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How to Make Those Grassroots Grow.

In the past several issues, I have profiled the work of local chapters in your own communities. Hopefully, these articles have given you ideas of projects that work to promote the sanctity of life, educate the community, and raise funds to help finance your lifesaving work.

But from the newest to the most successful chapters, every one needs help attracting new members.

This month, I decided to take a break from profiling successful chapters in order to suggest projects that can help you welcome new members into the movement in your community.

It is local fair season across the country, so this is a great time to market your chapter and reintroduce yourselves to the community. Since people are gearing up for the end of summer and start of school, they are looking for places to commit their energies.

You want them to commit their energies to pro-life work, so don't miss the opportunity to greet interested people and enroll new members at local fairs and festivals.

The most effective way to enlist others in the cause is to be educated and to be yourself.

As you probably already know, petitions are a great way to identify pro-lifers and enlist their support in the cause.

Encourage them to sign the petition urging the Senate to pass the Unborn Victims of Violence Act. Full-color petitions may be ordered free of charge from National Right to Life, 419 7th St. NW, Suite 500, Washington, DC 20004.

Take the petitions to work, church, little league, and the grocery store and have them available at all of your booths. By signing the petition, people identify themselves as sympathetic to our cause.

This is your opportunity to tell them more about your chapter and the necessity of doing more to protect the unborn and the aged. Not only is this brief encounter a good educational opportunity, but now you have the contact information of local pro-lifers. Use the petitions to develop phone trees and encourage the signers to become active members of your chapter.

The National Right to Life Committee is also reintroducing the "3x5 Membership Drive" as a development campaign for local chapters and state affiliates. The project is fairly simple to operate and the rewards are great for everybody involved, so I encourage every chapter to use the program to recruit new members.

How does it work? Chapters usually charge an annual membership fee of $5 to help offset the costs of mailings and educational materials. Offer new members a deal! By joining your local chapter for $5, he/she can join your state affiliate for an additional $5 and National Right to Life for an additional $5 on top of that. For only $15, the new member receives membership to the leading local, state, and national right to life groups!

This program is cost effective for everyone. First, this gives new members a good idea of the type of organization you are and the lifesaving work that you do upfront, without a hefty cost.

In fact, this is a great savings! The new members get a subscription to NRL News, and the state's newsletter, and your chapter's newsletter along with the three memberships - - all for a dollar less than the NRL News annual subscription rate alone!

Second, it is a good selling point for your chapter which will help you get on your feet financially and develop a membership list.

Double-check with your state affiliate to ensure that they are participating in the program, and if not, revamp the sales pitch so that it includes your state affiliates' membership price. NRLC will still honor the $5 subscription rate.

The accounting is easy. Your chapter simply collects $15 from each new member. The treasurer then sends a list of the new members and a check covering $5 per name to your state affiliate and the list of names and a check covering $5 per name to National Right to Life News. Your chapter deposits your share into your chapter's bank account and uses the list of names to develop a mailing list.

It's that simple! For more information, call me at (202) 626-8800 ext. 108 or e-mail: nrlchapters@hotmail.com.

If three memberships for $15 are not incentive enough, line up a few local pro-life business owners to offer a discount to card-carrying members of your chapter. If you can get three or four businesses to offer the discount and make enrollment worthwhile, other businesses will come out of the woodwork to offer the savings as well. It will give that business free advertising and support proud pro-lifers.

The above programs are useful tools to attract new members, but the most effective way to enlist others in the cause is to be educated and be yourself. Remember that the pro-life movement is successful because it is a grassroots movement made up of people like you across the country.

Your neighbors, co-workers, fellow church members, and other soccer moms trust you because they know you. When you talk about the humanity of the unborn child, the pain of post-abortion syndrome, the failure of our government to protect its most vulnerable citizens, your claims are considered with added weight by your audience because you have credibility, because you are like them. So, invite your friends and acquaintances to events or to join the group.

Ultimately, it will be your compassion for the voiceless and your good character that turns your community members' reluctance to involve themselves in a controversial issue into enthusiasm for the cause of protecting life.>EN
COPYRIGHT 2001 National Right to Life Committee, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2001 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:attracting new members
Publication:National Right to Life News
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Aug 1, 2001
Words:924
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