Greetings, Chapter Presidents! By this time, you may have had your first TSA meeting, or may be preparing to hold your first meeting. Hopefully, you’ll see many familiar faces at these meetings. However, in order to keep your chapter healthy, it’s important to increase your membership. Sometimes, the graduation of a single class or grade level can take out a large portion of a chapter’s members. To avoid “stacking the deck,” you should always be on the lookout for new potential members that you can recruit. Thanks to the new Chapter Affiliation Program (CAP) National TSA uses to register chapters, your school might be able to recruit new members at no extra cost to the chapter, so there’s no excuse not to seek to increase your membership!
So how exactly do you increase your membership? It takes a little more than just saying, “Hey you! Join TSA!” But don’t fret. Here are five tips on how to give your membership a boost.
1. If your school has morning announcements, newsletters, bulletin boards, or any media source accessible to many students, utilize that media to reach a large number of potential members!
2. Talk to your school’s technology teacher and ask him or her if you can talk to the class about TSA, or if they’d be willing to use a TSA event as a class/group project (i.e. Problem Solving, Bridge Building, etc.)
3. Get to know people before you recruit them! People will be more likely to join an organization if they have friends that participate as well.
4. Be sure to talk about all the things that TSA offers aside from competitions. For example, let people know about the opportunities to travel around the country, make new friends with fellow members from other states, and possibly win scholarships for college.
5. The most important thing you can do is to talk about TSA with a passion. People will join if they can see how passionate you are about TSA! However, be careful to ensure that you don’t come across as being pushy.
In addition, the State Officer Team is working to produce a promotional packet for chapters to use in recruiting. It will be available on our website at no cost to you! It’s a great way to show students all the fun, exciting, and educational experiences students can enjoy within TSA. The packet also includes information on how to effectively recruit new members.
Our promotional packet is based on the “Dream It. Build It. Live It.” campaign. This campaign seeks to appeal to different kinds of people by highlighting the different kinds of events TSA offers. Included in the packet are three flyers, each expanding on one of the aspects of the campaign. These flyers can be hung around the school, or can be handed out directly to students. Also included is a promotional video that explains what TSA is, and why students should become involved. There are also two new PowerPoint presentations. One can be used to recruit new members, and the other includes recruiting tips that your chapter can use to effectively recruit new members. All of these tools can be used to get students pumped for the new year in TSA!
However effective these resources are, nothing incites interest as much as word-of-mouth. If your school already has a successful TSA chapter, you can utilize your current members to recruit new ones! Get together with your returning members before your first general interest meeting to talk about ways to spark interest in TSA. Ask everyone to bring a friend to the interest meeting— people are more likely to go if their friends are there!
Make sure to delegate responsibilities for the interest meeting beforehand (For example, Member 1 will talk about competitions, Member 2 will talk about conferences, etc.) to ensure that the meeting runs smoothly. Ask your members to wear TSA t-shirts the week of the meeting- sometimes recruiting is as simple as explaining what the logo on your shirt means!
Once you have effectively utilized your recruitment materials, you should have a considerable amount of interest in TSA at your school. The best way to take advantage of this interest and expand your chapter is to hold an interest meeting after school. If your school makes daily announcements, make an announcement about your interest meeting, including the location and date. Also, list these details on the recruitment flyers when you display them around school.
When promoted effectively, the turnout at your interest meeting will be large enough to maintain a large and successful chapter. At the interest meeting, you should keep the information about TSA general, but interesting. Talk about conference locations, events that members may want to compete in, and anything else that you think will convince potential members to join your chapter. Keep this interest meeting short and to the point. The following week, hold another meeting for people who decide to join TSA to discuss membership.
We hope that you’ll find these tips and resources helpful, and hope that you and your chapter will be successful this year!
Salutations to all chapter presidents! My name is Gus White and I have both the honor and the privilege of serving as your Tennessee TSA State Vice President this year. This will be my 5th year in TSA, and I am more optimistic and enthusiastic about this year in TSA than I have ever been before! I hope you will find this blog both informative and useful as we look to continue our growth as a state association!