March was a bumper month for membership engagement in JCI UK, with 3 big events to help members to make the most of their membership, introduce people to JCI RISE and how to onboard new members into their local organisation.
As part of my intention to stand as Engagement and Growth Director for 2021 I wanted to create regular opportunities for our members, especially those who have recently joined, to meet, network and learn more about the work of our organisation.
The first event we created took place on Thursday 11th March and we decided to call it a ‘Make the most of your membership’ event, really because we realised that due to COVID there were a lot of new members but also a lot of people that had been around the organisation for a year or so and had not got that new member experience. In effect the event was split into 3 parts.
It started with an energiser a general introduction to JCI, including opportunities within the organisation a breakout room activity focussing on post-COVID recovery in our communities. We then heard from National President Phoebe Benta, who told us about her personal JCI experience and the transformational effect it has had on her life and career. Finally we created a number of opportunities for attendees to participate in small breakout rooms to network with other members, looking at their skills, networks and goals.
Some of the feedback we have had is that members want more opportunities to network with each other so this is something we really want to try and include in our events in the future. It was great then that a number of members highlighted that ‘networking’ was the thing they enjoyed most about the event!
Our second event was JCI RISE and community showcase which had 2 purposes. First, we wanted to highlight the great work that was going on in local organisations to support their communities during COVID. Second, we wanted some of our partner organisations to tell us about opportunities for JCI members to volunteer with them.
During the event we heard from JCI Southampton, JCI London and JCI Chester. All 3 local organisations have been working extremely hard to create projects that align with the JCI RISE campaign but I was particularly impressed with JCI Chester’s plans to create a cross-country language programme with other JCI local organisations around Europe!
Collaborating with other organisations is a great way for an organisation like JCI to amplify the impact that we make, which is why I was so delighted that NSPCC, The Prince’s Trust and East Belfast Community Development Association were able to come along to this event. I am delighted to say that as a result of the input from The Prince’s Trust that we have some discussions taking place about practical involvement in their mentoring programme!
Our final event of the month was the JCI member’s onboarding training. This event was aimed at local officers but it was great to have some newer members along to hear about how JCI is trying to transform how it brings new members into the organisation.
The event attempted to provide some context and training around the onboarding resources created by the JCI onboarding committee last year. Broadly the resources attempt to support local organisations with a recommended plan of activity in how to engage a new member during their first 3 months as a JCI member.
During the event members got to get hands on with some of the onboarding resources, specifically the questionnaire used to provide a little bit of structure and explore opportunities during a conversation with a new member. The feedback we got from this activity was brilliant and it has been really encouraging to hear how useful local officers have found these resources in their catch ups with new joiners!
Overall, I was really happy that we were able to run these 3 events on consecutive Thursdays, particularly with the amount of competition there has been for attention online. For me, the highlights were very much the practical outcomes of the events, such as explaining what JCI is to new members and creating areas of collaboration with other organisations.
Please keep an eye out for more engagement events later this year!
This blog was written by William Redpath, JCI UK Engagement and Growth director for 2021.
Categorised in: National
This post was written by Phoebe Benta Benta