Strengthening the bond with your membership is not only important for maximizing your relationship with them, but additionally members who are involved and passionate about your mission are more likely to take action for you when you release advocacy campaigns. So, let’s review some valuable (and easy!) ways to boost engagement:
- Create a sense of community. Think about the common bond between your membership and/or supporter base. Are they all working in the same profession? Do they all live in the same state? Find connections between those who support your organization, and use those connections to create a sense of solidarity among your members/supporters. Strengthening your relationship with your supporters goes beyond the direct association-contact connection, but in a broader context, it’s helpful to create a sense of community among your members by helping them feel unified (think: “we” are in this together!). When the legislative sessions roll around, your membership will feel like they are acting as a part of a greater unit, acting on behalf of an issue that affects their own community.
- Communicate often, but not too often. Everything in moderation, right? Take advantage of all that social media has to offer and communicate with your membership/supporters as frequently as you can through your various accounts. However, when it comes to e-newsletters and e-mails, think strategically about releasing communications. Be aware that frequent communications may cause some members to unsubscribe. Consider integrating offline and online membership correspondence for a more complete approach to getting your members to familiarize themselves with your organization.
- Be responsive, and be real. If your members tweet at you, e-mail you, call you, etc., respond as quickly as you can and let them know that you listen and react to any questions, concerns or comments they may have.
- Encourage members to spread the word. Excited, engaged members and supporters are more likely to talk about how they have become involved in advocacy pushes, share the word on social media, and talk about the issues at hand with their own networks. Engaged members spreading your message may subsequently attract new supporters and members, organically growing your base and strengthening your organization.
What does engagement have to do with advocacy?
Members who care about an issue and believe in the mission of your organization will be more than happy to step up to the plate and advocate when they need to. Engaging your membership will pay big dividends when it come to future advocacy campaigns you sponsor. Take a look at these great statistics provided by the Congressional Management Foundation:
“Internet users who contacted Congress were motivated to do because they cared deeply about an issue (91%). Even a majority (88%) of those who contacted Congress as a result of a third party request indicated this was part of their reason for doing so.” :CMF
As the party prompting your members to take action, your role is important in driving political change through citizen advocacy, and active members are more likely to do participate on your behalf. High fives all around, and happy Friday!