Skip navigation

Calls to Action

17 Membership & Recruitment Tips from College Students

Autism Speaks U hosted a Facebook Q&A in September where more than 140 students from 60 universities and colleges across the country shared ways to best promote their Autism Speaks U chapters, educate students and increase membership. 
See below for the top 15 tips that Autism Speaks U chapters shared:

1. Madison Economos, SUNY New Paltz
“We have a club and involvement fair at the beginning of each semester, and our e-board has a table for people to sign up and leave their e-mail. Then we follow up with e-mails about meetings and future events.”
2. Jessica Smithson, Slippery Rock University
“We have a bulletin board in our education building where we post about meetings and events."
3. Hannah Khederian, Miami University - Ohio
“Going around to freshman/sophomore residence halls and even classrooms and talking and encouraging people to come join us. It's much more personal!”
4. Blake Griffin, University of Wisconsin -Whitewater
“Our school has LCD televisions throughout campus that we were able to make PowerPoint slides for that run on and off throughout the day. Best of all it is free and is helping us maintain a consistent Brand on campus.”
5. Meredith Coleman, Western Kentucky University
“We are also going to all the sorority and fraternity meetings on campus to talk to them about joining.”
6. Tracy Hefferan, Elmhurst College
“For our first meeting, we partnered with our Best Buddies organization and had a pizza party information session. This gave us an opportunity to recruit members from people interested in both of the clubs and as it was said, who doesn't love free food?”
7. Nicole Giles, Gettysburg College
We have a Student Digest that gets sent to all students every day through email that we can promote our meetings through.”
8. Kylie Streng, East Carolina University
“We have recently reached out to the various clubs and teams we are all individually involved in and have gotten the word out that way!”
9. Ray Sadri, Cal State Fullerton
“We made labels about our club and our events and put them on water bottles and handed them out to students.”
10. Lamees E., Texas A&M University
We contacted a campus fraternity whose philanthropy is Autism Speaks and invited them to our first ever general meeting. Also, our advisor teaches in the psychology department and informed her students about the organization, and many were interested. Regarding the funding, for those campuses who are big on football games, our campus has a clean-up program where student organizations can help clean the football field the day after a game for a few hundred dollars.”
11. Britt Mills, Elon University
“We found that by partnering with Disability Services and the Special Education department, we have gained a lot new members.”
12. Elinor Chambers, Tulane University
“We try to provide many different opportunities to get involved, based on what members are really interested in, i.e. advocacy, baby-sitting/working with kids with Autism, bar nights, movie nights, Autism Speaks walk, etc.”
13. Olivia Singleton, Armstrong Atlantic State University
We have created a position that we call Fellowship Chair who is in charge of planning and coordination of all social activities so that all the members can get to know each other more personally. We also give out raffle tickets when a member comes to a meeting or event and at the end of the year we will have a drawing. Its gives an incentive to come to meetings and events because the more you participate the more tickets you receive and the better your chance to win.”
14. Jigar Shah, University of California, Irvine
We have some speakers come in that can provide internships/volunteer opportunities to the members, because that is what a lot of members want (experience).”
15. Sarah Chaisson, UNC at Chapel Hill
We break up into committees and make sure that everyone has a specific job after the general body meetings. Everyone feels like an integral part of the club that way, and feels like they're contributing to the success of our events.”

16. Philip Bender, SUNY Albany
"Dorm storming, contacting departments to use listservs (education, psych, etc.), a LOT of tabling in/around/near dining areas at high traffic times. Texts, e-mails, and personalized invites…we hand them door to door/tape them up with meeting info)."
17. Jessica Taylor, Case Western Reserve University
"Our chapter sends out an informative newsletter to our mailing list that is easy to read and gets straight to the point."
                 Have additional ideas, tips or questions? Leave a  
                  comment below! Connect with Autism Speaks U
                     via its websiteFacebook and/or Twitter.

The Autism Speaks blog features opinions from people throughout the autism community. Each blog represents the point of view of the author and does not necessarily reflect Autism Speaks' beliefs or point of view.