One of the best ways to retain and regain members is to add a personal touch. Show your members that you really care! Let them know that you miss them. Demonstrate to them you want to have a personal relationship with them because they are your Toastmaster family:
- When conducting your club contest, invite/include some past members to participate in the contest. If they tell you they are no longer Toastmasters, remind them “Once a Toastmaster always a Toastmaster,” and let them know that they are always welcome to any of the club meetings.
- Two or three members can take a former Toastmaster member out to lunch. Community clubs can get together on the weekend or an evening for a Pot Luck or dining out together.
- Celebrate Toastmaster family members’ birthdays once a month. Get a list of each members’ date of birth and ask what about a favorite flavor of cake. One day each month celebrate your monthly member’s birthdays at a meeting. If they cannot make it to the meeting, take them a big piece of cake and a few members along to sing Happy Birthday.
- Corporate members, if you see people in the building, always stop and chat a few minutes to tell them you really miss them. Remind that that you think they are valuable to you and to the club.
- Community club members call up former or absent members and connect with them personally. Get to know them!
- When dues are due, I make envelopes with name and amount due and pass them out at a meeting. I deliver the remaining envelopes in person and visit with each member.
- If a member is not giving any speeches, I visit the individual and start mentoring by taking time out over several days to break down the project in the manual, flesh out ideas, review a draft of the speech, and hold a practice session for him/her. Empower a member!
Reconnecting sincerely and personally with former members or absent members makes a big difference. They feel important, and it is a win-win for you, for them, and for the club.
PDX RxOrators, VP Public Relations
By Julie Cosgrove