Your new members are extremely important to the longevity of your organization. They are a fantastic source of new ideas, fresh enthusiasm and energy, and will become officers when it is time for you to move on to other adventures. Because of their importance, orienting your new members and making them feel like a welcome part of your group should be a top priority.
- Make sure to go over your constitution and goals with your new members. Check that they understand your organization’s mission and include them in discussions of future goals.
- Take the time to talk to new members, especially in the first few meetings. Don’t speak only to returning members, and keep inside jokes out of the conversation. If you have planned events over the summer, update everyone on what they are and solicit feedback from them.
- Give the new folks the chance to join in. Ask for volunteers for events, or for help with publicizing, or anything that fits your organization’s needs, but make sure the request is a real contribution and not filler work. Believing they are needed will help your members feel as though they made the right decision in joining the organization.
- Thank your new members for joining! Give positive feedback on any contributions they may choose to make in the first few meetings in particular to emphasize that their voice is valuable to you.