At the transition between first and second semester, member involvement can seem to dwindle down. This should be avoided at all costs because the second semester of the year is when Georgia FBLA starts getting busy with conferences and competitive events. This is also the time to start recruiting more members for the remainder of the year and next year.
You can do this by having your own Rush week just for FBLA. You can reward the members that encourage a friend to join, give out free t-shirts to the members that join throughout the week, or hand out candy or sweets to all of your members, newly joined and the ones who joined at the beginning of the year. Adding extra incentives will encourage more members to join at this time in the year where member involvement starts to decrease.
At the beginning of the year, every chapter receives a box full of promotional items for the year. This box includes, brochures, posters, postcards, and Chapter Planning Guides. These items can be used for promoting your chapter at an Open House, Club Rush, or a table set up outside of your cafeteria. Passing out the postcards and brochures can give students in your school something that tells them what FBLA is all about. Also, the posters are a very useful promotional item that you can put up around your school so students can see that FBLA is an option to join. The Chapter Planning Guide is also a very important tool for your chapter. Every Adviser should have a copy and so should your chapter president. This will make sure everyone is well informed about deadlines, dates, Membership Campaigns, and Chapter of the Year. Make sure you take full advantage of what is in your box this year.
At the beginning of the year, it is very important to generate excitement about FBLA. Students are more willing to join an organization at the beginning of the year compared to any other time throughout the year.
If your school has a Rush Week or Club Rush at the beginning of the year, have FBLA participate in some way. You could set up a booth at the Club Rush or outside your cafeteria, reduce the price of your local chapter t-shirt, or give away food or candy to those that fill out an application and bring in their dues during Rush Week. This will encourage people to join FBLA because they will know that there is a chapter at their school and there is an extra incentive to join at the beginning of the year. Another way to increase membership is through Membership Campaigns.
There are a few types of Membership Campaigns, individual, monthly, and chapter. The individual membership campaigns focus on an individual member recruiting new members and are rewarded with ribbons and, depending on the campaign, glow necklaces and more. The monthly Membership Campaigns for 2018-2019 are Rally Roundup (August 1-September 30), Operation October (October 1-20), Now in November (October 21-November 30), December Draft (December 1-31), and 19 in ’19 (January 1-February 28). By participating in these monthly campaigns, chapters can win conference registrations and official dress items. The final category of Membership campaigns is chapter. These include the Market Share Award, 100% Class Participation, the Started from the Bottom Campaign, and Membership Ladder. These campaigns primarily focus on increasing chapter membership by a certain number or percentage. By participating in the Membership Campaigns, and taking advantage of the excitement that surrounds the beginning of the year, your chapter could increase their membership this year.
December is a great time to celebrate your members before they leave for winter break. Have a fun meeting where you recognize region competitors, answer any last questions your performance event competitors have, and play some games. This will probably be your last time seeing your chapter for a few weeks, so make sure they are prepared for the Region Leadership Conference and have some fun with their fellow members. Also, most schools are having midterms or finals, so your FBLA meeting this month can be a fun break from studying for tests. Your December meeting is a great time to recognize those members that took on the extra challenge of competing at the Region Leadership Conference, and allow your members to have some fun in this busy season.
November is the start of a busy season in Georgia FBLA. November is a great time to make sure your members are prepared for their competitive events. At your meeting this month, you could allow your performance event competitors to practice in front of your chapter, or make sure that your competitors who are testing know when and where they are testing. With testing at the end of the month, you want to make sure that your competitors are prepared for their tests. November should be the month where you make sure all the last minute details about competition are finalized.