(Photo by Clay Lomneth)

National commander lists ways to build membership

Members of The American Legion’s National Executive Committee (NEC) gathered at National Headquarters in Indianapolis May 9 for the organization’s annual Spring Meetings. During her opening remarks to the NEC, National Commander Denise H. Rohan instilled a reminder that while The American Legion is the most influential veterans service organization in the country, it can’t be taken for granted that it will always be that way. Thus, “we have an even greater responsibility to build our membership,” Rohan said.

She highlighted the following membership tools and resources that are available on www.legion.org for Legion members at every level to use when recruiting:

Elevator pitch. Have a two- to three-minute soundbite on the importance and benefits of American Legion membership.

American Legion mobile app. Download the free Legion mobile app to sign members up on the spot.

Door hanger. Customize the Legion-branded membership door hanger to recruit potential new members at their home, even if they are not there.

Applications. Keep a few membership applications on hand at all times. And have a supply of “Why You Should Belong” and “This is The American Legion” brochures for informational or recruiting events.

MyLegion.org. Access your post’s expired members listing that can be found under the “Find Members in my Area” section on www.mylegion.org.

Members. Recruit veterans of all war eras. “They are all equally important and diversity is a strength,” Rohan said.

For additional American Legion recruiting tools and resources, click here.

“These tips may seem very basic to many of us, but we should never lose sight of the fact that we are a community-based organization, even if we yield national influence," Rohan said. "We can benefit from practicing these basic recruiting tips and our principles. Because it is our longtime Legionnaires who will pass on the traditions and principles of our great American Legion to the next generation of Legionnaires, who will advance that service into our second century.”

Membership and Post Activities Committee Chairman Randy Goodman of Georgia reported to the NEC that the Departments of France, Mexico and West Virginia exceeded 100 percent of their 2018 membership goal. And six departments achieved over 95 percent of their membership goal – Wisconsin, New Jersey, Idaho, South Carolina, Montana and Minnesota.

Goodman also reminded everyone in attendance that departments have access to acquired DMS members through www.mylegion.org. An incentive to transfer those members into a local post as part of a revitalization efforts is that they count toward the department's membership goal. Through revitalization efforts over the past 10 years, about 727,000 DMS members have been transferred to a local post.

"Many Legionnaires do not feel comfortable recruiting new members. That's where training comes in place and where Legionnaires need to be taught some of the basic (recruiting) items that we may take for granted," Goodman said. "We want them to feel at ease and know how to sell The American Legion."