Your annual meeting should be an enjoyable social event as well as a business meeting. A catered or potluck meal is always fun, as are featured speakers, awards, skits and other
lighter activities. The meeting can also be a time to recruit new members by demonstrating how the League functions. Check resources on lwv.org to be sure you are prepared.
- Challenge your board members—and other active members—to a membership contest. Give an award to the member who brings in the most new members at your annual meeting
- Focus on nationally recruited members and getting them changed to a member who supports your local League. As often stated, “All politics is local.” If this person was interested enough in the League’s principles to support the national organization, you should be able to find a hook that will show them the merits of your local League.
- Give memberships as gifts. Give your speakers a gift of membership. Give those who do a service for the League a gift of membership. It is a seat that would not be filled if not for the gift. It will give that person a sense of the League over the year, and they will likely renew on their own.
Be sure to display League literature so that invited guests can learn about the League and our positions on issues. This is also a good time to distribute and collect personal interest surveys.
If you need a script, I can provide one for you. Please contact me off line.
I love to have fun in League and I know many of you feel the same way. I have saved this poem from a few years back. If you want to bring a smile, your board can recite it and add a few lines to update it!
EIGHT DECADES (Almost Nine!) OF LEAGUE ACTIVITY
adapted from Jane Gralen, LWV of La Grange Area, IL
We're gathered today to praise the longevity
Of the LWV but we'll do it with brevity.
Eighty-nine years ago the League was created
By a group of suffragettes who became elated
With the prospect of giving women a choice
To influence legislation with a united voice.
In the nineteen twenties the League gave attention
To the welfare of children and war prevention.
Jury duty for women became a priority
In gaining the vote we achieved some majority.
Our numbers grew strong, our efforts courageous
We made an impact, but we weren't outrageous.
Our membership numbers fell off in The Depression
But we forged ahead with impressive aggression --
Education and tax reform we pushed for increasingly
and worked for voter registration unceasingly.
We lobbied on labor issues and decried corruption
Studied sanitation and water issues without interruption.
During the forties an essential role was given
To women in the work-force, while our men were driven
To war, -- following which the League gained sensation
Endorsing foreign aid, The Marshall Plan and the United Nations.
For better schools in our state and child labor laws we fought
And advances in election procedures we sought.
In the fifties Constitutional issues became the rage
Civil liberties and equal opportunity took center stage.
Environmental protection received our attention
And being anti-McCarthy sure deserves mention!
Welfare of women & kids we remained intrigued in.
And integration was a goal that we all believed in.
In the sixties while League membership reached a new high
Assassinations and the Vietnam War made us all cry.
In a tumultuous decade we found satisfaction
By moving ahead, concentrating on action.
We continued the struggle for equal opportunity;
In housing and jobs we sought for some unity.
For the rest of the decade our voices were strong
Urging ERA passage, for which we all longed.
It wasn't to be, but we fought the good fight.
We studied day-care and workfare with all our might.
We strove to achieve an end to pollution -
For air and water problems we demanded solution.
In the eighties with vigilance we continued to patrol
Efforts for welfare reform and tough arms control.
Reproductive rights were studied with some contention,
But our stand was important and needed attention.
The gender gap phenomena convinced politicians
That women's voting patterns negate standard tradition.
In the nineties many issues commanded our zeal --
For sensible welfare reform we made an appeal.
For campaign finance reform we continued to labor.
And WOW! Did we worry about that ozone layer.
Children-at-risk and diversity were great concern
And to the issue of gun control we did return.
So you see we've been busy and can toot our own horn
About the League's progress ever since it was born.
We need more woman power and sincerely implore you
To sign up (and get a friend) and join us before we do bore you.
To help swell our numbers would certainly please us.
You'll realize in no time what a good cause the League is.
You'll be the winner because you won't shirk
Doing your share to make government work!