The back-to-school season is here and that means packing lunches, shopping for school supplies, and, if you're following an academic-year contract, new member recruitment. While summer vacation and transition periods are often a great time (thank you, extra time off!), people tend to have extra busy schedules during this time and are wary of adding more to their plate.
As a leader of a local PTA unit, it’s very possible that you’ve seen a drop in member enrollment and engagement rates during this time of year.
So the question is how do you boost membership and grow your PTA during a period of transition, whether it be the new school year or end of a quarter?
We’ve talked to a bunch of group leaders who’ve successfully battled the member-boosting issue. How did they do it? By focusing on many of the same best practices they focus on during the rest of the year: showing people the value of being part of the group, and entice them in joining. That was made a whole lot easier by using memberplanet, and we’ve compiled their tips and best practices below.
Here are four ways to ensure your member numbers increase when the leaves start to change color.
1. Make it easy to join your PTA
We go shopping online, look up cooking recipes, and even date online. It just makes sense to simplify membership by making it easily accessible online as well. If you aren’t doing this already, offer online dues payment methods with automatic or early membership renewal. Think of it this way: Making it convenient for members to sign up online is way better than sending them running to look for their checkbooks to mail in a payment. If not, you’re creating an unnecessary hurdle (and it’s an especially bigger one during a time of transition). Joining an organization should be as easy as a click of a button, and it means members don’t have to think twice about making a commitment to your organization. Providing them with mobile access is even better. (We have a custom mobile app for that!)
2. Offer incentives
Do you have extra swag to give away? Host a membership drive and offer an additional reason to join your PTA. Whether it’s a branded gift, an extra raffle ticket for a gift card giveaway, or discounted rates for membership levels. We love free stuff, and your potential members are the same way. Your incentives can vary, but showing your prospects how much you want them in your group and appreciate their involvement is essential.
3. Make a party out of your event
Everyone loves a good gettogether — it's a great way to attract new members and show appreciation to current ones. Make it fun, ask current members to bring guests who haven’t signed up yet to. Going with a friend will make them feel more comfortable and welcome. Make sure everyone has a great time. Bottom line: Show them the love. Send out invites and allow attendees to RSVP online. Want to send out a quick reminder before the par-tay? Our built-in Broadcast feature allows admins to draft a message once and send it to their group via email and text message simultaneously. Extra pro tip: After the event, update your event page with photos and videos, and share it with attendees so they won’t have to hunt for pics.
5. Communicate your group’s impact
Whatever good you end up doing, inform your members, as well as the school community through multiple channels (email, text, social media). Send thank you emails to those who contributed, and share your post-campaign results. For example, if you reached your fundraising goal for a back-to-school book drive, let your donors know (easy to do using Smart Lists), and send them pics of the newly stocked classroom library. Effective communication will drive home the message that your PTA is doing significant work, and in turn, boost your membership.
Learn how memberplanet makes it easy to do all these things mentioned.