Recruiting Members for Your Chapter

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Recruiting Members for Your Chapter
By Madeleine Taylor, State Parliamentarian

Having a large membership within your school’s chapter has many benefits. Not only will you have more participation in your school’s service projects, but also, you’re introducing endless opportunities to these students. Showing students their potential through competitive events and their personal victories at the Regional, State, and National Leadership Conferences, not only positively reflects your school's chapter and its efforts, but invests in these students’ futures. Additionally, statewide recognition is up for grabs with membership recruitment awards at the State Leadership Conference. Michigan is one of the largest chapters with an astonishing membership of almost 5,000 people. Additionally, we’re one of the most successful state organizations with 139 members placing at the National Leadership Conference. To keep these impressive statistics up, it's crucial to continue to expose Business Professionals of America to more students so they too will have the opportunity to take advantage of BPA’s offerings and make our State Association proud. Now you may be wondering, how can I help get the word of our chapter out to my school? 

First, encouraging students who have been members previously to promote their chapter to their friends and peers leads to more interested students. By having committed members share with others what BPA is and what it means to them is a very authentic way to get students to join your chapter. The word of mouth from students who’ve experienced everything BPA has to offer is much more powerful than the word of the advisor. Encourage students to post on their social media accounts to reach a large audience. They can post the time and date of the information meeting or just post information about what you do in the organization. Also encourage students to bring it up in casual conversation, their word will travel fast.  

Using your local officer team talk to potential new members is a good place to start. Having these knowledgeable and successful talk to interested students is perfect, because they’ll know the answers to their questions and understand the positives of being involved in their chapter. These individuals should go to business classes at their school and give a brief overview of the organization to spark interest. They should highlight the available opportunities, how fun conferences are, and how BPA is an outstanding resume builder. Also, having your chapter’s officers or other knowledgeable members attend freshman orientation is a great way to introduce new students and their parents to the organization. Promoting BPA in this environment will show these individuals opportunities that will be offered in their high school. 

Furthermore, have an information meeting at the beginning of the year so students know what they’re signing up for. Without this vital meeting, students will be hesitant to join because they don’t know what they’re getting themselves into. Have a meeting during your school’s homeroom, seminar, free period, or before or after school to introduce the organization to interested students. Hang fliers around the school with information about the meeting--a flier has been pre-made and was sent out in Tuesday Tipster #1 for the 2019-2020 school year--just fill in your schools meeting date and time. Also, announce the meeting’s time and date on your school’s announcements.  

Additionally, having an incentive at this meeting such as pizza or donuts could also help find new members. These offerings could be the push some students need to put themselves out there and try something new. Having recruitment activities like a pizza party can be a light and fun way to spread the word about BPA.  

Another great idea that will increase club participation in your school overall would be hosting a club day. At this event, it’s effective to have all of your school’s clubs and organizations set up a booth, so all students can roam the space seeing all of the clubs that your school has to offer. For example, this can be set up in your school’s gym and all classes have a set time where they will be able to explore their options. Also, it is helpful to have students go to the auditorium and listen to a one-minute spiel about each club before they are allowed to walk freely around to booths so they know which areas spark their interest. Another viable option is to set up booths and during lunch, so it’s up to the students to visit booths and sign up for the clubs that interest them. 

Increasing membership of Business Professionals of America will ensure that the amazing opportunities Michigan BPA has to offer reaches as many people as possible. On the local level, having more individuals involved will allow for your chapter to complete a more extensive program of work, qualify more students for leadership conferences, and will increase participation in your chapter’s fundraisers and service projects. So, get out there!  Start promoting your school’s chapter to your friends and upcoming students. Share your story and express the greatness that is Business Professionals of America!  

 

Maurice S. Henderson