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Summer 2014 • 21
Attending Club meetings is an important part of being a Member for many Optimists. For new Members, the activity conducted can be crucial. In many ways, the initial meetings a Member attends serve as a frst impression of what it means to be an Optimist. The saying, “You only get one chance to make a frst impression” defnitely applies.
Being a new Member can feel overwhelming with learning the rules and procedures of the organization, participating in the activities being conducted and even trying to remember the names of all the other Members. Many people feel intimidated when trying something new or going somewhere with a lot of people. It is up to the Club to make new Members feel welcome and excited about coming back .
Here are some suggestions to try in your Club:
1 Pair each new Member with a mentor or someone who has been with the Club for a few years. They can work together on a project or event with the intention of the new Member taking over the following year.
2 All Club Members should make it a priority to introduce themselves and talk with visitors.
3 Inquire about the interests of new Members and ask them to serve on a committee. If they have a new project idea, encourage them to share it with the Club.
4 Give each new Member a small gift with the Club or Optimist International logo. It does not have to be anything big, just a token to remind them of the fun they had at the meeting.
5 Have a Club offcer give all newcomers a special thank you and invitation to a future event.
6 Host a special gathering for new Members every other month. Provide refreshments and discuss Club projects and fundraisers. Talk about what each new Member is interested in and try to match them with an activity.
7 Include a short bio and photo of new Members in your Club newsletter or on the Club website.
8 Contact your new Members a few days after they join to fnd out if there is anything they need. Ask for feedback on the meeting and their frst impressions.
If new Members are made to feel welcome, they are more likely to attend future Club meetings and events. When in doubt, think about the things that made you want to continue being part of your Club. There is a good chance those same things will help today’s new Members feel like an important part of the group.
• 18 years of dedicated service to Optimist International • Experienced businesswoman and entrepreneur • Working for a strong organization that respects the past, understands the present, and is committed to a future of new ideas and directions
Service • Leadership • Commitment
Board of Directors Optimist International
Summer2014 Magazine.indd 21 5/27/14 6:01 PM