Our next ACB membership focus call will be held on Monday, April 13, 2009 5:30 p.m. Pacific (8:30 p.m. Eastern). The call-in number is 1-866-633-8638, and the meeting ID is 4132009. The topic will be “How do you engage new members in your chapter?”
We often discuss how to get younger people into your chapter and affiliate, and get them involved. The membership committee has a subcommittee working on this issue; the chairperson is Carol Edwards from Texas. Carol and her crew have come up with a number of ideas for you on involving students.
Contact your state agency and ask for the names and contact information of counselors who have consumers in high schools and colleges throughout your state. Ask those counselors to distribute a letter for your organization. The letter should mention ways your affiliate could assist students: scholarships, loan programs, technology assistance, support groups, etc.
If your affiliate has a chapter near your state’s school for the blind, encourage that chapter to become involved in the school’s activities whenever possible. Host a pizza party, offer a contest with prizes, or give awards to students. Stay visible and active at the school, volunteering whenever possible.
Become active in your community. Offer to speak at events of your school district and pass out letters about your chapter/affiliate. Promote local activities widely.
If your affiliate has a scholarship program, be sure to circulate that information to as many places as possible: appropriate newsletters, newspapers, in press releases, bulletin boards, Internet news sites, etc.
At the national convention, your membership committee could contact NABS and hold a joint reception or mixer that focuses on young people. Also, at the national convention, parents of children participating in YAC should be encouraged to join a state affiliate if they are not yet members.
Invite students you’ve met to come with you to an event or meeting especially of interest to younger people. Personal invitations are often better received than a letter or flyer. Continue to invite them until they come!
You can also check out the resources link on www.acb.org and find membership links. There is a link for “Ideas to Interest Students.”
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