Membership organizations thrive when members get involved. You and your staff can’t do it all, so when members step up to offer their guidance and assistance, the extra hands can be a massive help in advancing your cause. Not to mention, your members are the ones who know and represent your community best, so it’s important for their voices to be present behind the scenes.
But how exactly do you ask members to join a committee? Many of them are busy enough as it is, and asking them for even more of their time seems like it’s sure to backfire.
Not if you know how to ask properly. In this post, we’ll go over exactly what to do when asking members to join your committees to increase their chances of saying yes. We’ve also prepared a committee member invitation letter template that you can customize and use in your own organization.
Whether you’re revitalizing an existing committee or looking to create a brand new one, this guide will help you keep the process simple, yet effective. Let’s dive in!
Step 1: Create the Role Description
You wouldn’t set out to hire a new staff member without a detailed job description, so treat your committee invitations the same way.
Potential members would want to know exactly what’s involved, how much time they’d need to commit, and whether or not the role is right for them. They’ll be much more likely to respond positively if they have everything they need to make a decision.
The role description is not only for the members’ benefit — it also helps give you a better idea of who to reach out to. Some committees may require a particular skill set, area of expertise and interest, or relevant experience. Instead of sending out a generic mass request, you’ll be able to target members and ultimately end up with a committee of truly passionate and qualified individuals.
Step 2: Reach Out to the Right People
Now that you’re clear on what each role involves and who you’re looking for, it’s time to recruit.
The key here is to segment and personalize your communications as much as possible. For example, if you’re looking for people to join your finance committee, don’t reach out to all of your members with the same message. Instead, think of people who’ve expressed interest in your organization’s finances in the past or people who work in the finance industry. Not only will this increase your chances of getting positive responses, but your members will appreciate you taking their interests and professional strengths into consideration and reaching out specifically to them.
To make this as easy as possible, make it part of your onboarding process to find out your members’ interests and areas of expertise. You can also conduct a special survey that asks about their interest in potentially serving on a committee and what they’d want to help with.
Keep track of all this information in your Association Management Software — when it comes time to send your letter or email, you’ll be able to quickly pull this data and insert it as a mail merge field. This will allow you to quickly send personalized messages to the right people, without spending hours customizing each one individually.
Step 3: Send the Perfect Committee Member Invitation Letter
So what should your invitation actually say? Here are a few key points to include in your letter or email:
- Address the member by name and include other merge fields to personalize the letter as much as possible.
- Demonstrate how important committees are to your organization.
- Explain why you’re asking this particular member to join this particular committee — is it because of their experience, a survey they responded to, etc?
- Include a clear statement inviting the member to join the committee for a term with a specific start and end date.
- Outline the key responsibilities the member would have to take on (these can be highlights from the role description you prepared earlier).
- Include the full role description as a separate attachment (or link to a page on your website) and remind members to take a look at it.
- Include your contact information and invite people to get in touch with you in case they have questions or need clarification before they make their decision.
- Include clear instructions on what to do if they choose to accept the invitation and provide a deadline by which to respond.
If you’re still not sure about how to ask someone to be on your committee, or would like some inspiration, this committee member invitation letter template is the perfect place to start. Feel free to copy and edit it to suit your organization’s needs.
Committee Invitation Letter Template
Dear <Member Name>,
As this year’s term of service for committee members is coming to a close, we are looking for new members to join various committees in support of <your organization>’s mission. The <XYZ committee> has ushered in so many successful initiatives under its current leadership, and we are excited to find the next crop of members who can continue bringing good ideas to the group!
Knowing your experience and interest in <area of expertise or interest>, we would be honored if you would consider serving on the <XYZ committee> for the <20xx to 20xx> year!
As a committee member, you will have several important responsibilities, such as:
- <Responsibility 1>
- <Responsibility 2>
- <Responsibility 3>
- <Responsibility 4>
- <Responsibility 5>
For more details about the role, please see the attached role description. Please consider the committee member responsibilities before deciding whether or not to accept this invitation, as the success of the committee depends on the full commitment of every committee member.
If you have any questions about the committee or this role, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me directly.
If you accept our invitation to join the <XYZ committee>, please email us at <email address> by <final date>. We look forward to working with you to make this year the best yet!
Best of luck with your committee member recruitment! And if you’re looking for more ways to engage your members, check out our comprehensive guide, Member Engagement for Small-Staff Associations, to learn some quick tips and tricks today.