Purpose of Membership Development Council Charter – Mount Vernon Unitarian Church, Alexandria, VA


The Membership Development Council will educate people about the responsibilities and benefits of membership. This Council will produce measurable results to help our congregation grow and become a stronger, more caring church community with a strong financial foundation.




The Membership Development Council will create a more comprehensive approach to membership, from visitors to new members to retention. It will have three areas of responsibility and each will have its individual committee and chair:


  1. Welcoming visitors and prospective new members
  2. Tracking qualified prospects and engaging them as new members
  3. Retaining new members in their first years and providing outreach to retain current congregational members




The Membership Development Council Chair, shall be elected by the congregation at the annual meeting for two-year terms which begin July 1. In the event of a vacancy on the Program Council, the Board may appoint a resident member of the congregation to serve until the next annual meeting, at which time the congregation shall elect a replacement to serve the remainder of any unexpired term.


The Membership Development Council volunteers will extend our congregational work to provide a welcoming environment to visitors who may become prospective members, engage new members, track them in their first and second years to retain them, and attempt to increase their involvement and retention rate, and to focus on increasing the retention of current church members who are not

fully engaged in the congregational community. This Council will also partner with the Stewardship Committee as needed.


Each of the membership committees will work in tandem with related aspects of membership goals. Committee leaders will meet quarterly with the Council member to assess issues and progress.




This committee will welcome visitors and present opportunities to help those interested become prospective members.


Activities include:


  • Organizing the Greetings Table each Sunday
  • Creating, maintaining and circulating data on prospects



  • Organizing “Meet and Greet” luncheons, held six-eight times annually
  • Partnering with New Members Committee to support “Introduction to MVUC” classes
  • Introducing new members to the congregation twice a year
  • Partnering with the New Members Committee to produce the New Members Dinner annually




The responsibility of this committee is to work with the Visitors Committee to identify those prospects who are interested in becoming members and help them learn more about MVUC by getting involved in congregational activities. Prospects will be extended an invitation to join the church and take on the responsibilities of membership.


Until the time of the New Members Dinner, these new members will be the responsibility of the New Members Committee. After the dinner, they will be the responsibility of the Retention Committee.


Activities include:


  • Evaluating interests of visitors/prospective members and assisting them with getting involved in appropriate church
  • Organizing quarterly “Introduction to Membership” luncheons with the Minister
  • Partnering with Visitors Committee to support “Introduction to MVUC” classes
  • Organizing signing ceremonies for new members
  • In partnership with the Visitors Committee, organizing the New Members Dinner annually




The responsibility of this committee is to assist in the retention of new members who have participated in the Annual New Members Dinner and provide outreach to retain long-term congregational members.


Activities include:


  • After the New Members Dinner, providing outreach to new members on a regular basis every four months
  • Utilizing data on interests of those members and making referrals to lay leaders with similar interests and groups to engage new members not already active
  • Identifying current members who may be on fringes of the congregation and who appear to be losing interest in remaining members
  • Providing outreach to those members through personal contact, referrals to spiritual leaders, and/or engaging them in church activities of interest
  • Creating recognition celebrations for members’ milestones
  • In partnership with Stewardship, providing outreach to members experiencing personal or financial crises



The BOT retains responsibility for all policy decisions not articulated in this charter or specifically granted by the BOT or the Program Council, and for any financial decisions not pre-approved.


Primary author(s) of this charter: Dianne Brown


Date this Charter was approved by the Program Council: March 21, 2011 Date this Charter was approved by the Board of Trustees:  April 12, 2011