u3as have been sharing ideas with each other and coming up with resources to help the movement retain and recruit members during this time and beyond. This series hosts these resources in a toolkit for u3a members to use when needed. See the Introduction and Guide to the toolkit, and the full toolkit.
Advice for Volunteers on a u3a Recruitment Stand
Please note this is not a script. Please do not read it to people. It is to support your knowledge
Our advice is:
Avoid use the following terms: University of the Third Age; retired;
Instead say that u3a is an organisation for people who are no longer in full- time employment.
Avoid asking “Have you heard of the u3a?”. This invites a negative response right at the start of the conversation.
Instead, say “Can I tell you about our organisation, the X u3a”
Say what we do: People who come together to pursue shared interests and activities, learn new things and make new friends.
Give each visitor to your stall a brochure/leaflet. But don’t give it to the visitor until the end of the discussion. Talk first, then give the brochure.
The benefits of belonging to our u3a
- We are interested in living life to the full. Our u3a helps to make this happen.
- We make new friends,
We learn new things,
We undertake new activities together with like-minded people, We achieve improved wellbeing.
(A fundamental law of marketing is sell benefits, not features, so have to hand a page of positive quotes by u3a members about how they have benefitted from u3a membership.)
FAQs about u3a Membership
There are no upper or lower age limits and no qualification requirements.
People don’t have to be a local resident to belong.
We have adjusted the way that our u3a works to reflect changing circumstances and regulations, including incorporation of virtual meetings.
We are flexible in that some of our meetings are entirely face-to-face, some are entirely virtual and some are a combination of both.
At u3a, we promote learning in a social environment for its own sake — there are no tests or exams. We learn for our own satisfaction. We share our knowledge, skills and experience.
We offer a mix of different types of activities – some groups meet to learn more about a specific subject, some are creative, some practical some physical, but all for sheer enjoyment!
If the visitor wishes to learn more, here are the links to our online resources:
- Our Website – link here – is the most up-to-date source for anything you wish to know about.
Our Facebook Page – link here – adds lots of interesting stuff!
Our Twitter Page – link here – if that’s your thing!
Annual membership ££, part-year membership ££, Associate membership ££, extra cost for paper Newsletter delivery ££, etc.
(££ Insert your own u3a figures and any additional costs here.)
You should advise the potential member that the costs include access to monthly meetings, access to Interest Groups, electronic Newsletters, Third Age Trust Magazine, opportunity to participate in trips, concerts, talks, etc.
You should have a blank application form to hand.
Key Selling Points as to why u3a rather than on-line organisations focused on the 55+ age group
- We are a local organisation run by our members for our members.
- Our Interest Groups can address any subject that the members wish – there is no prescribed list from a central office.
- We have opportunities for talks, outings, quiz nights, concerts, etc.
- We offer excellent value for money, only a fraction of the cost of the on-line organisations listed above.
- We offer friendship and support.
- We are a community, an extended family for many members.
A downloadable version of this guide is available on our website.
See the Recruitment category for more of the series.