Membership engagement is a priority for American Legion National Commander Paul E. Dillard – especially for those who have yet to renew for 2022. “Engagement is the key to renewals,” said Dillard, whose membership renewal goal is 90%.
“We simply cannot let the challenges of COVID make us complacent. We can always find excuses for not working renewals and membership, so let’s find excuses for making it work! I am asking for every department, district, county and posts leadership to get out there and get those renewals. Hold events, ask members to help, get them engaged, and they will stay.”
American Legion post commanders and adjutants with administrative access to MyLegion.org can view non-renewed members. On the left-hand navigation menu, click on Reports and Labels. You will see Post/Squadron Current Roster. The membership roster includes status, paid year, contact information, war conflict, continuous membership years, branch of service and membership type. Begin creating the roster by entering the Group value, last paid year, and mailing status and View Report. Using the filter options allows you to customize your roster to recognize expired and undeliverable members.
Renewal can be done online at legion.org/renew.
Elizabeth Hartman, commander of American Legion Post 539 in New Bern, N.C., and a 2021 National Legion College graduate, shared with The American Legion that, “We have a lot of people not renewing and you can pull that list online and then you can call each person and ask, ‘Why didn’t you renew? And what can I do to get you back?’ It just takes a phone call. Just pull the list, make the calls, and listen to what the non-renewers say.”
Contact DMS members
Besides engagement with members who have not renewed at the post level, engagement with DMS members is just as imperative. “If we don’t engage with DMS members and transfer them into a local post, they are not going to renew,” Dillard expressed.
American Legion post adjutants and commanders have access to DMS members in MyLegion.org. DMS members are in the “Find Members in my Area” report located in Reports/Labels on the left-hand navigation menu. Create the report by entering a ZIP code (or multiple ZIP codes) and last paid year, then select “View Report.” The report provides contact information, including member ID, name, address, phone number, email, war era, and more.
“Let’s start the engagement process by making contact. Let veterans know we care and that their membership is valuable,” Dillard expressed. “We have to engage our members and ask them to renew their membership. And just as importantly, show them the value of membership in The American Legion.”
Membership renewal incentive
Legionnaires are encouraged to reach out to 2020 members, including DMS, and offer them the ability to continue their continuous years of membership – despite not renewing in 2021 – if they renew for the 2022 membership year. For example, if an expired 2020 member had five continuous years prior to letting their membership lapse, and they were to pay for the 2022 membership year, their continuous years would be six years. Learn more here.