Membership Campaign Ideas

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For many organizations, a high membership level is crucial to the functioning of the group. Members bring in dues, provide volunteers and carry out the mission of the organization. When it comes time to recruit new people to join your group, consider running a membership campaign. With an organized effort, you can keep track of your efforts and provided a structured recruiting format for volunteers and staff.

Set Time Line

A membership campaign with a set expiration date creates a sense of urgency, for staff and potential members. A time line can also help volunteers and members plan personal and professional calendars around recruiting activities. Depending on the type of organization you run, choose a time line that is appropriate for your mission and activities. A community volunteer organization, for example, might run a pre-Christmas campaign to get members in before the holiday rush starts. You can also base your campaigns on seasons, the fiscal year or even local events. A recognizable end date or event will make your campaign more memorable and relevant.

Recruiting Perks

Your staff and volunteers can be invaluable during a membership campaign drive. Because the group is already interested and active in the organization, the members are ideal ambassadors. Get your people involved and motivate the group by offering perks to people who bring in new members. The specific rewards will depend on the type of organization and your available resources, but might include gift certificates, paid time off or access to the company perks like health club discounts or an opera box. Perks can get staff or volunteers involved and excited about the campaign.


Often, the unknown and unfamiliar can be a barrier to potential members. To help your campaign reach out to people who are unsure about your facilities, activities, mission or members, hold meet-and-greet events. Choose events that provide no-commitment ways to let people see what your organization is about. If you focus on an activity, hold an open session and invite the community. In doing so, you can get them involved with your members and give a first-hand example of the atmosphere.

Public Presence

Before and during a membership campaign, increase awareness about your group by creating a bigger public presence. The more people who know about the group, the greater the pool of potential members. Choose ways to get access to people who are already interested in your topic area: an art organization might put up a booth an at art fair, for example, while a fitness-based organization might create a presence at area gyms or partner with health foods stores for an educational series.