Tips on Retaining Current Members
Member retention begins with the initial encounter with a prospective member. Many Sections/Branches have found these tips to be useful in helping members who want to continue to be a part of ASCE.
- Remind current members to renew on time.
- Invite current members to join an ASCE Institute and Section/Branch.
- Notify current members of upcoming events such as the Annual Conference, the next Section/Branch meeting or a workshop in their area.
- Distribute information about key services and programs ASCE offers and how members can participate.
- Inform current members about opportunities to participate on committees.
- Every Section/Branch has a designated FTP Account Holder that has access to member data on ASCE’s FTP Server. Through him/her, you can find out who your new Section/Branch members are and contact them monthly.
- Always survey your Section/Branch members to find out their needs and suggestions. Surveys can be written or conducted as a facilitated discussion group. Allow for anonymity. When you write your question categories, provide lists of suggested answers, but also allow for some open-ended questions.
- Survey meeting times; locations; suggestions for activities and programs; technical/profession topics; continuing education requests.
- Distribute evaluation forms at your Section/Branch meetings. Again, allow for anonymity.
- Channel Younger Members into Younger Member Groups. If you don’t have one, introduce younger civil engineers to each other or consider creating a Younger Member Group.
- Suggest social meetings if none are scheduled: dinners, lunches, barbecues, picnics, etc.
- Publish names of new members, Life Members, Fellows, award winners, national committee members from your Section/Branch in the newsletter.
- Publish employment opportunities in your newsletter. Inform members of ASCE’s national résumé service and résumé links on the Career Connections site http://www.asce.org/careers.
- List local member benefits frequently in your newsletter.
- Invite national officers to speak at Section/Branch meetings.
- Provide a Suggestion Box at all meetings.
- Send letters to employers (i.e. companies, agencies) thanking them for their support, monetary and otherwise (meeting space). Copy the appropriate member on the letter.
- Keep abreast of new benefits and activities available at ASCE national and inform members of new opportunities at meetings or in the newsletter.
- Always look for ways of increasing networking opportunities for your members.
- Engage your members in both National and Section/Branch mentoring programs. By sharing experiences, insights and ideas, both mentors and protégés develop a learning relationship that accelerates professional development. To explore more about mentoring, visit www.asce.org/mentoring.
- Encourage your members to connect with other professionals interested in global development and making a difference. ASCE’s strategic partnership with Engineers Without Borders - USA lets you join or renew your EWB-USA membership at an exclusive discount online or on your ASCE renewal. To learn more about EWB-USA, visit www.ewb-usa.org.
- Connect with the members of your Section/Branch by working together on a local community volunteer project.
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Answering the Question: “Why Should I Renew?”
Give solid reasons that you can back up with solid evidence:
- Membership in ASCE indicates a personal commitment to the profession of civil engineering at the local and national levels. Together as a group, we have the ability to accomplish more.
- The need for a connection to your practice. How often have you experienced others making decisions “in your interest” of which you were not aware? How many of those actions were off the mark? These decisions are often made by special interest groups with no input from engineers. Although we may not have much free time to serve in professional societies, we can encourage those who do to serve in our best interests.
- Much of the initial interaction occurs locally.
- Enrollment numbers around the country are dwindling – why would a student become a civil engineer if they perceive the profession to be invisible, stagnant, or worse yet, dying? We have the ability to change that perception by showing pride in our profession and increasing our membership.
- Benefits of Membership: be sure to review the many benefits of membership in ASCE at www.asce.org/benefits and www.asce.org/mrg and direct them towards these sites.
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