12 Ways To Grow Your Database

Getting people to join is often one of the hardest parts of running a successful organisation. Coming up with new initiatives whilst motivating people who have previously joined is just one of the challenges you will face.

In this post, we will take a look at 12 ways you can grow your membership database whilst engaging your existing contacts/members to become proactive in recruitment.

1. Allow people to join through your website

Now, this sounds simple, but many organisations still ask prospects to request an application form or download a copy from their website to fill in, find their cheque book for the fees, and then post it.

Not only is this inefficient, but there’s a lot of room for error too.

Instead, grab them whilst they are thinking about it. Make it quick and easy to for them to join with an online registration form that connects to your membership database. Any good membership database software provider should offer this feature and allow people to register and pay online quickly and easily.

2. Exclusive offers

Incentivise people to join by advertising offers on your website for people who have joined your organisation. You can also advertise these offers across your social channels and offline marketing materials.

3. Market via social media

Social media is an incredibly powerful tool – ensure you use it to reach out to people who may view your pages/channels and advertise special offers as suggested above.

4. Use fundraising events to encourage others to join

Include recruitment in your fundraising events by making applications available on the day. Have someone knowledgeable on hand to answer questions and try to incentivise people to join that day whilst they’re interested.

5. Hold an ‘Open Day’

One of the biggest barriers to joining an organisation is not knowing anyone. To help reduce the anxiety surrounding this, hold an ‘Open Day’ where you can introduce potential newbies to people who have already joined.

6. Hold a ‘Recruit-a-Friend’ event

Leverage people who have already joined your organisation and run a ‘Recruit-a-Friend’ campaign. Offer prizes or incentives to those who a) recruit a friend, and b) those who recruit the most people in one month. You can also aid those recruiting by offering a joining incentive for the people they bring.

7. Use a group email to help promote your organisation

You can use an in-built email tool, like LoveAdmin provides, to reach out to people who have enquired about joining your organisation. You can also email people who may not have joined yet but have subscribed to marketing materials like a monthly newsletter, etc.

8. Make your Committee Meeting a social event once or twice a year

Similar to holding an ‘Open Day’, by opening up your Committee Meetings to people who haven’t joined yet you can offer insight into what you do. Make these meetings a social occasion with quality refreshments and food, guest speakers and reduced fees if they subsequently join that day.

9. Create a corporate program which incentivises local businesses to offer membership to their employees

Local businesses can be a great source of recruitment, so consider creating a corporate program whereby employers can offer membership as a company benefit with reduced fees.

10. Lead by example

Motivation often comes from the top, so if you haven’t tried to recruit people through your own networks, then consider the fact that there may be little motivation for others to do so too.

11. Incentivise people to rejoin

People come and go for a number of reasons – that’s normal. Once someone has left though, it doesn’t mean they’re a lost cause. Quickly run a report of all people who have left your organisation through your membership database software to identify them. Then, make contact, discuss why they left, and offer an incentive to entice them back.

12. Create a Recruitment Committee

Recruiting new people to join your organisation isn’t a one-person job. Instead, create a Recruitment Committee to help brainstorm ideas, organise events and help spread the word about recruitment initiatives.


We’ve come to the end of the article, but we have one final piece of advice for you – don’t get stuck trying the same old recruitment initiatives over and over, especially if the fruits of your labour are disappointing. Sometimes, taking a different approach can have surprising results, and leveraging the resources you already have can help make your initiative a success.

Start increasing your numbers today by booking a FREE, no-obligation consultation with one of our dedicated support specialists by calling 01892 771 276. We’d love to hear from you!

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