1. Start by gathering your materials. At the very least you will need several pens, a sign-up sheet, and a clipboard. Check out the SFLA sign-up sheet for an example of one. You should also have a flier about your group to give to the people you meet. This flier should include three pieces of information: the group’s mission statement, contact information, and details of the next meeting and event. If you plan to have a table, you may want to use posters, give-aways (such as key chains or pens), and candy.
2. Clipboarding, tabling, and networking are great ways to recruit. Tabling involves setting up a table in a busy area on campus or at an event. Use your posters, candy, and give-aways here. Do not stand behind the table. Do not sit down. Approach students to sign them up for your group. Clipboarding is like tabling but without the table. You are more free to move around and don’t have to worry about watching your table. It is almost always the better, more effective, and time-efficient recruitment method. As the word implies, you walk the campus with your clipboard getting people to sign up for your group. Cafeterias and lounges are great places to do clipboarding. Network with religious or political groups on campus, and invite them to join your pro-life group.
3. Be pro-active, friendly and focused. However you decide to go about recruiting, DO NOT wait for people to approach you. It rarely happens. Walk up, smile, and say “Hi, are you pro-life?” Sign up the pro-lifers and move on quickly from the pro-aborts. Be interested in the people you meet. Introduce yourself, tell them briefly what your group is about, give them a flier, and get their information. Stay focused. DO NOT get drawn into long conversations about pro-life versus pro-abortion. It is a good idea to have a partner who can distract people who just want to argue with you while you continue to recruit.
4. Make sure to get phone numbers! Your sign up sheet should have at least five columns: name, phone number, email address, graduation year and major. It’s very important to get phone numbers, and if you put it last, people will skip it. Fill in the first few lines of the sign-up sheet with friends’ contact information so that when people sign up they see they are not the first. They will also be much more likely to fill in the phone number box if they see that others already have. If you notice students not filling in their phone number, ask them for it. If they refuse, fill in your number after they leave so that the next student doesn’t see that box left empty.
5. Take notes, follow up, and ask for involvement. After you sign up a new person, write down a few notes on him or her on the back of your sign-up sheet. Maybe they said they were pro-life because they were adopted or because doctors recommended abortion for their cousin who has Down syndrome. Did they mention a sibling or parent being involved in politics, pro-life, or religious work? Write down these details. Call through your list later that night, thank them for signing up, and ask if they are coming to your next meeting, or event. Ask for their involvement right away, even with something small. For example, “Hey Sarah, we have a couple people working on posting fliers up tomorrow in the library and in Clark hall, could you help out with that?”
6. After you recruit members, make sure you keep them active. Delegate tasks to the new member and form personal relationships. Have tasks ready to assign to members to get them involved right away. This can be as simple as hanging up flyers in their dorm. The idea is to give new members a sense of ownership and responsibility. When they become invested in the club, they are more likely to come back.
Next Step: Manage the Group