Participate in the Game of Hearts
February 13, 2017
By Jeanne Waseleski, GFWC Membership Committee Member
Ever meet a potential GFWC member while shopping or at the airport? Be prepared with a brief elevator speech that encourages questions and sparks interest. While talking about the Federation be enthusiastic. Your personality is key to making potential members want to find out more. Everyone naturally gravitates towards positive people. Use business cards and brochures to invite the community. Special events and fundraisers also are helpful tools to increase membership. Finally, remember to wear your GFWC branded pin or shirt. Building name recognition is a must!
Another way to meet potential members is through mutual interests. Do you belong to another service organization, book club, or gym? Start talking about GFWC club activities and presenters to spur curiosity about the fun and camaraderie to be found through GFWC. Given the myriad projects in which clubwomen engage, you are certainly privy to an activity sure to interest almost anyone.
To attract new members, it helps to determine what group of women may be the best ‘fit’ for your club. Look for similarities. Do you want to attract a new demographic, such as recent college graduates or women with a specific skill set, or maybe those who are great at organizing or engaged in business? Do you meet during the day, and if so, will it be convenient for working women to attend meetings at lunchtime? If you meet in the evenings, are you able to give a lift to those members unable to drive at night? Are you able to connect with new residents in the area through retirement communities, senior centers, or schools?
In many cases, volunteer membership groups reflect a specific identity or character developed over the years. We gravitate toward familiarity, usually involving friends and colleagues who tend to have similar backgrounds and interests. This makes diversification
or inclusion of a broader group more difficult. Your challenge is to include potential leaders and programs which spark interest and pride in your club—and reflect the diversity and culture of your community.
Membership opportunities also include taking advantage of readily available information. In addition to the GFWC Club Manual, mine the resources of your State Membership Chairman. They are a wealth of information and are more than willing to assist. If you have questions, our Region Membership Chairmen will help you find the answers. Informative Membership Presentations and updates are provided at Region meetings. Take advantage of them!
Remember to recognize those members who have made our clubs special. Keeping our current friends is just as important as finding new ones. Participate in a Game of Hearts, and let us know how your club used these membership opportunities and how many new members have joined. Membership reports should be emailed to Membership Services Manager Kate Garlic at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As Will Rogers once said, “Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.”
Sharon Oliphant is filled with positive energy and gratitude for all of the opportunities she has to give back because of GFWC. In 2018 she will begin her time as Florida State President, and Sharon is assume the role and work with her enthusiastic Florida clubwomen to make a difference.
Success For Survivors Scholarship
Each year, GFWC awards scholarships to help intimate partner abuse survivors obtain a post-secondary education that offers a chance to reshape their future by securing employment and gaining personal independence.
The Rochester Junior Women's Club
The Rochester Junior Women’s Club (Michigan) was established in 1956 with 16 members, and today has over 70 members that always come together to support one another. The club chooses three or four major charities to support and several smaller ones, donating approximately $30,000 each year. In total since its inception, the club has provided more than 1 million hours of community service, and raised more than $928,000 to support their community!