As you think about ways that your members can get involved in your advocacy efforts, we tend to break it down into three categories: time, talent, and treasure. Some of the more successful associations that have been successful in engaging and getting their newer, younger members involved are thinking outside the box on those three categories. They’re doing things differently and creating unique and relevant opportunities to get involved.
They’re not just falling back on the old donate $5,000 to the PAC” or “Sign up for a 2 or 3 year commitment to be involved on our political action committee or task force!” No, what these associations are doing is asking these younger members, “How would you like to get involved?”
On time, it’s looking at a Friday afternoon at the statehouse where they’re not taking a significant amount of time out of their office, out of their practice, or away from their families. You’re looking at Saturday morning conference calls, video conferences, or virtual meetings where they can engage with their peers in their region or around the country but we’re talking hours, not days, weeks, or months. They can still make an impact, and they want to make an impact, just not with the investment of time that has been asked of them historically.
In terms of their talents, I’m certain that your members have skills, tools, and tricks that would really benefit your advocacy efforts. Do you know what those skills are? Those skills can be leveraged around the country at any point in time. They don’t have to be there in person. But the first thing is understanding what those skills are and what skills you need in order to be effective.
And then lastly, when it comes to treasure, with the increased burden being placed on these newer, younger members from student debt, these individuals are hesitant to give to something they really have no understanding of or appreciation for so early in their careers. So what the more successful associations are doing is rather than focusing on the amount of the give, they’re focusing on the percentage of give. What percentage of your members are giving, whether it’s 1 dollar or 5,000 dollars? That truly represents the collective voice that you’re likely touting in terms of your advocacy efforts.
So as you think about new, different, and unique ways of engaging your newer, and younger members in your advocacy efforts, think outside the box in terms of time, talent, and treasure.