Building Community: Strategies for Attracting and Retaining Members for the Canadian Progress CLub

From Halifax Citadel at Halifax, Nova Scotia on 28/09/2023

Building Community: Strategies for Attracting and Retaining Members for the Canadian Progress Club

Welcome to a guide on attracting and retaining members for the Canadian Progress Club! In today’s fast-paced world, volunteer organizations play a vital role in fostering community engagement and driving positive change. However, attracting and retaining members can be challenging amidst competing priorities and evolving lifestyles. Through extensive analysis and insights from the data collected during the Membership Café at the 2023 National Convention, below is a comprehensive list of top strategies to help the Club not only attract new volunteers but also keep them engaged and committed for the long haul. Whether a seasoned organization or just starting out, these proven tactics will empower the Club to build a vibrant and dedicated community of volunteers who are passionate about making a difference.

Here’s a compilation of the top nine (not as cool as ten, but still impactful) strategies to attract and retain members for your Canadian-based service club:

Top Nine Strategies to Attract New Members:

  1. Leverage Social Influence: Encourage existing members to share their experiences and invite friends and family to join, highlighting the positive impact of volunteering and the camaraderie within the organization.
  2. Showcase Impact and Results: Highlight the tangible difference volunteers make in the community, emphasizing the opportunity to contribute meaningfully to causes aligned with personal values and beliefs.
  3. Foster a Welcoming Environment: Create an inclusive atmosphere that welcomes individuals of all backgrounds and abilities, offering flexibility in participation and scheduling to accommodate diverse lifestyles.
  4. Facilitate Personal Growth: Provide opportunities for skill development, mentorship, and networking, showcasing how volunteering can lead to personal enrichment and professional growth.
  5. Promote Social Connection: Emphasize the social aspect of volunteering, showcasing the friendships and connections formed within the organization through events, gatherings, and team activities.
  6. Offer Variety and Choice: Highlight the diverse range of volunteer opportunities available, allowing individuals to choose causes and activities that resonate with their interests and passions.
  7. Acknowledge and Appreciate: Recognize and appreciate volunteers for their contributions, ensuring they feel valued and acknowledged for their efforts, which fosters a sense of belonging and satisfaction.
  8. Maintain Clear Communication: Ensure transparent communication about roles, expectations, and organizational activities to provide clarity and build trust among potential members.
  9. Engage in Targeted Outreach: Tailor outreach efforts to specific demographics or communities, utilizing networking events, presentations, and partnerships to increase visibility and relevance.

Top Nine Strategies to Retain Members:

  1. Value and Recognition: Continuously show appreciation for members’ contributions, ensuring they feel valued and recognized for their efforts within the organization and the broader community.
  2. Cultivate a Sense of Belonging: Foster a supportive and inclusive environment where members feel connected, understood, and accepted, enhancing their commitment to the organization.
  3. Provide Growth Opportunities: Offer avenues for personal and professional development through mentorship, skill-building programs, and leadership opportunities, encouraging members to continue their involvement.
  4. Maintain Engagement: Regularly engage members through meetings, activities, and communication channels, keeping them informed, involved, and connected with the organization’s mission and activities.
  5. Offer Flexibility: Accommodate members’ diverse schedules and preferences by providing flexible volunteering options and opportunities that align with their interests and availability.
  6. Build Supportive Relationships: Establish mentorship programs and support systems to help new members integrate and feel supported within the organization, fostering lasting connections and friendships.
  7. Facilitate Social Connection: Organize social events, conventions, and networking opportunities to allow members to bond, make new friends, and build relationships beyond their volunteer activities.
  8. Clarify Expectations: Provide clear expectations and roles for members, ensuring they understand their responsibilities and contributions within the organization, which reduces confusion and enhances engagement.
  9. Address Needs and Concerns: Actively listen to members’ feedback and address any issues or concerns promptly, demonstrating a commitment to their well-being and satisfaction within the organization.

By implementing these strategies, your service club can effectively attract new members while fostering a supportive and engaging environment that encourages long-term participation and commitment.

In conclusion, the success of any service club hinges on its ability to effectively attract and retain members who are committed to its mission and values. By implementing the strategies outlined in this guide, the Canadian Progress Club can create an environment that fosters a sense of belonging, provides opportunities for personal growth, and cultivates meaningful connections among volunteers. Remember, volunteerism is not just about giving back to the community; it’s also about enriching one’s own life through service and camaraderie. Together, let’s continue to inspire and empower individuals to make a positive impact, both within our organization and beyond.

It’s Great to be Canadian!


Extra Special Thanks to Tanya Matthews, CPC Citadel, for making the Membership Cafe a reality. This valuable event might not have happened without her community connections and extensive knowledge of Lisa’s work. Tanya, your contributions are deeply appreciated.

Membership Café facilitated by CPC Citadel’s Lori Coughlin, Susan Best, Heather Labucki, Martha Terrio, Brooke Ireland, Beth Udby, and Lisa Peck. Missing from Photo Tanya Matthews.

Facilitator – Lisa Tilley (Partner at Uprise Consulting)

Special Thanks to NBCC Office Administration Students for transferring all the data from flip chat paper to digital document.

Written by Aynslie Croney, CPC Greater Moncton Women.