It is often said that one of League’s greatest assets is its reputation. One of the most critical ways that we build our reputation among members of the community is by being visible. That leads to two important questions:
- How can we let our communities know who we are and what we do?
- How do we make sure the League is highly visible?
It is understood that many League calendars include fewer public events during the summer months. Between changes in leadership, planning of board retreats, vacations and family commitments, Leagues tend to be less focused on their communities during the summer months. But, opportunities abound for making connections with our community. So, what are the smallest things that your League can change to make a bigger impact this summer?
Below you’ll find some open-ended questions -- along with some suggestions based on what local Leagues have successfully done in the past to increase visibility -- to help guide a discussion with your Board about how to build our reputation this summer.
- What does your League usually do during the summer?
- What “regular” events, such as farmers markets or concerts on the town green, or a one-time event such as a festival or town day, can the League capitalize on? Check the community calendar section of the newspaper and local government websites for summer events.
- What opportunities are there to talk about the League? You can make “the ask” in the most casual setting! One Leaguer put membership brochures in her beach bag to have ready when she met people at the beach. What about a 4th of July BBQ? A family reunion? How can you tool individuals to be ready to talk about the League -- be membership ambassadors?
- What events/activities can be planned to help “Power the Vote” this fall for state or local elections? What are the opportunities to do voter registration or talk about changes in election laws?
One of the easiest ways to get in the public eye (and mind!), without lots of effort, is to put out a press release around an important day or event. Remember to tie in your message to important work your League members have done and continue to do and make a statement about why the League is an asset to the community. Of course, always include information about joining the League! Check out the Leaders’ Update throughout the summer for press templates from LWVUS that you can customize related to some of these important dates.
Which of the following dates could you focus on? What would that focus look like? Who can assist with this?
- Your League’s annual meeting/LWV State Convention
- June 23: Enactment of Title IX
- July 4: Independence Day/ Enactment of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)
- July 19-20: Anniversary of the Seneca Falls Convention
- August 26: Women’s Equality Day
- September 17: Constitution Day
- September 24: National Voter Registration Day
- September/ October/ November: Voter information updates (e.g., voter registration deadlines)
Engage New League Leaders!
Don’t forget that this is the time of year for leadership changes. The summer is a great time to engage and focus new officers and board members on membership and leadership development. Who else can assist with the planning and execution? What new ideas, talents and assets do they bring to the League? How can we engage them?
The Membership & Leadership Development (MLD) Program is successfully helping Leagues grow their membership and develop new leaders. The organization’s membership is growing! Visit the MLD section of www.lwv.org or contact your state League.
The MLD program is funded by the Fund for Local League growth (FLLG), which is supported by League donors. It is a designated fund with the sole purpose of supporting this program’s work for local and state Leagues to ensure the organization’s success and sustainability.