Why spend time on RETENTION?
After recruitment, the next task is keeping new members
involved! With very little funding for activist work, people
are our most valuable resource. Our movement is as strong
as our members! Retaining members allows the FMLA to be pro-active,
preventing the group from having to repeat recruitment efforts
that take time away from other valuable projects and events.
Welcome all new members!
Welcome new members and take time for introductions between
new and current FMLA members. Give new members a brief
history of the FMLA (founding history and past projects),
especially if they join the group late in the semester.
Provide all necessary materials and tell them what the
group is working on, what happened in the last meeting,
and the overall goals for the semester. Make sure they
know how they can become active in the FMLA right away.
During general meetings and events, current FMLA members
should go out of their way NOT to talk to each other, but
talk to new members. Create a “buddy system” where
current FMLA members are each responsible for one or more
new members. “Buddies” should call new members
to remind them about meetings, make sure they have materials,
and put them in contact with a Campus Organizer.
Use the Membership Form
The Membership Form contains contact information and information
about individual activists’ interests, and can be filled out online! Use the Membership
Form to learn about members’ interests, strengths,
and skills, and look for ways they can get involved in
Get Active Immediately!
Include a small, pre-planned action for the First General
Meeting (i.e., a letter-writing campaign, or a “Did
You Know?” campaign). Getting new members active
and involved immediately shows them that their help is
In Case You Miss a Meeting…
Have alternative forms of communication set in place for
members who miss an occasional meeting. Create a listserv
or post meeting minutes to the FMLA website.
Accommodate Members’ Special Needs
Commuters, members with disabilities, members with children,
and working students may have different scheduling needs.
Try to schedule a meeting time and place that accommodates
diverse members' needs. Keep the meeting time and
Take time out to have fun and get to know each other. Go
on camping trips, plan retreats, have a movie night, potlucks,
Abide by the Decision-Making Process
Establish a process by which all decisions are made as a
group. Meeting facilitators should make a conscious effort
to let other members participate fully in the meetings.
Let people volunteer.
Return to Leaders'
Institute Reading Room