How the Valley of Schenectady Achieved 1000% Increase in Membership

Guest Blog by Roger Pelham, 33°, MSA

In a livestream event in June 2019, we had representatives from several Valleys from the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction tell us how they increased membership in their regions, and shared some recipes for success. Below, Roger Pelham, 33°, from the Valley of Schenectady, shares the key to his Valley’s success, leading the pack with more than 1000% year over year new member growth:

We first created a formal Membership Committee, which is comprised of the “second-in-line” Valley officers. Along with the chairman, this core group met regularly and discussed many different potential approaches to enhance our results. After much discussion, we decided that our new program format would serve as a “3P Approach” – Presentation, Patience and Persistence.

Presentation

The use of the new professional brochures made available thanks to the Supreme Council was the first step taken to improve the most important part of the recruiting campaign: presentation and first impression. By offering the “You’re Invited” pamphlet, along with details of several upcoming Valley events such as the professional baseball game outing and our fall get-together, a sense of exclusivity and welcoming atmosphere was established. This was a far different approach compared to simply asking the prospect to join, a sort of “one and done” exercise that had been done in the past.

Patience

Including the prospective candidate in the summer and early fall activities provided first-hand fun and fellowship, and the ability to witness Scottish Rite in action. This ongoing exposure to the fraternity was coupled with an intentional position of patience in waiting for a response to join the membership class. This new lack of any “arm bending” allowed the prospect to make his own decision, and in due time.

As a result, we have seen a higher percentage of new members attending meetings and choosing to become involved in Valley programs. Our more patient approach in allowing for a genuine “Yes” response has proved to be an improved recruiting method.

Persistence

Integral with the patience in waiting for the prospect to indicate any decision is the plan of persistence. It is critical to be in continual communication with the prospect to respond to any questions he might have, and just as important, to make sure he knows you really care. This is by no means a deluge of calls but simply updating the Brother periodically of any changes or new opportunities to attend events and non-tiled meetings.

Incorporating this “3P Approach” with improved communication and outreach to the Blue Lodge District Deputies offering 3° team presentations, as well as informing them of our Valley program schedule has resulted in greater exposure and interest. Truly recognizing that communication is critical has had a marked improvement not only in our membership campaign, but also in all facets of our Scottish Rite experiences.

“We will strive to be a fraternity that fulfills our Masonic obligation to care for our members.”

Taking into account the phrase above will make a profound difference in the Scottish Rite Path Forward, membership campaigns, and even your life!

Learn it! Live it!

Watch Scottish Rite, NMJ's full livestream event, Celebrating Membership: A Tribute to Innovations and Successes in the NMJ.

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