Members are the League’s most valuable asset. They give the League clout, visibility and credibility. The organization’s strong grassroots system distinguishes the League from other organizations; the League is the organization where hands-on work to safeguard democracy leads to civic improvement.
Members belong to all three levels of the League—local, state and national. Member categories (e.g., individual, household, student, associate, life member) are defined by the LWVUS Bylaws. Membership dues make up a significant portion of the income in most local League budgets. Dues levels are set by each local League, and collecting dues is the responsibility of the local League. A proactive and structured dues renewal process is important to member retention.
Leagues are responsible for paying a per member payment (PMP) for each locally recruited member to the LWVUS and their state League. National PMP is set by delegates at the national convention, and state PMP is set by delegates at the state convention.
Leagues need to recruit new members to continue, advance and hopefully expand their good work. A growing, thriving membership enables the organization to succeed in accomplishing its goals and fulfilling its mission. Membership recruitment is the result of intentional actions by both leaders and members and occurs mostly at the local level. However, no matter how dynamic a local League may be, membership growth does not just happen. It requires planning, year-round attention and a strong partnership among all levels of the League. Information to assist in membership recruitment and retention can be found in the Member Section of the LWVUS website.
In addition to its leadership role in building an organization that will attract new members and promote the involvement of current members, the board of directors—collectively and individually—is responsible for:
- Building membership recruitment efforts into all League activities.
- Designing activities that will appeal to diverse groups.
- Individually promoting the League and League membership at every opportunity.
The key is to ask people specifically to join the League. No opportunity is too small or too big to promote League membership.
Though members belong to all three levels of the League, it is usually at the local level that they experience what it means to belong to the League. The local League has an essential role in making that experience satisfying and enjoyable. Since members who are engaged in the work of the League are more apt to renew their memberships, each member should be given an opportunity to contribute his/her individual talents in a way that is satisfying and flexible. The goal is to ensure that all members feel that their involvement with the League, whether active or supporting, is essential to the League's strength and success.