Good ideas, suggestions and opinions are flowing through the Veterans of Foreign Wars. Our National headquarters gets them from the field and shares them with us.
Here is what one comrade in Missouri recently wrote:
- Comrades, Recruiting is not done 100 or 75 or 50 or 25 or even 10 at a time. It is done one at a time when an eligible veteran is engaged and the VFW is explained. That is one of the reasons that we as members in the organization must take advantage of “Online Recruiting” opportunity. How you may ask can we recruit online? There are no guaranteed answers, but using the free websites that have been provided to each post/district in the state is a start. Oftentimes veterans will see something in the news about the VFW and want to find out more. They will use “Search” and likely use the terms VFW – hometown to see if there is a post in their town or city. A lot of them do not know whether one exists or not. Lots of deployed troopers will look you up if they receive a package from you or use the “Free Call Days” and get interested in the VFW. They best way to be sure that they find your post is by using the website often to post news stories with photos about the things your post accomplishes. By using the website it will come to the top of the “Search List” – don’t use it and it will never come up or be buried deeply.
This comrade went on to explain what he did with on-line inquiries.
- Each of our state sites has a place where veterans and troopers can “Join” Look it up – it is easy to find. I get two or three requests each week to join the VFW and most want to join a specific post and don’t know how to contact you. I take their information and send to the Post Commander and Quartermaster and a copy to all the State Line Officers and District Comander. It is up to the Post Commanders and Quartermasters to take that info and contact the veteran quickly. We have already done the hard part with the websites and made him/her desire to join. Merely calling them and inviting them to the post meeting or asking them to meet you in the post bar does not work very often. The person assigned to recruit needs to actually knock on the potential members door and visit a bit while checking eligibility and collecting dues. Two members visiting is desirable to help explain the VFW and how it works. The veteran will feel more comfortable in their own home. A lot of veterans do not drink nor do they want seen visiting a bar is why that seldom works, they may agree to meet you to get you off the phone and then not show up. Show them how much you care by actually going to their home. Sending an application in the mail does not seem to work.
How can you and your post take advantage of On-Line Recruiting? Here is how:
- Take ownership of your post’s website. Visit it today and take a look around. Are all pages current? Are officers listed? Is your meeting date and time correct?
- Add action or event photos of your members doing things in the community. Grin and Grip pictures are nice, but helping hands and smiling faces work better.
- Add stories about your post under Latest News. Anything you announce by email is a Latest News story candidate . Share the post’s and individual comrade success stories.
- Add stories about your people and what they are doing in the post and in the community.
The post website and news page is a mirror of post activities. A blank Officers, About, or Information page on your website speaks for itself. It says you are not active in your town. That is not the message you want others to find. You want inquiries to reach your post, so let others know how to contact you.
When you show how inviting and interesting your members are, your post becomes interesting. People want to be part of a winning, productive team. You are competing for their time. Show them that the Veterans of Foreign Wars is worth investing their time in and that their family is welcome, too.
Remember that new recruits are our future. They are our veterans of foreign wars.