Member Recruitment and Retention

Member recruitment is important to the health and growth of a Club. Some Members will naturally drop off due to scheduling conflicts or moving out of the area. It is important to bring in new Members who have a lot of energy and fresh ideas so that a Club can maintain its level of service. Once new Members are recruited, a Club should get them involved and keep them interested, so they can serve children in the area for years to come. Below are some programs that will help Clubs with their recruitment and retention efforts.

Partners in Optimism

  • Two Clubs agree to partner with the intent of mentoring and strengthening a smaller Club (less than 20 members).
  • The Presidents of both Clubs sign a Partners-in-Optimism commitment letter,
  • The two clubs have at least one joint event per quarter (meeting, program, fundraiser, etc.)
  • Both Clubs complete Honor Club requirements per ICD-135
  • The Club starting with Membership less than 20 Members must end the year with a net increase in Membership of 10 and a roster of at least 20 Members
  • The net increase in Membership for both Clubs must be at least 15

When all of the above requirements are met, both Clubs will be recognized as Distinguished at the end of the year.

Just Invite

Encourage every Optimist Member to “just invite” a guest, someone they care about, to the Club event that they are the most passionate about or have the most fun at. Seeing you at your most passionate and having the fun you have while making a difference for the youth in your community will motivate your guest to want to be part of an organization that inspires you so much.

    All Clubs that entertain the same number of guests as they have Members (i.e. 1 guest per Member) will be recognized in the bi-weekly Newsday Tuesday publication.
This is a self-reporting program on the honor system.

Welcome Optimists Worldwide Program
Recruiting new members is not a once a year event but is an ongoing process. Every event, activity and fundraiser is an opportunity to bring in new members and should be treated as such. Volunteering and membership has changed and expanded through the years.

Click to download the Welcome Optimist Worldwide Program Docx

Click to download the Welcome Optimist Worldwide Program PDF

NOW (New Optimists Welcome)
NOW stands for New Optimists Welcome and is a program designed to capture the interest of prospective Optimist Members. The program is for Optimist Clubs committed to achieving a net gain of 10 Members during the administrative year.

The NOW event is generally a dinner or series of dinners to which potential members are extended invitations. During the event, the Optimist Club takes advantage of its captive audience and shows the service it provides to the local community. While the NOW event generally includes a meal, some speeches or presentations and an invitation to join the organization, many Clubs modify the idea to fit their needs. Most importantly, the event should create an atmosphere in which new Optimists feel “welcome.”

Zone NOW Event
Clubs interested in replicating a Zone-wide NOW event can follow this suggested timeline. Click here to download the timeline.

For information check out the NOW Brochure or contact the Member Services Department at

New Clubs
One of the most dramatic ways to recruit new Members into the organization is to start a New Club. Check out the New Club section of the website for information about how to get started.

Membership Recruitment Kit
The Membership Recruitment Kit is a method of recruiting potential Charter Members for a new Club, or to add Members to an existing Club.