D4 Club Member Retention

Best Practices, Strategies & Material

Solid Club Foundation?

Engage Members

Assess Members Interests & Concerns

Recognize Achievement

Opportunities for Leadership & Training

Content is derived from ZI 2018-2020 Global Membership Drive (GMD), D4 Membership Committee & D4 Clubs.

Are Club Members Engaged in Club, District & ZI Activities?

Members join Zonta to be an active member in supporting the Zonta mission and vision.

Do Club Members Have Purpose & Engaged in Club Activities?

Members don’t join Zonta to sit in meetings.  Ensure all members are active and engaged in the club.

Club bylaws can create equality for all members.

  • Bylaws may stipulate a member’s activity in the club. Depending on club size, e.g. each member must be active on one standing committee and one fundraising committee.  Determine what suits your club.

Assign new members to a committee.

  • Set presidence for future club involvement and align personal interest with club need.

Assign inactive members a project or task.

  • Have the member report back to the club to share interesting findings.  Action may encourage member to become the club expert/go-to person for topic information.
  • Examples: What are ZI statements on specific topic, what are the service or advocacy projects in other clubs or districts.  Be proactive in researching a new fundraising project.  What is the primary issue for women in your community.
Are members aware of District 4 activities opportunities?

District 4’s free online sessions to engage district members.  Sessions generally occurring the first and third Monday of each month.

Does your club offer ‘Zonta Moments’ that inform the membership of District 4 & ZI activities?

  • D4 Talks: one-hour session generally lead by a district committee to impart information to help clubs participate in current or future activites or campaigns. Example: Amelia Earhart two months prior to celebrating AE in January.
  • D4 Learning: 1.5-hour session that provides content to assist clubs in distributing topic information to club members and to aid in club operations. Example: Personalities within Clubs, Resiliency, Membership, etc.
  • D4 Training: Treasurer Training; ledger & report templates, their setup, use and function.  ZOOM 101 & 102 Training; fun hands-on time to experience online meetings starting at the very beginning.
  • Books ‘n Beverages: social time to discuss a book, whether you’ve read it or not.  Beverages & nibbles of choice are encouraged and recipes have been known to be exchanged!

District Workshops are host each year by a clubs in two or three locations in the month of April.

  • In non-COVID time, members gather to rekindle relationships, learn new things, share stories and best practices or meet with similar leaders such as presidents, Area Directors, Committees etc.

District Conference is a three or four day weekend event held in the odd year of the biennium. Location is determined by the Governor-elect in the preceding conference.

  • District business is discussed and voted on by club delegates & new District 4 leaders are elected.
  • Meet international director and get to know your district board & committee leaders.
  • Relax, have fun with new and existing Zonta friends from across the district.
Engagement beyond your club?

Clubs promote being part of an international organization and district in recruitment.  Don’t forget to follow through on what you highlight!

District 4 is an international district with 33 clubs, 22 in the states of Pennsylvania and New York, while 11 clubs in central southwestern Ontario.

  • Consider contacting other clubs to visit and attend a meeting.  Swap best practices and diffent approaches to lessen members’ workload and refresh traditional operations.
  • Support smaller clubs by including them in your events, activities, and programs.
  • Attend other clubs’ events and activities to support each other and grow membership opportunities.
Are members engaged with Zonta International?

Visiting the Zonta International website, social media posts on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram will keep clubs & members up on recent changes and new developments.

  • My Zonta is a members-only password-protected access portal to a wealth of information to assist members and clubs.
    • How to gain access to My Zonta – PDF (link)
  • Facebook: link, Canada Group – request to be a member
  • Twitter: link
  • Instagram: link
  • LinkedIn: Various leadership groups

Participating in Zonta Talks to learn about our leaders, programs and our global community.

  • ZI Events: link

Zonta International Convention is held at the beginning of a biennium in the even numbered years. Location is selected by the International Board.  2022 Convention in Hamburg, Germany and 2024 Convention in Brisban, Austrailia.

  • Visit an international city and enjoy learning cultural practices of the country and host city.
  • Zonta International business is conduction and votes cast by each club delegate on behalf of their club.
  • Meet, socialize, & network with Zonta members from across the globe.

Do you know you really know your members?

Seek out the interests and concerns of club members before they leave the club.

Regularly check-in with members

Define who’s responsible for following up with members whether the president, membership committee member or the caring and considerate member. Determine the best means of connecting with a member.  It might be a phone call, quick text, or leasurely chat over coffee.

  • Follow up with members who miss meetings.  Is there a specific reason that’s club driven or personal?
  • Overwhelmed members may need to hear that other club members can relieve them of responsibilites for a period of time.
  • Conflict between members need to be heard, understood/investigated and solutions determined and resolutions followed up.
    • Is it an issue of communication or is it systemic club issue?
    • Members can internalize a small problem only to have it fester and present itself in less than optimal ways and leave the club.
Member Surveys

Don’t find out there are issues when members leave the club. Find out what is working in your club and what’s not enjoyed while there is time to make changes. A member’s interest may change yearly or from when they joined.

Yearly membership surveys: can include how club business is conducted and length, “workload” of committees, too much or too little social time, suggesting new projects, how happy are members, etc.

  • Investigate and if feasible act on suggestions offered.
  • Don’t take criticism personally, use it as a tool to improve club life.
  • Example: Membership survey

Exit Surveys: Find out why a member leaves, especially if it is early in their Zonta life.

  • Ensure responses are kept confidential
  • Example: Member exit survey.

Are Your Club and Members’ Achievements Being Recognized?

Appreciating your members is an important means of retaining members.  Promoting club achievements can gain community awareness of Zonta.

Recognizing Club Members

Zonta members are volunteers and can contribute many hours of service to your club.  Know your members and what recognition and appreciation are appropriate and consistent. A small act or simple thank you can go a long way in retaining their commitment and enthusiasm.

Publicly recognizing your member if appropriate and consent were given. Use the opportunity to showcase your members and the role they play in your club, who you are and what you do in the name of Zonta.

  • Acknowledge a member’s years of service or leadership role in the club.
  • Create a club member award that is given to a member(s) monthly, quarterly or yearly recognizing their contribution or acts of excellence.
    • Example: ZC of Oakville’s Outstanding Woman in Leadership (OWL) monthly recognition, is an owl figure that given to a member that contributes the extra effort & chosen by the previous winner.
  • Membership protocol of members’ professional achievements, personal milestones, anniversaries, birthdays, etc.
  • Use social media to acknowledge a member(s) contribution to your club.
  • Offer small tokens of appreciation.
Recognizing Club Achievements

Allow members to be proud of their club’s achievements of funds raised, financial contributions to community & ZI, club milestones, successful events and projects etc.

  • Acknowledgement in community, district & ZI communication tools.
    • Example: social media, print, D4 & ZI online.
    • D4 Communications Guidelines.

Opportunities for Personal & Professional Growth & Engagement

Individuals become and remain in Zonta for a variety of reasons.  Ensure the club offers as many opportunities as possible.

Social Opportunities

A club’s demographic may indicate the needs of members.

More social opportunities outside meetings and committee work.

  •  Book clubs, travel, art & museum tours, hiking/skiing group, an evening of cards, golf games, open mic nights, etc.
  • Example: 
Personal Opportunities

Personal Learning Opportunities

  • Learning sessions/classes: cooking, yoga, meditation, self-healing, social media how-to, languages, etc.
  • Example:
Professional Opportunities

Professional Learning Opportunities

  • Leadership training, business etiquette, leading committees,  club board experience, conflict resolution, coordinating events, non-profit management, 
  • Example: