Steven Murphy, Executive Director

February 25, 2015

The most often asked question in Sertoma is “How do we get people to join?” The answer to that is depends on the more important question of “Why, why does your club exists?” In asking someone to join the club, volunteer for service, or donate you are asking them to share in your why. Identifying a strong, compelling connection to your why is how you get people to join or be involved.

The same is true if your club is struggling with a lack of energy and enthusiasm. Are the current members excited and engaged with the club’s why? If not, ask your members, ask yourself, what is the “why of your club?” Does it excite you? Is it clear the difference it makes in your life, and in the community? Can you readily share that with others? If not then you know why you are not growing, and what you need to do.

The key is understanding that as a service organization, your why has to about service and philanthropy. To be compelling, your service and philanthropy is shared as the outcomes it has in the lives of people and the community. The strength of your why is defined by the scale and significance of those outcomes. People who volunteer and donate, and especially those who join, are looking to be part of something larger and more important than they could possibly do alone.

So to answer the question “how do we get people to join?”

  1. Identify your why. If it is not clear, compelling, or strong – then recreate, reinvent, or define a new why. That process can be a great way to engage with your members and others in the community.
  2. Find a great story that tells your why – and the why of the club. Not sure how? Then come to the Sertoma 2015 Convention in April.
  3. Share that story – get out of the club and into the community. Don’t expect prospects to come to you and your meeting. The focus of a strong club is going to be out in the community, not in their meetings.

Not sure you believe this? Look around, those clubs that are not struggling are clearly identified in their communities for what they do and who they help. The members are excited and enjoy the work and expectations that make that happen, and that is attractive to potential members. As a good friend shared with me – “If you understand your why, you can identify and manage the how to make that happen.”


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