Developing an “Everyone Get One” Program
Multiple research projects have identified that one of the most common and effective methods used to recruit members is by ”word of mouth”. This technique has long been used successfully in a variety of organizational initiatives to grow the membership ranks. Each fire/EMS agencies can use such a program to have each member or a percentage of its membership reach out to friends, neighbors, family, co-workers, and the general public to join the local fire/EMS agency.
Key Steps to implementing such a program include:
- Appoint a project or committee chairperson – Such a program can increase your membership. It takes leadership and a plan, with one individual constantly promoting such a program. A non-firefighter, (business person, spouse, parent, community leader) can easily be used in this role.
- Set a realistic goal – This way you can monitor success, but avoid being too aggressive in your expectations. If you are conducting this type of program for the first time, under-estimate your potential success so that everyone can share in the sense of accomplishment when it is achieved.
- Keep the campaign period short – In this way you can concentrate members efforts and avoid burnout. You may want to also strategically analyze the time of year that will maximize participation and related success. Don’t conflict with major initiatives or typically busy persids of the organization.
- Use incentives – Introduce some value and competition to the process by rewarding individuals for their recruiting efforts and to incent those joining the organizations. Determine the most appropriate incentives by asking the individuals that will be involved in the program, what would motivate them to be aggressive in the activity.
- Keep the program as simple as possible – This will encourage participation and minimize workload of the staff. Do not use any special applications or forms. Simply have the referring member sign their name at the top of the application being submitted.
- Constantly communicate the program’s goals and success – Create an engaging and meaningful theme and keep it in the forefront of the members.
These steps can be used to develop, update and revitalize your “Everyone Get One” membership recruitment drive.