February 1 is the date when AAUW reports the “official” membership in the branches. For information on the AAUW NC branch history, see this post at www.aauwnc.org.
This was the first year that the Tar Heel Branch lost more members than it gained. This is not terribly surprising after two years of remarkable growth. But it does say that, just like any branch, we need to work on retention of our members.
In FY12 we had good recruiting events at Elon University (spring of 2011) and Western Carolina University (fall of 2011) where we recruited 27 of the new members on the rolls for 2/1/2012 (nearly half of the 59 total new members). However, this year, without such a campus recruiting event, we had only 18 new members, and 35 resigned.
If we look into the 35 resignations more carefully, 16 were from those two campuses. Another 7 members moved away or resigned due to health issues, 6 dual and 6 primary members lapsed for a variety of other reasons.
Perhaps of more concern is that our net change from 122 to 105 members represents a drop of 14 primary members, 2 duals (those whose primary affiliation is with another AAUW branch), and 1 student. We still have a higher per cent of primary members (58 of 105) than any other online/virtual branch, but we might do better at connecting brand new members to AAUW. If you have suggestions on our “new member guide” (other than, of course, making it more personal), please do pass them on.
We are also doing a survey of members again this year (see 2010 results) to see what suggestions that might gather.
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