The Elks

Membership Guide

Lodges that succeed in retaining current Members, gaining new ones, and thriving in today’s social landscape will do so not by chance but by change.

Stages of MembershipMembership Guide

All members start as someone’s guest.  Below you will find the stages of membership.  
You can find further resource to help at each stage. 

Stages of Membership

Every member was a Guest! 

Be Our Guest / Invitation to Join

You love the Lodge. You want your friends to be a part of what you love. Invite them to the Lodge for dinner or a charity event. Once they show interest in the lodge, invite them to join.

Orientation & Initiation

There is so much to learn about the Elks. We have National, State and Local programs and many charities to suit all interests. Community, Youth, Veterans and Americanism are our focus. Learn more and plan your involvement. Initiation is your special day. Experience our ritual that conveys our cardinal principles of Charity, Justice, Brotherly Love and Fidelity. You are now on your way!

Volunteering

Participate in meetings to learn about your lodge. Get involved. Every event needs more hands. Contact the committee chairperson and let them know you want to help. Volunteering is the backbone of the Elks.

Leadership

Work with committee chairpersons and Lodge leadership. You are ready to implement something new. Get permission, a budget, volunteers, press attention and results. You are making a difference by leading the charge.

Revitalization & Retention

Retention is all about people. Care about your lodge members. They too want to help and make a difference. Look for opportunities to reinvigorate their spark. Plan worthy events, charities, fundraisers and community improvements. Market and advertise your events so everyone is invited to participate. Remember that many people need personal invitations. This may be as simple as a text message or phone call to see if your friends want to help out. Remember our motto of Elks Care, Elks Share.

1

Invite a Guest & Invite Them to Join

You love the Lodge. You want your friends to be a part of what you love. Invite them to the Lodge for dinner or a charity event. Once they show interest in the lodge, invite them to join.

Send an Online Invitation to Join

Grand Lodge has an amazing tool to help with the membership application.  You can propose a person for membership right online.  Try it out today!

Phone Script for Contacting Virtual Lodge Member in Your Area

Lodge Membership Committee Tips

Do you have the correct size Committee to get the job done?

1.Exalted Ruler

2.Lodge Secretary

3.Leading Knight

4.Membership Chairperson

5.Add at least one additional committee person per 100 members in your lodge.

200 Member Lodge- add 2

500 Member Lodge- add 5

1000 Member Lodge- add 10

 

The Membership Chairperson needs committee members with various skills:

Sales- Working recruitment tables, working reinstatements, greeting guests and inviting them to join.

Public Relations/Marketing- Promoting membership on the social media page and lodge website. Making sure everyone is aware of the positive impact the lodge has contributed towards the community.

Orientation- Educating, involving and inspiring the new Members to recruit and be active. Matching their interests and time with a Lodge committee or activity.

Collection Department – Assist the Lodge Secretary with billing, collection letters, phone calls , emails and personal visits to delinquents. Patience and persistence

Top Recruiter Incentive Ideas
  • Members initiating or reinstating  three members into the Order will receive the prestigious GER pin award. 
  • Members initiating or reinstating eleven or more members into the Order will receive the prestigious and attractive Elks watch (male or female sizes available.)
  • Make “Thank You! posters” thanking recruiters and showing a picture of them.
  • Hand out “Thank You! tickets” each time a recruiter brings in a new Member. Each ticket offers the chance for a monthly drawing for something as simple as a $25 gift card.
  • List your recruiters in your Lodge newsletter/website and social media page and thank them.
  • Create a recruiter of the month parking space (or 2) at your Lodge.
  • Create a special recognition program for great recruiters – because without new Members  we can’t survive!
Invite Guests to Become New Members
  • Develop  a brochure- To have available for open house guests. Include contact information, state major projects, community projects, hours and dinning menu,  Elks mission, and national programs including scholarship information and grants.
  • Put a positive spin on everything- Steer away from anything negative.
  • Be sure to have a sign-in sheet- For guests’ names and contact information.
  • It has to be fun-  Being entertained, doing for others, and being respected are priorities. Image matters- Portray your Lodge to be friendly, modern and fun.
  • Incorporate stories- From those who have benefited from the Lodge’s charity.
  • Sales pitch- The open house is a sales event.
  • What we are about- Have presentations or stations. Tables display boards, videos, overheads, etc.
  • What we expect- Outline what we expect and what they can expect from the Elks.
  • Financial Responsibility –Spell out the dues and responsibilities of membership.
  • I thought you never ask-  Don’t forget to ask them to join.

Membership Recruitment Process - GL Manual

50 Recruitment Ideas

Check out these great recruitment ideas!

Elks Do Printables

Table tents and placemats.  Download and print them.

2

Orientation & Initation

There is so much to learn about the Elks. We have National, State and Local programs and many charities to suit all interests. Community, Youth, Veterans and Americanism are our focus. Learn more and plan your involvement. Initiation is your special day. Experience our ritual that conveys our cardinal principles of Charity, Justice, Brotherly Love and Fidelity. You are now on your way!

Orientation of the New Member - GL Manual

Membership and Lapsation are problems for nearly every Lodge in the Order. Officers and Members at every level of Elkdom have spent countless hours seeking cures. What may be needed most, though, is a healthy dose of prevention.

We need to do a better job of informing new Members about our aims, purposes and objectives. We need to show them “What It Means To Be An Elk” and do it early, while the appeal that first attracted them to our Order is still fresh. That’s what the Orientation Program is all about.

Orientation Powerpoint

Use this powerpoint template to create an orientation presentation that is customized for your Lodge and state. 

New Member Survey

Download the Elks’ New Member Survey! (PDF Format)

Guidelines for Initiation Celebrations
  • Consider holding Initiation Celebration other than meeting nights.
  • Make it an event to always remember.
  • Socialize prior and after the Initiation Celebration to create and build friendships.
  • Have an open free meal and encourage Members to attend.
  • Provide a guideline list for Initiation Celebration.
  • The new Member should leave the Initiation with an invitation to an upcoming Lodge activity or event.

Orientation Tips
  • A  tour of the lodge- Tell them what takes place in each area of your lodge.
  • A how-to session – Bringing in guests, sign up sheets, etc…
  • Written copy- Lodge & House rules and  customs.
  • How to accomplish basic tasks- How to volunteer, who to ask, how to get help.
  • Develop-  WELKOME  packets.
  • Request-  Email and cell phone If not on the application.
  • Birds of a Feather – Give 3 applications and how they earn the GER Award pin.
  • Provide -Hours the Lodge is open.
  • Chain of Command- Provide them with a written list of Officer contact information.
  • Communicate- Copy of the Lodge bulletin, website and social media page.
  • Survey- Hand out the new Member survey.

Get PPT

3

Volunteering

Participate in meetings to learn about your lodge. Get involved. Every event needs more hands. Contact the committee chair person and let them know you want to help. Volunteering is the backbone of the Elks.

New Member Survey

Find out what the new member likes to do and match opportunities with them.

Planning a Special Event - GL Manual

Grab this Grand Lodge Manual to help you plan your next event. 

4

Leadership

Work with committee chair persons and Lodge leadership. You are ready to implement something new. Get permission, a budget, volunteers, press attention and results. You are making a difference by leading the charge.

Exalted Ruler, Lodge Officer, Committee Member Manual - GL Manual

This manual provides advice, guidance and assistance to Local Lodge Officers and Committee Members concerned with the proper administration of the affairs of a Local Lodge and promotion of its programs. The manual does not set forth the depth of involvement of those who contribute their time and talents but rather to identify the scope of their commitments.

House Committee Handbook - GL Manual

These are the best practices for successfully managing a House Committee as outlined and understood by the Statutes of the Order and the Leadership of the Elks.

Investigation Interview Committee - GL Manual

These are the best practices for successfully managing a House Committee as outlined and understood by the Statutes of the Order and the Leadership of the Elks.

5

Revitalization & Retention

Retention is all about people. Care about your lodge members. They too want to help and make a difference. Look for opportunities to reinvigorate their spark. Plan worthy events, charities, fundraisers and community improvements. Market and advertise your events so everyone is invited to participate. Remember that many people need personal invitations. This may be as simple as a text message or phone call to see if your friends want to help out. Remember our motto of Elks Care, Elks Share.

Lapsation - GL Manual

Get the complete Lapsation manual.  This will give you tools to help you revitialize and retain your member. 

Letter form PER who initiated the delinquent member - GL Sample Letter

Letter from lapsation committee - GL Sample Letter

Letters to members who owe - GL Sample Letter

Phone Reinstatement Script

Phone Script for Reinstatements Less Than 60 Days

Phone Script for Reinstatements More than Three Years

Letter to member requesting absolute demit - GL Sample Letter

Letter to stray elks - GL Sample Letter

Reinstatement letter - GL Sample Letter

Retention and Mentoring

Who- Ideally, this should be the new Member’s sponsor.

  • Not able- Assign a trained Member or Officer.
  • Goal- To empower the new Member and create an environment where their thoughts and ideas can be contributed.
  • Introduce- The new Members to others.
  • Invite – The new Member to join them at a Lodge meeting or event.
  • Call- The new Member to ask for help with a project they are working on.
  • Engage- In Informal conversations outside the meeting room.
  • Special Events- Let the new Members know about game nights and outings.
  • Post Pictures-  Of the new Members.
Guidelines for Initiation Celebrations
  • Consider holding Initiation Celebration other than meeting nights.
  • Make it an event to always remember.
  • Socialize prior and after the Initiation Celebration to create and build friendships.
  • Have an open free meal and encourage Members to attend.
  • Provide a guideline list for Initiation Celebration.
  • The new Member should leave the Initiation with an invitation to an upcoming Lodge activity or event.