Members are the backbone of any organization.  Engaged, active members are the key to a thriving organization.  To help you with your RSO's membership, it is important to remember the three R's of Membership: Recruit, Retain, and Recognize!


Good membership recruitment begins with good marketing.  When you advertise your RSO, you are building a brand that students recognize and want to be a part of.  Be sure to check out our webpage about Advertising Your RSO to learn about resources available to you as your RSO builds its reputation on campus!

Here are additional ways you can recruit top-notch members for your organization!

  • The Department of Student Activities hosts Student Involvement Fairs during Weeks of Welcome (August) and Welcome Back Week (January) each year.  This is a great way to welcome new and returning students to campus and recruit them to become members of your RSO.

    • Weeks of Welcome (August)
      • The EXTREME Student Involvement Fairs will occur on the following dates:
        • Wednesday, August 16, 2023 (Marietta Campus), 11AM-2PM
        • Thursday, August 17, 2023 (Kennesaw Campus), 11AM-2PM
      • Sign-up form is available until Friday, August 11, 2023.  For questions, email
    • Spring Week of Welcome (January):
      • The CHILL Student Involvement Fairs will occur on the following dates:
        • Thursday, January 12, 2023 (Marietta Campus), 11AM-2PM
        • Friday, January 13, 2023 (Kennesaw Campus), 11AM-2PM
      • Sign-ups will open in November 2023.  For questions, email
  • Tabling on campus is a wonderful way to engage students as they pass by.  Our Event Planning Guide discusses the specific guidelines around information tables.  Your RSO can also print pamphlets, handouts, flyers, etc. to handout to students so they can learn more about your organization (see "Photocopies" section of the RSO Resources webpage).
  • Flyers, posters, yard signs...these are all ways to catch the eyes of students who pass them on a daily basis.  RSOs must follow all applicable posting regulations on campus.
  • It is always a great idea to hold a "Welcome Back Meeting" toward the beginning of each semester to help your organization resume its business for the term and to help new members feel included in the organization (see Inclusive Practices webpage for tips).  Having ice breakers so new members can meet returners will help everyone get to know one another.  There are plenty of ice breaker ideas online and in the Department of Student Activities.  If you need help, email
  • Asking current members to bring a friend to a meeting, event, or informal activity is one of the most solid ways to reach new people.  These students feel more comfortable because they already know at least one person.  This is an easy way that could help your organization grow its membership numbers!


Now that you've recruited members, you want them to keep coming back!  Keeping members engaged and motivated can be easier said than done.  Here are some ideas to get you thinking about how you can ensure you don't lose any members.

  • When your weekly/monthly meetings become repetitive, your members see them as stale and boring.  You want to change up what you do so that members are interested in what is happening and are seeing new things that keep them coming back.  This can be as simple as:

    • use a different ice breaker / energizer activity at the beginning of each meeting
    • bring in guest speakers
    • have social nights for your members (e.g. game night, get ice cream together, etc.)
    • book/article/video discussions around topics related to your organization
  • Most organizations have a large percentage of membership that is difficult to involve in decisions, processes, leadership, etc.  You might find this video helpful to learn how to motivate the middle tier of your organization!

  • When the officers of an organization are the ones constantly doing all of the work, members are not motivated to take part in any behind-the-scenes action.  Delegating tasks to members is so helpful to gain buy-in, and your end result will be better!  Examples of delegation include:

    • create committee chair positions for fundraisers or events
    • ask members to join at least one planning committee
    • request volunteers to flyer around campus (following all posting regulations) or table

    When members play a role in the planning of your RSO's activities, it will also help with attendance because they will be spreading the word among their friends outside of the organization.  You want your members to be proud of their work, which will in turn benefit the organization!


Finally, your RSO should take the time to recognize the good work of your members!  Saying "Thank You" goes a log way, so here are some ways to do just that:

  • The Student Affairs Student Awards consists of four categories- leadership, diversity and inclusion, civic engagement, and community and school spirit. Each category will have an award recipient for one student, one student group (registered student organization, fraternity, sorority, intramural team, club sport team, group sponsored by a department), and one program/event.  Visit the Division of Student Affairs website for nomination information.
  • Paper Plate Awards are a cost-effective and fun way to host superlatives in your organization.  This can be a fun activity at the end of the semester to recognize members for their unique talents and attributes!
  • When members prepare to graduate from Kennesaw State, it can be bittersweet as they also graduate from your organization.  Hosting a senior night to say "see you later" to these Owls is a meaningful and sentimental way to help them fly the nest.  If your RSO has funds available, you can also purchase graduation cords for your graduating members to recognize their contributions to the organization.
  • Who doesn't feel good about themself when they get a shoutout from someone else?  This is one of the simplest ways to incorporate celebrations into your everyday operations.  Some examples of regular kudos include:

    • shoutouts during your chapter meetings
    • a "kudos" channel in your Discord or Slack group or regular shoutouts in your GroupMe
    • member spotlights at each meeting

For more ideas on how to Recruit, Retain, and Recognize your RSO members, email!