Get new members involved

Why do people join your club? Maybe they’ve been a guest at a club meeting or two. Now they know they want to belong to something meaningful. Help them feel a part of your club from the first meeting Here are a few ways to get them oriented, educated and involved.

Assign a mentor
Host a new-member orientation
Conduct an induction ceremony
Make them feel like part of the club
Assign them to a committee
Ask for their feedback

Assign a mentor
Once a new member has received board approval, pair him with a mentor, someone he will connect with and ask questions of. A mentor makes sure the new member attends orientation, finds projects of interest and introduces the new member around. See the checklist for more mentoring ideas.

Host a new-member orientation
Within two weeks of board approval, new members should attend an orientation. The orientation program provides a process to match a new member’s interests, skills and time availability with a club project or activity. Use this presentation, presentation script and induction script to help you cover everything.

What is involved?
  • Identify five or six club members, perhaps in teams of two, to conduct an orientation session as needed.
  • Select a place that will provide the privacy, space and convenience to accommodate the orientation team and the new members.
  • Arrange for the necessary equipment and handout materials.
  • Take the time to find out a little background information about these new members, what made them choose Kiwanis, what hobbies and talents they have and what they are looking forward to doing as a club member.

The orientation outline will guide you through topics and details to cover during the orientation.


Conduct an induction ceremony
The induction ceremony is a chance to introduce and welcome a new member to the club. Help other members to know this new member a little better by including some details about the new member’s life and interests in your introduction. This is also a good opportunity to give a show of appreciation to the sponsoring member.

A suggested script for your club’s induction ceremony can be found in the Leadership guide.

Make them feel like part of the club
Acknowledge and appreciate members, and they’ll continue to be active in your club. Here are some ideas:

  • Break the ice. Encourage all members to interact with the newest inductees through icebreakers and contests.
  • Meet and greet. Have the sponsoring Kiwanian and new member serve as greeters at a meeting. The sponsor can introduce the new member to arriving members.
  • Let them know you care. When a new member missed a meeting, follow up with her and let her know she was missed.
  • Give them a task. If the new member is given a simple task related to the meeting, it provides the feeling “they’re counting on me,” without being taxing or stressful.
  • Name them. Use special nametags to identify new members—maybe a different color, but nothing embarrassing. Make the membership aware of the system so the new members are recognized.
  • Get them together. If several members join at the same time, have a new member reception so they can meet one another. The new member orientation can serve this purpose as well.

Assign them to a committee
There is a greater chance members will value their membership more if they are drawn to active participation. New members’ first assigned duties should give them an early “taste of success” which will encourage a new member to do more.

People join Kiwanis for different reasons; so, consider the primary interest that brought a member into the club. Ask for their input before making an arbitrary committee assignment. The information you collected during the new-member orientation will help you identifying member interests and their availability.

Also consider a member’s special talents—but don’t assume because a member is an accountant he will want to assist the treasurer. Your members may be looking for a change from what they do all day.

Ask for their feedback
After new members are inducted, stay in touch and show new members they’re valued. Invite new members to meet casually with a couple of board representatives. Their input will give you a new perspective on the club, perhaps revealing strong and weak points.

Within the first year, invite their feedback using the new-member survey. This survey uses a simple rating system to give some perspective on the new member’s experience and an opportunity for idea-sharing.