Attracting and Keeping Strong Membership
By sending a membership survey to determine interests, desired frequency of meetings, types of programs, the club will be better equipped to serve the alumnae in your community. When selecting a board or steering committee, keep in mind that it should represent diversity in ages, cultures, experiences and interests. Some clubs have indicated that "decade" leaders on the board have been effective in maintaining focus on the varying interests of each community.
Plan Programs That:
- Address current alumnae interests and concerns—careers, the arts, education, politics, parenting, health/wellness, community service, admissions/current student events.
- Attract varied constituencies: alumnae of all ages, religions, at various life stages (working/non-working, etc.)
- Start and conclude at specified times.
- Are held at various times of day at enticing and non-discriminatory locations.
- Include current and prospective Wellesley undergraduates and their parents, particularly on holidays and school breaks.
- Feature a speaker from the College (faculty or administrator), a local trustee, or a member of the Alumnae Association board of directors to speak about the latest College news.
- Involve members (i.e. a local prominent alumna) with unusual careers or life stories.
Communicate Frequently and Effectively:
- With newsletters, a directory, broadcast e-mails, club bulletins, and club web pages (either maintained by the club or by WCAA).
- By appointing a board member/volunteer to specifically phone newcomers and look after older members at meetings; by arranging carpools, introductions, etc.
- By mailing a dues letter and reply envelope in fall and spring.
- By planning a membership telethon in the fall or winter.
- By telephoning/e-mailing to follow up on member mailings and programs to encourage attendance.
Offer Several Types of Membership:
- A free honorary membership for alumnae who graduated within the last year or more than 50 years ago.
- A lower price for young alumnae (one to five/ten years out of school).
Include Parents of Current Students:
- Parents of current students enjoy being included in club activities and learning more about the college where their daughters are spending significant years of their lives.
- The clubs are enriched by parental participation. Parents bring enthusiasm and knowledge while boosting attendance at programs.
- We hope that you will make a special effort to invite parents to meetings and to become involved in your club. Perhaps a letter could be included in your newsletters as one way of encouraging parents' membership. Don't forget to follow up with a telephone call by one of your members.
- With all label requests, the Alumnae Office automatically includes home address mailing labels of current students (labels read “To the family of…”). We suggest that the club use these labels to encourage parents to attend club events.