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 email@example.com.
As Will Rogers once said, “Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.”
When it comes to membership presentations, GFWC Missouri State Membership Chairman Lisa Cook isn’t afraid to don an apron to present an unforgettable “recipe for membership” skit.
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.
GFWC Ossoli Circle
GFWC Ossoli Circle, located in Knoxville Tennessee, was founded in 1885 as a literary society and is the oldest federated women’s club in the South. Its founder, Lizzie Crozier French, was a suffragist who was inspired to create the club after visiting the Sorosis Woman’s Club in 1868.