The Welcome Wagon

Each quarter, the Club and Member Services Department sends units a Quarterly Unit Improvement Packet (QUIP).

The QUIP report provides data about the unit’s membership trends, such as membership retention and acquisition rates. After reading his Unit 253 report, President Marty Nathan called to inquire about how he might help his new unit’s membership retention. “What are other units doing that is successful?” he asked.



Here are three ideas for how your unit can promote a nurturing environment for your newest members.

Create a welcome committee. Each month units get a report of new members with their contact information. Establish a committee of your most inviting members and ask them to call every new member. Welcomers would offer the new member assistance finding a teacher, club or game near them or perhaps even assist in connecting new players for partnerships.

Offer a free play. After making a personal phone call, follow up with an email or mailed letter and extend a free play to the new member. Nathan’s Unit 253 sends a letter to every new member or transfer into their unit with a list of bridge clubs, info about their unit newsletter and a business card-sized free play coupon that can be used at any of the listed clubs. Once clubs have several free plays turned in, they simply mail them to the unit treasurer with the cost of the entry fees, and they are reimbursed for the expense.

Establish a mentor program. Not for the purpose of playing bridge, but to help the new player navigate the bridge community. We take many nuances of our game as common knowledge, but for a beginner, simple language like “I/N” to designate a new or developing bridge player is not known. Take the extra step in helping your new players feel comfortable and knowledgeable.

The A-Z Guide is back and updated! One of our most asked about resources, the A-Z Guide is the perfect tool for making your new members feel comfortable. After a quick read, they will be well versed on the language of the ACBL and bridge.