Program Manual

Thoughts about Successful Membership Recruiting.

Thoughts about Successful Membership Recruiting.
To know where we are going we must remember our Mission. Just as Father McGivney personally asked men of his Parish to assist him in meeting the needs of his parishioners, so too must members of your Council ask every eligible Catholic man to join your Council and assist with meeting people’s needs. As Supreme Knight Carl Anderson reminds us, “It is our moral obligation to invite every eligible Catholic man to join the Knights of Columbus.”

Implementing Membership Recruitment and Retention Strategy
Begin implementing the membership recruitment strategy immediately after your election of officers. Your Council’s newly elected Grand Knight has the very important duty of appointing both the membership and the program directors.

The new Membership Director should work with the Grand Knight to appoint the Retention Committee Chairman and the Knights that will serve on the Admission Committee.
Once the directors and committee chairs are appointed, complete and submit the Service Program Personnel Report #365 through Member Management no later than August 1st. The report can also be found on the Knights website at and in the Council Report forms Booklet #1436. Submitting this report allows the appointed directors and chairmen to begin receiving important information published by the Supreme Council and the Texas State Council. The Member Management Program is also used to report changes to committee chairmen during the year or by submitting a new Service Program Personal Report #365 with only the changed information.

Keys to Recruiting Success, Church Recruitment Drives 

  • Share with members of your Council the 10 Keys to Membership Recruiting Success #10233 and keep these tips in mind when recruiting a potential member:
  • Talk about your positive experiences as a member and share your enthusiasm for your Council.
  • Convey a sense of enthusiasm, excitement and pride when talking about the great things your Council accomplishes and the people your Council helps.
  • Make a good impression with the right attitude and body language. Maintain a positive attitude, smile often, avoid being negative, and always look the prospective member in the eye when talking to him.
  • Talk to the prospective member along with his wife about the ways membership can benefit their family. Highlight how participation in your Council’s charitable endeavors can help a man grow in faith. Point out that many of your Council’s activities and programs, including the Insurance program and other benefits, are open to the member’s entire family.
  • Show unity when conducting a charitable service project. When members, their families and other volunteers wear Knights of Columbus branded apparel while conducting a charitable project, it identifies your Council to the community and entices prospective members to inquire about joining your Council.
  • Ask men to join your Council. Family, friends, co-workers and fellow parishioners represent recruitment opportunities – ask if they would like to join your Council.
  • Approach recruiting in a different way. Ask a prospective member “Would you be interested in learning more about membership in our local Knights of Columbus Council?
  • What to say when the answer is “I don’t have time” Be prepared with a simple answer. Tell them the amount of time they put in is completely up to them, and remind them of your Council’s family oriented activities.
  • Promote your Councils spirituality. Emphasize your Council’s involvement in the spiritual life of your Parish.
  • Involve young people. Ask young men to join your Council. Use targeted advertising especially social media, to reach younger prospective members.
  • Follow-up with all prospective members in a timely manner. It is essential that follow-up communication, by personal contacts, occurs within a few days at the most.

Planning Membership Recruitment and Retention Strategy 
Once your Council’s directors and chairman are appointed, the Grand Knight should call an organizational meeting. Invite your Financial Secretary, Council Chaplain, Program and Membership Directors, with their respective committee chairman; and other Council Officers to the meeting. Hold the meeting immediately after the appointment of the Committee Chairman and before August 1st. set the groundwork for the entire fraternal year, planning your membership and insurance goals, budget, and calendar for social and service program events.

  1. The membership portions of the organizational meeting should focus on the following: 
  2. Reviewing the membership recruitment activities that were conducted in the past year. Analyze the reason for the success or failure of each project.
  3. Deciding on successful recruitment strategies to repeat in the current fraternal year and new strategies to implement.
  4. Setting a budget for each activity.
  5. Setting tentative dates for each activity, keeping in mind the Parish and community calendar.
  6. Preparing the list of agreed upon activities to present to the Council for approval.
  7. Alerting the Public Relation Chairman of activity dates to ensure that the Council’s initiatives and events are communicated to the parish and community in a timely manner.
  8. Review with the Financial Secretary the Retention status plan, and the current standings of all members. Address members that might need contacting on their health and current needs before they fall between the cracks. Remember that the fraternal need of a Brother is one of the most import actions we can take.
  9. Also review with your Financial Secretary the list of Inactive Insurance Members and the Former members. The time and events in their lives may have changed and they are ready to come back into your Council. A “Welcome Back Brothers Campaign” can also help your Council meet its goal and assist these former Knights to come back. 

Proven Membership Recruitment Strategies
In a survey, members were asked why they waited so long to join the Knights of Columbus. All too often the answer was “nobody ever asked me” With the right recruitment strategy in place, your council will ensure that every Catholic man in your parish has the opportunity to join your council. A direct result of recruiting is your council’s ability to increase its charitable impact in your parish and community.
These recommendations are just ideas for a council to be positive in recruitment and retention. While we all want new Knights, we also have to make sure to help and keep the ones we have. These suggestions are meant to inspire your council into action. By recruiting new members, your council is continuing Father McGivney’s vision and commitment of providing assistance to people in your parish and community.
Reward and recognize your recruiters. The Very Important Proposer program is a way to thank our Brothers who recruit a new or former member. The proposers are also the Brothers who see that the New Knight gets involved and moves forward in his Degrees. 
Project Recovery
When the Late Bob Parsons became State Deputy of the Texas State Council back in 1959 to 1961 he was more concerned with the troublesome internal problem of membership losses. He not only wanted to stop the hemorrhaging, but also recover as many as possible of the lapsed members. By studying the numbers over the 18 year period before 1960 he found the Order in Texas had lost some 20,000 members during this period from causes other than death. Brother Parson set about going after our lost Brother under a program he called “Project Recovery” which was implemented during his term. It was not the large success he wanted but in 2 years they brought back 686 Brothers back to our Order. We need to do this program again.
As of May of 2018 Texas has 41,189 former Knights in our jurisdiction along with 4,639 inactive insurance members. Just think if we were able to bring back 10% of these former Knights. That would mean we could add 4,583 to the Texas State Council. I know that some cannot comeback as they have left the Church or do not meet the practical Catholic status. But some could be ready if we asked them to rejoin our Brotherhood. The time could be right and you will get a plus on your intake and if they are inactive insurance they will get a plus, plus for your Council. We are supplying each Diocesan Deputy the “List” of contact info on these former Brothers and we are asking you to look it over and try to recover our former Knights.
E-membership Program
As of May 24, 2018 we have had 119 Texas men become members of the Knights of Columbus. Upon applying they are asked if the know of or are interested in the council near their location. If they show they wish to join your council, information will be sent to your council through the Member Management program on a new tab labeled Prospect. If they do not know about your council we will pass the info down to your council to approach these men to convert into a council. I was very concerned when this program came out in late March but it is working to grow the Order. Once again some of these men joined online because we did not approach and invite them. Whatever the reason let’s get these online Knights to become a council Knights. You and your Financial Secretary will be hearing more about this new program. Once again we gain a Knight. Maybe we should accept any help we can get?
As the Grand Knight or District Deputy we must have our councils grow with new Knights. We all have the love of the Knights of Columbus in our hearts. We must share this love with our fellow Catholic men by bringing them into the Knights of Columbus.
We are here to help and support your success.

The Texas State Councils Membership Team
Bill Elliott, Membership Director
Tom Oaks, Recruitment Chairman
Tom Watters, Membership Drives and Blitz Chairman
Dennis Trainor, Retention Chairman
Phil Apgar, Ceremonial Chairman
Fred Guillory, Membership Committeeman
Brad Meyer, Membership Tracking & Reports 
Joe Rodriguez Master of the Sword 

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