Growing Membership: A Recruitment Tip Sheet


Getting ready to recruit new members to your branch? We can help! Here are some tips and methods to guide you.

Be prepared

  • Develop a recruitment plan and build commitment to it among your members. Membership belongs to every branch member, so make sure you’re including everyone’s input, along with the branch membership vice president and membership committee.
  • Learn the relational method to grow your branch (including the membership cycle) so that everyone understands the recruitment process.
  • Identify your target market.
  • Review AAUW’s community engagement resources to see which similar organizations you can collaborate with to engage your target audience.
  • As you create recruitment activities, keep in mind these six steps to diverse, engaging programs.

Know who you are and how to say it

  • Review our marketing and visibility resources to ensure that your branch is visible within the community and that your materials convey AAUW’s mission.
  • Create and distribute business cards with contact information for your branch president and membership vice president. Include URLs for your branch’s website and social media platforms.
  • Craft your marketing message for different audiences: What are younger women looking for? Catch their eye with tailored messages. One size doesn’t fit all.
  • Build or refresh your branch’s online presence.
  • Mission-based programs make excellent springboards for recruitment and visibility.

Manage expectations

  • Think about “what’s in it for me.” Use programs that are linked to AAUW’s mission and initiatives and promote community involvement and volunteerism to help make members feel valued, create personal growth opportunities, and encourage friendship.
  • Younger members may be seeking action and outreach rather than information-based programming and socializing.
  • Many young women are looking to serve. Organize programming that involves volunteer and service opportunities within the community. Consider inviting them to join AAUW’s Younger Women’s Task Force.
  • Shift your expectations of new, younger members who may have classes or full-time jobs and may not be able to attend all meetings.

Demonstrate the value of joining

Use proven recruitment tactics

  • Organize membership events (and tell attendees to invite friends!) that are open to the public and use the Shape the Future membership campaign.
  • Invest in college/university partnerships, which can bring more young women to AAUW.
  • Contact national members in your area and invite them to branch or state events. E-mail to request the list.
  • Examine the list of former members and organize a phone-athon to inspire them to rejoin.
  • Every member should be prepared to tell someone why they should join by using a recruitment elevator speech.
  • Tabling is a helpful recruitment activity. Incorporate videos to further engage with your audience.
  • After events with potential members, remember to personally follow up and invite them to join you again. Send a newsletter along with links to your website and the AAUW blog and social media platforms to keep them connected.

Be welcoming and inclusive

  • Implement the suggestions on creating welcoming and inclusive organizations from the Diversity and Inclusion Tool Kit.
  • Make sure to follow the steps to planning accessible events.
  • Use the interest survey sample for your members or create your own.
  • Monitor event expenses as younger women may be deterred by high costs.

Other resources



How to Maximize Your Marketing and Visibility Efforts

Use these best practices to consistently communicate your message about AAUW by developing a marketing plan and honing your brand.

Members of the Mooneen Lecce Giving Circle attended an AAUW luncheon in California.

How to Retain AAUW Branch Members

Successful member retention starts with the first interaction and continues that contact throughout the lifetime of the relationship.

Watch AAUW video on YouTube

The Power of Membership Recruitment Video

As an AAUW member, you already know how AAUW opens the doors of opportunity to women and girls through our programs, research, and advocacy. But now you can show the world!