These documents focus on assessment of your society membership programs and practices, welcoming people into your society and a wide range of practices to build membership. While each of these documents has its own introduction, a brief comment is provided below.
1. BEFORE YOU BEGIN
MEMBERSHIP PROGRAM RATING SCALE
Source: American Ethical Union, Membership Committee, Revised 1995
Comment: Before you begin: Membership Program Rating Scale provides an assessment of your current society before you develop programs to build membership in the society. This is a 4 page rating scale on your society practices and programs that may have a direct impact on membership growth and maintenance as well as society effectiveness. It can be completed in 15-30 minutes by an individual, but should be followed by a group discussion of the items in order to gain consensus on areas of strength and areas of opportunity, given your current resources.
This document has been well received for a number of years in the Growth and Development Workshops of the American Ethical Union.
2. WHAT TO DO AFTER YOU SAY HELLO?
Guidelines for everyone
Source: Washington Ethical Society in about 1995
Comment: This is a brief 9 point list of steps that are suggested to help connect newcomers connect with the society. While it is written for the Washington Ethical Society, it may be utilized with minor modifications in most societies.
3. BUILDING MEMBERSHIP
Source: Dr. Bob Kaufmann, used with permission
Bob Kaufmann is Unitarian minister who has served several Unitarian congregations, often as an interim minister, and has served as an interim Leader of the Ethical Culture Society of the New York Society for Ethical Culture in the 1990’s.
Comment: A wide ranging advisory on how to attract newcomers, welcome them, bring them into membership and integrate them fully into the congregation. While some of the points are focused specifically at a Unitarian congregation, the monograph is a treasure trove of general and specific practices and attitudes pertinent to ethical societies that will lead to substantial growth and enhancement of the congregation if we implement them. When you get beyond the authoritarian tone of some of the recommendations, you will find innumerable gems of wisdom that you can see the logic of and readily apply. Some of the recommendations would take a staff of several individuals working full time to accomplish, others can be implemented by every member in the normal course of their daily activity. We recommend that you be selective and identify just a few of the recommendations that seem most appropriate to your society and set a goal to implement those. After those practices have been well established add a few others that you are prepared for…..
4. 100+ IDEAS FOR MEMBERSHIP GROWTH
Source: adapted by Bob Kaufmann for use of ethical societies from a document on the UUA web site.
Bob Kaufmann is Unitarian minister who has served several Unitarian congregations, often as an interim minister, and has served as an interim Leader of the New York Society for Ethical Culture in the 1990’s.
The living document is part of the Unitarian Universalist website: http://www.uua.org/growth/ideas/
Comment: A long (continuously growing), list of ideas for Society membership growth. There is no particular organization to the list, so each user might be advised to review the list, identify a few items to focus on most pertinent to your society needs and resources, gradually build the practices into your operations (make them habits) and sequentially add additional items to your repertoire.
There is considerable overlap between this document and the Building Membership document prepared by Bob Kaufmann, but Building Membership has more commentary on several of the ideas.