How to Get More Members Actively Participating in Your Affiliate

compiled by Ardis Bazyn

The latest membership focus call was on the topic of how to get members actively participating in your affiliate. What is active participation? Active members are those who volunteer to assist, either by becoming an officer or board member or who will serve on committees. Many members are busy with their jobs, other activities with family and friends, and/or their church. Participants shared the following ideas.

  • Ask for volunteers for special projects
  • Hold conference calls focusing on topics such as employment, access technology, book club, membership
  • Post events and calls to e-mail list and ask them to be forwarded
  • Hold presidents’ calls to share info
  • Ask affiliate board members to visit chapters
  • Share affiliate/chapter newsletters and announce phone numbers
  • Add first-timer question to convention registration form
  • Have mentor guidelines
  • Find visitors at convention or meetings and contact them
  • Introduce visitors to others, invite them to meet and greet
  • Form new chapter for those who want meetings during the week
  • Have free dues for those in college or between the ages of 18 and 26
  • Ask new members about skill levels and ask them to assist with various projects
  • Ask students to assist with Facebook and Twitter
  • Have meetings in places that are accessible by mass transit
  • Organize beep baseball team and hold games with local police/sheriff/fire department teams
  • Sell products and disperse pamphlets at events
  • Invite members to other events: MLB baseball game, bowling outing, historical places
  • Partner with other organizations to hold awareness events
  • Participate in city council and county events
  • Create community awards: access, trendsetter, best business, state or county representatives, honor society for seniors, volunteering for disability groups, etc. 
  • Get interviews on radio and TV
  • Visit senior center and invite seniors to volunteer
  • Invite county to show voting systems at meeting or rehab center in area
  • Visit with other groups: Girl Scouts for braille decoding, police station to show awareness, have obstacle area to show others, iPad and iPhone classes
  • Supply brochures for ophthalmologists’ offices
  • Ask members for speaker recommendations
  • Join other organizations for the blind for White Cane Safety Day and walk-a-thons.

Please contact the ACB membership Committee if you have suggestions for future focus calls or would like any previous call notes or hand-outs. Our next focus call will be Monday, Aug. 31 at 5:30 p.m. Pacific/8:30 p.m. Eastern time. The call-in number is (712) 775-7000 and passcode is 640009.