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American Legion Auxiliary
Department of Illinois


Angie Mulligan

“Help Us Grow to Support our Heroes” - November

Although we have gotten off to a slow start with the delay in renewal notices, membership has been pouring in now. With the dues increase coming in 2024, there has been in increased interest in PULF memberships. If you have any questions or need information, please don't hesitate to reach out.

On our Quarterly National Membership meeting, National shared that there are currently 5,000 Posts nationwide that do not have an auxiliary unit. It was very exciting to share that we are currently working on 1 recharter and 4 brand new charters, with a couple more in the informational stage. I shared within our Central Division breakout, but then it was shared with the entire group during the recap.

Here are a few more tips from National for attracting and retaining members:

 5. Help members develop an “elevator speech” about their membership
Why are they members? What’s the biggest benefit of membership? Can they explain the purpose of the ALA? What was a recent event that they participated in?

6. Ask your members for recruitment ideas
They may have an idea you haven’t thought of before, or know about opportunities within their own social networks.

7. Offer ALA business cards to your members
It’s an easy way for them to point people to your Unit/Council/County/District and share more easily with their network. Put a line for the member to put their name so that they get the credit for referring someone new!

8. Offer an alternate meeting time to attract people with different schedules
Is your meeting time leaving out a whole group of people, like those with 9-5 jobs or early bedtimes? Switch up your offerings to attract more people.

“Help Us Grow to Support our Heroes” - October

We have gotten off to a slow start this year, but now that renewal notices have been received hopefully we will see an explosion in renewals arriving at the Department Office. Please do not hold on to membership and please let us know if there is anything we can do to assist with getting membership turned in.

National Membership Chairman Linda S. Tome has created a great list of ideas to encourage both recruiting new members and rejoining former members.

Here are the first few:
1. Host a “bring a friend” meeting
Encourage members to bring someone. This could even be a recurring event so that new members are continually bringing new friends! Maybe make this meeting a "bring a dish to pass" by members - - too formal? How about dessert & coffee??

2. Reach out to former members
Some people might be ready to come back – maybe there were issues before; let them know that there is new leadership!

3. Encourage members to share your newsletter
Especially if they’re featured in it! Don’t have a newsletter? Start one! Best way to get the word out of what events are coming up and the outcome of recent events!

4. Invite members’ families to events
Spouses, siblings, parents, and (grown-up) children are all potential members (depending on how the member was eligible for membership).

If your unit has ideas that have worked for you, please share them with us so that we can spotlight them in the ALA Today!

“Help Us Grow to Support our Heroes”

As we spend this year hugging out heroes, we would like to focus not only on increasing our membership numbers, but also the member experience. We would like to encouraging units to be in contact with their new members specifically at least twice within their first 90 days of membership, one being within the first 30 days.

Watch the ALA Today and Department website for recommendations on how to increase engagement and the membership experience.

2022-2023 Department of Illinois Membership Awards
KATHY’S KITTENS THE CATS MEOW PLAQUE – to the Unit with the highest percentage of membership by January 1st.

SUE CC’S TWO TIMERS PLAQUE – to the Unit with the highest numerical gain in membership by July 1st. (10-150 members)

JO’S STARLIGHTERS PLAQUE – to the Unit with the highest numerical gain in membership by July 1st. (151 and over members)

DOUBLE D BOOT KICKERS PLAQUE – to the District for the highest percent of membership by opening of Department Convention. Vice President gets citation in a blue folder.

SHARON’S HALOS PLAQUE – to the Division for the highest percent of membership by opening of Department Convention. Vice President get citation in a blue folder.

PAT’S KNIGHTS PLAQUE – to the Unit for the highest numerical gain in Junior membership by July 1st.

Target Date Awards to the first-place districts in each division and first-place division at the target dates.

Goal Units by our birthday 11-10-2022 gets $25.00

Any goal unit by Department Convention gets 2 purple pins and a certificate.

Patriotic Conference awards – for any District President/Vice President and Division President/Vice President that are goal by opening of Patriotic Conference, they will receive 1 free night at hotel or monetary equivalent if not staying in hotel because of location (live in area). MUST BE PRESENT TO WIN

At Family Caravan (January) the Unit that brings the most membership at each stop will receive an award. To be determined.
Lincoln Pilgrimage awards – to the Division and the 2 Districts with the highest percentage in membership on January 31, 2023. To include the President and Vice President. Winners will receive a Jacket and a breakfast ticket if they are present for the program on February 11th and the breakfast on February 12th.

The first Division to reach 102%, the President and the Vice President will receive $150.00 each.
The first District to reach 102%, the President and the Vice President will receive $75.00 each.

Personal Award:
An award for reporting on recruitment and retention ideas that can be shared with other units. A reporting method will be shared at the Fall Board Meeting and the Fall Forums.

If you have a Unit that needs re-organization, or needs to be revitalized, or just needs help getting through a rough patch, please call the Department office, President Janet, Liaison Arlene or myself. We are here to support our members and to improve the member experience so that we can retain members, so please allow us to assist when necessary and help relieve stress on units and Presidents.
If a Unit contacts you about canceling, you must refer them to the Department Office. Please, do NOT just close the Unit. There are procedures and protocols that must be followed, and we want to work with Units to see if this is a rough patch or a real concern.

Resources from National

Log into the National website to access these items
  • Unit Guide Book
  • Membership Guidelines & Procedures Manual (Chapter 8 of Dept Ops Guide)
  • ALA New Member Welcome Flyer
  • Paid Up for Life Membership Application
  • 2023 Awards
  • 10 Plus 3 in 2023 Award
  • The American Legion Family Membership Application - Printer Friendly

Department Resources