Chapter Building Strategy: Effective Recruitment

Part 2: Preparation

Before you jump into the deep end of chapter growth, lay out your plan for the most effective recruitment strategy.

Successful planning for your recruitment effort will take time and require an extensive amount of brainstorming and preparation.  Keep this in mind if your YAL chapter plans to participate in a student activities fair — and plan your leadership meetings accordingly.  Keep your chapter’s leadership focused and plan to develop and generate ideas and assign tasks.

Consider the following questions:

  • What days during the semester do you plan to recruit?
  • Where will you set up operations? Are there multiple locations (indoors and out) you could table or recruit?
  • Who will help recruit? Make a sign-up list with specific times so you can schedule volunteers throughout the day.
  • Do you need to register for your school’s student activities fair?  Register now!  This is a perfect opportunity to introduce your chapter to new people.
  • Do you need to receive permission to set up a table or to petition on campus?  Ask now!  Don’t give unsympathetic administrators any reason to hinder your efforts.
  • What materials do you need to order and prepare ahead of time?  Posters?  Flyers?  Pens and sign-up sheets?  Operation Politically Homeless kits?  Order them now.
  • Is there a YAL Activism Kit available?  YAL’s Activism Kits contain free materials (stickers, literature, videos, intern opportunities, and more) from us, as well as our strategic partners, so order yours today!  These are usually offered at the beginning of a new semester, so check this website or email us:  

Additionally, consider:

  • How will you grab students’ attention and stand out?
  • What is your plan to get people to your initial informational meeting?
  • What do you present at the meeting?
  • Have you planned at least four weeks of activities and distributed a calendar of events?
  • How will you sustain your membership, develop new leaders, and integrate new members into your chapter?

Plan to table as often as your chapter’s members can — possibly twice a week.  Make sure you recruit students on days when people have different schedules (pick one day from Monday, Wednesday, or Friday and one day from Tuesday or Thursday).

If you have a very large campus, consider tabling in multiple locations at once. 

If your school has a student activities fair, make sure to register your chapter and reserve space.  This is the best time to recruit new members.  (Note:  Plan to table as much as you can before the activities fair.  That way, when you table at the fair, students may already remember your chapter and take this new opportunity to approach you — even if they didn’t feel comfortable in your campus’ quad.)

Remember to schedule an informational meeting before you begin to table.  It may be useful for you to schedule two informational meetings, which ensures more interested students can attend.

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