Membership Recruitment & Growing Your Club

Best Practices, Strategies & Resources

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

Preparing for New Members?

New members will stay if they see a functioning club, happy members actively engaged in the community and internationally, as promised.

Know Your Club & Community

Conducting a SWOT Analysis focused specifically on membership will set you up for membership recruitment.

    Resource: Club Manual: Appendix C – SWOT Analysis

      Club Social Media & Website
      • Media channels have current content.
      • Reflect on your club’s involvement in the community, Zonta, and significant campaigns or dates.
      • Developing your own content will have a greater impact on viewers. D4 is developing social media templates.
      • Engage in social media relationships (Like/Share/Friends/Follow) with businesses or individuals you want to become members.
      • Sharing content from ZI, D4, and other clubs shows the expanse of Zonta.
      • Your images will reflect your club and who you wish to attract. Seasoned members vs. young professionals.
      • Easy to locate contact information and follow up on inquiries in a timely manner.
      • Research what PR methods work in your community and the target market you are seeking.


      • Determine and communicate membership goals and timeline to the membership.  Recruitment brainstorming can be a club initiative.
      • Readily available public relations material, social media, and quality print material relative to your events and budget. Membership material is available at every outreach activity. E.g. media kit/press release, club/event flyers, postcards, bookmarks, invest in pull-up club/event banner.
      • Access local radio and television promotion.
      • Examples of recruitment material
      • Ensure every activity has a membership component.  Who, what & why you do what you do. State that you are seeking new members.
      • Consider regular recruiting events at specific times each year.
      • ID members that are comfortable and willing to be a spokesperson at outreach activities/events.
      • Consider incentives, recognize & reward members that invite guests or gain new members.
      • Build relationships with community and potential members, not “sell” Zonta as a product. 


      Identify the Type of Member You Want

      Actively seek out members that will build your club’s foundation.

      Members with Specific Skills
      • Look at the resources and skills lacking in your club. Are there professions or individuals that embody those qualities?
      • Look to your community for potential organizations & businesses your members are already engaged with and have established partnerships.
      Target Diversity

      Research your community and surrounding area.

      • Is there an underrepresented community group not being fulfilled in your club?
      • Diversity brings energy and a new perspective to the club.
      • Uncovers systemic issues the club may have been overlooking.
      • Promote the Young Professional Classification.
      Identifying Club Recruiters

      Who’s the best person for the job?  EVERYONE

      • ID members that are comfortable and willing to be a spokesperson at outreach activities/events. 
      • Outgoing enthusiastic members can be more comfortable in “cold call” situations.
      • Members already involved or connected with women in your community.
      • Engage community women holding leadership positions, or know women who do in a brainstorming session to identify potential members or act as the club’s “eyes”.  
      • Example of “Making the Ask.”
      Where to Find New Members

      Outside the Club

      • Local business associations, Chamber of Commerce, & Small Business Centres.
      • Community clubs without service/advocacy agenda. E.g. Sororities, networking groups, young professionals groups, community volunteer events, etc.
      • Professional businesses, banks, lawyers, accounting firms, engineers, education, healthcare, donor development & event coordinators, etc.
        • Remain conscious of a young professional’s work commitments and work-life balance.

      Club Connections

      • Club’s partnering organizations & recipients of a club’s donations.
      • Reach out to past scholarship and award recipients.
      • Encourage graduating Golden Z club students to join.
      • Identify the daughters, granddaughters (next generation) of friends and family.

      Recruitment Activities

      Be proactive in your recruiting strategy. Use every opportunity to create awareness about Zonta & build relationships.

      Recruit Volunteers

      Sometimes called Friends of Zonta

      • External volunteers can ease into membership without time or financial commitment.  Today’s volunteer is tomorrow’s member.
      • Make a list of how external volunteers can help ease member workload.
        • Events
        • Skills not available in the club. E.g. website management, PR, developing club promotional material.
      Club Events, Projects or Initiatives to Attract Attention
      • Make quality club information available
      • Greeters and members designated to speak one-on-one with attendees about the club and why they are a member.
      •  Determine what Zonta can do for the potential member.
      • Gather and use member testimonies about why they are Zonta members.
      Promoting Global Aspect
      • Join with other clubs to maximize resources
      • Promote membership that can encompass other clubs, districts, international.
      • A female-focused organization with international reach, programs and projects. 
      Follow Up
      • Follow up with a potential member after an inquiry or a visit to your club or event.
        • Assign the task to the membership committee or specific member.
      • Inquire as to what was most interesting from the event or last meeting.
      • Inquire if anything was off-putting or could function better, then disclose concerns to the appropriate committee/board.  Invite the person to help the next time.
      • Invite parties to another event, meeting, or project.


      Working with New Members

      Now that you have new members, now what do you do with them?

      Welcome & Involvement

      Make new members welcome and useful. Member introduction is a two-way conversation. New members need to learn about current members.

        • Make member profiles/bios available to all members.
        • Highlight a member each month in your newsletter or at a meeting.
        • Wearing name badges to avoid embarrassing situations.
      • Don’t overwhelm the new member with Zonta information.
        • Use documents as a reference to substantiate what has been verbally discussed. 
      • Establish a consistent orientation process.
      • Continuing supporting (mentoring) the new member as they become familiar with club meetings, established members, and understanding the culture and activities of the club.
      • Make the induction ceremony special, offer club pins/name badges, roses, and willing mentors to build the relationship between club and member.
      • Invite new members to orientation training sessions with an assigned mentor.
      • Offer positions, vice/understudy positions or match leadership mentors to those wanting more involvement early, they may be your future leader.
        New Member Orientation Plan
        • Offer consistent orientation/training sessions to the new members.
        • Include mentor so everyone knows the information shared.
        • Break down the orientation session into comfortable segments delivered over a period of time.
        • Address membership committee direction, incorporating plans that engage membership and leadership.
        • Assign the new member to a committee that resonates with them.
        • Utilize ZI Leadership Program modules.
        • Example: D4 New Member Orientation Plan.
        Training, Coaching & Mentoring
        • Ensure club members are ready for the task of training and mentoring a new member.
        • Activate passive members as trainers or mentors.
        • Example: ZI Leadership Development – Mentoring 


        Club Social Media & Website Content

        Studies indicate prospective members will be attracted to a club’s social media content and then do more in-depth research on the club’s website.

        Updating All Media Channels with current content
        • Outdated online information is a deterrent for many professionals.
        • Primary content reflects what are you doing now.  Create a page for past events or archive information.
        • Use images of events and activities.
        • Use images to promote the type of member you wish to attract. 
        • Testimonies & Images
          • Seek permission for posting and follow copyright laws.
          • Why current member remain in Zonta
          • What new members discover about Zonta and enjoy the most.
        • Highlight & welcome new members,
          • Brief bio – written by the member, possibly include workplace, community interests while limiting personal information.
        • Identify current service and advocacy projects.
        • Make content easy to see, find, and follow.  Don’t give a viewer a reason to leave your site.
        • Use social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) consistently.
        • Content is aligned with ZI’s mission/vision, share ZI partnering organization content.

        Resource: ZI Branding Protocol

        Promote on ZI & D4 and share with other clubs to gain more recognition and higher Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

        Resource: D4 Communications Guidelines for D4 content submission.

        Share & Post to Social Media Channels

        Educate your member on how to share and post social media content.

        Example: sharing and posting content.