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Recruitment drives?


Veteran (100+ posts)
I just wanted to see how others dealt with this really. Our unit has been fairly popular for the last couple years, to the point we've expanded to take up to 30 girls, rather than just 24. However this term we're back down to 24, and I know we can manage the girls on the list who will be 7 soon. So at what point do you guys make real efforts at recruiting girls? 85% of our girls come to us via word of mouth (so friends or siblings), or transfers (via Rainbows or moving to the area). We've had maybe 1 I can trace to leaflets (that the girls drew) we've left in the school we meet in. We've 24 girls (compared to 15 or so when I started helping in 2009), so we're not exactly empty or in danger of closing. Or should advertising be something we're doing all the time, even on the basis of "Get your girls on our waiting list now!"?


Veteran (100+ posts)
Staff member
Are you a Brownie unit?
If so, I guess you could, or should via a Rainbow leader / DC, have visibility of the likely amounts of girls who could move and when. That's obviously not an exact science - depending on whether you have "feeder" units or whether you don't take rainbows from any particular units at all; and the few who wouldn't move anyway. But, it might give some indication.

Otherwise, what numbers are you happy with? If you're at 24 - do you want (many) more now / what would you do if your recruitment campaign brought in a rash of 8 & 9 yo? Or do you see a bunch of your older ones leaving together, which would leave quite a gap?

When talking about waiting list - do you think you'd be targeting the under 7s, so you're lining up kids to join when old enough? Or do you want to target kids who are old enough now - in which case, consider whether you'd take them in straight away?

From that, I'd say you could then work out where to advertise. Posters / newsletters via school? Or do you think you've got everyone from the local school(s)? Bring a friend nights can work - but only if there's enough friends out there who live locally / would actually be able to join you. Or do you need to visit Rainbow units locally to push Brownies? Perhaps take a stall, either just advertising or maybe selling something, at a local village fayre / coffee morning - would that promote the unit to local parents?


Veteran (100+ posts)
We're brownies, yes, but we don't have a feeder Rainbow unit as such. The nearest one is in the main town ~1 mile away, which generally feeds into the brownie unit there. We often take girls off that brownie unit's waiting list if we have space and parents are happy to move, or if the Rainbows live nearer us.


Veteran (100+ posts)
we go to local school and church fairs, we go to events in local parks anything to get the girls seen in their uniform. Posters don't seem to do much but having leaflets with us when we are out and about locally does a lot more, as does having a bring a friend party.


The Wicked Witch of the West (15,000+ posts)
best way I've found is to do a run of really good activities (the type the girls might take into school to show their friends) and to also do a few food activities (the type the girls are likely to talk about to their friends) - the times I've seen "rainbow" stuff produced for "show and tell"!!!!

and then mention in note to parents that you have a few spaces available and when from - and also mention in meeting to girls that if any have friends that wish to join, just let them know that their mums can register their name by logging onto gg website and clicking "parent" tab

most of my girls come by word of mouth and I usually have an influx every once in a while after doing some really popular activites!

my waiting list for example went berserk after doing the sweetastic challenge


If your numbers are quite good and so there's no urgency to raising your numbers (you've room for a few but perhaps don't want to attract a major influx) then often 'ongoing publicity' is the best way - putting pictures and/or reports of your doings in local newspapers and newssheets, local church magazines and the like, so that the community is aware that they have a Brownie unit in their area, and that it seems to be doing a lot of good fun things.