Collecting names for a prospect file is a continuous process. A good way to organize prospect names is to establish a folder of names on 3” x 5” index cards. The cards should list the prospect’s name, address, phone numbers, e-mail address, and the name(s) of any current member(s) who know the prospect. The folder or index card holder should be maintained at the Chapter meeting location and updated and referred to often by the Chapter. That is not to suggest that there are not other alternatives to setting up and maintaining a Chapter Prospect List such as a GoogleSheet accessible by all Chapter Members, but other methods hold inherent complexities that complicate the Prospect List functionality, such as accessibility, person responsible for maintaining it, and concerns over losing the list if the person responsible moves or leaves DeMolay.
Now that you know how to store a Chapter Prospect List, your focus should turn to getting information to write down on those blank index cards. There are several relatively constant sources for names, which you should use:
YOUR CHAPTER MEMBERS
When was the last time your Chapter took time out of the meeting and asked the Chapter for names of prospective members? Take a few minutes at a meeting (with permission of the Master Councilor) and ask them to list names and any contact information they know about the prospects on a 3” x 5” index card. Even if you do not have all of the information at hand, at least get the name down. Your Chapter’s Membership Chairman can follow up with you later about getting the rest of the contact details.
The BEST prospects are the friends of your newest members. You have already sold the new member on DeMolay. Help him sell his friends. Tell him that your Chapter would be even more fun with his friends as members. Make sure he has membership applications to use. As a part of your orientation program, make sure you seek the names of your newest member’s friends. See that he follows up by asking them to participate in Chapter activities and join.
MASONIC BODIES MEETING IN YOUR MASONIC HALL
Seeking the names of prospects from the sponsoring body or other bodies meeting in your Masonic Hall is the responsibility of your advisors. However, members often have parents involved in these bodies and should ask their parents to help with the names of DeMolay-aged sons of fellow members in their organizations. At regular intervals they should make announcements in Lodge of upcoming Chapter activities. A display with pamphlets and membership applications should always be on display in lobby of the Masonic Hall. This way, DeMolay is always visible to the Masons of your local lodge, as well as to any community members that attend any events in your building.
RAINBOW AND JOB’S DAUGHTERS
This is a source often overlooked. By asking your members to list potential Rainbows and/or Job’s Daughters that they know, you can provide a prospect list to the Assembly or Bethel and ask that they do the same for you. Among the best prospects are brothers of Rainbow or Job’s Daughter members. This exchange of prospect lists should be done at least once a year.
Often members of the Advisory Board have friends and co-workers with sons of DeMolay-age who have no connection to the Masonic Family. Periodically, ask the members of the Board to develop a list of prospective names. Use the same method as you do with Chapter members by using 3” x 5” index cards.
Teachers, principals, and school counselors. Almost every school has one or more Masons on staff, who will gladly help if they are properly approached. Also, go through school annuals (yearbooks) and find prospects that are known by one or more of your current members. School annuals are a great way to refresh your memory of all the students at your school. The member should identify those top candidates from the school that seem like a great fit for leadership.
LITTLE LEAGUE AND TEAM COACHES
Another great source for names – maybe not now, but for the future, is Little League teams. The upper age of Little League team members – 12 – is the joining age for DeMolay. A regular file of 10 and 11 year olds will provide a continual list of prospects over the years. Consider having your Chapter sponsor a team in your area. Try and find a Senior DeMolay or Mason who is serving as a Coach or is in some way involved with a team.
A large percentage of DeMolays were (or still are) members of Boy Scouts. In Scouting, the members are taught values, just as in DeMolay. Boy Scouts appeals to those who like the out-of-doors and camping. DeMolay does also, but the DeMolay program also supplies something Boy Scouts does not – co-ed social activities. Ask current members who were or still are involved with the Scouting program to help to develop prospect names and then help recruit.
An effective way to get DeMolay before the public eye is to have Chapter members attend church, synagogue, or mosque as a group. Be sure and notify the minister, rabbi, or eman several weeks in advance of your planned visit. This will often result in a mention in the program or newsletter. A follow-up call after the visit can produce a list of prospective DeMolays who belong to the congregation. Note: the follow-up call should not be so soon after the visit that it appears that the only purpose for visiting was to get prospects. Wait a week or two. Parents of prospects contacted in this manner often have a favorable opinion of DeMolay as a result of having seen the Chapter in church, synagogue, or mosque.
So now that you have your Prospect List, what do you do? That topic and so much more is covered in other lessons offered in this Course.