The APS Membership Department is available to assist unit officers with implementation of recruitment and retention campaigns. These efforts may include recruitment at APS and unit meetings, reaching out to current or lapsed unit members, marketing to other unit members (after getting approval from that unit) who may have an interest in your unit, etc.

For example, many units choose to contact active APS members whose membership in a specific unit has lapsed during the previous calendar year. Working with APS Staff, an email can be sent to these members in an effort to encourage them to rejoin the unit (samples: division, topical group, forum, section). Undertaking such a project on a yearly basis is an effective way to track and recruit lapsed members. In addition, with unit officers changing regularly, an annual project such as this is a standard way to involve new officers in retention efforts.

Note for sections: Once a year, each APS section is permitted an email to all active APS members residing in the geographic region the section serves. This email announcement informs APS members of the benefits of joining a section, encourages them to do so, and provides section news and upcoming event notifications. See a sample of a successful Section Recruitment Email here, including suggested features to include.

Below is additional information on recruitment and retention ideas for APS units.


  1. Appoint a Membership Coordinator: This individual should be the primary contact between your unit and the APS Membership Department for matters of unit recruitment. It is wise to appoint this person as a long-term contact that can establish a relationship with APS. To do so, contact the APS Unit Engagement Coordinator (contact information below).
  2. APS Meetings: Take advantage of the thousands of fellow scientists in attendance at the annual APS March and April meetings. Your unit can recruit at either meeting around related sessions; check with APS Membership to find out how. If you want to recruit at your own unit meeting, have individuals join APS and your unit online to receive the member registration rate.
  3. Student Members: Undergraduate and graduate students may join APS with the First Year Free Trial Membership. In addition to free forums and sections, this offer includes free membership in up to two APS divisions or topical groups. After the first year free, students may continue their APS membership at a discounted rate and keep the two free divisions or topical groups for as long as they are a student member. If you know of an interested student, please direct them to information about student memberships.

    Undergraduate students who are members of SPS (Society of Physics Students) can receive free membership in one of AIP's ten member societies for up to three years. Students can visit the SPS National Membership web page and choose APS as their member society.
  4. Add a Unit Online: Society members may join your unit anytime.
  5. Encourage your own colleagues: Coworkers, lab colleagues, even old classmates are excellent candidates for APS and APS unit membership. Make a point to share information about your unit with your own contacts - they will be more likely to respond if they value the opinion of the individual recruiting them rather than an anonymous e-mail or letter.


  1. Constantly check the Unit’s MVS (Membership Vital Signs): Annual and Quarterly reports are always available online. To check other statistics (e.g. distribution of member types, geographical representation, gender, etc.), make a request through the APS Unit Service Desk.
  2. Membership retention should never be crisis marketing: Retention should be a constant priority for your unit, not something focused on only when your numbers begin to drop. Effective, consistent recruitment and retention efforts will ensure stable-to growing membership as well as establish routines for future officers.
  3. Benefits, benefits, benefits: Current members of your unit will be more likely to renew if the benefits of membership are clear and obvious to them. Make sure that your members can easily identify the worthwhile reasons they belong to your unit, from your annual meeting to more regular communication.

For further assistance, please contact the APS Membership staff:

General Units Inquiries:

Cortney Bougher, Director of Membership
(301) 209-3271

Jennifer Ruberto, Member Recruitment & Retention Manager
(301) 209-3275

Holly Croft, Unit Engagement Coordinator
(301) 209-3217

Sarah Monk, Unit Operations Coordinator
(301) 209-3627

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