Our capacity to fulfil our role depends on recruiting new motivated and skilled members.
Word of mouth and our website are great means of recruitment. Sometimes we take a stand at events such as Garden Fairs and other events. We organise occasional New Members events to help induct new members. A few years ago we also send letters to all Yellow Book owners.
Jim, I realise from your other post that you are here with your Sussex GT hat on, but perhaps it might be helpful to mention that in each post?
When we set up in 1997, we obtained a list of those in Bucks who were members of the then Garden History Society, contacted the Yellow Book and other Garden Open Day groups, the various (then) NADFAS groups in the county, as well as various other county groups such as our very senior colleagues in Bucks Archaeological Society, the County Museum, the NT groups. We put up fliers in the county’s libraries and very soon provided them with membership leaflets (handily sponsored by our then local publisher Shire Publications) which we also distributed to Garden Centres and Nurseries throughout the (historic) county; including Slough, which is supposedly in Berkshire these days!
Since then we have put our feelers to other groups, including family history researchers, which has worked very well as a recruitment tool for our thriving Research and Recording Group.
W try to advertise our Spring Talks Series as widely as possible, and I also carry around leaflets to distribute at random (with our events programme tucked in). Our lectures have been quite good at pulling people out of London at weekends, and as a result we have quite a high number of out of county members. Train journeys, particularly when they get delayed, have been remarkably successful in recruting new members! We used to advertise in our local Bucks and Beds Yellow book, but it was very expensive, and we were never sure that it produced new members, though we felt it was ago use of funds?
Finally word of mouth still seems to be the best way, though a few people have found us via our website. We encourage our members to bring new people along to events and that seems the best method.