NYSCHP Chapter Membership Guidelines


1.  Appoint membership chairperson and establish membership committee
2.  Establish and maintain a recruitment and retention program.
3.  Identify areas for new member growth
4.  Recognize New Members
5.  Know member needs
6.  Conduct non-renewed member surveys
7.  Maintain regular communication with Council office regarding membership issues
8.  Establish and maintain a program to encourage student participation
9.  Cultivate leadership
10. Utilize tools provided by NYSCHP


1.   Appoint membership chairperson and establish membership committee

Appoint membership chairperson for a 2-year term and establish membership committee Membership Chairperson

  • Review monthly membership reports: This includes roster of members as well as total member numbers. Each chapter should keep track of membership numbers on a monthly basis for comparison and to establish trends.
  • Establish and maintain a membership committee: The primary purpose of the committee is to establish and maintain membership recruitment and retention programs and activities. The chairperson and BOD should identify at least two chapter members to assist in developing and carrying out chapter-specific initiatives. This is an opportunity to involve members early in the leadership development process. (See #2 and #3)
  • Establish and maintain a program to recognize new members (See #4)
  • Periodic determination of member needs: Develop and conduct periodic membership surveys to enhance services. (See #5)
  • Coordinate non-renewed member surveys and forward to appropriate council representative (See #6)
  • Facilitate communication with NYSCHP office (See #7)
  • Coordinate student programs in conjunction with faculty liaisons (See #8)
  • Represent Chapter on the NYSCHP membership committee:Participate in periodic conference calls and attend membership committee meeting at Annual Assembly.

2.   Establish and maintain a recruitment and retention program.

A. Recruitment

Incentive Program

Establish a program designed to provide an incentive for non-members to join AND for members to recruit new members. The following examples serve as a guide. Be creative and use your membership committee to “brainstorm” other potential strategies.
Examples of strategies that may be useful include:
  • Charge substantial fees for non-members to attend chapter programs
  • Free CE to a non-member joining at that meeting
  • Free CE to a member recruiting a new member
  • Establish a program for most new members recruited
  • Each chapter will have unique circumstances that may make some incentives such as free chapter CE impractical. Providing “certificates” to NYSCHP programs or textbooks may be alternatives.
Successful implementation of such a program requires a publicity campaign aimed at both members and non-members. Announcements at chapter meetings, publishing details in the chapter newsletter and on the council website and word of mouth are examples of advertising methods.

Tracking the results of your incentive program will be necessary to determine its success or failure. Reviewing the monthly membership reports and obtaining copies of new member applications will help to identify new members.
Promote professional organization membership
The benefits of membership are known best by those who are already members. NYSCHP provides a Power Point presentation on the website (www.nyschp.org) that concisely reviews professional organization membership and its benefits. Identify hospital, home care and consultant groups within your chapter which are under-represented and then use this presentation over “lunch” to help familiarize them with these benefits. You may also want to provide a packet of materials to the attendees which describes the benefits of membership along with a membership application and other applicable information.

B.  Retention

Provide chapter-specific services

Each chapter has unique circumstances (geography, total membership, finances) and specific member needs that should be identified. These issues should be discussed and addressed on a regular basis. Conducting periodic member surveys (section 5) will help to pinpoint member expectations and guide development of chapter-specific programs.


Communicate effectively with membership

All chapter BOD members have an obligation to consistently and frequently communicate pertinent issues. Written and verbal communication methods should be utilized. The responsibility for coordination of communication activities should be given to a specific BOD member, such as the chapter’s Director for Communications.

Local Institution Liaisons:

Develop a program whereby individuals are identified from all local institutions who can help disseminate Chapter or Council information.


All chapters should strive to publish a newsletter on a regular basis. The frequency, content and size will be dependent of chapter resources. Some suggestions for content include a presidential message, meeting announcement, upcoming events, new and current member recognition, updates on legislative issues and communications from the council office. A copy of the newsletter should be forwarded to the council office and can be posted on the website.

Verbal Communication:

General announcements should be incorporated into all chapter meetings. This “business portion” of the meeting should be used to keep members apprised of new information as well as updates on continuing issues. One on one interactions with members are important not only to convey information, but also to obtain feedback on chapter services. Establishing two-way communication will improve the perception that opinion is important, as well as allowing the chapter to effectively communicate important issues to the individual members. In addition, this can be used as a tool for leadership development.NYSCHP Website

Utilize the website to post chapter-specific information:

Chapter officer names and contact information, meeting announcements, upcoming events, and pictures of chapter activities are just some examples of information that can be easily posted on the website. Members should be encouraged to regularly visit the website.


3.   Identify areas for new member growth

Pharmacy Directors

The membership status of all pharmacy directors should be reviewed on a regular basis. Those directors who are non-members should be contacted personally and encouraged to join. In addition, all directors should encourage staff members to maintain professional organization membership. One method of facilitating communication with pharmacy directors could be to conduct a “forum” that brings the individuals together to discuss issues relevant to their practice.  These forums may include CE credit in an effort to increase attendance of the DOPs.  Other examples of activities involving DOPs are:
•    Newsletters specific for DOPs which include specific items of importance to them.
•    List-serves for idea sharing: This provides a service to the directors that improves their perception of membership benefits.
Under-represented hospital, long-term care and homecare practice sites
The chapter should determine which institutions have a significant number of non-members and target them for recruitment. In this instance the director is often a non-member as well. Several recruitment approaches can be taken in this instance:
  • Contacting the director.
  • Visit the institution to give membership benefit presentation (see section 2)
  • Approach members at the institution to assist in recruitment by using the incentive program (see section 2) and to help identify students, residents and new pharmacists to the area.


Pharmaceutical Company Representatives


  • Chapters that are geographically affiliated with Pharmacy schools should  establish a program for student members (section 8)
  • Ask the Faculty Liaison to conduct survey of graduating seniors to assess their plans for professional membership

Residency Program Directors / Residents

  • Organize a Resident Research Day


4.   Recognize New Members

New Members

  • New members should be welcomed into the organization and recognized for their decision to join our professional organization. Examples of methods to recognize new members:
  • Publish names and a welcome message in your chapter’s newsletter.
  • BOD members personally recognize new members at chapter meetings. This  will give the chapter leadership the opportunity to determine the personal expectations of the new member, as well as discuss the mission of organization.
  • Chapter president send a personal welcome letter. This could be included with a small packet of information including names/numbers of the BOD, description of chapter activities, and other chapter specific information.
  • Other methods include corsages or ribbons for new members to wear at their first meeting; having new members to stand and be recognized at a meeting.
The membership committee should continually evaluate the methods used and be creative to design a recognition program specific to your chapter.

Existing Members

Existing members need to know that they continue to be an important part of the organization, regardless of their level of participation.
•    Establish an Awards program.  Include incentive program to increase the number of nominations for Awards.  Some examples of awards include:
o    Awards for participation in chapter leadership (ie, Pharmacist of the Year or Pharmacy Achievement Award, BOD Award).
o    Research Award
o    New Practitioner Award
o    Practitioner (non-pharmacist) Award
o    Technician or Student Award
o    Memorial Award

•    Publication of member accomplishments in the monthly newsletter:
o    Graduation from graduate programs
o    Attaining certification
o    New positions/promotions

•    Establish a “members in the news” column for your newsletter. This could be a piece that focuses on unique practice settings, highlights professional accomplishments or reviews the career of a retiring member.
•    Send a greeting card from the BOD to recognize birthdays, weddings, new babies, or other personal milestones.
•    Longevity awards for members attaining 5, 10, 15 etc. years of membership.

5. Know member needs

Periodic Member surveys

Members have expectations from the organization that may or may not be known to chapter leadership. Every year or so a survey should be conducted to determine how the members feel about the services provided and to give them an opportunity to provide suggestions. The most important part of this process is for the BOD to act on these suggestions. Publication of the results along with a plan to address the members issues in the chapter’s newsletter closes the loop on this process.

6. Conduct non-renewed member surveys

Current membership renewals occur in two cycles, June and December. Members are given a three month grace period before they are dropped from the membership list. The monthly membership non-renewal list distributed by the council office in April and October will contain the names of the non-renewed members from the previous renewal cycle. Thus, these members will be permanently dropped from the membership roles. These non-renewed members must be personally contacted to complete the Non-renewed Member Survey. (See Appendix 1)
The purpose of this survey is:
1)    To determine the reasons why members leave our organization and
2)    To stimulate the renewal of those members that are “on the fence” or perhaps have just forgotten to renew.
Completion of this survey is important to the dynamic process of improving member retention.

7. Maintain regular communication with Council office regarding membership issues

An open line of communication between the chapter and the council office is essential to maximizing services to the membership.
•    Regular monthly mailings from the council office include information that should be disseminated to the membership. This can be summarized at CE meetings or in newsletters.
•    Information required by the council office should be forwarded in a timely fashion. This includes the chapter spotlight, non-renewed member surveys and information to be included on the website. Ultimately this will improve services to the membership.
•    Contact the council office with member complaints and other issues that can not easily be resolved at the chapter level. Small issues can easily escalate into big problems. Support and advice from the council office and/or your BOD liaison can help to resolve problems early.

8. Establish and maintain a program to encourage student participation

Chapters that have a geographic association with Pharmacy Schools should develop a program to encourage and support student membership.
•    Establish a student liaison program. One or two members from each pharmacy class should be identified to become members of the chapter’s BOD. The students work with both the faculty liaison and the BOD to address issues, provide suggestions and facilitate communication between the students and the chapter.
•    Maintain an open line of communication between faculty liaisons and chapter leadership. Invite faculty liaisons to chapter BOD and CE meetings. If a liaison is not able to participate, consider finding a different liaison or perhaps identify two individuals to fill the role.
•    Encourage student attendance at monthly meetings by providing reduced fees and topics interesting to students. The student and faculty liaisons can facilitate recruitment to the meetings. Most schools also have a requirement that students attend professional meetings.
•    Encourage faculty attendance at monthly meetings. The majority of faculty are members of NYSCHP and therefore will be able to attend at the member rate. The faculty liaison can facilitate recruitment to the meetings.
•    Attend and/or organize an “Organization Day” to discuss the benefits of professional organization membership. If financially feasible, chapters may decide to pay for all or part of the student’s initial membership.
•    Attend and/or organize a “peer” or career opportunity day. Chapter members provide real life experiences and discuss the different opportunities available to pharmacists and students (ie, internships and residencies). In addition, chapter leadership should attend organized career-day events.  
•    Take part in student-sponsored activities such as poison prevention, “brown bag days”, or health fairs.
•    Participate in Legislative Day with the students.

9. Cultivate leadership

The growth of each chapter is predicated on strong leadership. This process is ever evolving and continually requires infusion of new “blood” to keep the organization moving forward. Each member, no matter how remote the idea, should be considered as a potential leadership candidate. Chapter leadership should continually identify and encourage participation in the leadership process. Not all individuals will readily volunteer, but will be interested if approached by current leadership. Beginning with involvement in committees or as a delegate is a good way to evaluate an individual’s desire and aptitude for leadership positions with greater responsibilities.

Representation on the BOD by individuals from a wide variety of practice sites is also important to keep diversity on the board. This will also peripherally involve members, as they will feel their practice site is represented in the chapter’s leadership.  

10. Utilize tools provided by NYSCHP

Several tools are available from the Council office that the chapters should be familiar with and utilize regularly:
1.    Monthly membership reports from the Council office. This includes the list of active and non-renewed members.
2.    Copies of new member applications received by the council office to assist in identifying new members.
3.    NYSCHP also has a recruitment program that rewards members who recruit a new  member.
4.    Membership applications, copies of legislation and other materials to assist recruitment.
5.    Powerpoint presentations (Professional Organization Membership, CDTM) to utilize for promotional presentations at hospitals and other practice sites.
6.    Utilize the website to post chapter-specific information.