By Erina Haque, lieutenant governor of Division 2D, Capital District 

With the impact of COVID-19 lowering membership retention internationally, Key Clubs around the globe have been looking for new ways to advertise and to recruit members. First, however, you must determine your club goals, needs and action items. Once you identify these, you can figure out how to convince students to join Key Club.

Incentives are the primary means by which we can persuade students to join Key Club. Incentives must be clear, specific, attractive and attainable. A good incentive must be attractive enough to motivate participation, but it should also be attainable so that prospective members will not be discouraged. The incentives you advertise should appeal to a diverse group of people with different backgrounds, ages and grades. 

 Erina is enjoying picking up trash and serving her community

The biggest incentive for students to join Key Club is the opportunity to earn service hours. Whether for academic, extracurricular or humanitarian goals, students who join Key Club want to serve the community and earn volunteer hours in the process. Other incentives include a sense of fulfillment and community, leadership skills and a low-stress extracurricular. Be sure to emphasize these points when advertising Key Club. 

Remember, you want to make sure you can fulfill your incentives. For example, if you plan to bring food to a meeting, you’ll need to create a budget and time frame for getting the items. If your incentive is not attainable within the time limit you set, you need to find a more realistic incentive. 

Prospective members desire a clear-cut plan, and your club objectives should reinforce behaviors that lead to your club’s recruiting goals. Having a plan also allows for easy administration with minimal errors.