Membership Engagment: summary and proposed next steps

BY:Rossana Cambron| May 15, 2019

During the past few years the majority of new members have joined through our website. Many in speaking to them on the phone or on their application, state that they join to spread the word of a better system, a society that puts people before profits; that they have researched many organizations and they find the Communist Party best aligns with their thinking. This development has required that we develop new ways to organize members who do not live in areas where there is a club or district. We also have developed a system to connect new members that do live in organized areas.

Initially, our outreach to these new members was not as fruitful as we had imagined, but recent developments, i.e., the presidential elections, and all the fightbacks that have developed as a result, has seen an increase in new members ready to step in and actively participate in Party work. Some members have even reached out to us, via email or voicemail, asking how they can start a club in their area.

New members offer their talents in writing, graphic design, music, monetary contributions. As was told to me by a new member “many younger generations don’t feel there is any future for them”, they are losing hope, the planet is in danger, there are few jobs that pay a livable wage. Of those that go to college, they find themselves with a huge financial debt and no job that pays enough to get ahead. Joining the Party offers the hope they have been searching for and thus the need to get involved and spread the message.

 Our Party’s Building conference set the entire Party in motion to think more consciously about recruitment and engagement, it started the conversation of how do we recruit on the ground while involved in mass work. In many areas we are still very challenged on how to recruit from our mass work.  We need to methodically look at why we are not recruiting; we can all think of people that should be in our Party what holds us back from asking. If in a week’s time we receive about 10 new members that join online, we should ask ourselves are we recruiting at least one from our mass work and if not, let’s take the time to examine why not. We need to look deep into what is holding us back. Do we lack confidence or do we not feel that our club or district have what it takes? We need to ask ourselves what do we need to do different that gives us that confidence?

As the Membership Engagement and Organizing collective, below is what has been done to engage new and existing members, as well as reach out to assist club and districts.   


  • New member orientations are held every two months, on different days of the month just in case comrades can’t make it on one particular night.
  • Members who join online, within days, they receive a call welcoming them and informing them that they will be contacted by someone in their area, if one exists. If one does not exist, we make sure they know we will support them if they want to start a club or inform them of other ways to stay plugged in, i.e., online Marxist classes, Party webinars, text alerts etc.
  • New member packets and a membership card are sent to all new members, who upon joining, have paid their dues.
  • We have reached out to new members who have special talents, such as graphic designs for our swag shop, some members because of their busy lives and challenges are able to contribute on special projects which they are happy to do and feel a part of the Party.
  • We have set up a schedule in an attempt to have a national representative at district conventions. In many cases we have tried to pair up a younger generation member to also attend.
  • New members who want to start a club in their area are sent materials, as well as providing any type of support they may need. States such as Utah, Tennessee, Alabama, Nebraska, Kentucky, are some examples. One challenge is providing support in states to members that live too far from an already established club/district.
  • We hold a monthly club and district leaders meeting to update them on national developments and provide a space to share experiences. The challenge here is to increase attendance at these meetings.
  • A PDF of Peoples World is sent out on a weekly basis for printing and distribution, as clubs or district see fit.
  • We held several phonathons to catch up on contacting new members.
  • We have conducted membership surveys to get input directly from our members to help guide the work of the Party.
  • We set up a swag shop, with t-shirt designs submitted by our membership. We will have swag available at the convention.


Some ideas for next steps:

  • Establishment of a next generation training, where younger generation of members will agreed to dedicate more time and become leaders in our Party and movement.
  • Increasing the amount of people that can support new members wanting to build a club in their area.
  • Develop materials to meet the desire of new members that they see themselves participating in the Party by spreading our message of a better world.
  • Develop study guides for study groups, this is one form that leads to building a club in an area where none exists.
  • Develop a step by step guide on how to strategically look at a current struggle, or event stressing the importance of how do you separate what you wish for with what is doable at the moment and how do we look deeper to get correct information. We must answer the question what do we mean when we say “we need to use our Marxist analysis to look at the situation at hand”. What does that step by step process look like? Learning how to look at a situation strategically is vital in the battle of ideas.
  • Explore how to increase attendance at the monthly club and district leaders’ meetings so that they can provide members answers to questions that come up, be able to stay connected with national Party developments. Many districts have also develop content and tools which they can share at these meetings.
  • Explore different forms to recruit from our mass work.


What are your thoughts and ideas? Send them to



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