Booster clubs can only be as strong as the members who make up its ranks. Having a wide variety of skills and experience in the group means your projects will have that much better chances of success! So, it’s critical to have booster club membership numbers as a central focus for the club. Has your organization used any of the following ideas to increase booster club membership?
1. Marketing the Booster Club Over the Summer
While school may start in the fall, rising high school freshmen and other student groups will be actively engaged over the summer in preparation for fall activities. That means that potential new members or volunteers for the club will be receiving information from the school, and will have eyes open for other relevant information about their child and involvement opportunities.
If your booster club has some design elements (like a logo or other materials), make sure to let parents see you actively recruiting and engaging the athletic community over the summer. A few easy ways to make your club visible:
- Post athletic recap pictures, videos, slideshows from the previous athletic year on social media
- Make sure to get permission from parents and athletes first!!
- Bumper stickers
- One or two “socials” where members of the club from the previous year and any interested people are able to meet and catch up
2. Have a Designated Recruitment Officer
It should be someone’s singular job to recruit members. Assigning “recruitment” as its own important role sends the (correct) message that membership makes or breaks an organization in the long term. Certainly, your officer will ask for and assign help depending on the time of year and upcoming activities, but one person needs to be calling the shots.
The recruitment officer should work closely with any communications leaders you might have in the club. That way, your club can be talking (regularly) about what’s going on, what’s coming up, and can thank and celebrate members who are leaving the group. (Hopefully they’re leaving because their child is graduating!)
3. Take Good Notes
Following a similar line of thinking as the previous paragraph, make sure to keep detailed information about what your club does and how it works.
By keeping a strong history of your group’s accomplishments, as well as the small milestones that made big differences, you have a lot to use when selling your group to potential new members.
Your club’s secretary and communications leaders should be collaborating to “sell” the positives to new members, AS WELL AS showing your current members how great it is to be a part of something bigger than themselves.
4. Recruit Non-Parents
Boosterland.com has a great article with some ideas about recruiting booster club volunteers, and one of them is to reach out to non-parents. When we say “non-parents,” that doesn’t mean “adults without kids” (though you can certainly recruit members of the community who don’t have kids). Rather, it refers to parents of kids whose event is happening at the same time as booster club involvement.
So, football parents shouldn’t work during football games – they want to watch their child play ball! And that goes for any sport or school activity. Emphasize that booster club members will be able to attend their own children’s activities, and will instead be called to help other parents enjoy their children’s events.
This can include parents of the school’s alumni, who are still members of the community looking to contribute! Keeping an eye out for opportunities like that will ensure your booster club membership numbers stay high.
5. Recruit Younger Members
Community service is community service, and there are always students looking to bolster their experience with service. If your high school has a local college or university nearby, reach out to the appropriate staff there and see if there are students interesting in volunteering. These students can be recruited to market an event, run concessions, or even help to use their degrees to boost your talent pool (graphic design, cloud storage of your information, etc).
Chicken or the Egg?
Does having many people in your booster club make it strong, or does a strong booster club attract people organically?
It really will always be a little bit of both. To have a strong year, you really need to have several things in place:
- Officers/jobs and clearly defined roles
- Concrete, achievable goals and mission <—
- A working relationship with school staff
With these things in place, just a few people can really make a big difference. But, it’s always easier to have more hands available to take on projects and tasks!
Plus, emphasize how much fun and how rewarding booster club membership can be. You’re out there to support the kids, support the school, meet great people, and take your community to the next level. Hard to beat that!