The Pennsylvania American Legion with the support of the national organization has wealth knowledge and tools to use and help with membership. Please visit national’s website to download the abundance of pamphlets, booklets, brochures and notes on their Publications page as well as the Recruiting Tools page.
Some of the recruiting tips they suggest are to be ready with a 2-3 minute “elevator pitch” on the importance and benefits of Legion membership.
Former National American Legion Membership & Post Activities Committee Chairman Randy Goodman from Georgia has a few suggestions for membership.
- It’s important to be visible in the community. Face-to-face membership recruitment in public places such as a grocery store, neighborhood fair, fire department open house is the best way to increase membership. Getting outside your post is needed for your success because you can’t create new members without talking to people who are not yet members. So be involved in your community; share The American Legion story; wear your Legion cap and T-shirts; and show pride in your organization. People like to belong to organizations that are successful and we are successful.
- Mentorship is important; you need to engage a first-year member in The American legion. Help them understand the four pillars of service of The American Legion. Have a goal. Choose a pillar. Choose a program, and help them to make that program be the best it can be.
- Members of the armed forces have to understand what The American Legion is all about, and they learn by being alongside us, by sharing our goals, and we need to understand their needs so we are able to assist them. Access Granted is a joint memorandum of understanding between the DoD and veteran service organization. Access Granted gives The American Legion the opportunity to interact with active-duty and National Guard and reservists around the nation.
- If you have a small post and can’t be active in each and every program, the goal of The Pennsylvania American Legion is for a post to do at least one program of The American Legion. Select one program and make that program the pillar of your community, and you will be successful.
- Utilize MyLegion.org for your membership of your post. MyLegion.org has people in there who have been members of The American Legion and also members who are part of your direct mail solicitation group. If you search by ZIP code, you can find those members in your area and send them a letter. MyLegion.org already has a letter developed for you; all you have to do is fill in the blanks. Send letters out to prospective veterans in your area.
- MyLegion.org also has a special section for officers called the Officers Portal where you can check around the nation, or anywhere in the world, and learn from your fellow officers. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel.
Download The American Legion mobile app to be ready to sign up members on the spot. Also, always keep a few membership applications handy.
Build and maintain a relationship with the person in charge of veteran admissions and/or veteran student organizations that may be on college campuses. You need to network with first responders, civic and community organizations, as well as other veteran service organizations to expand your pool of potential members.
Ensure that your post is building its brand.
- Send a localized version of the post’s CPR to the media outlets in your area, and that this same information is published in the post’s newsletter
- Make sure your post is actively participating in at least one program, and that it is done WELL
- Make sure your post is an asset to the community; inform them of your post’s programs, participation in parades, service activities, etc.
- Be seen in your Legion apparel
Don’t narrow your focus to veterans in only one or two war eras. Any veteran may be eligible, but you won’t know if you don’t ask!
Don’t let all of your hard work go to waste – RETAIN THE MEMBERS YOU HAVE
Any applications/forms for this program can be found on the forms page.