Renewed Commitment Earns Membership Cup for Portland HBA


After a six-year lag in member recruitment, the HBA of Metro Portland was determined to ramp up its efforts in 2019. That determination to renew and rebuild its focus on recruitment and retention ultimately led the HBA to winning the prestigious NAHB Membership Cup for 2019.

One of the first steps the HBA took last year was to create a “new leads” group. This group, led by a few of the HBA’s most experienced recruiters, not only focused on cultivating new leads, but also on generating more energy around membership that the association hadn’t seen in a long time.

The HBA also focused on getting its board of directors actively engaged. According to Executive Officer Dave Nielsen, leadership involvement was a crucial component to their overall success. Members of the board were split into teams with defined recruitment goals, and they also infused a healthy dose of competition: “They decided to tie the drive back to their own priorities of advocacy,” Nielsen said. “They made a friendly wager among themselves where the losing teams would make a donation to our PAC.”

Using the strategies they learned through NAHB’s Membership 360 Campaign, they created a stronger and more organized membership drive than they ever had before. New recruiting materials were created including a customized “recruiter kit,” membership application, limited-time incentives for new members and prospect lists for recruiters. HBA staff and about 40 volunteers made phone calls, engaged with prospects and consistently recruited new members.

Throughout the drive, the names of new member were written on the HBA office windows to highlight the progress being made. As momentum continued to build, the names eventually covered all of the office windows as well as the front door. And in the final week of their dedicated drive push, the staff hosted themed phone-calling parties for each team and provided them with snacks, drinks and special incentives. In the end, the HBA of Metro Portland recruited around 120 new Builder and Associate members as a result of their 2019 drive. “It was truly an incredible result that hadn’t been achieved in over 20 years at our association,” Nielsen said.

The NAHB Membership Cup is awarded to the association that achieves the most outstanding membership efforts for the year. Learn more about the Membership Cup and previous winners of the Grand Awards here.

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