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Have a Prospective Chapter Member? Add Value with a Trial Membership

March 2016 - Recruiting new members is a common aspiration for many EAA chapters. Through the Complimentary Trial Membership program, your chapter can give prospective members a free, six-month EAA general membership trial, which includes the full set of EAA membership benefits at no cost.

So how does it work? After the chapter has identified individuals who have shown an interest in aviation, your chapter membership coordinator or a chapter representative visits www.eaa.org/chaptertrial and enters the prospect’s information to enroll him or her in the free trial membership.

Benefits for Prospects

This is a full EAA membership! Each prospect will receive all EAA member benefits during this time with no cost to your chapter. Newcomers will receive EAA Sport Aviation magazine, access to the members-only area of the website, and membership discounts on programs and events, like EAA SportAir Workshops, EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, and more.

We encourage chapters to grant this six-month complimentary chapter membership, which allows potential members to get to know you and experience membership benefits in EAA and your chapter, before they commit to paying their dues.

Benefits for Your Chapter

This complimentary six-month period will help you build a bond between prospective members and your chapter, resulting in a higher member recruitment and retention rate. Plus, the sign-up process no longer requires lots of paperwork. Just enter the recruit’s information at www.eaa.org/chaptertrial. There’s no limit on recruits; however, EAA headquarters will provide you with a periodic report on your success in turning complimentary members into fully paid members.


  • Use this as a tool to build your local membership base.
  • Reach out beyond the “usual” crowd around the airport to connect with people unaware of your chapter and those who just need to be asked (such as through your workplace, clubs or church).
  • Position the membership as “compliments of Chapter 252,” not EAA headquarters.
  • Actively engage prospective members during the trial period.
  • Call and invite prospects to every event during these six months.
  • Assign each prospect a mentor to answer questions and provide advice.
  • Involve fewer active members in the recruiting process.


  • Use trial memberships as door prizes or giveaways. Engage a recruit, assess his or her interest, and then provide the membership. The goal is to build a bond between the prospective member and your chapter.
  • Charge a reduced rate for the trial membership.
  • Expect a recruit to understand everything about EAA. Longtime members can forget what it was like when they first got involved in aviation, EAA, and a chapter. Help this person feel welcome.
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