizational memory, and established leadership.
Recruitment: Below is a
list of resources Chapters may use to recruit new members:
Lists from ASA: Chapter officers can obtain a list of
current ASA members who are not members of the Chapter and reside within the
Chapter’s geographic service area at any time from the ASA website. This
resource is available to Chapter officers in the Members Only area of the ASA
website. This approach is particularly helpful if a Chapter is interested in
expanding its programs or activities.
There is a tutorial on accessing the Chapter officer tools in the Members Only area of the ASA website found on the Documentation page of the COC website.
Chapter newsletter: Many Chapters use newsletters to keep
current members informed of activities. These newsletters may be also sent to
potential members or circulated in targeted organizations to provide examples
of the Chapter’s activities.
Many chapters use the ASA Community area of the ASA website to distribute electronic newsletters to their members. If you are unfamiliar with using the ASA Community area, there is a guide located on the Documentation page of the COC website.
Chapter web site: Many Chapters maintain websites.
These serve some of the same functions as newsletters. Moreover, they reach
interested individuals who may not be known otherwise. For more information on
how ASA can assist with your chapter’s web presence visit this page of the COC
Chapter brochure: Larger Chapters often use this
technique. The brochure is published each year and contains a letter of
invitation for participation, a list of the current Chapter officers,
information about technical sessions and special meetings, and instructions for
becoming a member.
Technical programs: Chapters can use popular technical
sessions as a useful recruitment tool. Attendees can be asked to sign a roster
giving their name and address and whether or not they are a Chapter member.
Follow-up communications can be sent to those individuals who indicate that
they are not Chapter members.
Information on promoting your chapter's events can be found on this page of the COC website.
Work contacts: Chapter members can serve as liaisons
between their work site and the Chapter. In this capacity they can answer
questions about the Chapter, recruit new members, solicit comments concerning
future Chapter programs, contact interested individuals, obtain volunteers for
Chapter projects, and so forth.
University/college contacts: Individuals teaching in local
universities and colleges make excellent contact sources for new members. They
can recruit students from their classrooms, post membership applications on bulletin
boards, and invite interested individuals to Chapter seminars or sessions.
Formal invitations: Many Chapters send an invitation to
join to potential members uncovered from other sources, such as listings
provided by the ASA. Included in the package may be a schedule of Chapter
activities, a note on the history of the Chapter, and a statement of the dues
structure. This method often is very successful, particularly if additional
promotion is done through telephone or personal contact with the potential
Social functions: Chapters can sponsor social
functions, such as a picnic, and invite potential members as their guests. Long-term
members might serve as hosts at these occasions. This is useful in providing an
opportunity for potential members to meet current Chapter members.
ASA has Membership Campaigns that can help offset the costs of food and beverages for a social function.
Dues: Annual dues should be established for the Chapter that will ensure the financial stability of the Chapter and serve as a commitment by the membership to the development of the Chapter. Free membership is discouraged, as this leaves most individuals with the impression that there are no expenses in Chapter operations. The opposite is true, since dues are needed to pay for postage, copying costs, speakers, membership campaigns, and so forth. For most Chapters the annual dues are very modest. An adequate treasury permits the Chapter to subsidize such events as judging of science fairs, student awards, and career days. Some Chapters have memorial funds, established in memory of deceased members. These funds are often designated for a specific purpose, such as science fair awards, and are paid for by the interest accrued on the fund.
Rosters: Membership rosters are very helpful in Chapter recruiting and retention
efforts. Each Chapter is encouraged to keep a current list of the
addresses, emails, and telephone numbers of its members, as well as a
listing of their employer, Association membership status, and desired
Chapter interests. This roster should be updated when the annual dues
are collected. The ASA office can help make this task easier if they
collect Chapter’s dues. The roster can serve many purposes, including
creating email groups, aiding Chapter mailing efforts, and determining
organizations where large contingents of Chapter members work,
facilitating the assignment of members to Chapter committees, and
helping Chapter officers in planning interesting programs and
activities. The ASA office also finds these rosters very useful for
Chapters that do not use the ASA office to collect dues.