This Manual is the product of the Membership Committee of the International College of Dentists (ICD) USA Section. It was approved and adopted for use by the Board of Regents on October 18, 2018 and updated October 16, 2020.

    Background: The ICD USA Section is guided by an “Applied Strategic Plan” (ASP) which sets five primary goals for the College as we move into the future. Each of these goals has multiple objectives, and all are related directly or indirectly to the USA Section’s membership member retention. The goals are as follows:
    1. We are the preeminent honor society for dentists in the USA.
    2. We are the foremost source for dental leadership recognition and development.
    3. We are the model for domestic and international dental service and collaboration.
    4. We have state-of-the-art internal and external communication to support our projects and activities.
    5. We enjoy a secure financial position, which allows us to achieve our strategic objectives.
    Each of these goals requires that the College maintain a strong membership base.
    The Applied Strategic Plan was designed to support the mission, vision, core values, and motto of the ICD USA Section. Mission: The USA Section of the International College of Dentists, as part of the preeminent honor society for dentists in the world:
    • Recognizes and promotes excellence in leadership with an emphasis on service.
    • Provides support to our Fellows and respect for our peers.
    • Addresses oral health needs and education throughout the world, and
    • Fosters an atmosphere of collaboration with those who share our values.
    Vision:To be the leading honorary dental organization serving others worldwide.

    In 2017, the Membership Committee was charged with the task of developing a strategy for the recruitment of new Fellows and the retention of current members for the USA Section.   In May 2018, this strategic plan was presented to the Board of Regents in a document entitled “An Integrated Action Plan for ICD USA Section Membership Retention.”
    (This document can be found in the Membership Committee archives, 2017-18) This action plan was specifically developed to support the goals of USA Section’s “Applied Strategic Plan” (ASP). It addresses the following questions relative to both recruitment and retention:
    • WHO is responsible for implementing this action plan?
    • HOW will the action plan be implemented?
    • WHAT resources are needed for implementation of this action plan?
    • WHO is responsible for monitoring the effectiveness of this action plan?
    Purpose of the Manual:The information in this manual serves two separate purposes:
    1. To provide concise instructions for Fellows who desires to sponsor a candidate.
    2. To provide detailed instructions for Fellows in ICD leadership who are responsible for implementing strategies for ICD USA Section membership retention.


    The information in this manual is divided into two Sections:
    Section I:This section includes Chapter 1 and is designed to provide concise instructions for ICD Fellows seeking information on “How to Sponsor a Candidate for Fellowship”
    Section II: This section includes Chapters 2, Chapter 3, and the APPENDIX. This sections is designed for ICD leadership and committees and provides detailed information for implementing the Strategic Plan for Membership Retention

    Section I: Chapter 1: “How to Sponsor a Candidate for Fellowship” (Refer to this chapter for basic sponsor and nomination Instruction)

    • Prerequisites for Candidates for Fellowship
    • Sponsors online Nomination Flow Chart
    • Step by step nominating Instructions
    Section II: Chapter 2: Strategic Plan for Recruitment of New Fellow (Refer to this chapter for a detailed outline of the ICD USA Section Recruitment strategy)
    • Identifying, Nominating, and Inducting Candidates
    • Annual Action Plan for Recruitment
    • Useful resources for Recruitment
    Section II: Chapter 3: Strategic Plan for Retention of Current Membership (Refer to this chapter for a detailed outline of the ICD USA Section Retention strategy)
    • Promoting “Value in Fellowship” for Retention of Membership
    • Annual Action Plan for Retention of Membership
    • Useful Resources for Retention of Membership
    Appendix: This Manual’s appendix contains reference materials including forms, examples of correspondence, and background sources referred to throughout the document.

    Before you Begin: The Membership Committee would like to thank you for your service to the ICD. The ICD’s recruitment motto is “Share the Honor”. Please remember that one of your colleagues took the effort to ensure that you were recognized for your achievements and contributions. It is now your opportunity and privilege to “Share the Honor” with a deserving colleague. We hope this Manual is helpful as you exercise this privilege. The information in this Manual can also be found online at our Section website, .


    This chapter provides the basic instructions for a Fellow who desires to Sponsor a qualified colleague for Fellowship. (This information focuses on the steps the sponsor takes in the nomination process, and has been presented here for easy reference. Chapter 2 will focus on the nomination process in greater detail.) The process is also shown in Figure 1. Step 2 “Nominating Candidates”.

    Any Fellow in good standing may “sponsor” a dentist within the USA Section for Fellowship.

    Prerequisites for Candidates:
    • Membership in a national dental organization recognized by the USA Section Board of Regents (Click here to view the list)
    • Must be at least 5 years in dental career
    • Must be a graduate of an accredited dental school
    • Must be an active contributor to the dental profession and/or community
    • Must have high integrity and character
    Step-by-Step Nomination Instructions:
    The nomination process is entirely electronic and the website will prompt you by email. 
    1. To start the nomination process, go to  home page and sign in with your username and password. Click your name in the upper right gold bar to reach your landing page. (Contact Section Office if you need assistance creating your unique username and password.)
    2. Click on Nominate a Candidate for Fellowship Today! Then click Nominate a New Fellow.
    3. Add Sponsor letter of support and click submit.
    4. Deputy Regent receives email to Prescreen with approval of Screening Committee.
    5. If approved, Sponsor receives email to forward to another Fellow for second letter. 
    6. Sponsors will:  
      • Contact the candidate and indicate you would like to nominate him/her for ICD Fellowship.
      • Emphasize the “Honor” of Fellowship in the ICD
      • Refer candidate to our ICD webpage for further information:
      • Please inform candidate of the following:
        • There is an induction fee ($650) (that covers the actual cost of the induction event), and there are annual dues of $300 plus state dues as applicable.
        • There is an expectation of participation in and support of USA Section activities.
        • Candidate will receive an email with a link to complete the Candidate Information Form, CIF and download CV or resume.  The CIF is used to judge credentials for Fellowship and should be a thorough and accurate record of their achievements and leadership.
        • Final approval for Fellowship is by vote of the Board of Regents.
    7. When all items are completed (Sponsor Page, 2 letters of recommendation, and the Candidate Information Form), the system will forward these items by email to the Deputy Regent and then on to the appropriate parties for final voting.
    8. The Nomination Process must be completed online for each Candidate by May 15th.


     Note: Some of the information in this chapter was covered in Chapter 1, but is presented again here in greater detail as part of the overall recruitment strategy. This chapter addresses the following:
    1. System for Recruitment of new Fellows
    2. Step 1. Identifying Candidates for Fellowship
      Step 2. Nominating Candidates for Fellowship
      Step 3. Inducting Candidates into Fellowship
    3. Action Plan for Recruitment of new Fellows
    4. Resources for Recruitment of new Fellows
    A. System for Recruitment of New ICD Fellows  
    Step 1. Identifying Candidates for Fellowship.
     This section contains information relative to the process of finding qualified Candidates in each District and Chapter. This process involves:

     Understanding the Qualifications used to identify new Candidates:
    Our Bylaws and Standing Rules specify the following prerequisites for Fellowship:
    (Bylaws, Article IV, Section 1.a., and in the Standing Rules, page 3)  As per the Standing Rules, a Candidate:
    • Membership in a national dental organization recognized by the USA Section Board of Regents (Click here to view the list)
    • Must be at least 5 years in dental career
    • Must be a graduate of an accredited dental school
    • Must be an active contributor to the dental profession and/or community
    • Must have high integrity and character
    These prerequisites are minimal guidelines.  The International College of Dentists is a leading honorary dental organization dedicated to the recognition of outstanding professional achievement, meritorious service, and continued progress of the profession of dentistry for the benefit of mankind. ICD Fellows include dentists who exhibit outstanding leadership in dental organizations at the local, state, or national level. Furthermore, our ICD Fellows demonstrate excellence through their accomplishments in the areas of humanitarianism, military dental service, dental research, dental publication, dental education, and community service. Our dentists support the USA Section motto, “Serving Others”, and they exemplify our core values of “Integrity, Leadership, and Service.” A Candidate for Fellowship should exhibit these same credentials.

    Note: If a Non-USA Section ICD Fellow wants to nominate a candidate from the USA Section, that Non-USA Section ICD Fellow must find a USA Section Fellow to sponsor the candidate and then the Non-USA Section Fellow can write a letter of support. 


     All the goals of the USA Section Applied Strategic Plan have objectives that call for a strong membership base.  This base requires optimum retention of current membership.  With that in mind, it is imperative that USA Section effectively minimize membership attrition.

    Developing an operational strategy for membership retention is more complex than developing a strategy for membership recruitment.  This complexity is due to the fact that all attrition (except for death) is related to a member’s “perceived Value in Fellowship.”  Each Fellow has his/her own personal reasons for continuing or discontinuing Fellowship.   

    This chapter discusses the following:
    1. Promoting “Value in Fellowship” for Retention of ICD Membership
    2. Action Plan for Retention of ICD Membership
    3. Useful Resources for Retention of ICD Membership
    A. Promoting “Value in Fellowship”

    Value in Fellowship can take many forms. These may include, but are not limited to:
    1. Opportunities for “Serving Others”
    2. Honor of being an ICD Fellow
    3. Prestige among one’s peers
    4. Recognition of one’s professional career
    5. Opportunity to meet dentists from other countries
    6. Opportunity to travel to international meetings
    7. Opportunities for continuing education

    Establishing an environment in which Fellows can find “Value in Fellowship” is a duty of every leader and every committee in the USA Section.  It is beyond the scope of this manual to discuss these duties in detail.  Figure 3 shows the key groups and individuals with those duties primarily related to retention.  References are listed for the source of those duties.  

    A detailed discussion of these duties and the Membership Committee’s recommendation relative to those duties can be found in the document, “An Integrated Action Plan for ICD-USA Section Recruitment and Retention”. That document is filed in the archives of the Membership Committee.

    C. Resources for Retention of Membership

    Many of the resources discussed in Chapter 2 under “Useful Resources for Recruiting New Candidates for Fellowship” are employed in the process of retention of member. Because most associations recognize membership surveys and membership databases as the most important tools in the retention of their membership, this section will focus on those two resources.
    A. Membership Surveys:  A survey can be useful for assessing ICD member’s perceived value in Fellowship in the College.  This perceived value translates into retention.  Surveys are generally conducted using a questionnaire.  Surveys are the act of gathering information and analyzing that information.  A questionnaire is the tool used to gather the information.  A survey can be conducted over the whole population of a group (general survey) or directed at a specific population in a group (targeted).  The membership committee recommends that both types of surveys be conducted as needed to determine factors contributing to attrition and actions necessary to improve retention.

    Conducting a survey properly is important and attention needs to be given to the following:
    • Proper development of the questionnaire questions
    • Proper order of the questions
    • Appropriate number of questions
    • Length of time to complete the questionnaire
    • Dissemination of the questionnaire
    • Ease of returning the completed questionnaire
    • Ability to statistically analyze the responses to the questions
    Because this is a field of behavioral science, the Membership Committee recommends that these surveys be conducted with the assistance of an online survey service such as “Survey Monkey” or “My Points”.

    In 2014, a “targeted survey” was conducted. That survey was entitled “2014 USA Section Survey of ICD Fellow Inductees in the Past 10 Years.”  The results of that survey can be found on the Section website under “Who We Are”. (Also see Appendix, Item 21) Note:  The significant findings from 2014 would indicate that the majority of Fellows (67%) inducted within the last 10 years believe the primary “Value in Fellowship” is the “honor of being recognized for Fellowship.”

    In 2018, the College conducted a “general” survey of the whole membership. Specific questions were designed to determine what “value” ICD Fellows placed in membership.  In other words, what do Fellows value enough to continue their membership in the ICD.  The results of this survey can also be found in Margaret Culotta-Norton’s report, dated September 7, 2018.  (See Appendix Item 22)  

    The College also routinely sends an “Exit Survey” to all Fellows who do not renew their membership as part of a “Regret” Letter. This “targeted” survey is to help the College understand the reason for each case of attrition. (See Appendix, Item 20)

    B. Membership Database:  Databases were discussed in Chapter 2 as a useful resource for recruitment of Fellows.  A powerful membership software package is also imperative for assessing and acting on membership retention.  The College needs to be able to accurately measure both membership retention and attrition.  The USA Section database should have the following capabilities relative to membership retention:
    1. Capability to access the database (on a read-only basis) through the Section website.  This access would allow Regents and Deputy Regents to access data in order to determine trends in membership attrition.
    2. Capability to do a mail merge using the database through the Section website in order to create personalized letters to constituent Fellows for the purpose of maintaining the relationship between the College and the Fellows. These letters could focus on Fellows with profiles that indicate they are likely to leave the ICD.
    3. Capability to calculate the following formulas that evaluate attrition.
      1. Retention Formula—What percentage of members do you retain each year?  % Retention = (# of membership accounts at the end of the previous year minus # of non-renewals at the end of the current year divided by (# of membership accounts at the end of the previous year x 100).
      2. For example, if 1,040 out of 1,300 members renew, your retention rate is 80%.
      3. Loss Formula—What percentage of members drop out each year?  The inverse of formula # 1:  % Loss = (# of dropped members divided by # of membership accounts at the end of the previous year x 100).
        For example, if 260 members out of 1,300 members do not renew, your loss rate is 20%.
    4. Capability to provide data for the annual Membership Committee Recruitment and Retention Report. That report will used to recommend strategies to the Board of Regents relative to membership retention. (See proposed format for that report in the Appendix, Items 15 & 16)
    D. Transferring Membership from Another Section

    A Fellow from another Section who lives and practices in the United States can request to transfer membership to Section 1. After their ADA membership is confirmed, the Section Office staff would inform the College that we are accepting the member as a Section 1 Fellow. The Fellow would pay dues (pro-rated if they join mid-year).

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