50 Great Collegiate Recruitment Ideas

Increase music education’s presence on your campus!

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Looking for unique ways to recruit collegiates for your Music Education Association or for your collegiate chapter at your university? Look no further; below you will find 50 unique recruitment ideas:

  1. Raffle off a free membership to someone who joins your chapter during your recruiting drive.
  2. Obtain testimonials of the value of NAfME membership from former members now teaching, and share these views with potential members.
  3. Announce membership updates at each meeting and remind people to bring friends to the next event. Let your members know that recruiting is a top priority for the group.
  4. Host a special “bring a friend” meeting featuring an icebreaker exercise, a brief club orientation, and refreshments. Each member must bring a friend to the meeting.
  5. Ask your professors to offer extra credit for NAfME membership and/or participation.
  6. Create a bulletin board display in a prominent place showing pictures from chapter activities, membership information, and a calendar of upcoming events.
  7. Display business cards of former chapter members now teaching to demonstrate that chapter members are going on to find jobs in their field.
  8. Hand out NAfME brochures to students in general music or education classes.
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  9. Announce upcoming chapter meetings in your music and education classes. Invite everyone to attend.
  10. Contact visitors after they have attended a meeting. Thank them for visiting the chapter and invite them to your next event.
  11. Ask members for names of friends and classmates who could benefit from NAfME membership. Send these people a personal invitation to attend your next event.
  12. List your upcoming meetings in your department newsletter and campus newspaper.
  13. Have chapter officers give a presentation on the value of NAfME membership to music education classes, the school’s different bands, or at a student-faculty meeting. Then hand out applications and brochures with your contact information.
  14. Establish a “Big Brother/Big Sister” program that pairs incoming freshmen with established members of your chapter. This will personalize your chapter by getting everyone involved and feeling accepted.
  15. Send an invitation letter to all incoming freshmen in the music department describing NAfME and providing information on when and where your first meeting will be.
  16. Ask sponsoring chapter members to provide free resume critiques to anyone in your chapter who joins NAfME this month.
  17. Set up a table displaying NAfME materials at freshman orientation or a student activities fair.
  18. Ask your sponsoring chapter to subsidize $5–$10 of the student dues for new students joining during your membership drive, then offer this discount to new members.
  19. Ask for donations of items such as notebooks, mugs, or gift certificates from the campus bookstore and other local businesses. Offer these as incentives to new members who join during your membership drive.
  20. Offer a prize to the person in your chapter who recruits the most new members.
  21. Waive or reduce local membership dues for students who join NAfME.
  22. Provide students who visit your meeting with an information packet about your chapter and NAfME. Include a calendar of events, a list of chapter officers, and an application to join.
  23. Send out a flyer about your chapter to a targeted group such as new music education majors, undeclared freshmen, or education majors.
  24. Invite a successful professional in your community to speak to your chapter on the value of joining professional associations.
  25. Display copies of Music Educators Journal, Teaching Music, Collegiate feature articles, and your chapter newsletter at every meeting.
  26. Publicize any awards your chapter or members have won, such as a Collegiate Growth Award, Chapter of Excellence, or Professional Achievement Award. People like to join groups that are successful.
  27. Ask professors to mention NAfME to students in their advising sessions.
  28. Write an article for your campus paper on a successful chapter project or high profile speaker.
  29. Create a membership committee to focus on new ways to bring in members.
  30. Organize a behind-the-scenes tour of a popular organization such as an amusement park, casino, or winery. Require students to be members in order to attend.
  31. Offer a chapter scholarship or book award (money towards textbooks) for members only.
  32. Make your first meeting of the year a “pizza night.”
  33. Highlight and explain a different membership benefit at each meeting.
  34. Hold a meeting in the computer lab and demonstrate the valuable information available to members.
  35. Co-sponsor a high visibility event on campus, such as a dance, concert, seminar, or sporting contest to raise awareness of your chapter and its activities.
  36. Participate in a charity event with other clubs. Invite members of other groups to visit one of your meetings and learn more about your chapter.
  37. Survey current members to determine what benefits are most valuable to them. Emphasize these benefits when creating flyers or speaking to potential new members.
  38. Hold a joint meeting or event with a related music or education club.

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  39. Hold an informational meeting for prospective members. Have members and chapter alumni tell visitors how networking through NAfME helped them find internships and jobs.
  40. Think WIIFM: “What’s In It For Me?” That’s what prospective members are asking themselves. Be sure to tell them specifically how membership will benefit them.
  41. Talk to lots of people about NAfME. Experts say it takes ten calls to make one sale.
  42. Plan chapter social events in addition to educational activities. People like to join groups that are friendly and fun.
  43. Make each prospective member feel special. Make an effort to remember names and to smile and greet people by name when you see them around campus.
  44. If you have non-members who have come to several events, give them an application and ask them to join. Some people never join simply because no one has taken an interest and encouraged them to sign up.
  45. Make it easy to participate. Establish and publicize a regular meeting schedule. Provide a local contact name, phone number, and e-mail address on all your materials and then respond to inquiries promptly!
  46. At the beginning of the fall semester, send a letter to all School of Music professional organizations , fraternities, and sororities in an effort to build unity among the organizations and solicit active participation during the school year.
  47. Review your chapter’s past rosters and remind expired members to renew their membership.
  48. Offer an incentive to members who bring at least two guests to a meeting.
  49. Print names of new chapter members in your newsletter and recognize them at chapter meetings. Demonstrate that your club is strong and growing.
  50. Always speak with excitement and pride when describing your chapter. 

Enthusiasm is contagious!

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Ronny Lau, Legislative Policy Advisor, Center for Advocacy, Policy, and Constituency Engagement, May 3, 2016. © National Association for Music Education (NAfME.org)