The Five “P’s” of Membership Recruitment

Elian Markoff, founder of Art in Giving, who raises funds to eliminate cancer in children by selling fine art, once said, “Membership recruitment is an art and a science.”

I couldn’t agree more.

Markoff developed the ”five P’s,” which, she says, can help a membership recruiter to“… consider the audience you are talking to—whether it’s a business partner or a new member or volunteer.”

Markoff’s five P’s are:

  1. Passion: “You have to have passion for your cause.”
  2. Personalize: “Tell a personal story to express the need for your cause.”
  3. Promotion: “Promote your vision and your cause.”
  4. Persistence: “You cannot give up if someone is not interested. Move to the next person who will be.”
  5. Patience: “Be patient. Important things take time.”

If I were applying these principles to DAV, I would almost be tempted to add a sixth “P” for us.

6. Point man. (or woman) From my side of the foxhole, I envision anyone wearing a DAV shirt, hat or jacket who happens to encounter another veteran as our person “on point” leading the squad to the objective, which, in this example, is attracting another potential member.

Take, for instance, an example of seeing someone in the grocery store wearing a “Vietnam Veteran” cap or an “Iraqi Freedom” T-shirt. Stop and introduce yourself. Thank them for their service. Ask them if they’re being taken care of and point out just a few of the free services DAV offers veterans and their families. Leave your card if you have one or invite them to visit our website.

Every DAV member is, by default, a recruiter, and we should take pride in being a point person when we see another veteran who could enjoy the benefits and camaraderie of being in our organization. I call upon every DAV member to be “on point” for other potential members to join our ranks.

We are just months away from the end of a very exciting membership year, and the race is on to top last year’s record success. The 2012-2013 Membership year closed with all Departments reaching goal, and we are on track to do it again. Currently we are just 12 Departments shy of a repeat. But let’s not stop there, let’s endeavor to accomplish an even greater feat, with only 494 Chapters short of reaching goal, less than half of the 1,364 active Chapters, we are on pace to break yet another record. With every member “on point” for success at this year’s National Convention, we’ll be able to say, “All Departments and all Chapters reached goal.”

I hope to see you all at convention and hope we are all ready to be the point person to reach this objective.