In our last post, we discussed the initial steps to organizing your membership campaign. By now, you’ve selected a membership committee to organize, establish a time frame, set the dates for your membership campaign and developed a long list of prospective members to visit with.
Now, we’ll discuss kicking of the campaign, creating your ‘elevator’ speech and following up with all new members your County volunteers recruit!
Step 5: Hold a Kickoff Meeting
- This meeting marks the official kickoff to your membership campaign.
- Assign recruiters their list of prospects
- Discuss the time frame and any other parameters to your membership campaign
- Help recruiters develop their “Elevator Speech”—it might be the most useful tool they have
What's an Elevator Speech?
Imagine you’re riding a packed elevator and someone, after seeing the Farm Bureau logo on your jacket asks, “What is Farm Bureau?” or “Why should I join?” You only have the short amount of time in that elevator ride to answer their questions, so your answer better be a good one!
Elevator speeches should be less than two minutes and should be unique to each individual. Answer uniquely and honestly about why you joined Farm Bureau, the most positive aspects of the organization and what you believe, any farmer or rancher can gain by becoming a member.
It’s also helpful for people to have current stats and information about the organization, so when planning your Elevator Speech the One Voice Stronger cards can come in very handy.
Step 6: Conduct the Membership Drive
Hooray! After all that organizing it’s finally time to get down to the real sausage making and start recruiting.
A well organized campaign with plenty of volunteer help should last no more than two weeks. It’s possible you might be pretty busy talking to everyone on your prospect list during those two weeks, but the goal is to have a definite beginning and ending and to not make membership work feel like it goes on forever.
Be sure that all membership workers have all the supplies they need; we recommend handing out a couple Neighbor to Neighbor packets to each recruiting team.
The committee members and committee chair should follow up with other volunteers throughout the drive to ensure contacts are being made and things are going well.
Step 7: Recognize and Thank Volunteers
One of the most critical steps in any successful campaign, don’t forget to say, ‘thank you’. Depending on the scale of your membership campaign, there is a variety of ways in which you can thank your volunteers.
- Hand written thank you’s
- Gift certificates to local businesses and restaurants
- Display their photos at the county annual meeting
- Provide recognition at a special event or during the county annual meeting
- Invite their families to attend, reveal the results of the membership drive and present any special awards or prizes
Step 8: Follow Up with New Members and Engage Them
The final and easily most important step in your membership campaign is following up and engaging new members. It will be the ultimate test of how successful your membership campaign was.
- Have a member of the membership committee dedicated to organizing follow up with new recruits as they come in.
- Send a welcome letter—ask them what programs or events specifically interest them and keep them abreast of updates in those areas.
- Invite them to any upcoming events and the annual meeting
- Work with your regional manager to create a welcome packet that is unique to your County Farm Bureau
It’s easier to keep a member than to recruit a new one so following up with new recruits is crucial.
While numbers are important, a membership campaign should be about growing the strength, influence and abilities of your County Farm Bureau. So, when you recruit new members, it’s the responsibility of county leaders to do their due diligence and follow up with those people. Make them feel welcome, discover their talents and interests and help them find opportunities to put those skills into practice within your County Farm Bureau.
We hope these steps help paint a clear picture of how easy it can be to host a membership campaign. All of these steps are designed to be easily adapted to the goals and time constraints of your leaders and volunteers to make an event that fits your needs but is still easily managed and completed. Follow up with your Regional Manager to get any of the resources we’ve talked about in this series.