Proposal to increase membership in Division 51

Memo: To Executive Board of Division 51

From:  Jim O’Neil, Membership Chair, SPSMM, University of Connecticut

Regarding: Proposal To Increase Membership in Division 51


The lack of continuous growth in SPSMM has been a concern of all SPSMM leaders since the Division’s official inception in 1995. When I was membership chair from 1992 to 1996, there were over 650 SPSMM members. Today, the membership is 474. Systematic publicity and proactive recruitment of new members is essential if SPSMM is to grow, mature, and make real change in APA.

The proposal

In this proposal a number of new initiatives to increase SPSMM membership are enumerated. The proposal is designed to be implemented over a 3-5 year period and specifically after the new web page is up and running. The new web page could be the centerpiece of our recruitment and retention crusade. Below are the interventions, the estimated costs, and target groups.

Proposed recruitment interventions

1. First year, free membership in SPSMM

This approach has worked in other Divisions. Eight divisions have tried free membership. I gathered data on their successes and renewal rates after the first free year. For the six divisions where there are data, second year renewals ranged from 74% to 93%. Third and fourth year renewals ranged from 49-78%. This data strongly supports implementing first year, free membership in SPSMM.

I think the journal should be included in this offer. Many of the other divisions give the journal with free membership ( personal communication, Keith Cooke). The best that I can understand from my sources, the cost of the journal per new member would be $ 12.00 per year. This is what it would cost us for every new member. The journal is a regular and tangible connection to Division 51. In my opinion, giving the journal away is a good way to spend money, particularly if the renewals are similar to other divisions. Renewals the following years should repay these costs.

Cost for 200 new members: $ 2400.00 Numerous others should do the math to insure that I have correctly captured the potential costs.

2. Direct mailing to SPSMM membership

I want to send at least one direct, regular mailing to the Division membership about the membership problems and goals. These letters will be personally typed, individualized letters from me to members with a special plea to get involved in the membership drive. In this mailing, I will make a strong recommendation to recruit members and include the necessary forms to do local recruiting.  I will either send a precursor email letter before the mail out or a flow-up email after the mail out to increase the importance of this recruitment activity.

Cost Postage and envelopes: At least $460.00. Mailing labels are free from APA Central Office 

3. APA Conventions and recruitment

All APA conventions should be used to recruit members. Two talented graduate students who belong to SPSMM could coordinate the convention recruitment contacts. The membership chair will train these two students in how to disseminate information at the convention during the programs, poster sessions, social hours, and at other selected convention situations. There will also be efforts to get membership application filled out and paid for during the convention. The two recruiters would be paid two nights of their APA convention stay by the Division for their recruitment efforts. They will room together for 2 nights and be reimbursed by the Division.

Costs: $400.00

Target group: Anyone at the APA Convention

4. Brochures, buttons, letterhead: Hard copy publicity 

I agree that the web should be our primary recruitment media. Unfortunately, we cannot get email addresses of APA members in other divisions. There are times when hard copy devices (brochures, buttons, & bookmarks) are important particularly at conventions, “door to door”, and with those colleagues and students who will not visit our web page. I also need letterhead and envelopes for the mailout in number 2 (see above). Maybe someone can create the letterhead at less costs.


Cost of 500 Brochures: No cost for design. APA central Office will do the design.
There is a cost for printing. Ball park figures are $500 – $1,000.00
Cost of 300 Bookmarks: No cost for design. Cost of printing: $300.00
Cost of 500 Buttons: Couldn’t Get an Estimate
Cost of Letterhead: (500) copies: $225.00
Cost of Envelopes (500): $95.00

Target group: New Members

5. Recruiting through APAGS

The future of Division 51 is with graduate students. I checked direct advertising in APAG magazine (GRAD Psych) and it cost $915.00 for a third of a page per issue. This too expensive for an unknown gain. An article about SPSMM in APAG’s magazine may be another way to recruit graduate students.

Cost: Networking with Sadie Dingfelder, Editor of GradPsych 

Target Group: Graduate Students

6. Chris Kilmartin and Rory Remer’s graduate student or new leader lunch at the APA Convention

A paid lunch for identified graduate students or potential new leaders in SPSMM with Chris and Rory (and maybe the SPSMM president or well known people in our Division) at the APA Convention could be implemented. It could be just pizza and beer but it would be organized in such a way that it was a special moment for any graduate student or someone wanting to get involved in the division. Rory has already indicated that he would implement this in San Diego. He indicated that he would do the work. This is the kind of interventions that can make a real difference.

Cost: $300.00

Target Group: Graduate Students and/or New Leaders in SPSMM

7. Identifying researchers who publish in PMM but who are not members of SPSMM

We could identify all the authors who have published in PMM, JMS, and Masculinities and compare it to the membership lists to see who is not a member. This analysis should generate a list of possible new members. A personal letter could be sent by the membership chair and president of Division 51 to encourage these colleagues to become members of Division 51.

Cost: Postage $25.00

Target Group: Non members who publish psychology of men research

8. Advertising about Division 51 in PMM, JMS, Masculinities, Sex Roles, and PWQ

Paid advertisements (half or full pages) could appear in these journals for a full year.

Cost: I am checking on this.

Target Groups: Anyone who reads journals in the psychology of gender

9. Identifying the 50-100 SPSMM members to activate the recruitment membership crusade

Colleagues in the division who are talented in some way, who appear to care about SPSMM’s future, who understand pulse of our Division and the psychology of men, could be invited to work directly on some aspect of membership/recruitment. These would be colleagues who are already identified as leaders in the Division and new people who participate in SPSMM, but do not provide any service. I would ask them to give time to our division and do manageable tasks that we make simple for them.

I would do the initial invitation but also ask the current president and past ones also to contact members encouraging high involvement in the membership drive.

No Cost: Just Effort

Target Group: The Entire SPSMM Membership

10. APA training directors and recruitment

APA training directors will be contacted to find out which students and faculty might be interested in joining SPSMM. We would ask for names and addresses. The membership chair and/or the president of SPSMM would directly contact these individuals and communicate the incentives to join.

Cost: No Cost If Done By Email but maybe some postage

Target Groups: Students & Faculty in APA Training Programs

11. Recruitment of special kinds of psychologists

A plan to recruit VA, military, and forensic psychologists needs to be developed. A direct emailing to Divisions that represent these groups will be implemented with a focused rationale on why Division 51 is relevant to their work with men.

Target Groups: VA, Military, and Forensic Psychologists. Similar strategies need to be developed with social/developmental psychologists, women,  and ethnic, racial and sexual minorities.

12. Networking with other APA Divisions (2, 7, 8, 9, 12, 16, 17, 19, 35, 38, 44, 45, 52, & 56 and other professional organizations)?

Paid or free advertisements about SPSMM could appear in divisional newsletters with our application materials. I just got the email addresses for the 54 newsletter editors from APA Central Office. I will ask the newsletter editors whether they would publish information about joining SPSMM for free or a fee. The description of the new Web page and what we offer would be highlighted in these newsletter items. Free, first year membership could be announced.

Listserves may also be a useful way to get our message to these divisions.

Also direct mailings to members of American Men’s Study Association and other relevant non APA groups could be pursued.

Costs: Unknown at this time if there are charges

Target Group: Non members in other divisions and other professional organizations

13. The APA Monitor on Psychology and media coordinator

We need a media coordinator for the division. This person’s sole goal would be to link SPSMM to APA media, the national media, and any local media. We need more news articles on the psychology of men in the Monitor. Maybe an article on the upcoming meeting on psychotherapy with men in Austin, Mark’s book series, or other successes of the 51 could be proposed to the Monitor on Psychology.

Target Group: APA membership

Cost: None but networking with publication staff at APA.

14.  Advertising about Division 51 in PMM, JMS, Masculinities, Sex Roles, and PWQ

Paid advertisements (half or full pages) could appear in these journals for a full year.

Cost: I am checking on this.

Target Groups: Anyone who reads journals in the psychology of gender

Proposed budget summary based on estimates from information received

Free, 1 year membership 
(estimated 200 new members at  $12.00 cost per new member)
Direct mailing postage to SPSMM membership and other postage $660.00
APA convention recruiters $400.00


Brochures  (500)
Bookmarks (300)
Letterhead  (500)
Envelopes   (500)



Convention Lunch For Students
(Estimate 20 -25 people)
Total $5130.00