Finding New Members for Your Club (or Organization)

new members

We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better.

Jeff Bezos

I am the President of my local Toastmasters Club, and I’m excited about a speaking opportunity at my club tomorrow.  I’ll be speaking on the topic of finding new members for our club.  When I prepare for my presentations, I typically prepare an outline.  Then I write out my speech.  Next, I write out a few notes about the speech on a note card.  And finally, I practice several times.

In today’s post, I’ll share with you the written text for my speech.  While the speech is directed at members of my Toastmasters Club, I’m sure it will be helpful for you and the organizations you represent (clubs, churches, and teams).  Finding new members for our organizations can be a stretching experience, but it’s an effort worth pursuing for the vitality of your organizations, its members, and the community.


Aetna Articulators

The Successful Club Series

Jon M. Stolpe

October 14, 2015


Finding New Members For Your Club

After completing the Competent Leader and Competent Communicator awards, Toastmasters have the opportunity to keep learning and advancing to Advanced Leader Bronze. In order to earn ALB, Toastmasters must earn CL and CC, serve as a club officer for a minimum of six months, participate in the Club Success Plan while serving in office, participate in district-sponsored club officer training, and conduct any two speeches from The Successful Club Series and/or The Leadership Excellence Series. Today, I am presenting a speech from The Successful Club Series.

New members are essential to the success of our club. Without a continuous flow of new members, our club will stagnate or even seek to exist. New members inject new energy, new enthusiasm, and new ideas into our club. They provide an opportunity to mentor and to pass the torch of our club to others. The more people we have in our club the easier we can fill club meeting roles and try new activities. New members also represent more funds for the club. We each learn from each other, so new members represent a tool to help each of us stretch and grow.

Let us share the benefits we have gained for ourselves with others.

Dr. Ralph C. Smedly

Before I share ways to recruit members, I will share my early Toastmasters journey.

A couple of years ago, I heard about Toastmasters International, and it sounded like something that could help me in my public speaking and leadership opportunities in my work at Siemens and in my areas of interest outside the office. I did some investigation of my own, and I talked to my HR Manager, Mike, and I discovered our club. The meeting location and time were perfect for my busy work schedule and priorities right across the street. I contacted Rosalind, our club’s VP of Membership, and I decided to check out my first meeting. I felt welcome during my first visit, and Roz even checked in with me after my meeting to thank me and to see if I had any questions about the club. I came back two weeks later for our next meeting, and I started to learn some of the lingo and patterns for the meetings. I came back several more times before I handed over my application and dues to Gloria who was our club Treasurer and Secretary at the time. Shortly after joining the club, I received a call from Carol asking me to consider filling the role of club secretary. Since then, I’ve jumped in to help and participate whenever and wherever I can. My entry into the world of Toastmasters was pretty exciting!

We each have our own story about checking out Toastmasters, and these are important stories for us to remember. What attracted you to Toastmasters, and what wasn’t so attractive about your initial experiences? Your story can be helpful in bringing new members into our club.

You have a responsibility to contribute to the success of our club, our fellow members, and our future members. You and I have the privilege and responsibility of ensuring our club and our club meetings are successful. And this is why you should care about finding new members for our club.

Finding new members for our club starts through recruitment. Recruitment is not a once and done event. Recruitment is an ongoing activity. It’s kind of like breathing. As a member of our club, you should always be on the lookout for opportunities to recruit people for our club. Here are some ways to be intentional about recruiting new members:

  1. Talk to friends, relatives, and co-workers.
  2. Wear a Toastmasters membership pin every day.
  3. Display the Toastmaster magazine.
  4. Distribute promotional brochures and fliers.
  5. Conduct a Speechcraft workshop.
  6. Create an account on a social networking site, such as or

These are just a few ideas. Before I move on, I wanted to ask for your ideas on how we might be able to recruit new members. I’ll write your answers on the board. Can anyone get us started?



Getting people to come to our meetings is a major step forward in keeping our club successful, but it doesn’t stop there. When guests come to our club the first, second, or even third time, we must do our best to make sure guests are treated properly. At all of our meetings, we should make every effort to do the following:

  1. Greet guests at the door as they arrive.
  2. Sit with a guest during the meeting.
  3. Speak with the guest after the meeting.
  4. Invite the guest to join members for any after-meeting socializing.
  5. Ask the guest to visit again.

Additionally, we should:

  • Make sure guests sign the guest book. This helps us collect information, so we can communicate with our guests in the future.
  • Wear name tags and encourage guests to wear name tags. Saying someone’s name does wonders for helping people feel welcome. Let’s face it. We’re not all great at remembering names. Name tags help us know the names of our guests, and it helps guests to know the names of our club regulars. People are coming to our club to connect, let’s make it a little easier for them.
  • Ask guests about joining our club. Don’t assume, guests know what to do. As club regulars, we can get comfortable and complacent with how things go. We forget that guests don’t the general routines and expectations of our club. This includes signing up to join the club.

When you take time to welcome guests, you have the opportunity to advance towards your CL. These projects all deal with new members and guests:

  • Befriend a guest.
  • Co-chair an open house.
  • Co-chair a special event.

Next week, we will be hosting our annual Open House. It’s not too late to invite a friend or co-worker. When you head back to work this afternoon, take time to tell others about our club. Invite them to our Open House next week. We’ll be meeting across the street at Siemens, and there will be lunch provided. (Make sure guests pre-register on-line.) In addition to the Open House, we are also conducting a Membership Drive. Whoever brings the most guests and who recruits the most new members will win a Barnes and Noble Gift Card. Don’t let the opportunity slip by. Finally, if you have any questions about membership, be sure to contact our VP of Membership, Roz, or one of the other officers.

One enthusiastic person can make all the difference in recruiting new people for our club. We don’t need fancy tools or gadgets. We just need you to carry your passion for Toastmasters outside these walls and into the world. Don’t forget to be personal, be helpful, and be friendly.

A guest never forgets the host who had treated him kindly.


You and I can make a difference for our club and for other leaders and communicators!

Let’s do it!

Does your organization look for new members?  What has worked and what hasn’t worked when it comes to finding new members?  Share your thoughts in the comments.