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Membership News
Membership News: Make the Most of Opportunities

By Faith Quinlan, CT State Grange Membership Director

  May 6, 2019 --

With the spring blossoms and grass turning rich green I suspect everyone is ready to get outside more. For many of us that can also mean socializing will pick up also. The longer days and warmer temps usually bring a lot of invitations and opportunities to do things that are only an option once the snow and ice are gone.

Over the next few weeks our family has planned or has confirmed events that will take us through the school year. Summer weekends fill up fast with vacations, weddings and barbecues on the calendar. What does that mean when we are planning our Grange events?

Plan early, ask for volunteers early and especially get the message out early. Most of you will know what your events are and when you are having them. How will you get the message out? What can you add to your usual plan? Can you get the flyers up, signs and start posting on Facebook or other social media? When possible be sure to have signage for the following event to get people thinking and planning weeks ahead. Remember to contact our public relations team to get help designing these.

We have great food, baked treats, crafts and deals for shoppers available for sale at every Grange here in Connecticut. You should feel very proud of what you provide, contribute and volunteer for your community. That pride is also in who we are. Our goal at our events is to show our warmth and civil mindedness with as many people as we can. When they see the homemade items and taste the wonderful treats we serve we open a conversation about who made them and how long they and their family have been members. Grange events showcase to potential new members our pride and openness, teach our stories, make them feel welcomed and opens a door to the possibility they will become new members.

I cannot stress enough that the way to gain new members in today’s busy and distracted world is to get them to your Grange for an occasion and then get them to return again. We have heard that one of the Grange’s toughest barriers is the fact that people do not know who we are or what we do. Getting visits from the public help to lower that barrier. They come because we have something that interests them. Admittedly they do not come because it is the Grange, they may come because they like the Classical Music performance at the hall or because they are seeking new lamps and we are having a tag sale. Each occasion they come, no matter the reason for their visit is a positive experience with the Grange and more time we have to share with them what we have been up to. Layer these positive experiences, opening the barrier of who we are and what we do. How can they resist?

I suppose the down side is all of these positive experience layers may actually gain for us some Grange supporters rather than members. That sounds like an okay problem to have at this point. When the community visits you for your Strawberry Festival or the Annual Fair, they already know where you are located and who you serve. They have made a few new friends and if we do it right they have more information in their hands about who we are.

We are amazing and a positive force within the families and communities we serve. No matter how small a Grange may be right now compared to what they once were, they still have everything they need to find new members. There are events we can have where we partner with another community organization and get our name out. If you do not have a Grange building you can bring your event to another community location. Please send me an email or give me a call because I would love to help you brainstorm an idea that fits with who you have to work the event and what is realistic for your current membership.

Pamphlets, flyers and booklets are great to have available for potential new members but a face, personality, conversation and handshake will always will bring us closer to our goal.

Please check out the new Membership/Marketing video below. It explains the Grange to new people.



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