January 20, 2018

Overcoming challenges to club member involvement

Often times students will eagerly join your campus club or organization, but as time goes on their participation declines. Eventually you may unacceptably low attendance at your meetings and worse yet at your activities and events. If we take for granted that your meetings are not boring and that your members aren’t just lazy, it could be that circumstances for the student(s) involved may have changed. Things such as conflicts with work or class schedules, another organization they belong to meeting at the same time, financial obstacles, or an academic load that may be heavier than expected can all create challenges when it comes to meeting club obligations.

Dave Kelly, College Speaker - Overcoming the challenges that keep your members from being involved

Here are ten things you can do to communicate better, help overcome members financial obstacles, have a more flexible schedule and just make your organization more interesting than the other options.

  1. Use a list-serve or email reflector and/or Facebook page to keep members informed.
  2. Consider making use of chat rooms and Skype.
  3. Have more than one meeting per week, at a different time and day, perhaps led by the vice-president. Allow/encourage members to participate in projects and activities even if they cannot make meetings.
  4. Estimate the bare minimum that someone should have to pay to be involved and make sure everyone knows that up front.
  5. Consider circumstances where you might help certain members with financial commitments such as dues, pins, t-shirts, and dinner meetings or even implementing an installment plan to allow members to pay for financial commitments.
  6. Conduct fund-raisers such as car washes and doughnut sales to raise money for your organization and lessen the financial burden on members.
  7. If members miss a lot of meetings, call or send a handwritten note (not an e-mail) that the member was missed and remind them of the next meeting. Even offer to pick them up.
  8. Make the club or organization enjoyable to be a part of by making membership in the organization special.
  9. Conduct an induction ceremony and give a certificate of membership or a name badge.
  10. Give value to membership in the group through benefits (scholarships, conventions, networking, etc.).

Remember that as a servant leader it’s up to you to listen to the needs of your members and take their circumstances into consideration – and at the same time, run a better organization. It’s not as tough as it sounds.

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About the Author: Dave "Gonzo" Kelly (64 Posts)

Dave Kelly is the leading authority on student leadership and community service on college campuses today. As a professional trainer, motivator, and servant leader, Dave is an expert on all aspects of running and leading campus organizations and developing the character of a servant leader. Dave has 20+ years training leaders and advisors from student government associations, campus activities boards and campus clubs of every kind on organizational leadership and community service projects. He has trained students and advisors at more than 150 different colleges and universities and is the national coordinator for the APCA Serves! Initiative by the Association for the Promotion of Campus Activities.


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