Candidate Information Meetings
We decided rather than running up to someone at Church with a Form 100 and saying “you need to be a Knight so just sign this form,” we would use a softer approach – that being an invitation sent in the mail to the husband and wife to come to a Candidate Information Meeting at the Church, in the evening or between our two Sunday Masses. At this meeting we have some wives of Knights to make the Candidates wives feel more comfortable. After some social time together, wine and cheese in the evening and coffee and Danish in the mornings, we would spend 30 to 40 minutes talking about the Knights Internationally, including the Insurance aspect, and then locally about what our own Council does. We then answer any questions they might have. In this way, we would never be in a situation where someone would say they did not know what they were getting themselves into when they became a member of our Council. We have been extremely successful with this approach, and nearly everyone that attends one of these meetings soon becomes a Knight.
Lessons Learned Meetings with New Members
Once a new member is recruited and he becomes a Knight, we ask them to attend a "Lessons Learned" meeting that gives them an opportunity to share with us their experience. This helps us to better address the needs of potential candidates and provides the new member with another opportunity to ask questions and to feel a closer connection with the Council.
Hosting First Degree Exemplifications
We decided to perform our own First Degree Ceremonies so each new candidate would feel right at home as they were brought into our Council and the Brotherhood. The new members are immediately introduced to their Sponsor and we have Council Vests on hand so they can purchase one right away and feel a part of the team. After the ceremony is completed we all sit down and enjoy a meal together and then take their picture and put it on the Council Bulletin Board. We developed a New Member Information Packet and review it after the meal.
The packet includes:
- Program Activities Guide – Serge…with Service
- Program Activities Organization Chart
- Membership Interest Survey
- Council Calendar for the next two months
- Current Month Newsletter
- List of Officers & Directors with their contact information
- List of their fellow new members and sponsors with their contact information
- “How to Pray the Rosary” pamphlet
- “These Men They Call Knights” pamphlet
- “Welcome to the Knights of Columbus” containing a Form 100
- The Shining Armor Award card
Hosting Second & Third Degree Exemplifications
Each year we host a Second & Third Degree Exemplification. Teams from around the state come to our Parish and members from all around gather to receive their next level of Knighthood. A meal follows this ceremony and a great time is had by all.