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Re-Energizing Your PAC and Grassroots Program
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Re-Energizing Your PAC and Grassroots Program

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Examine the key components for successful political action committees (PACs) and grassroots programs and how synergies from both can be utilized to maximize results. Discuss how these synergies will …

Examine the key components for successful political action committees (PACs) and grassroots programs and how synergies from both can be utilized to maximize results. Discuss how these synergies will advance your government relations program. Examine proven approaches when facing PAC fatigue, how to get your organization out of a PAC rut, how to deal with competing PACs, and how to make your PAC and grassroot programs standout from the competition.

Amy Mignogna, senior manager of government affairs, Ohio Society of CPAs

Paul Williams, CAE, senior director of government relations, Assisted Living Federation of America

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  • 1. Re-energizing Your PAC & Grassroots Program August 18, 2009 12:45pm-2:00pm Content Leaders: Amy Mignogna CAE, Senior Manager of Government Relations, Ohio Society of CPAs Paul J. Williams CAE, Senior Director of Government Relations, Assisted Living Federation of America Connecting Great Ideas and Great People www.asaecenter.org
  • 2. Interviews
    • American Hospital Association
    • International Franchise Association
    • Independent Electrical Contractors Association
  • 3. Critical Components for Successful Grassroots Efforts
    • Timely Communications
    • Effective Website
    • High Member Response Rate
  • 4. Most Difficult Grassroots Program Component to Develop
    • Controlling Member Communications (Flood of Information)
    • Member Engagement with Elected Officials Via Grassroots Program
    • Message Calibration
  • 5. How Do You Measure Success for Your Grassroots Program?
    • Did you Win or Lose The Issue?
    • Member Response to Grassroots Requests
    • Member Evaluation of Grassroots Requests/Communications
    • Visits to Website if Applicable
  • 6. Reporting of Grassroots Activities
    • Government Relations/Advocacy Newsletters
    • Association Annual Reports
    • Board of Directors Reports
    • Monthly Updates to Board/Volunteer Leadership
    • Weekly Twitter Feed Highlights
  • 7. Recognition of Grassroots Volunteers
    • Grassroots Champion Breakfast/Luncheon at Annual Conference
    • Guest Speaker/Leadership Participation as Part of Recognition Event
    • Listing in Association Publication
    • Co-Recognition with State Affiliate Organizations
  • 8. Biggest Challenges for Grassroots Programs
    • Keeping Members Informed and Meeting Expectations (Bill Summary)
    • Motivating Members to Respond to Grassroots Requests (Letters, Meetings with Legislators, Phone Calls)
    • Keeping Members on Message
  • 9. Biggest Challenges for Grassroots Programs
    • Ramping Up Dormant Grassroots Program
    • Reinvigorating Chapter Relationships to Increase Member Participation
    • How To Cultivate Participation With Diverse Membership
    • Message Alignment and Subsequent Action for Diverse Membership
  • 10. How Do You Avoid Volunteer Burnout in Grassroots Activities
    • Emphasize Consequences of Being Dis-Engaged
    • Recognizing Members Daily Challenges and Adapting Strategies to Accommodate These Challenges
    • Monitor Number of “Alerts” and Action Requests, Integrate Communications
    • Drive Members to Website Platform
  • 11. What Do You Do Differently Now in Your Grassroots Program vs a Few Years Ago
      • Eliminated Overnight Mail Alerts
      • Eliminate Blast Faxes
      • Don’t Jump On Every Application of New Technology (Blogs, Twitter)
      • Driving More Grassroots Activities to Website Portals
      • Customized E-Mail, Facebook, Twitter
  • 12. Good Tips For Developing Effective PACS
    • Leadership Buy-In and Participation
    • Participatory Fundraising vs Event-Based Fundraising
    • Develop an Effective Elevator Pitch of Why Contributing to the PAC is Important
    • Communicate Your Organization’s “Giving Strategy”, Criteria for Expenditures, Decision Making Process
    • Integrate PAC with Advocacy Activities
  • 13. How Do Define Success for Your PAC
    • Achieving Fundraising Targets
    • Making Effective Strategic Investments in Candidates Whether or Not They Win or Lose (contrast with many corporate pacs philosophy of equal giving)
    • % of Supported Candidates Who Won
  • 14. Key Indicators for PAC Effectiveness
    • Total Contributions
    • Overall Proportion of Members Who Contribute to the PAC
    • Number of New Donors
    • Average Amount of Donation
    • Political Education (Legislators Knowing What Your Members Do)
  • 15. Reporting of PAC Activities
    • Monthly Membership Newsletters (Contribution Information)
    • Government Relations, Grassroots Advocacy Newsletters (Semi-Annual Message to Membership of why PAC is Important)
    • Detailed Information to Board of Directors at least Once A Year
  • 16. Recognizing PAC Contributors
    • Thank You Reception at Annual Conference (Exclusive to Contributors, Guest Speakers, Political Pundits*, Recognition in Association Publications)
    • Special Name Badges at Annual Conference Denoting PAC Contributor
    • Pins (entry level, max level)
    • Recognize State Affiliates Who Meet Goals
  • 17. Challenges Faced By PACS
    • Participation in Bad Economy (Monthly Credit Card Contributions)
    • Legal Compliance e.g. FEC violations, silent auctions, event based fundraising rules (Recognition Based Fundraising)
    • Never Ending Fundraising Cycle (No When To Lay Off A Bit and Time Your Contribution Messages)
  • 18. Addressing PAC Fatigue
    • Letter from PAC Chairman and Chief Volunteer Officer (Beginning of the Year)To Past Year Contributors With Fresh Call to Action for Contributions for New Year
    • Continue Efforts to Grow Donor Base
    • Utilize Leadership and Peer to Peer Influence
  • 19. Dealing with Competitor PACs
    • Message to PAC Members and Membership Should Talk About How Your Organization and PAC is Laser Focused On Their Interests
    • Run The Best PAC You Can, Demonstrate Value, Have a Good Elevator Pitch
    • Consider Soliciting to Shared Members Who Participate in a Governance Capacity With Your Association
  • 20. Do You Do Anything Different Now In Developing Your PAC Than In The Past
    • Established Recognition Program
    • Involve PAC Champions In Assisting with Potential Soliciations (Prior Authorization)
    • Establishing PAC Retention Metrics
    • Customer Behavior Analysis Applied to PAC (Find Out Why Customers Come Back)
  • 21. Grassroots and PACS
    • All Should Work Together for Maximum Results (PAC Contributors Should Participate in Grassroots Activities and Grassroots Advocates Should Be PAC Contributors)
    • More Consolidation of Functions Between Association PAC & Grassroots Advocacy Staff (Less of a Silo Mentality)