Phase 2: Building Relationships

Objective: Get to know club members and invite them to be more involved. 

2.1 Learn About Your Club Members

Use your club database - Your searchable NationBuilder database provides an incredibly powerful tool for getting to know your club and building relationships within it. Specifically, the filter tool (the funnel-shaped icon under the “PEOPLE” tab of your control panel) allows you to combine multiple search criteria to identify your club’s most and least engaged members. For example, you might filter to find everyone who has never registered for an event, who is emailable, and who lives in a particular zip code. Or you might filter to find everyone who has registered for an event but has never volunteered before (eg. doesn’t have the “volunteer” tag on their profile). The whole point is use these filters to develop a better idea of who’s involved, who’s not, and tailor your outreach strategy accordingly. Here are some best practices:

  • Create saved filters - By saving filters, you can always return to them later (or even create a bookmark in your browser) to get up-to-date information on your club. Think about what filters you might save to quickly pull up your club’s most and least engaged members.
  • Map your club - Ever wonder where your club members are clustered? Use the mapping feature to visualize your club and organize events in key locations likely to draw a crowd.
  • Find your influencers - Say that you’re preparing for the biggest event of the year and you need help to generate publicity. It often helps to know who your club’s most active social media users are so you can ask them to help spread the word. You can sort your database or filtered results by “Klout” score or the number of Twitter followers the. Both are simple measures of influence and reach on social media.
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2.2 Invite Alumni to Get More Involved

Develop a “call to action” appropriate for each segment of your club - Let’s say that you’re able to use filters to identify three main groups of people within your club: (1) A small number of people who are your club’s clear champions, (2) a larger number of people who have engaged once or twice in the last year, and (3) an even larger number of people who have not engaged at all. To really build relationships with alumni at scale, you’ll need to tailor your outreach to each group. For example, for group 3, you might concentrate your efforts on an invitation to your club’s everpopular networking night. For group 2, people who already attend a handful of events, you might want to ask them to participate in a meeting to brainstorm new event ideas. For group 1, you might just want to send a simple “thank you!”

  • Send targeted email - Once you’ve decided how to engage each group of alumni, simply tailor your email communications to each group. With NationBuilder, you can select email recipients based upon a tag, saved filter, or saved list. You’ll find that targeted email almost always gets higher open/click and response rates than general emails. The reason is simple: the more you take the time to communicate with fellow alumni based on their level of engagement, the more likely they are to get involved. For example, event emails tailored to (1) alumni who have attended a recent event, versus (2) alumni who have never attended an event, can make a huge difference.
  • Make 1:1 invitations - The number one reason why people don’t get involved is they’re never asked. If you’re noticing that club events are attended by the same core group and you’re having a hard time reaching a particular demographic, use your database to identify key individuals for old-fashioned 1:1 outreach. Simply tell them that you would love to get them plugged in and ask them how they would like to be involved. You’ll be surprised by the results.
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