Recruiting and Retaining Members

One of the biggest challenges as a SWE leader is member retention. Engineering majors lead crazy lives, and it is difficult to promote the benefits of SWE when all students see sometimes is another time commitment. It is important for them to see the value in the time they invest in SWE!  Here are some ideas for member recruitment:

Recruitment:
-Host a designated breakfast or lunch on the same day every week such as Bagel Fridays or Pizza Mondays. Propose the idea to a company to sponsor these breakfasts for great advertising and networking opportunities. If you have a smaller budget, consider having coffee and treats instead.
-Do a member “Call-Out” in the beginning of the year, where you update contact information for new and existing members and briefly orient them on the opportunities available through SWE. Set up stations for the different leadership rolls in a lecture hall and give members a “passport” to have stamped by the directors or officers they meet.
-Utilize this time to pair up upperclassmen mentors with younger mentees. Or consider reaching out to industry contacts and coordinating mentorship program by pairing professionals with collegiates.
-Have corporate sponsors for freshman memberships. Put the names of all freshmen attendees in a hat and draw for free one-year memberships.

Retention:
-Reach out to those with suspended memberships. Utilize the resources from headquarters to see those who may not know their membership has been suspended. Send them a reminder email including the link to http://www.swe.org to let them know that you want to see them involved again next year.
-Offer diverse opportunities at meetings. Instead of relying solely on company sponsors to come present, incorporate career and professional development into meetings. Host Excel classes for upperclassmen and application process overviews for freshmen and sophomores.

Feel free to post your recommendations!

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