One of the hottest topics for clubs is how to retain current members. Clubs often lose numerous members for various reasons such as lack of interest or lack of time to commit. The first step when trying to retain members is to understand why a club loses members. Club members must analyze their club history and recognize the factors that led to the loss of members. By doing so, it becomes easier to understand what de-motivates people away from the club. So how does a club motivate its members to stay?
 
1) Show appreciation for all members
 
When members feel valued, they get a sense of belonging. There are many things a club can do to show its appreciation for its members such as celebrating the special occasions in every member's life such as birthdays or anniversaries. Small gestures such as recognizing and thanking members for their contributions to the club or conversing about their hobbies, make people feel appreciated.
 
2) Give Opportunities
 
Those that join clubs want a chance to be able to contribute to society. As a result, give your members the opportunity to showcase their talent by allowing them to take control of certain projects. When looking for extra volunteers for your next event, have your club members participate in the recruiting process. Give them an opportunity to be part of something worthwhile.
 
3) Improve the Team Dynamic
 
Your club is a team of members that have come together with one goal in mind. A successful team is a close-knit team that can work well together in any situation. A successful team is also a group of people that know each other's strengths and weaknesses well and can support one another. As such, plan events at least once a month whereby your club members interact with one another in an informal setting such that they befriend one another and start to build a positive dynamic.
 
4) Make It Fun!
 
The most popular tip given when discussing member retention has to do with lightening the atmosphere, which plays a vital role in not only retaining current members but also attracting new members. Host competitions among members, play a game or two or even book an arcade once every couple of months. By employing such strategies, you will ensure that members enjoy being part of the club and look forward to the warm and friendly environment found in the weekly meetings.
 
5) Offer Incentives
 
Offer members incentives to remain part of the club, such as awards they would want to receive or raffle prizes that they would want to win. Perhaps get your club sponsors to donate items which you could raffle off to your club members or gift them for accomplishing certain goals. Not only would you motivate your club members to work towards achieving the club objectives but you would also entice them to do more.
 
There is a lot clubs do to retain members however it is imperative that club members understand why clubs lose members in the first place. After all, solutions can always be implemented, if the problem is well understood.
 
Reprinted with permission from the ClubRunner Newsletter.
Sponsors