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LWV Membership & Leadership Development (MLD) Program: Membership Outreach. What if your League had MORE members?. Where are they? How do we get them?. Best Practices for Membership. 3 Types of Outreach. Media. Allied. Direct. How are we most efficient?. Back to the question….

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What if your League had Membership Outreach MORE members?

Best practices for membership
Best Practices for Membership Membership Outreach

3 Types of Outreach




How are we most efficient
How are we most efficient? Membership Outreach

Back to the question
Back to the question… Membership Outreach

How are we most efficient – and effective – in our outreach efforts?

  • We need to decide who we are trying to talk to.

  • We need to know what they care about.

  • We need to talk about it a lot.

No general public
No general public Membership Outreach



Caution! Membership Outreach

Are modifications needed? If so, is your League ready?

Grow me g goal
GROW ME: Membership Outreach G = Goal

What do we want to accomplish?

  • Be clear, be specific.

    For example:

  • What specifically do you want to accomplish?

  • By when do you want to have this done?

  • What will be different as a result of working on this?

  • How will you know when you’ve achieved it?

Membership goal
Membership Goal Membership Outreach

Who will your League target?

What do you want to achieve?

What will success look like?

Our membership goal is to target the young professional women in our community. We will get and engage 5 new members in the next 9 months.

How do we reach new members
How do we reach new members? Membership Outreach

3 Types of Outreach




Direct Outreach

Direct outreach the ask
Direct Outreach: the ASK Membership Outreach

Direct Outreach = asking people to join

  • One-on-one

  • Addressing a group

    Making the ASK

  • A – Always be ready!

  • S – Show your enthusiasm!

  • K – Know what matters!

Opportunities are everywhere!

Be heard
Be heard! Membership Outreach

3 Principles to keep in mind in all our efforts:

  • Say it consistently

  • Say it constantly

  • Speak toyour audience

Direct outreach use your personal story
Direct Outreach: Use Your Personal Story Membership Outreach

Personal Stories are Important

  • Use your story to ASK individuals to join the League

  • Use our stories to make League membership tangible and exciting!

  • Leave a lasting impression

Outreach how do we reach new members
Outreach: How do we reach new members? Membership Outreach

3 Types of Outreach




Allied Outreach

An allied organization
An allied organization. . . Membership Outreach

  • Is an organization or group in your community that works on issues and activities that are similar to or related to those of the League.

  • Can offer opportunities for local Leagues to reach potential new members.

Plus… Membership Outreach


The key is to build relationships
The Key is to Build Relationships Membership Outreach

  • Be Persistent… Always look for opportunities to partner

  • Be Specific… Identify concrete ways to partner (and know what’s in it for them)

  • Be Strategic… Prioritize opportunities and partners

Be strategic
Be Strategic Membership Outreach

  • What specific opportunities exist to talk about the value of League membership esp to your target audience?

  • What are the benefits of cosponsoring an event with this organization in terms of our priorities and/or focus?

  • How many members does the organization have that League might reach?

Outreach how do we reach new members1
Outreach: How do we reach new members? Membership Outreach

3 Types of Outreach




Media Outreach

How to be a resource
How to be a resource… Membership Outreach

What Reporters NeedWhat LWV Offers

  • Information

  • Access

  • Context

  • Personal stories

  • Contacts

  • Credibility

  • Information

  • Access

  • Context

  • Personal stories

  • Contacts

  • Credibility

Messaging Membership Outreach

Pitch a hook to grab them
Pitch – a hook to grab them Membership Outreach

  • What is new or unique?

  • Is there a link to a current event happening?

  • What unlikely spokespeople might present?

  • Are there good local and/or human interest angles?

Making it mediagenic
Making it Mediagenic Membership Outreach

What is Mediagenic?

  • Helps the media make the issue/activity something they can use

  • Vivid or Visual

  • Tells a SIMPLE story

  • Easily remembered

  • Becomes the “Quotable Quote”

    • 1-2 (short) sentences

    • 3-5 seconds to say (shorter is better)

Promote us
Promote us… Membership Outreach

Points to stess -

  • We are real people: volunteers, local community leaders.

  • Our work has an impact.

  • We educate and inform.

  • We provide facts.

  • We don’t endorse candidates; we aren’t affiliated with political parties.*

  • We have a history of achievement.

  • We work to get candidates to participate.

Where do we share our message
Where do we share our message? Membership Outreach

Traditional Media:

Social Media:







  • Print (daily & weekly newspapers, magazines, etc.)

  • Radio

  • Television

  • Blogs

The key is building relationships
The Key is Building Relationships Membership Outreach

Pick a few key outlets & foster those relationships – rather than do them ALL

Always include alternative media outlets. . . especially if your League is in lots of competition for airtime.

Social media is a tool it is not a silver bullet
Social media is a tool – it is not a silver Membership Outreach bullet

  • Good product/Compelling cause

  • Integrate into your comms streams

    Not all social media channels are right for every League

  • Pick and choose

  • Quality over Quantity

What s the it
What’s the “It”? Membership Outreach

What are we adding our outreach efforts to?

What is the “it” that will get individuals to participate and to join?

Program! Membership Outreach

What does a good League program have?

Good programs
GOOD PROGRAMS… Membership Outreach

  • Look OUT, not in

  • Attract new (non-League) people!

  • Give our neighbors something that they want

  • Have show-and-tell (photos! Media!)

  • Get people talking & coming back

  • Make volunteers happy and energized

Good programs also
GOOD PROGRAMS ALSO… Membership Outreach

  • Include diverse partners

  • Require (some) resources. You get what you pay for.

  • Have some show and tell (Media! Photos! New friends!)

  • Give attendees a next step (email sign-up, volunteering)

  • Get people talking to friends & family

  • Help reinforce League priorities at all 3 levels

  • Include evaluation– how do we improve for next time?

    …And they make League members feel great!

    A happy volunteer is a future leader

Example rockford il league
Example: Rockford, IL League Membership Outreach

  • The Ingredients

  • Hardworking, positive team

  • Good partners in schools

  • A legislative “hook”

  • Small LWVEF grant

  • The Results

  • 300+ voters registered in 11 schools

  • Local media stories about the League

  • LWVUS Blog featuring their work

  • Award ceremony at local college - LWV volunteer registrars honored

Opportunity election 2014
Opportunity: Election 2014 Membership Outreach

  • Guidance on National Voter Registration Day

  • State-specific opportunities

    How do we look at “traditional” League work with new eyes?