MEMBERSHIP RECRUITMENT HANDBOOK

FOR

COUNCILS IN MISSISSIPPI

 

 

 

 

Teamwork is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prepared for the Mississippi State Council by:

Dennis Riecke, State Membership Director 1995-1997

605 Acorn Lane H. (601) 992-5803

Brandon, MS 39042-7457 0. (601) 364-2205

F. (601) 364-2209

E-mail---- dennisr@mdwfp.state.ms.us

Third edition

July 1999

STATE MEMBERSHIP DIRECTOR 1999-2000 HOME:601-264-4893

JOE GOELLNER (Beth) E-mail: Jg41344@netdoor.com

3205 HILLSIDE DR.

HATTIESBURG, MS 39401

FOR THE 1999-2000 FRATERNAL YEAR THERE WILL BE THREE MEMBERSHIP DIRECTORS TO ASSIST THE COUNCILS, Contact the appropriate Membership Director for help.

COUNCILS SOUTHERN MEMBERSHIP DIRECTOR

Districts 9,10, 11, 12 Don Cox (Carol) home:228-947-1282

Councils - 7910 Orange Grove, P.O. Box 55 work:228-935-2422

6872 Picayune, 7087 Kiln, Lucedale, MS 39452-0055

9958 Lizana, 11654 Wiggins, E-mail:coxdf@ingalls.com

11995 West Harrison,

4898 Long Beach, 1522 Bay St. Louis, 1583 Gulfport, 4472 Pass Christian,11541 St. James/Gulfport, 12271 Seabee Base/Gulfport,

9409 West Biloxi, 1244 Biloxi, 9094 North Biloxi, 9673 Woolmarket,

11904 Lucedale, 1605 Pascagoula, 5654 Ocean Springs, 9124 Gautier,

10499 East Ocean Springs, 12166 Sacred Heart/Pascagoula, 12331 Dedeaux

COUNCILS CENTRAL MEMBERSHIP DIRECTOR

Districts 5,6,7, & 8 Dennis Riecke home:601-992-5803

Councils 848 Jackson, 605 Acorn Lane work:601-364-2205

7854 Clinton, 8038 Pearl, Brandon, MS 39047-7457

8285 St. Therese/Jackson, E-mail-- dennisr@mdwfp.state.ms.us

10216 Brandon, 11934 Gluckstadt,

9543 Madison, 1034 Natchez, 898 Vicksburg, 7915 Brookhaven, 8054 McComb, 1908 Hattiesburg, 2180 Laurel, 6592 Bassfield, 11956 Tylertown/Columbia,

7211 Lumberton/Poplarville

COUNCILS NORTHERN MEMBERSHIP DIRECTOR

Districts 1,2,3, & 4 Bob Hudson (Rosann) home:662-234-5432

Councils 10901 Oxford, 1004 Woodland Lane work:662-234-7776

8760 Holly Springs, Oxford, MS 38655-5305

8848 Tupelo, 8912 Corinth,

10443 Grenada, 7120 Southaven, 2969 Clarksdale,6555 Shelby,

5556 Cleveland, 2134 Greenville, 2945 Leland, 5267 Greenwood,

9234 Indianola, 802 Meridian, 6765 Starkville, 7974 Columbus

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

 

PURPOSE OF THIS HANDBOOK ......................................4

WHO'S IN CHARGE OF RECRUITMENT? ................................5

(and Who should be in charge of recruitment)

ADVERTISING AND PUBLIC RELATIONS ...............................6

 

COMMENTS FROM MISSISSIPPI'S TOP PROPOSERS & OTHERS ...........8

 

DEVELOPING A PROSPECT LIST ....................................11

 

PHONE CONTACT SKILLS ..........................................12

(& a sample phone call)

CAN YOU SEND ME SOME INFORMATION? .............................17

(sending out printed material)

VIP CLUB PROGRAM ..............................................18

 

OTHER RECRUITMENT INCENTIVES ..................................19

 

HOW TO RETAIN MEMBERS .........................................20

TRANSFERS/WITHDRAWALS/SUSPENSIONS..............................22

STATEWIDE MEMBERSHIP GOALS.....................................23

RESULTS........................................................24

PLANNING STEPS FOR AN OPEN HOUSE...............................25

CHURCH DRIVE TALK #1 (HISTORY, SUPREME & STATE PROGRAMS).......27

CHURCH DRIVE TALK #2 (SUPREME,STATE & COUNCIL PROGRAMS)........32

 

 

PURPOSE OF THIS HANDBOOK

My purpose in preparing this handbook for council Membership Chairman and Committees is to provide you with a summary of what I have learned as a successful recruiter and as a Membership Chairman for several years.

It is my hope that it will help you reach your council membership goals.

All I ask is that you take the time to read it and try some of the things I have suggested. If you do, I am confident your recruitment efforts will improve.

Every type of membership program is not in this handbook. You were shown how to conduct an "open house" or "informational night" at the School of Columbianism. Church drives, 2 on 1 and 2 on 2 recruiting and phone contacts are all successful recruitment techniques. You must determine what works with your parishioners. That is the most important thing. Use what works but don't be afraid to try different techniques. You may discover some technique that works better than your "usual program".

Successful recruitment and retention depends upon several things such as: effective publicity, an active service program and a good Financial Secretary and Grand Knight. As a Membership Chairman, you need to tell these men how their actions will impact your effectiveness. For example, the Grand Knight needs to know that if he doesn't submit a Grand Knight's Report at the State Convention, he is depriving you of a very effective recruiting tool. If the Financial Secretary is not diligent in collecting dues, you could have a large number of suspensions and it will very difficult for you to achieve a net gain or achieve your quota.

Because what the council does and how the officers perform their jobs impact how successful you and your committee will be, some of the information in this handbook is given in several different sections. So it may seem repetitious. It is and it was meant to be so.

Consider this handbook as only one source of recruitment information. I urge you to check with your Financial Secretary or previous Membership Chairman for Supreme's brochure "How to ...Succeed at Membership Recruitment A guide for Council Membership Directors" (#2769). This is a step-by-step guide for using the various recruitment techniques. It is the best publication Supreme has for you and your committee.

Do not neglect to review your Columbia and Knightline issues and Surge with Service for good information.

Talk to your councils' previous Membership Chairman and get all his records and materials - especially his prospect list.

You can expect to receive periodic contact from me regarding your efforts or plans. You can contact Bob Hudson, Dennis Riecke or Don Cox at anytime for assistance in planning or advice or whatever you need help with.

WHO'S IN CHARGE OF RECRUITMENT?

Who's in charge and who should be in charge are two different questions?

EVERY COUNCIL SHOULD HAVE A MEMBERSHIP CHAIRMAN AND A MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE.

The Grand Knight has plenty to deal with outside of the membership area and if you are trying to do both, you will not be able to devote sufficient time to membership recruitment. Grand Knights and Program chairman have important roles to perform that can either help or hinder the membership chairman's efforts.

A strong, varied activity program provides the membership chairman with plenty of examples of council activities that he can relate to prospective members. Functioning program committees provide the new member a chance to get involved immediately upon initiation and contribute in a meaningful way to your council's activities.

I believe the most important way a Grand Knight can help his Membership Director is to submit a Grand Knight's Report at the State Convention.

WHY is this so? This report contains a summary of your council's activities. It can be used during phone contacts to provide examples of activities. It can be sent to prospective members. It can be inserted in church bulletins and placed on informational racks. It is the best summary of what your council has done. It will help you answer many questions.

It is a wonderful resource, especially for new Membership Chairman.

WHO SHOULD BE MEMBERSHIP CHAIRMAN?

Here are some beneficial qualities a Membership Chairman should possess: persistence, optimism, organization, excitement, and diligence.

You want a salesman or someone who is not afraid to approach strangers, and who can inform and educate them about your council. He can be an excited, friendly new member provided he has resources that he can use to explain the Supreme, State and Council activities. He can be an experienced member who wants to relate to others what the Knights are doing. It should be someone who really believes in the Knights of Columbus and can convey that to others. This person has a strong desire to introduce prospective members to our Order and is personally satisfied if he succeeds in these endeavors.

He should not try to do all the recruitment himself, although some are quite successful without a membership committee. RECRUITMENT AND RETENTION ARE EACH MEMBERS JOB BECAUSE THE ENTIRE COUNCIL BENEFITS.

ADVERTISING AND PUBLIC RELATIONS

 

All public relations efforts should strive to educate and inform any person about the accomplishments and programs of the Knights of Columbus on the Supreme, State and Council level. They should also dispel misconceptions about our Order.

If someone doesn't know what your council or mine is doing and we haven't provided them information that says otherwise, they will rely on rumors and heresy regarding the Order. Experience with councils in other parishes may also influence their view of our Order.

If you know some people in your parish that think Knights of Columbus members do nothing but socialize, drink beer and play cards, then your council is either sorely in need of some accurate, effective publicity or - if this is an accurate description of your council - you are sorely in need of a solid activity program.

Many of us tend to think BIG regarding public relations efforts but I urge you to concentrate on SMALL BUT OFTEN efforts regarding public relations.

Public relation efforts will help you build a base of support in your parish and will help you be a successful recruiter.

The audience you are seeking to reach is at your church - gear your efforts to them.

EXAMPLES OF "SMALL BUT OFTEN" PUBLIC RELATIONS EFFORTS

1. Display posters, announcements, "Thank You" letters in your church bulletin board.

2. Place meeting and activity announcements in your church bulletin.

3. Select items from Supreme's "Did You Know" brochure (#1267) for inclusion in the church bulletin as "space fillers" when the bulletin is not full. Instruct the church secretary to do this whenever it is necessary and provide her with the brochure.

4. If your pastor allows inserts in the bulletin, why not insert a copy of your newsletter; Grand Knight's Report (submitted at every state convention); or other activity information?

EXAMPLES OF "SMALL BUT OFTEN" PUBLIC RELATIONS EFFORTS

5. We routinely submit items for the church bulletin that list which members serve as officers, committee chairman, and those that recently joined or advanced to a higher degree. We also list donations to the Priest's Education Fund and funds collected during our Tootsie Roll Drive.

6. Encourage members to wear their lapel pins to mass especially if they are serving as a minister or lector.

7. Encourage members to wear their name badges or some KC clothing item (shirt, cap, etc.) when they are at a church function or working on church property.

8. Encourage members to display the Emblem of the Order decals on their family vehicles.

9. If you have an information rack or stand at church, ask permission to stock it with some brochures, Form 100's, and some of the council information mentioned above.

10. Hold a monthly or quarterly Corporate Communion at a specific mass and encourage your members to attend that mass and sit together in a group with other KC families.

11. Ask permission to award Knight of the Month, Family of the Month and Altar Server certificates just prior to the close of a Sunday mass. If this is not possible, submit these names as a church bulletin item.

12. I know of a council that sponsors an annual free Spaghetti Supper for the entire parish to express appreciation to them for their support throughout the year.

13. In all your actions and words, live the principles of our Order - charity, unity, fraternity and patriotism - and by your example other men will these relate these concepts with the Knights of Columbus.

REPEATED, INFORMATIVE PUBLIC RELATION EFFORTS WILL HELP YOU RECRUIT MEMBERS!

 

 

 

 

 

 

COMMENTS FROM MISSISSIPPI'S TOP PROPOSERS & OTHERS

JOE BONFIGLIO (Former State Roundtable Chairman, countless new members)

Open houses work the best.

We developed a folder to explain to prospective members what types of activities the council sponsors.

We have used open brunches with much success.

At an open house, we have members tell those present why they joined the Knights of Columbus and that is really effective.

Once I latch on to a man, I don't let go until he joins.

I approach a man and say "I see you in church every Sunday how come you aren't in the Knights of Columbus?"

TOM CHADY (State Secretary, over 178 new members)

I am very persistent. I don't give up on potential members.

I send them council newsletters every month. I invite them to all of our functions except meetings.

I call them several time to remind them about events I invited them to. I call them several days prior to the event and the day of the event.

I like to use 2 on 2 recruiting. I take my wife with me to talk to the prospect and his wife. My wife is very good at countering arguments and objections raised by the prospect's wife.

WARREN DOIRON (Former District Deputy)

I give them a Member Interest Survey Form (#1842-nc) right after the First Degree Exemplification. I get them to fill it out before they leave. If you don't give a guy a job to do - some way to contribute - you are setting him up for failure.

LARRY CAMPBELL (Former New Council Development Chairman,Former Field Agent)The best tool for recruitment and retention is a good solid service program. We need to be concerned about our image - WHAT DID THE LOCAL COUNCIL DO? - THAT IS WHAT IS IMPORTANT. Get the new member involved, give them something to do.

COMMENTS FROM MISSISSIPPI'S TOP PROPOSERS & OTHERS

TOM ROSSETTO (Field Agent)

A once a year membership drive does not get the job done.

The membership drive must be organized, be persistent, it must be ongoing, all the time, on a regular basis.

Have a quarterly brunch between Sunday masses.

Have an assistant membership director or member of the membership committee for each parish if the council serves more than one parish.

Publicity about the KC's is really lacking.

LARRY CAMPBELL

We know that 87% of members who leave the Order are First Degree Knights. What negative effect would an abandoned new member have on your potential pool of prospective members? This is another reason why retention is important.

JIM RIGBY (State Retention Chairman, Field Agent)

New members need to feel wanted and needed. We expend a lot of effort to get them in but then neglect and abandon them. That doesn't make any sense. If he was good enough to get in, it is certainly beneficial to help him develop as a Knight.

Use the Member Interest Survey and keep it on file. Each year give those forms to the appropriate committee chairman. This matches the member's interest with the committee that works in that area.

Promote the benefits of an Admission Committee to educate and evaluate prospects.

DENNIS RIECKE (Former State Membership Chairman, 90 new members)

I think about recruitment and prospects anytime I see people in church or at any church function.

I am persistent. I don't give up on a guy. I inform him of every upcoming First Degree in our area. I keep after him unless he tells me his is not at all interested. As long as he keeps the door open to joining, I let him know when he can join.

COMMENTS FROM MISSISSIPPI'S TOP PROPOSERS & OTHERS

DENNIS RIECKE (Former State Membership Chairman, 90 new members)

I have a large prospect list and continually submit names to the pastor to build this prospect list.

I know that I will have to contact many more members than the number I want to get to join. I once sent out 120 invitations to a wine and cheese party and called the majority of them to remind them about it and encouraged them to attend. About 20 prospects attended that party. Over the next 2 months 14 of them joined. So, only about 10% of those contacted joined but a large percentage of those who came to the party joined.

I make notes during my calls to them. I refer to those notes to judge his interest. The notes allow me to refer to things he said and build a relationship with him.

My goal is always to achieve TOP GUN status or double my council's quota.

I have found that I have greater success if I can give prospects as much advance notice about an event or First Degree as possible. If you notify people far enough (2-3 weeks) in advance of something, their calendar will usually be open. If you wait till one week prior to the event, they probably will not be able to attend.

I believe that you must think of every KC event, - except a council meeting and a degree ceremony - as a opportunity to introduce potential members to the Knights of Columbus and your council members. So I invite them to attend various functions and eat with us after our council meetings.

I offer to send them some information if my phone description of what our Order and what our council does is not enough to get them to join. I send them some Supreme brochures and our most recent Grand Knight's Report. I have also sent an article from Bishop Houck that appeared in Mississippi Today and the Annual Report of the Supreme Knight that is in every October issue of the Columbia magazine.

If they cannot make a First Degree exemplification, I tell them that there will be other opportunities to join in the future and I will contact them regarding the next ceremony.

I encourage all council members to let me know of prospective members at each council meeting. I give them Form 100's to use but tell them that all prospects must be approved by the pastor.

DEVELOPING A PROSPECT LIST

A prospect list is nothing more than a group of names of men that you want to contact.

Every name on the list should meet the requirements for membership.

These are:

-Practical Catholics in union with the Holy See.

-Men at least 18 years of age.

You will usually think of someone you want to contact or the name will be suggested to you by a member of oure Order, or a person may indicate interest in the Order or be a former member or transfer that has moved into your parish.

The laws of our Order require that you submit their names to a parish priest who determines if the person meets the requirements for membership.

DO NOT PUT YOUR PRIEST IN THE DIFFICULT SITUATION OF DETERMINING THIS IN THE PRESENCE OF THE PROSPECTIVE MEMBER. In other words, do not say "Father, Joe Doe, here wants to join the council, What do you say?"

If you only contact those men approved by their parish priest, you will avoid this embarrassing situation. You need not know why someone was not approved but only who you can contact.

HOW DO I BUILD THIS LIST OF NAMES?

You build it from the ways listed above. Members suggest people to me and when a new parishioner registers in the parish, they can indicate which parish organizations they are interested in learning about on the back of their registration card. So every few months I also receive these names.

Names of new parishioners are periodically published in the weekly church bulletin and I submit these to the pastor. Some of these men are former members and potential transfers into our council.

Men in the RCIA program are excellent prospects as soon as they are received into full communion in the church. At this time they have just joined the Catholic church and are ready to get involved in some way. Do not overlook them as potential members.

If your church publishes a church directory or has a church roster or list of families, this is another excellent source of potential members. If you don't have church directory, try to get the pastor or church secretary to give you a copy of the church roster. Assure them that you will only use it to identify potential members.

 

DEVELOPING A PROSPECT LIST

Once you have a directory or church roster, review it and have other council members do so and highlight any men you know or recognize from church functions. Then have the parish priest give his approval on the names highlighted.

You can also use the Prospect Referral Card (#921-nc) for distribution to your members at a council meeting. It lets them list prospective members' names, addresses and phone numbers. If they can only provide names, use your church directory or roster to obtain the addresses and phone numbers. As always, submit these names to the parish priest for approval, then include the approved names on your prospect list.

At each council meeting, I also ask the membership for names, offer Form 100's and inform them that all contacts must be approved by the parish priest. I encourage everyone to recruit because everyone knows a different set of men.

Once you have a prospect list, start contacting those men and invite them to your functions and inform them when the next information night and First Degree will be. Prior to those events you can be sending them information.

If you know of a man who has been approved by the priest and who is indicated interest in joining, DO NOT DELAY IN CONTACTING HIM AND SENDING HIM INFORMATION AND A FORM 100.

A prospective members name stays on my prospect list until he tells me he is no longer interested in joining our Order.

THERE IS NO OTHER SINGLE TASK YOU CAN DO WHICH IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN BUILDING AND USING A PROSPECT LIST. IT IS IMPORTANT TO PASS IT ON TO THE KNIGHT THAT REPLACES YOU AS MEMBERSHIP DIRECTOR.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PHONE CONTACT SKILLS

I have recruited more Knights through phone calls than any other means. Most of these have been "cold calls" to men who may have indicated interest in the Knights when they registered in the parish or their names were suggested by council members as someone who might make a good Knight.

I try to do several things in a brief phone call, among them are :

1. introduce yourself and tell them you are a Knight

2. tell them why you are calling

3. ask them if they know anything about the Knights of Columbus

4. inform and educate them about the Knights of Columbus

5. ask them if they can attend the upcoming First Degree

6. inform them of the First Degree date, time, location, dress code, degree fees and dues payable at that time

7. offer to send them information about your council in the mail

8. if they are interested and cannot attend the next First Degree exemplification, tell them you will be in contact with them regarding the next ceremony and invite them to some council function (socials etc.)

9. Record some brief notes about your conversation to gauge their interest and refresh your memory when you contact them in the future

HERE IS AN EXAMPLE OF A TYPICAL PHONE CONTACT -- MC=membership chairman PM=prospective member.

(Have a copy of the Benefits of Membership sheet and your council's Grand Knights report where you can refer from them)

MC: Hello, may I please speak to Greg Stone.

PM: Hello.

MC: Hello Greg, my name is Dennis Riecke and I attend St. Francis of Assisi Church and I'm in the Knights of Columbus.

MC: I'm calling you because when you registered in the parish you indicated that you were interested in learning more about the Knights of Columbus and perhaps joining our council.

OR

MC: I'm calling because one of our members,___________________ asked me to contact you because he thought you might be interested in learning about the Knights of Columbus.

SAMPLE PHONE CONTACT (continued)

MC: Do you know anything about the Knights of Columbus and what we do?

PM: No.

MC: Well, the Knights of Columbus was founded in 1882 by Fr. Michael McGivney in New Haven, Connecticut as an organization to serve churches and communities and to provide some security to wives and children of men who died. These goals have grown into an extensive service program and a voluntary life insurance program. The Knights of Columbus has over 1.5 million members in the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Philippines, Cuba, Guam, Panama, the Dominican Republic, Guam and the Virgin Islands.

It is the largest Catholic, family, fraternal, service organization in the world. Last year members donated over 100 million dollars and over 47 million hours of service to charitable causes.

There are over 5,700 Knights in Mississippi in 55 councils across the state. They have raised over 4.4 million dollars for the mentally retarded through our annual Tootsie Roll Drive and donated over 1 MILLION dollars for the education of seminarians through our annual Priest's Education Fund to provide priests for Mississippi parishes.

PM: I see.

MC: Membership is open to all active, practical Catholic men 18 years and older. The parish priests determine who is an active, practical Catholic and who we can contact.

MC: I want to tell you a little bit about OUR COUNCIL.

OUR COUNCIL was formed in 1987 and has about 120

members. We meet once a month on the

second Monday at 7:00 pm in St. Thomas Hall.

We usually have a meal after the meeting and charge those who want to eat 5.00.

Our dues are 35.00 per year.

(Fill in the details for your own council)

OUR COUNCIL was formed in ______ and has about _______

members. We meet ___________ a month on the

________________________ at ______________ in

_____________________.Our dues are ____________ per year.

SAMPLE PHONE CONTACT (continued)

PM: I'm pretty busy with work and my family.

MC: Well, we have 120 members but usually 15-25 show up for the meetings. We understand that people are busy with soccer and dance and many other activities. You can participate as much as you want. You will receive a monthly newsletter to keep you informed of what takes place at the meetings and what future activities are planned. We also have a phone committee, so you will receive calls to remind you of our activities. What you get out of the Knights of Columbus depends upon what you put into it.

PM: What does the council do?

YOUR ABILITY TO ANSWER THIS QUESTION IS CRITICAL. IF YOU CANNOT PROVIDE SOME EXAMPLES OF COUNCIL ACTIVITIES, YOU PROBABLY WILL NOT GET SOMEONE TO JOIN.

MC: Our activities are planned by our five program committees: community, council, church, family and youth.

(Provide examples from your most recent Grand Knight's report)

Our Community committee transports retarded citizens to social and religious activities each week during the school year and raised 1200 dollars for the REACH program at St. Richards last year. We also had a clothing and school supply drive for needy families.

Our Council committee has held a golf tournament, pig roast and campout. In the past we have attended Saints football games and gone to Jackson General games.

Our Church committee has led the rosary prior to the Stations of the Cross during lent; replaced the cross ties and painted parking lines in the church parking lot; repainted the interior and exterior of St. Anthony's Hall and donated rosary booklets and penance cards to the church and RCIA participants.

Our Family committee has sponsored parish Christmas and Easter parties; a family campout, attended a Pro-Life Rally at the Capitol and recognizes families that practice Catholic values through our Family of the Month award program.

Our Youth committee has assisted the Junior and Senior CYO's by providing refreshments for functions and helping them with their fund raising activities. We donated money and equipment to the Boy Scouts troop at St. Richards and sponsor an annual Free Throw Contest.

 

 

SAMPLE PHONE CONTACT (continued)

MC: Do you have any questions about the Knights of Columbus?

PM: Well, it sounds like a fine organization, but I just don't have the time to join anything.

MC: I can understand that, families in our parish are very busy but don't feel obligated to attend everything, we have 120 members but usually only 15-30 show up for the meetings. We would like everyone to attend as much as possible and the phone committee and newsletter will keep you informed of all our activities.

PM: Well, I heard the Knights of Columbus was a secret society.

MC: The only thing that is secret about the Knights of Columbus is the degree ceremonies and only members can attend our meetings. We are not a secret society.

PM: Well what do I have to do to join?

MC: The first degree exemplification or ceremony is being held on

____________________________ at ______ in _________________

you will need to be there by ,be dressed in a coat or sport coat and tie and bring a check for . We can fill out a membership application when you arrive. I will be there to meet you.

 

For help call: Bob Hudson, Don Cox or Dennis Riecke

CAN YOU SEND ME SOME INFORMATION?

 

This is the most common question I get from prospective members.

This question should not be feared but anticipated and prepared for.

There is no cause for fear in this situation because even if you do not have any information, it can readily be obtained.

What do I send him? Where am I going to get it?

Supreme Information

The Knights of Columbus has tremendous printed resources available to you in the June 1995 Supply Catalog. Get you Financial Secretary or Grand Knight to place a mail or phone order for you.

These title have plenty of good facts and figures in them:

#1267 "Did You Know?" flyer

#942 "Helping Hands" fraternal survey results flyer

#2475 "Introduce Your Family to a Little Knight Life"

#324 "Make Your Family a Part of Ours"

#2285 "Who Cares" flyer

All these are free.

Every October issue of Columbia magazine contains the Annual Report of the Supreme Knight. This is a 20 page summary of the Orders work worldwide.

Council Information

A summary of your council's activities is given in your Grand Knight's Report that is published each year in the State Convention proceedings or minute book.

You can also send them copies of recent council newsletters.

You can condense some of Supreme, State and Council activities into a letter similar to the information contained in the Church Drive Talks provided with this. I used my council's Grand Knight's Report and our Annual Survey of Fraternal Activities to provide the facts and figures for a "Benefits of Membership letter I composed.

VIP (Very Important Proposer) CLUB PROGRAM

The VIP Club was started by the Supreme Council in February 1974 as an incentive program to recognize membership recruiters.

The vast majority of Knights in Mississippi are unaware of this program because few councils participate in it.

I believe it is a good way to reward those members who keep recruiting members and I hope that all councils will participate in it.

Your council can start enrolling members in the VIP Club at any time. Ask your Financial Secretary to let you review the Form 100's he has on file. Every member who has proposed at least 2 members since February 1974 can join the VIP Club.

HOW THE VIP CLUB PROGRAM WORKS

In order to be enrolled in the VIP Club, a Knight must propose for membership at least 2 members. These can be new applications, readmissions, reactivations, reapplications and/or reinstatements.

Every Form 100 should have one or more proposer signatures on it.

Once a proposer is eligible for the club, the Membership Chairman can ask the Grand Knight or Financial Secretary to nominate him for membership in the club by completing a VIP Club form (#1726-nc) and sending it to Supreme. Each year this form is included in the Council Report Forms Booklet and Supreme will accept photocopies of it. A separate form must be sent for each proposer and the form lists all the names of men he has proposed for membership. I recommend that the Membership Chairman or a member of the Membership Committee complete these forms, and have them signed by the Financial Secretary and the Grand Knight.

Once a member proposes enough members to advance to the next level of VIP membership, another VIP form should be submitted. Supreme maintains cumulative records but they seem to have trouble finding or verifying the totals.

I strongly recommend that you always send Supreme a photocopy of the VIP form and have your Financial Secretary RETAIN THE ORIGINAL VIP FORM IN YOUR COUNCIL. This allows you to update or add to prior forms rather than having to copy all the names over each time you submit a form.

Recruiters can keep an accurate count of the members they have proposed by using the "VIP Personal Recruitment Booklet" (1768-nc) which is available from Supreme.

VIP (Very Important Proposer) CLUB PROGRAM

In late June 1996 Supreme announced that to automate enrollment of Knights into the VIP club, the Form 100ís would include space for the Financial Secretary to provide the membership number of the proposer. If the membership number is not provided, the proposer will not be enrolled in the Club. Make sure your Financial Secretary provides the proposerís membership number.

VIP CERTIFICATES

Supreme will automatically send the council a certificate for presentation to each club member. These certificates cannot be ordered from Supreme. There are nine different certificates which represent the level of membership (2, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 50, 75, 100) attained by the club member.

VIP LAPEL PINS

Attractive lapel pins are available for each level of membership. These should be ordered from Supreme and they cost the council from 2.50-6.00 each. These prices are half the actual cost since Supreme pays the other half. A photograph some of the lapel pins is pictured along with the club rules on the "VIP" Club Recruitment flyer #2488.

OTHER RECRUITMENT INCENTIVES

Supreme usually has some type of recruitment incentive program that is announced in July or August. Incentives are provided to proposers, grand knights, membership directors, councils and district deputies.

Recognize your councils best recruiter by submitting the Top Proposer Award Form (due August 15) in your Council Report Forms Booklet. The top proposer must be enrolled in the VIP club or Supreme will return the form and request you enroll him.

REMEMBER THAT YOU MUST MEET YOUR SUPREME QUOTA TO QUALIFY FOR STAR COUNCIL & FATHER McGIVNEY AWARDS.

Your council can win the CONTEST OF CHAMPIONS AWARD for either having the HIGHEST PERCENTAGE GAIN OR HIGHEST NET GAIN.

HOW TO RETAIN MEMBERS

NET GAIN = ADDITIONS minus LOSSES

Historically, Mississippi has done a fine job recruiting members but a poor job at retaining them.

The RETENTION COMMITTEE consists of the Deputy Grand Knight (chairman) and the Trustees.

Retention starts as soon as a member joins. It makes no sense to abandon new members, they are your future workers. Make them feel wanted and needed. Match up their interests with the appropriate program committee. Give them something to do.

An easy way to do this is to have new members complete a the Member Interest Survey (#1842-nc) form prior to leaving the First Degree ceremony. The council should retain these forms on file and give a copy of the appropriate forms to each committee chairman each year.

This will help you match their interests up with the committee involved in that area. They are more likely to be active if you involve them in what they are interested in and care about.

Members who are dissatisfied and leave your council became dissatisfied for some reason. If this is so, it is likely that the council has failed them in some way. Have we forgotten about them? Have we abandoned them? Have we failed to contact them and involve them? Have we made an effort to find out "what is bothering them"?

Members will feel wanted and needed if they receive regular contact from the council. This contact can come from the Membership Committee, Retention Committee or the Council Committee. Ultimately, their retention will affect whether the Membership Committee attains your membership goals.

WHAT ARE SOME CONTACT TECHNIQUES YOU CAN USE?

I have given them an information packet before they leave the degree ceremony to return home. This packet contains:

the date, location and time of the meetings

a Grand Knight's Report

a Did You Know brochure

an Emblem of the Order car decal

You can award them degree certificates from Supreme (First Degree

#268; Third Degree #270).

We charge each new member 5.00 for a pocket name badge and order them promptly from Omega Engraving (P.O. Box 1210, Grants Pass, OR 97526, (503) 476-1789).

HOW TO RETAIN MEMBERS

CONTACT TECHNIQUES

Add them to your phone list as soon as possible so they can receive calls about future meetings and events. If you don't have a phone committee, someone on the membership committee or their proposer should call them.

Add them to your council roster as soon as possible so they can receive your newsletters.

Publish the names of new members and advancements to higher degrees in your church bulletin and announce such achievements at your meeting following the ceremony.

When new members attend their first council meeting introduce them during the membership report and have them tell the members something about themselves, their work and their families.

Since 87% of members who leave the Order are First Degree members, get your First Degree members to attend the Second and Third Degree Exemplifications as soon as possible after joining.

A ledger sheet or sign-in sheet can be used at the council meetings to determine who has not attended in 2 or 3 months. Membership, Retention, or Council committee members should call them to inquire why they haven't been attending the meetings.

The BEST TIP I can give you is this: notify them about meetings and events by using your newsletter or your phone committee. Members appreciate this contact and it tells them the council is interested in their participation and in keeping them informed.

TRANSFERS/WITHDRAWALS/SUSPENSIONS

TRANSFERS either to or from your council do not affect your net gain figures because the Knight never leaves the order.

WITHDRAWALS AND SUSPENSIONS count as losses so it is wise to make every effort to prevent them.

READMISSIONS, REINSTATEMENTS, REACTIVATIONS, and REAPPLICATIONS count as additions.

TRANSFERS

You should actively recruit Knights that come into your parish from other councils. The Knight and the new council must initiate a transfer.

While the former council cannot initiate a transfer, your council can help Knights that have moved away find a new council.

If they stay within Mississippi, look in the State Council Directory and provide them with the address of the Grand Knight or Financial Secretary in the council closest to them.

If they leave the state, contact the State Deputy and give him the name of the city where they are moving. He can provide the address of a Grand Knight or Financial Secretary in or near that town. Using this practice, I have helped members of my council transfer to councils in Texas, Louisiana, and Hawaii.

WITHDRAWALS

A member cannot withdraw if he owes dues. He must be a member in good standing to withdraw. The member - not the council - must decide to withdraw.

Unwillingness to follow the proper billing procedures has led some councils to "dump" members by forging members signatures on Form 100's and sending them to Supreme. This is improper and an injustice to every member so treated. This practice is contrary to the rules of our Order and indicates that your council is unwilling to attempt any retention efforts.

SUSPENSIONS

From personal experience, as a new Financial Secretary who inherited a mess (members who had not paid dues in 3 years and the failure to follow correct billing procedures) it is vitally important that your Financial Secretary perform his job of collecting dues each year.

TRANSFERS/WITHDRAWALS/SUSPENSIONS

In July 1994 my council had 56 members out of 120 that had not paid their 1994 dues. We could not pay our per capita assessments. I followed the correct billing procedures; had the retention committee contact those who received Knight Alert and Notice of Intent to Suspend Forms; provided the names of these members to the District Deputy, State Deputy and State Retention Chairman - as instructed in the proper billing procedures - and we made every effort to save each member. We ended up suspending 15 and 7 paid and elected to withdraw.

The point is that the correct billing procedures work to retain members.

If those procedures are followed each year your council will not be in a similar situation. It is very hard for a council to achieve a net gain in membership when you lose 22 members in one year.

If your council is facing this situation, please contact me because I developed some letters which explain all the membership options available to those who still owe dues and these can help you retain those members.

MEMBERSHIP GOALS

MISSISSIPPI STATE COUNCIL 1999-2000

 

 

1. Every council will have a net gain in membership.

2. 75% of all councils will meet their State Quota.

3. 50% of all councils will achieve TOP GUN status.

4. MISSISSIPPI will lead our Division in NET GAIN & NET PERCENTAGE GAIN.

5. Every District will achieve Star District Status.

6. Every Council will initiate at least one new member during the State or Supreme Membership Year.

7. Each Council will have at least 2 organized membership drives during the State Membership Year.

RESULTS

Councils used this handbook and the tips it provided for 2 years (1995-1997) and this is what happened:

Mississippi finished in FIRST PLACE IN NET MEMBERSHIP GAIN for both years.

We recruited over 1,000 new Knights in 2 years. We exceeded our Supreme Quota in both years and net gain exceeded 5% each year.

In the 1995-1996 Supreme Membership Year we finished 6th out of 66 jurisdictions (7.08% net gain), every council recruited at least 1 new member, 83.3% of councils met their State Membership Quota and 43.8% councils met their Supreme Membership Quota.

In the 1996-1997 Supreme Membership Year we finished 4th out of 66 jurisdictions (6.04% net gain), 65% of councils met their State Membership Quota and 43.8% councils met their Supreme Membership Quota.

 

THE MESSAGE IS THAT THESE TECHNIQUES WORK -- USE THEM.

PLANNING STEPS

for

CONDUCTING AN OPEN HOUSE/INFORMATION NIGHT

1. Reserve room at church or council (1-2 months prior to

your event).

2. Two months prior to the event [or place an emergency phone order to the Supply Dept. @ 203-772-2130 ext. 214, 451 or 244. You can only order 5 different items (in reasonable quantities) this way. You can get next day delivery if you pay for it.] and order your recruitment materials. The best ones are: Membership Invitation with envelope #2599; Introduce Your Family to a Little Knight Life #2549; Did You Know #1267; Discover a World of Good Things in the K of C #324; and Helping Hands #924. All are free.

3. Develop or obtain a prospect list. Get a copy of your church roster from your pastor and submit prospect names for him to review.

4. Contact those prospective members that the pastor has approved for membership. Do this by sending them the invitation Supreme has designed (#2599) along with an invitation letter and the "Benefits of Membership" handout. You will need to revise these to insert your own date, location and Council accomplishments. Be sure you send these out about 3 weeks in advance of your event. You can also send them the most current copy of your council's Grand Knight's report submitted at the last convention and published in the Convention Minute Book. You can also send them copies of: "Did You Know" flyer (#1267), "Fraternal Benefits Flyer" (#2761), your council newsletter and the Annual Report of the Supreme Knight contained in the October issues of Columbia magazine. If you do not send them the items mentioned in the last sentence, have these on your informational table at the open house.

5. Call (1.5 - 2 weeks prior to the event) those you sent letters to and ask if they received the information, remind them about the open house and ask them if they plan to attend with their families. Encourage them to attend. By calling you will let them know you are genuinely interested in them attending and it will give you an approximate head count.

6. Plan children's activities: games,videos etc. and provide sitters.

PLANNING STEPS

for

CONDUCTING AN OPEN HOUSE/INFORMATION NIGHT

7. Obtain the July 1994 Supreme video from your Financial Secretary containing: "Membership Recruitment Flip Chart" (running time 10:30) and "Life and Legacy of Fr. McGivney" (running time 15:45). This video can be loaned to you by Supreme if you call them (203-772-2130 ext. 270) at least one month in advance of the event.

8. Ask the Grand Knight, your Field Agent and at least 5 council members to commit to being present at your event to meet the prospective members and their families. Their job will be to serve them, socialize with them and ask them to join after you show the video.

9. Develop a list of items to display on an information table during the event. Items should educate and inform the prospective members and their families about your council, the Knights of Columbus and past activities. Trophies, plaques, awards, council scrapbooks, newsletters, Grand Knights reports, Columbia magazines, the Annual Report of the Supreme Knight, membership flyers, Form 100's, Thank You letters and pictures of your members in action are all good items to display.

10. Decide what food and drinks you are going to provide and how much you should buy. I usually get a cheese ball, wine, beer, cokes, crackers, cookies, candy, chips, dip, salsa, peanuts etc. Don't forget that you will need bowls or platters for all the stuff and small plates, napkins, plastic cups, ice, utensils (corkscrew for the wine and knives for the cheese ball) and adhesive nametags.

11. Set up your event room. You will need 2-3 tables for the food and for your informational table. Have some chairs arranged around the TV and VCR so they can sit and watch the video. KC, US and Papal flags are good in the front of the room.

12. Plan your event agenda. My "standard agenda" is:

A. Socialize for 30 minutes.

B. Show the Membership Recruitment Flip Chart Video (11 minutes).

C. Review what your council has done and is planning to do this year. Get your members to tell everyone why they joined the K of C and what it means to them and their families.

D. Socialize and ASK THEM TO JOIN AND FILL OUT A FORM 100!

Church Drive Talk (#1)

(History, Supreme & State Programs)

My name is _____________________________ and I am the _________________________________. I have come here today to talk to you about the Knights of Columbus.

The Knights of Columbus is a Catholic family, fraternal, service organization. It is the largest order of Catholic men in the world.

In order to truly understand what the Knights of Columbus is all about, you need to know how and why it was founded. The Knights of Columbus was founded in 1882, in New Haven, Connecticut, by a priest........Fr. Michael J. McGivney.

During this time in our countryís history, many Catholics were immigrating to the U.S. from predominately Catholic countries in Europe.

These people were poor - but hard working- and they found jobs in factories and labor intensive industries. Because working conditions were bad, and these people were to poor to afford proper medical care, many of the men died at a relatively early age, leaving behind families with little or no means of support.

Fr. McGivney and the men of his parish wanted to do something about this situation. You see, they considered this the most serious problem facing their Catholic community. So they met to form an organization that had two main purposes: 1) to provide support for widows and their children and

2) to establish a Catholic organization that would serve churches, schools, communities, families and youth

The Knights of Columbus was founded on the principles of .......... Charity, Unity, Fraternity and Patriotism.

From this humble beginning with one council, the Knights of Columbus has grown to over 11,000 and more than 1.6 million members worldwide. But what do we do today?

We do many charitable works throughout the world, in the United States and right here in Mississippi. Last year (1998) the Knights of Columbus contributed over 110.7 million dollars and volunteered over 55 million hours for charitable causes. Since 1987 Knights have contributed over 1 BILLION dollars and volunteered over 450 million hours for charitable purposes.

---When you see the Pope on television, you can thank the Knights of Columbus because we fund the satellite transmission especially for Christmas and Holy Week broadcasts.

--We donated a mobile TV production unit to the Vatican

--We funded the restoration of St. Peterís Basilica in Rome

--We funded the microfilming of important historical Vatican documents for storage at St. Louis University.

--We donate 2 million dollars each year to the Pope for his personal charities

--We provide funds to support Eternal Word Television Network.

--We have provided 73 million dollars for low interest Church-related mortgages

Prolife Family Organization

--We are family organization that sponsors activities that support catholic family values.

--We have a student loan and scholarship program for our members and their children to assist with college costs.

--We are a prolife organization that believes in the "sanctity of life" from the moment of conception until natural death.

--We provide the entire budget for the U.S., Canadian and Mexican Bishops Natural Family Planning offices.

--We have distributed millions of pieces of prolife literature; said countless rosaries to end abortion; and erected headstones on church property in remembrance of the victims of abortion.

State Programs

At a time when we are told that people are apathetic, that they just donít care, that they would rather sit at home and watch TV and have someone else handle things............the Knights of Columbus embodies the concept of "Faith in action". In Mississippi we have over 5,700 dedicated Knights in 55 councils and 7 round tables. Last year (1998) we donated over 410,000 dollars and 314,000 hours of service assisting churches, schools, communities, families and youth.

Each spring we conduct a "Tootsie Roll Drive" where we give out Tootsie Rolls and people give us donations. Since this programís inception we have raised 4.4 million dollars to help provide programs for mentally retarded

people. All of this money remains in Mississippi to fund Special Olympics and local programs. Not a dime was spent on salaries because everything we do is done on a voluntary basis.

Each year at our state convention, we present checks totaling between 40-50 thousand dollars to Bishop Howze and Bishop Houck. This money is to be used to educate future priests for our state. Since this programís inception in 1954 over 1 MILLION dollars has been donated for this purpose.

We stand "In Solidarity with our Priests and Bishops" and stand for the Catholic church and its ideals. We are proud to count many members of the clergy as Knights. Your Priest, Fr.____________________________________

is a member of the Knights of Columbus. Our two MS bishops, Bishop Howze and Bishop Houck are also members.

If you are an active practical Catholic man in union with the Holy See and 18 or older, we want to extend an invitation to you to join our order. Join us in doing Godís will. Involvement in our order will help you put your faith into action and help you become a better man and a better Catholic.

 

 

 

If you would like more information, or would like to join, please see one of the Knights who will be ____________________________________________ immediately after mass.

Thank you Father for this opportunity to speak and thank you for your attention and God Bless You.

By Jesse "Bubba" Quinn III, State Deputy 1995-1997 & Dennis Riecke, State Membership Director 1995-1997.

 

IMPORTANT FOLLOW UP STEPS AFTER MASSS---

AFTER MASS ENDS BE SURE TO HAND EVERY MAN KNIGHTS LITERATURE, EVEN IF HE TRIES TO AVOID YOU, BE FORCEFUL AND OFFER IT TO HIM.

GET THE NAME AND PHONE NUMBER OF EVERY MAN WHO SHOWS ANY INTEREST SO YOU CAN CALL HIM LATER.

Church Drive Talk (#2)

(Supreme, State and Council Activities)

My name is _____________________________ and I am the _________________________________. I have come here today to talk to you about the Knights of Columbus.

The Knights of Columbus is a Catholic family, fraternal, service organization. It is the largest order of Catholic men in the world.

In order to truly understand what the Knights of Columbus is all about, you need to know how and why it was founded. The Knights of Columbus was founded in 1882, in New Haven, Connecticut, by a priest........Fr. Michael J. McGivney.

Fr. McGivney and the men of his parish met to form an organization that had two main purposes: 1) to provide support for widows and their children and

2) to establish a Catholic organization that would serve churches, schools, communities, families and youth

The Knights of Columbus was founded on the principles of .......... Charity, Unity, Fraternity and Patriotism.

From this humble beginning with one council, the Knights of Columbus has grown to over 11,000 COUNCILS and more than 1.6 million members worldwide. But what do we do today?

Supreme Level

We do many charitable works throughout the world, in the United States and right here in Mississippi. Last year (1998) the Knights of Columbus contributed over 110.7 million dollars and volunteered over 55 million hours for charitable causes. Since 1987 Knights have contributed over 1 BILLION dollars and volunteered over 450 million hours for charitable purposes.

---When you see the Pope on television, you can thank the Knights of Columbus because we fund the satellite transmission especially for Christmas and Holy Week broadcasts.

--We donated a mobile TV production unit to the Vatican

--We funded the restoration of St. Peterís Basilica in Rome

--We funded the microfilming of important historical Vatican documents for storage and scholarly use at St. Louis University.

--We donate 2 million dollars each year to the Pope for his personal charities

--We provide funds to support Eternal Word Television Network.

--We have provided 73 million dollars for low interest Church-related mortgages.

State Programs

In Mississippi we have over 5,700 dedicated Knights in 55 councils and 7 round tables. Last year (1998) we donated over 410,000 dollars and 314,000 hours of service assisting churches, schools, communities, families and youth.

 

Each spring we conduct a "Tootsie Roll Drive" where we give out Tootsie Rolls and people give us donations. Since this programís inception we have raised 4.4 million dollars to help provide programs for mentally retarded

people. All of this money remains in Mississippi to fund Special Olympics and local programs. Not a dime was spent on salaries because everything we do is done on a voluntary basis.

Each year at our state convention, we present checks totaling between 40-50 thousand dollars to Bishop Howze and Bishop Houck. This money is to be used to educate future priests for our state. Since this programís inception in 1954 over 1 MILLION dollars has been donated for this purpose.

Council Programs

Every council has 5 program committees. They are the Church, Community, Council, Family and Youth committees. Each council strives to conduct programs and activities in each of these areas. Here are some of the recent activities sponsored by Council __________ at ___________________________.

Church

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

Community

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

Council

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

Family

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

 

 

 

Youth

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

Council ________ members here at ____________________________________

donated ____________ dollars and provided _______________ hours of service for charitable causes last year. The Knights of Columbus truly embodies the concept "Faith in Action".

We stand "In Solidarity with our Priests and Bishops" and stand for the Catholic church and its ideals. We are proud to count many members of the clergy as Knights. Your Priest, Fr.____________________________________

is a member of the Knights of Columbus. Our two MS bishops, Bishop Howze and Bishop Houck are also members.

If you are an active practical Catholic man in union with the Holy See and 18 or older, we want to extend an invitation to you to join our order. Join us in doing Godís will. Involvement in our order will help you put your faith into action and help you become a better man and a better Catholic.

 

If you would like more information, or would like to join, please see one of the Knights who will be ____________________________________________ immediately after mass.

Thank you Father for this opportunity to speak and thank you for your attention and God Bless You.

by Dennis Riecke, State Membership Director, 1995-1997.

 

IMPORTANT FOLLOW UP STEPS AFTER MASSS---

AFTER MASS ENDS BE SURE TO HAND EVERY MAN KNIGHTS LITERATURE, EVEN IF HE TRIES TO AVOID YOU, BE FORCEFUL AND OFFER IT TO HIM.

GET THE NAME AND PHONE NUMBER OF EVERY MAN WHO SHOWS ANY INTEREST SO YOU CAN CALL HIM LATER.