Membership Recruitment and Retention
(Reviewed and Adopted November 2016)
This committee works with chapters to recruit and retain membership.The committee manages various programs or initiative aimed as recruiting and retaining membership.
Each chapter is encouraged to have a MRR Committee at the chapter level. This committee supports the local chapter committee with tools and best practices. “Members are hard to get, but easy to lose!” Members are important and essential to the life of any organization and especially so to Epsilon Sigma Phi.
Epsilon Sigma Phi has much to offer Extension professionals. Epsilon Sigma Phi plays an equal role with the other professional Extension Associations (National Association of County Agricultural Agents (NACAA), National Association of Extension 4-H Agents (NAE4-HA), Association of Natural Resource Extension Professionals (ANREP), National Extension Association of Family & Consumer Science (NEAFCS), and the National Association of Community Development Extension Professionals (NACDEP). Epsilon Sigma Phi is an equal partner in the Joint Council of Extension Professionals (JCEP), and this affiliation enhances joint efforts.
Epsilon Sigma Phi is a professional organization dedicated to fostering standards of excellence in the Extension System and developing the Extension profession and professional. ESP leads the Extension System in promoting and supporting professionalism in Extension.
Additional Information may be found in our the ESP ByLaws under Article VIII - National Committees.
The Constitution of the National ESP organization defines three categories of membership:
ANNUAL MEMBER. An Extension professional (currently employed by or retired from an entity of the Cooperative Extension System) who has exhibited excellence in programming and leadership.
MEMBER-AT-LARGE. An individual meeting the above qualifications, but located where there is no affiliated chapter, may pay annual dues directly to the National ESP Office and become a member-at-large, with all the rights and privileges of an active member.
LIFE MEMBER. Members who are retired from the Cooperative Extension System may obtain a life membership by paying the designated life member dues. These members hold equal rights and privileges to those paying annual dues.
Currently in our online membership system we have an informal sub-category of Annual Members titled "State Managed Annual Members". This sub-category is only different from Annual Member in the way dues are collected such as a university payroll deduction system.
The National Membership Recruitment and Retention Committee assist chapters with recruiting, retaining, and involving all eligible Extension personnel.
The work of the National Membership Recruitment and Retention Committee generally includes:
Guidelines, tools and best practices for local chapters are offered as suggestions from the National MMR Committee to recruit and retain members.
An "at-risk" chapter will likely have several of these circumstances:
Chapters will be assessed annually by the National Office and Regional Vice Presidents. The National Board will assign one or more board members (likely the Regional Vice President from the same region as the "at-risk" chapter, President-Elect, or Past President) to work with the “at-risk” chapter. The National Board member will contact the “at-risk” chapter and offer resources and support. If the response to the offer is positive, initial steps will be identified and the agreed upon plan will be documented in a follow-up letter.
The National Board member may make an on-site visit if funds are available and the visit is deemed valuable. An on-site visit may be an essential part of the support plan and would likely include:
Following the onsite visit:
The National ESP Office/Board Members will provide resources and support to a state wishing to reactivate their ESP chapter. The contact from the National Board will likely be the Regional Vice President from the region of the reactivating chapter, the National Vice President or Past President and the National ESP Executive Director.
Process and Procedures for Re-activation
The state wishing to reactivate their ESP chapter will identify an Extension professional who will be the initial contact/state liaison to work with the National ESP Office/Board Member (s) who have been identified to support the chapter during the reactivation process
The National Office/Board Member(s) will provide to the state liaison ESP information such as the Constitution and Bylaws, ESP Handbook, and membership materials, as well as guidelines on chapter reactivation and will follow-up with a personal contact to the state liaison. The ESP Office/Board Member(s) may make an on-site visit to the state/state liaison if resources are available.
If an onsite visit is made, it should include the following:
In the absence of an onsite visit, the above should be accomplished via other means, such as conference calls, online meetings of other means.
If the decision is to move forward with chapter reactivation, a Chapter Organization Committee and Committee Chair should be identified and an organizational meeting date/time determined.
The Committee should:
The interim Executive Committee should:
Draft a proposed structure--officers, committees, membership criteria, and dues.
Describe progress, problems, and questions. Ask for resources/assistance if needed.
Enroll new members into the national membership database.
Provide names, addresses, phone numbers of steering committee, interim executive committee, and elected officers so they receive appropriate communication.
Throughout the chapter reactivation process, keep National ESP Office informed.
The National Office/Board Member(s) may assign an active ESP chapter to mentor the reactivating chapter. The National Board or mentoring chapter will communicate monthly with the Chapter Organization Committee Chair to provide continued support and to discuss and refine plans for the organizational meeting. They will also: