A provisional period for prospective members is a well-accepted concept for many chapters.  These orientation periods vary widely between chapters, but many employ similar aspects.  Many provisional programs like Western Reserve and Detroit require new members to have a sponsor or mentor from chapter membership.  This is not to restrict membership, but to give prospective members a resource during their orientation.  The duration of this phase vary from one meeting as in Milwaukee to several months like Detroit to a year as in Akron, Geauga and Dayton.

The Dayton chapter is just one of several that require a specific number of volunteer hours during this period.  For many chapters like Akron, this period may include mandatory attendance at a varying number of general meetings, and specific provisional gatherings as in Detroit to introduce the activities of the chapter.  Recently the Detroit chapter initiated an exit interview at the conclusion of the provisional period to encourage new members to choose a commitment.

The Cleveland chapter has a Provisional Review Day were new members and board members discuss the provisional year and its strengths, weaknesses and ways to improve the experience. The benefits of a provisional program are many and perhaps most convincing is the opportunity for new members to find the perfect match for their time and talent.  In addition the fellowship that grows within a group of provisionals helps to build a strong membership.

The Pittsburgh Chapter has no formal process for perspective new members, but instead has a Membership Coordinator that mentors prospective new members and introduces them to the activities of the chapter.

 

Here is a suggested New Member Orientation Guide- 

New Member Orientation Guide OMG     (click on the link)


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