Promoting Your Collegiate 4-H Club
Face it, every Collegiate 4-H Club would like a few new members. Unfortunately, new members don’t appear out of nowhere. Some degree of work is needed to attract people to your club, whether it is….
Many clubs ask the national organization for advice on the best ways to attract members to their club and grow in size. Here’s some ideas:
Advertise in county 4-H newsletters and utilize county 4-H staff
- Create a blurb explaining what Collegiate 4-H clubs do and have your club advisor send it to other 4-H extension staff in your state, requesting it to be in their summer and fall county 4-H newsletters. Make sure to mention that Collegiate 4-H can exist at any school, so they can head over to collegiate4h.org to learn more about starting a club at their school if they’re not coming to yours!
- E-mail 4-H staff in your state asking if they know of any 4-H alumni at your school.
Network with 4-H alumni and interested persons on Facebook
- Create a 4-H Alumni Facebook group for your school. Make sure you put links in the group to your club website (if you have one) and the national website. Talk up your club on the wall and discussion boards. Invite all your current members and tell them to invite their friends!
- Check with your state 4-H Foundation to get a list of state 4-H scholarship recipients. Check on Facebook to see if they’re at your school, if the Foundation can’t supply their school names.
Create a club website
- Create a club website. Make sure that it has updated contact
information! Old websites from years ago can result in your potential
members contacting the wrong people and getting error messages after
e-mailing you officer alumni!
- Don’t know how to build a website? Look for Club Website Templates on collegiate4h.org later this summer! For now, you can e-mail the Web Team at info to get some advice on starting your first website.
- Don’t stop with simply creating a website! Make sure that you request links to your website from areas that your audience may surf online! Ask county 4-H programs to link to your site on their county websites. Get links from offices on campus. Starting this summer will give you plenty of time to get links established before the school year starts.
Displays, flyers, and welcome events on campus
- Flyer campus! Make sure your flyers have meeting times and locations, contact information, and why your club is fun on them. Put them in heavily trafficked areas.
- Create a display for your campus’s student organization fair, if one is offered.
- Make sure to portray that you DON’T have to be a 4-H alumni to join! Mention service, social, fun, travel, working with kids, etc! (Or whatever your club does!)
- Timing! Displays and flyers should be timed appropriately for maximum impact. Schedule to have these in place prior to your campus’s Freshmen Orientation, Open Houses, and Move-In Days, if you campus offers these. There will be many people wandering around campus with more free time than normal to peruse promotional materials on campus.
- Removal Guidelines: Find out if and when your flyers or displays need to be removed. Some campuses may impose fees on clubs that do not follow their guidelines on removal.
Network with other clubs
- Attend the meetings of other organizations on campus. Contact the club officers beforehand to ask if it would be alright for you to talk about your club at the end of their meeting. Advertising at the meetings of other service clubs can be very effective in showcasing the opportunities your club offers to volunteer with youth and more and is a great way to attract members without 4-H experience. Make sure to allow the club to do the same during one of your meetings.
Freshmen, freshmen, freshmen!
- Attracting freshmen members is essential for the future of any Collegiate 4-H club. Not only are they the future of your club and will ensure that your club exists long after you have graduated, but freshmen bring new ideas, energy, and enthusiasm to a club! In addition, freshmen begin in the fall with very few commitments and are looking for ways to get involved, so make sure to find them before they find alternate activities to commit to.
Don’t forget to check out the Collegiate 4-H Promotional Resources page provided by the National Collegiate 4-H Advocacy Team! If you’re interested in creating similar resources for Collegiate 4-H Clubs nationwide, consider applying for the Advocacy Team!
Need more ideas? Have a great promotional idea to share? Talk about club promotion on the Collegiate 4-H message boards!