Oxford’s three membership goals

American Legion National Commander James W. “Bill” Oxford will continue to focus on the following three goals for membership growth for 2021:
- 90 percent renewal rate
- 100,000 new members recruited
- 100 percent Consolidated Post Reporting

Renewal. During Fall Meetings in October, it was announced that membership renewal rate for 2021 currently stands just over 56 percent – nearly 3 percent higher than this time last year. “Retention must be the first priority to increase our membership and we must keep this in mind – retention starts the minute someone joins,” said Membership & Post Activities Committee Chairman Jay Bowen of Colorado during his remarks to the National Executive Committee (NEC). “It means we have to engage our members by conducting Buddy Checks not just when it is time to pay dues, it should be a routine leadership tool to check on our members’ health and welfare. We have to invite them to post and district training events, and we have to mentor them to be successful Legionnaires.”

To help increase training, staff from National Headquarters will be conducting training sessions on the last Tuesday of every month. Topics of discussion will be based on feedback from membership. Learn more at www.legion.org/training.
“By actively engaging these members, we will not only put them in a position to succeed, we will also show them we care about their personal growth in The American Legion,” Bowen said. “When we do this retention is no longer a goal … it is a given.”

Recruiting. It’s been over a year since the passage of the LEGION Act that filled in the gaps of membership eligibility. For the 2019-2020 membership year, 17,733 veterans joined under the Other Conflicts war era. “The passage of the LEGION Act removed the barrier of worrying about whether a veteran is eligible based on when they served,” Bowen said. “It is our responsibility to engage all veterans and ask them to join.”

Consolidated Post Reports (CPR). July 1 is the annual deadline for reports to be submitted. National Headquarters received 71 percent of the 100 percent goal of CPRs for the 2019-2020 year. The CPR data is used in a report to Congress, during interviews with national media outlets and more. Oxford stressed in his remarks to the NEC that even if a post has no activities to report, it should still send in the CPR. “If a post has not been active, the CPR can let us know that perhaps a revitalization is needed. Regardless, information is a good thing.”