Screening new member requests

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Let’s talk new members.
Emmy: A member request is basically somebody knocking on your door.
They want to come in and they want to join your group.
How do you decide who to let in?
Emmy: We use member questions a lot to introduce people to the culture of the group even before
they join.
Janet: Whoever doesn’t answer my three questions, the three of them, don’t get in.
Manal: If there is a certain cause that you are advocating, ask them what does this cause
mean to them.
This gives us an idea of whether this person is going to be a right fit for the group or
What do you do with a lot of requests?
Emmy: It can become really overwhelming as an admin because you feel like you need to
respond immediately.
How do you cope?
Emmy: Pause and take a breath and decide when you are going to respond.
Talk to your team, assign the responsibilities and that will make sudden influx of new members
much easier to manage.

Screening new members is important to keep your group healthy but it can be a big job.

We have some tips and tools to help you put your energy where it counts.

Ask them what the cause means to them. This gives us an idea of whether this person will be a right fit for the group.

Manal, Group Admin

Better screening of potential new members can help you maintain a positive space where everyone feels welcome and safe to share. Here are some tips on how to best manage and screen new member requests in your group.

4 steps for managing member requests

Member search is a tool that lets you find people directly through search. You can use filters to search within your member request list to find people by first or last name.

Selecting other filter criteria, such as gender or location, makes it even easier to locate the information you need on your member request list.

Setting very clear approval criteria and asking specific member questions are two ways to help alleviate the pressure and create a smooth screening process.

These will help to give you and your team an easy yes/no framework for screening new members. Is your group hyper local - do they live in your city? Do they identify as a specific gender? Have they completed their membership questions? Creating strict guidelines and member questions can help to quickly decide and move through your requests.

When screening new member profiles, give yourself a checklist to quickly assess what constitutes a real versus fake profile. You can assess based on how long they’ve had their profile, photos they display, number of friends or other groups they belong to.

With the help of your moderation team, you can divide and conquer. Split up membership requests among your team and set schedules with clear time frames. This way you and your team can clear out the queue faster and more effectively.

Member requests can pile up very fast and before you know it you can end up feeling overwhelmed. Communicating clear guidelines and rules in your group description and asking strong and specific member questions can help alleviate the pressure but when you start to feel burnt out, walk away.

We all get notification anxiety. It’s ok to turn off notifications and take a break. You can even schedule some downtime for yourself.

Another way to manage both your time and member expectations is to add “business hours” to your group description. For example, “we only approve new members once a week.”

This way you set clear expectations and you can screen your members in a way that works for you. If you’re starting to get messages from members waiting to join, you can direct them to the description. Remember: admitting new members is important but always put yourself first!


Use your group description as a place to set expectations like business hours and membership criteria

Tools to help manage member requests

You can manage your member requests by filtering based on location, gender, if they have joined Facebook recently and more.

Steps to view your member request filters:

  1. Go to your group and open Admin Tools
  2. Click on “Member Requests” to see your requests
  3. At the top you will see different filter options

Viewing a member profile can help you to decide whether they’re the right fit for your group.

To easily preview a new member:

  1. Click on their profile to preview
  2. You can view other groups or friends they have in common
  3. Review criteria like recent photos (and quality of photos) or when they joined to determine if a user is the right fit for your group

Setting up member questions can help you better screen incoming members to your group.

Steps to set up member questions:

  1. Go to your group and open Admin Tools
  2. Under “Member Requests” you will find the “Pending Member Questions”
  3. Click and add your questions (up to 10!)

Using your group description to clearly define membership criteria and member request business hours can help you set expectations with new members.

To change your group description:

  1. Go to your Group Settings
  2. Click “Name and Description”
  3. Add in your criteria in the Description section

Managing new members requests can be a daunting task. But fear not! With strong membership questions, tools to filter requests and a team to help you, you can welcome the right members to your community quickly and easily.

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