New member enquiries and welcoming new members to your group

We put together this guide after asking Local Organisers to share with us their tips for (1) responding to enquries from prospective members and (2) ways to make them feel welcome and comfortable in their group.

Responding to an enquiry

Please look out for emails with the header ‘New submission from Groups Contact Form’. This is an email that has been generated by the NWR website when an individual clicks on the ‘contact group’ button on your group’s page.

Take note of which mode of communication they have consented to. If they have consented to be contacted by phone, this would be the ideal way of contacting them, but we appreciate that it can sometimes be hard to get hold of people! If a phone call isn’t possible, follow up with an email.

Writing the email – what should I include?
It goes without saying that the email should be as informative and friendly as possible!

Key things to include are:
– how frequently you meet
– the size of your group and the age range (roughly!)
– the types of activities/discussions you do and any sub-groups you have
– where you meet
– when your next meeting is
– general information about NWR, we suggest you write:
You can attend your first two meetings for free, after that we request you join NWR. The cost is £32 a year. As a member of NWR you would be part of a national women’s organisation and charity, which has a network of local groups across the country. You can attend national and regional events and quality online talks and events.
ways to make her feel welcome:
Remember that she might be feeling quite anxious about attending a meeting where she doesn’t know anyone. She might appreciate meeting you and another member for coffee in a neutral place so she is familiar with someone before the first meeting. Perhaps you could suggest this in your email?

Here is an example of an email you could send.

Thank you for your interest in NWR.  I’m the Local Organiser for [insert the name of your group].

We are a lively, chatty bunch of ladies.  We meet four/five times a month.  We have a monthly coffee morning, then at least an afternoon and an evening meeting.  We rotate the days and times so that our members with commitments can be accommodated.  I’ll attach a copy of our programme to give you an idea of the things we do.   We are more than half way through the programme now and next month we will have a meeting to decide on our next six months activities.  Our meetings are mostly held in our own homes but there is no commitment for you to do this. 

In addition we have several sub groups which are lunch, walking, games and book.  We add these dates on throughout the year so they are not on our general programme.  We are always open to new ideas and suggestions. Food events are very popular!

We are a real mixture of personalities and you would receive a very warm welcome from us.

If there’s anything on the programme that you would like to come along to, please let me know.  We have a meeting next Wednesday afternoon.  I’m very happy to take you along to it.  You can just listen or join in, whatever you’re most comfortable with.

You can attend two meetings free of charge so that you can make up your mind if you want to join.  The annual subscription is £32 which goes to our Head Office and Administration.  Some of our meetings cost £1 the rest are free. 

Hoping to hear from you and thanks again for your interest in our organisation.

Kind regards 

Welcoming a new person to your group

It is likely that she will be feeling anxious about joining a group of women who know each other well, particularly if she doesn’t know anyone. Here are some ideas of what you can do to ease her into your group:
– Offer to meet her for a coffee beforehand so that she can find out about the group and get to know you. Perhaps you could bring another member along too?
– Ask if she would like a lift to the first meeting, that way she doesn’t have to arrive alone.
– Assign her a ‘buddy’ who will be her main point of contact if she has any questions.
– Involve her in minor aspects of the organisation of the meeting so that she feels involved.
– Ask members to limit talking about personal subjects so she doesn’t feel excluded from the conversations.

Helping a new member join NWR

After two meetings she will need to join NWR if she wishes to continue attending meetings. Please direct her to the online application form here:

Frequently asked questions

A member says she doesn’t feel comfortable having a stranger visit their house. What should I do?

It is perfectly understandable that some members will feel uncomfortable welcoming someone into their house that they have never met before.  Perhaps you could arrange for them to meet for coffee before the meeting or to chat on the phone? Ask her if there is anything in particular she is concerned about. Reassure her that she won’t be left alone with them.

We are worried that our group is getting too big. How can I manage this?

NWR groups come in all shapes and sizes! Whilst having a large group makes it vibrant and versatile, it can also be more difficult for groups who prefer to meet in each other’s homes and make meetings quite lengthy if everyone has a lot to say.  NWR never wants to turn anyone away, so have put together some ideas on how to overcome these problems. Click on the links below to take you to the pages providing guidance in these areas.

Managing larger groups
How to keep meetings to their allotted time