We asked leaders of five guilds that are celebrating milestone anniversaries to share insights into how to cultivate membership and keep guild members energized and involved in activities. We hope you find inspiration from guilds that have stood the test of time!
“Find out why members are volunteering. Are they involved because they like the feeling of paying it forward, or a need to be part of a group, or just a need to be needed? It’s important for leaders to follow through on what they promise, and show members that they are valued by tapping into their strengths, respecting family time and recognizing their efforts.”
“Dream big. Make it fun! It’s OK if individuals’ energy and commitment ebb and flow over the years. But choose events that allow for maximum participation by all guild members. Most importantly, learn more about the patients and families you are helping – take a hospital tour, read Guild Association publications and then share what you’ve learned to inspire others.”
“We’re all friends and family, so it’s kind of hard to quit! It’s easy to stay together because we see each other frequently outside of the guild. I would suggest that guilds reach out to family and friends to expand their membership. Several of our members have been involved since the guild was founded, and some pay dues every year even though they don’t live here anymore!”
“Our guild is like a family whose passion is to support Seattle Children’s. We meet monthly so that friendships grow and we can discuss fundraising ideas. Each member works to find new members and invite them to a meeting. We are actively involved in our children’s and grandchildren’s lives. Their health and happiness is a constant reminder that all children deserve to be happy and healthy.”
“Our guild was at a turning point last year and we didn’t know if we could continue. We decided that our community should have a guild and made an effort to find new members. We hosted a booth at a local club’s event where we gained new members who have since invited their friends to join us. We recently hosted an event that raised $10,000 – a long way from where we were a year ago. Don’t give up if you are in a slump – reach out to people in your community who can take your guild in new and exciting directions. It’s never too late to start over!”