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Represent.Us Action Hub

Sustaining Your Chapter

At this point, you've had your chapter kickoff meeting and are now an official RepresentUs chapter! Make sure you follow up with your Intake Organizer about getting your chapter listed on the RepresentUs chapters webpage and map so people can find and sign up to join your chapter.

Now is the crucial time to keep the momentum going in your community and start taking action. Sustaining a chapter is important so here are a few tips for keeping your chapter headed in the right direction.

1) Keep meetings and actions regular

Once a month - chapters should have at least one meeting and once action. They can be the same date and time, as long as you come together.

Meetings:

You can check out our facilitating a Chapter Meeting one-pager for some handy tips on a successful chapter meeting. There are many ways to run a meeting, but it’s important that your meeting is effective to furthering your chapter’s goals.

Make sure to keep your meetings:

Productive: You only have a limited amount of time, so use it to keep everyone focused and working through the agenda. Don’t be afraid to name if a conversation is going down a ‘rabbit hole’ & refocus the group.

Engaging: Have signup sheets to welcome members. Throughout the meeting, engage everyone with introductions and a practice round of talking points. Once the meeting ends, give meaningful, timely tasks.

Inspiring: Give everyone an introduction to Represent.Us, the Anti-Corruption Act, and the goals of your chapter to boost motivation. Allow for flexibility and input from members about team goals and accomplishments. Always be sure to tie everything back to how your chapter will enrich the local community!

Nonpartisan: To pass meaningful reform, you’ll need to engage community members of all political backgrounds. At the beginning of the meeting remind members to focus on Anti-Corruption reform, not other issues, and immediately intervene if divisive or dismissive language is used.

Accessible - In the beginning some leaders hold meetings in their homes, but as your group grows, consider using spaces like library meeting rooms, coffee shops with private rooms, or local community or faith centers.

Actions:

it is important to have a culture of action within your chapter. Meeting is important, but actions are crucial.

Calling out Corruption Phonebanking: One of the easiest actions to set up is a phonebanking event with our Calling out Corruption program. We are always looking for volunteers to help us call into key anti-corruption areas for voter outreach, education and volunteer recruitment. 

You can jump on our Discord Channel here to connect directly with an Organizer, and get started! 

If you would like to set up your own phonebank the first thing to do is send a set-up request to HQ through this form.

Use this checklist to help you plan out the event and secure a venue for your phonebank. If you have any questions along the way, reach out to us on Discord and we will be happy to walk you through the process! 

2) Give some TLC to your members

Encouraging/Maintaining Involvement

One thing to consider when operating your chapter is the importance of facilitating dialogue with your individual members. Showing an interest in them helps them feel as though they have an important role in your chapter and that they make a difference. Sometimes, it’s good to pull aside a member for a “one-on-one meeting” and engage them directly.

Check out this helpful one-pager on one-on-one meetings.

Retaining volunteers is a key part of managing a chapter. It’s really important to incentivize your members to stay involved, stay active, and stay interested in what your chapter is doing - and a lot of that comes from making them feel as though their input is valued, their work matters, and their voice is being listened to.

Follow Up and Follow Up Often

Make sure to find a way to collect an easy means of contact for your volunteers. Whether this is creating a private facebook group, an email mailing list, or something similar - find a way to follow up with them. This goes double for new volunteers.

Staying in close contact with your chapter members about upcoming meetings, events, and projects will make them feel tuned in to what you’re planning.

If you have first-timers attend a meeting, make sure you reach out to them afterwards and thank them for their attendance. Gestures likes this make them want to continue to come to meetings, speak to you, and feel like they’re being welcomed onto an inviting team.

Acknowledge Accomplishments and Hard Work

Admittedly, this is a lot of hard work that comes with the occasional long hours, frustration, and obstacles - which is why victories should be acknowledged and celebrated.

Take time amongst your chapter to celebrate accomplishments, be it as a whole or individually. Giving praise and showing appreciation to your chapter members will ensure that they know you value their contributions. It also helps remind people that the work you’re doing has tangible results, and that you’re accomplishing things in real time.

Team photos are always a great way to get your team excited and show off the cool work you do. Check out this Volunteer Photo Guide for some inspiration!

3) Begin reaching out to partners

RepresentUs is a part of a movement. We are stronger when we work together with other groups and organizations the anti-corruption field. A great way to build membership, and sustainability is to build or become a part of a coalition. 

A coalition is best understood as a group of individuals/organizations that share resources to reach a common goal, such as adopting or creating policy, influencing behavior, and building community.

Benefits to coalitions include:

  • More access to resources like a greater membership list, more financial and political connections, and more access to materials
  • Greater political power when working with partners or elected officials
  • More communities will be a part of your reform-oriented discussions
  • Increased ability to create and execute programs

To start, take a look at the movement map to identify any active campaigns in your area. Reach out to their contacts and see if you can set up a meeting on how your groups can work together. 

Check out these one-pages on building a coalition and coalition meeting tips.

4) Maintain a presence on social media/email lists

It goes without saying that social media can be an immensely effective tool for marketing and promoting events and causes. Like any tool, there’s ways to use it so that you can get the biggest audience possible for what you’re posting. Each platform has some specific tips, tricks, and tools available to achieve this. There’s also several applications and resources out there to help you better schedule and manage your time across these platforms.

You don’t have to be a social media marketing guru to effectively promote and market your chapter across your social media accounts. If you have a Facebook account, you already have the resources available to you to promote events, create buzz, and create a searchable page for your chapter.

Additionally, don’t underestimate the effectiveness of networks like Instagram, Snapchat, even old favorites like Twitter to cultivate your marketing.

While you may or may not have the budget to do expansive paid advertising on these platforms, there are still ways you can maximize reach, and engagement through applying some good practices.

Best Practices

For each social media platform, there are several “best practices” that posting content. These include when to post things, the right kind of images to use to promote, capitalizing on hashtags, and how to best voice yourself across these platforms.  

Be Mindful of When You Post

Mentionlytics has broken down the best times to post content on different social media platforms in 2018. Paying attention to these times is important, because capitalizing on optimal social media times means more people will see your content and respond to it.

Video Is King

It’s 2018, and video content rules all. Most services now prioritize video content over anything else, so being able to post video is your key to getting a lot of eyes on what you’re putting out there. This can be as simple as broadcasting live on Facebook from your petition drive, event, or meeting - or crafting a cool promo video for your next event.

Community Engagement

If people interact with your social media content, it’s really important to facilitate good communication between your chapter and them. Whether it’s responding to a comment or getting back to someone in a timely manner over direct message, interaction with users will help make your chapter seem inviting and human - and will increase the likelihood of people wanting to volunteer, engage and join your team.

Email Templates

While social media is a prime communication tool, email can also be a great way to keep recruit members, and keep your chapter up-to-date. Check out the following email templates below:

 

5) Keep in touch with HQ

It is important that RepresentUs HQ is up-to-date on what your chapter is up to. Make sure to keep in touch with in the following ways:

Establish regular check-in calls with your Organizer

Work with your Organizer at HQ to set up at least one call a month to check in with your chapter. This only needs to be one person (facilitator) to check in. You can give us your updates. we will give you updated from HQ and strategize/troubleshoot any work your chapter is doing. 

Leaders calls

The second Wednesday of every month is our Monthly Leader's Call! This is a conference call with HQ and all of the chapter leaders from around the country. This call serves as a place to give updates, ask questions, and coordinate with other chapters nationwide. 

Actions Reports

At the end of each month, assign a chapter member to fill out your monthly chapter action report. Completing these  action reports is incredibly important because it allows Represent.Us to accurately measure the impact of our chapters nationwide. We love to hear what our chapters are up to so we continue to show off the amazing work you do!

Head back to the Volunteer Resource Tab

 
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