Colorado DeMolay University
Before implementing any one of the membership plans included in this manual it should be strongly stated that the best possible recruiting tool any chapter has is the chapter and its members. This may sound a bit simple so an explanation may be helpful.
An active chapter is going to generate a buzz around it. Members will talk to their friends and colleagues about the fun things they did and the great places they went. If a chapter has a dynamic and entertaining calendar with a healthy dose of generally fun activities and fund raisers (which can also be fun) then the enthusiasm that is generated by that well run and active chapter will make recruiting new members a snap. Almost every chapter activity should be a prospect friendly event with some events set aside solely for members to indicate an added benefit to membership. Boys will join because they have fun with your members and the activities they participate in not because they like walking around in robes and reciting ritual. Obviously these are not things that should be ignored. But they are generally not reasons boys will join a chapter. Ultimately, boys will join because they are having fun and see another group of boys they want to get to know and have had fun with already.
Each of the programs in this manual assumes a strong chapter environment. Good advisors, even if it is only a few, and an active, well planned and well executed calendar, with dates and times that can be relied upon. This may sound like you have to have a large chapter in order to utilize any of these programs. Quite the contrary. Large chapters can definitely execute these programs but even the smallest chapter can implement the plans and get good results. The important factor is not the size of the chapter membership but the consistent quality of the program. If the chapter is planning and executing events well, the boys will get excited (even if your numbers are small) and talk about it to their friends and eventually invite
them to attend another event where they can get better acquainted and get excited about your chapter. In other words, if you build it they will come.
Recruiting boys without having a solid chapter program in place can be harmful and counterproductive to your efforts. If you promise the moon to parents and boys and then don’t deliver they will lose interest quickly and feel as if they have been tricked or misled. Having a six month advance calendar of activities planned and ready to go is a much better strategy than getting the boys in first and then hoping you can find something to do with them once they are there. First of all, it is a lot easier to recruit if you have
something to invite them to that is fun. Secondly, it makes it easier to invite them to several events over time if they have already been planned, which is a part of most of the recruiting models we recommend.
To ensure the events are activities they are interested in, consult the members about their preferences and implement their ideas when possible.
Ultimately, these membership programs may not be necessary for your chapter if you are doing everything right and getting in large numbers of new members on a consistent basis. But if you are doing that, you are probably running a very active chapter program… which supports everything stated above. But if you are interested in these programs it is probably because you are not getting the large numbers of new members you would like and are seeking some assistance. Use these plans to get your chapter
focused on membership and as a starting point for your chapters recruiting efforts. You may want to continue one of these plans to keep you consistently focused on membership. But if you are running a top notch chapter program, your need for such assistance will soon fade because the boys won’t be able to stop talking about the wonderful things they are doing at DeMolay and the members will continue to be drawn to your chapter for years to come.