How to Increase Membership


1. Reach out to students in marketing or business classes! Invite these potential members by having your officers speak about the benefits of being a member, or deliver a letter to each of the eligible students with reasons why they’d love to join. The time spent to do these show those students that they are valued. Generally, students enrolled in business or marketing classes will have a greater inclination to join DECA because their curriculum and projects may work well together.

2. Promote on social media! Share on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, and any other social media platform the perks of joining DECA. It’s even better to have your officers post on their personal pages, because it may be likely that the people following your chapter’s DECA page are already members. (Bonus Tip! Take advantage of DECA’s Geofilter Library, use them at your school.)

3. Did someone say freshmen? At many schools, there are “club nights” or “freshman orientation” where every student organization is encouraged to set up a booth and share information on what they do. It’s important that you make a great, lasting impression by being the loudest, proudest, and most exciting booth. Think about handing out flyers, making a poster, and giving out candy!

4. Share your DECA story. If people hear how great of an impact your DECA experience has had on you, they’ll be compelled to join and be involved. It’s as simple as sharing how you learned about DECA or insight on the competitive events or anything else you find meaningful.

5. Advertise and market yourself! Create flyers, banners, giveaways – really anything – that will increase your chapter’s exposure around school. The more people read, hear, and know about DECA, the more likely they will consider joining. However, it’s good to keep in mind that your promotion materials should brand DECA appropriately and professionally.

6. Set specific goals! Your Chapter Officer Team should get together to set SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Agreed Upon, Realistic, and Time-based) and determine the best way to achieve those goals. Discuss the number of members you hope to achieve, how you will get their attention, and what will captivate your target audiences.

7. Find ways to engage and challenge members! One idea is to create a competition for who can recruit the most members, and have members submit ideas for parties and reward the best one. Creating more opportunities for members to practice leadership will attract members who are looking for a club to invest in. For instance, social groups can be a great way for members to help officers with group activities and get involved.

8. Recruit professionals and alumni! These types of members are underrepresented on a statewide standpoint. Try hosting a parent night which can serve to inform parents about DECA and give you the opportunity to network with community leaders. Or maybe host a presentation for the school board about what DECA is and what it can do for students. It will give faculty and counselors insight as to why it would be a beneficial program for students looking to get involved. Another tip is to try getting your own chapter officers to interact with old members to make sure they’re coming back. Even if they were ghost members, encourage them to participate! It means more when an officer is trying to recruit you compared to an advisor. We ❤ our elders (and advisors)!