Getting and Keeping Members

Here’s advice from FoKL on building membership in a Friends group.


Friends of Kansas Libraries


  1. With a small group of key Friends, (re)define your mission and goals. Develop several compelling reasons why people should join and remain in your Friends organization.
  2. Establish dues so that membership is available (affordable) to all, from a minimum for students and seniors to a maximum patron level. Remember that the primary purpose of dues is not just to raise money, but to obtain a broad range of community support and/or participation in the Friends organization.
  3. Design an attractive membership brochure describing your group’s purpose and accomplishments. Offer ways in which members can become involved and follow up when they indicate interest.
  4. Have membership brochures available at the library check-out desk, at all Friends functions, and as many other community locations as possible. Make membership growth and retention an on-going activity.
  5. Make a special effort to get members of the business community. Establish a separate membership category for them and list their names so that they receive recognition.
  6. Friends programs should be entertaining, stimulating and educational. Send out pre-event and post-event publicity through individual mailings and through the local media. Give the Friends the look of a fun and meaningful group. Provide hospitality and refreshments at every function. Make those in attendance, both Friends members and non-members, feel welcome.
  7. Recognize the work efforts and achievements of Friends volunteers by giving special awards or gifts at public events.
  8. Review communications to members; make sure they are kept informed about Friends activities, programs, and how funds raised by Friends are helping the library.
  9. Send out quarterly or monthly newsletter. List new Friends members as they join. A newsletter can also serve as a membership renewal notice at the beginning of each membership year.
  10. . Take advantage of special events to solicit Friends memberships, such as Kansas Library Month (October) or National Library Week. Have a booth at community and county fairs.
  11. Encourage your Friends members to attend the annual FRIENDS OF KANSAS LIBRARIES annual event and program, held each spring in conjunction with the Kansas Libraries Tri-Conference. FRIENDS OF KANSAS LIBRARIES or your local librarian can provide you with the date and details.

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