Jimmie Foster, leading candidate for 2010-2011 national commander, offers insight during the National Membership & Post Activities Committee meeting. Steve Brooks

Foster: Keep the members we have

Legionnaire Jimmie Foster believes it's important to bring new members into The American Legion. But the leading candidate for 2010-2011 national commander believes renewing former members is just as important.

That's why Foster, if elected, will focus his national commander's incentive program on renewals. His Lucky 7 program - introduced during last Friday's National Membership & Post Activities Committee meeting - will provide a special pin to Legionnaires who bring in at least two new members and up to five renewals.

"I want you to continue to get new members," Foster, the national commander's representative to the National Legislative Commission. "But also I want you to keep the ones we have. We do a dynamic job getting new members. But I think we do a terrible job with those going out the back door.

"I think a lot of that is after you get their money the first time, you don't actually communicate with them. You might meet them one time at the post. You don't ask them what they would like to do, or how involved they would like to become in your post, your organization. The lack of communication drives them out the back door."

For more coverage of the M&PA Committee meeting, visit www.legion.org later this week and read the January edition of The American Legion Dispatch later this month.