National Membership Committee

11 Recommended Steps for JACL Membership

Recruitment and Retention:

Excerpt from VP of Membership and Services Report, 2018 JACL National Convention, July 19, 2018

Full report available for download at:

The following is a list of suggested actions for district and chapter boards and volunteers to take with the purpose of supporting chapter member recruitment and retention. If your chapter does conduct a membership recruitment activity, I would love to hear about it. I also welcome any chapter who has any questions about these actions to contact me directly via e-mail at

  1. Have your chapter membership chair and interested board
    members to sign up to receive e-mails from the National Membership Committee at:
  2. Have a chapter representative participate in a live monthly
    National Membership conference call. Future calls are scheduled for the following dates (all calls 9:00 EST): Monday, August 13 (PNW Open Forum); Monday, September 10 (PSW Open Forum); Monday, October 8 (CCDC Open Forum); Monday, November 12 (EDC Open Forum); Monday, December 10 (IDC Open Forum).
  3. Have a chapter representative attending convention come to the
    staff-led lunchtime presentation on membership hosted by JACL national staff member Mariko Fujimoto on Saturday, July 21, from noon-1:30pm in Salon 5. I will also be in attendance and would be happy to meet with you there to connect directly on any membership ideas and questions you might have. Slides from previous presentations Mariko has given to NCWNP district chapters can be downloaded from:
  4. Update any chapter promotional materials over 5 years old or if
    chapter contact information has changed. Work with a volunteer or consider investing in hiring a graphic designer to develop visually appealing collateral.
  5. Make sure your chapter website and contact information listed
    is up to date. Make sure announcements and listings of upcoming chapter events and meetings are easily visible.
  6. Start social media accounts for your chapter. Try to make posts
    on a weekly basis to announce and share: chapter events and meetings, community and chapter news, district activities, links to PC articles, National JACL press releases and issue statements, JACL Weekly Digest). Develop a chapter policy with guidelines on content to be posted. Consider offering social media management duties to youth, student and young professional members as marketing/PR internships. Offer a stipend for the intern if funding is available.
  7. Add a social element to your meetings. Make it a potluck! Invite
    members and encourage potential new volunteers and board members.
  8. Commit to having an annual social event or gathering in the
    community with the purpose of welcoming and recruiting new
    11 Recommended Steps for JACL Membership Recruitment and Retention pg. 2
    members. Make sure board members are in attendance and connect with new members. Encourage chapter members to involve their whole and extended families. Invite members to holiday/Oshogatsu gatherings, chapter installations, chapter open houses, chapter scholarship awards, community BBQ’s/picnics, group outings to summer obons, etc.
  9. For ticketed chapter events and fundraisers, set split ticket
    pricing in the event budget in order to offer members a lower price as a membership benefit.
  10. Schedule a minimum of 2 times a year for volunteers and board
    members to follow up directly with lapsed members via telephone/voice mail or text message. Be sure to invite lapsed members to attend any upcoming chapter events and meetings.
  11. Conduct a membership campaign to your chapter members
    encouraging members to purchase gift youth/student or family memberships for younger family members. Encourage engagement in civil rights and support for community as family values. For applicable scholarships and programs, promote this as a way to establish eligibility to apply for JACL student scholarships and participation in programs in the future.

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