Best practices to membership growth

Best practices to membership growth

American Legion Internal Affairs and Membership Division staff at National Headquarters reached out to posts with membership growth this year to share their success stories. We will be sharing the stories submitted over the next few issues of the Dispatch.

Post 62, Peoria, Ariz. In October (2023), I reach out to post members with an email address on file who hadn’t renewed to remind them that their current year membership card will expire. This included those who had not renewed for the previous year. In November, I reach out to members by text with a phone number on file who had not renewed. Again, this also applied to those who didn’t renew the previous year.  

In December, I mailed letters to members who do not have either an email address or a phone number listed in their Legion file to remind them that their current year membership expired on Jan. 1, 2024. In January, I reach out via email, text or letter to let them know that they are in a "grace period" for renewal. After that, the general membership must approve their renewal after Feb. 1. 

Now, I'm going through a list of 237 Post 100 members that live within 5 miles of our post, inviting them to transfer to our post. I let them know about the new multi-year renewal program that allows them to purchase three consecutive membership years. 

- David S. Broyles, adjutant


Post 77, Woodland, Calif.  The things we do for membership success:

  • Buddy Checks
  • Active-duty military have their dues paid by the post as long as they are on active duty.
  • The post is available for rent to members at half price and to the public for full price. When non-members inquire about renting, we always ask if they are veterans. If they are, we point out that joining the post for $50 saves them $250 on the rental cost. That brings in some new members.
  • I always contact headquarters post members and invite them to transfer to our post.
  • I think the biggest difference in the past month is that I sent out 58 of the renewal letters available through MyLegion and had some success with those. I even enclosed an envelope with the letter, stamped and addressed to the post, so it would be easy for them to mail in a check. It's a bit of an investment, but I think it helped.

 - Gary Leach, adjutant

Post 91, Corvallis, Mont.  Post 91 has been in existence since 1937 and is a solid part of the community. I would say that our positive growth rate this year is due to a combination of things:

1.  We have become more active with the local school district - holding career days, flag retirement ceremonies, successful oratory and Constitutional essay competitions, sponsoring high school students to Boys and Girls State, helping with snacks when their cafeteria pipes froze, establishing a Care Closet for needy students and their families, adopting a family for the holidays, and participating in school events for Veterans Day and Memorial Day.  We also have a few members that volunteer on the campus, as well as two post members who sit on the school board. This visibility has brought us new members from parents and grandparents.

2.  We have established, in conjunction with the local Sheriff's Office, the American Legion Emergency Response Team (ALERT).  The team is an adjunct support for the sheriff in event there is a natural disaster or mass casualty event.  Our involvement is primarily led by the Post Amateur Ham Radio Club.  This activity has brought several new members to the radio club. The club is also active in local events such as our Memorial Day parade and local fundraising runs.

3.  We have two affiliate organizations for youth – the Bitterroot Marksmanship Club and the Bitterroot Valley Military Program. These have gotten good publicity which has brought in membership from parents/grandparents of the participants.  The leaders are also from our post.

4.  We updated our social media presence with a new member who is tech savvy.  This has given us added visibility.

5.  The promise of the new American Legion Cruisers car club has brought in new members who are interested in joining that segment of our programs. 

- Patrick Clover, adjutant 

Post 9, Spokane, Wash. We have a monthly newsletter that is sent out to all members with email addresses on file, and we have created an email distribution group to send out reminders regarding meetings and upcoming events. I also take the department at large report and run a ZIP code filter. Anyone with an email address I send them a drafted letter about joining our post. I feel that the combination of these has been a huge help in communicating with our membership.

- William (Bill) Strobeck, adjutant