This month the YoungBPW survey has gone out to our young members. So, what do we want to get out of BPW? I’ve received responses from half of our young members – thanks for that. To the other half: Please try to complete the survey in the next couple of days. It will help me understand how to better cater to you and help clubs increase YoungBPW membership, which will make it more interesting for the current young members as well.
I can already give you a sneak preview of the preliminary results:
When it comes to our first introduction to BPW we are no different to any other member – The majority of us come in through someone we know; a friend, family member or colleague. And this might be an open door but it shows how important it is to actively challenge all members to bring in friends and acquaintances, especially under 35’s. But that is only the beginning. Once they get involved you have to cater to your members and give them what they are looking for. For our generation this is mainly networking and personal development. We are eager to get challenged and we want to get to know people and have the need to learn. Keep it fresh, relevant and applicable to our generation. The interest in advocacy comes at a later stage in the BPW involvement.
Another thing to keep in mind is that we are all extremely busy and involved in multiple clubs, work and other activities. On top of that we are often juggling young families. This makes it sometimes hard to attend dinner meetings and it would be good to consider alternatives like lunch meetings, drinks, social events (go to theatre, movies etc.).
And remember: young members attract other young people. It is essential to try to get a couple in at the same time, because if you only have one member there is a big risk that you will lose that member. We simply need the interaction with other people our age.
BPW has got a lot to offer for all generations, but different generations do have different needs. When the average age of a club is relatively high there is a risk that the younger members miss out. Please be conscious of that when planning your meetings. I challenge all clubs to put the YoungBPW high on the agenda for this and the coming year. 20 members in all of New Zealand is simply unacceptable. If we all put our shoulders under it we can improve this significantly. If we all bring one friend this year we will go up to 40 and if we do the same next year, we’ll have 80, which is starting to get to a respectable number. And, we should not have any clubs without young members. After all, we are the future of BPW.
Will you pick up this challenge?