The possibilities are endless for how you can conduct your Membership Drive. Follow these steps for success.
- Reach out to YAL’s Leadership Team for support: YAL’s Leadership Team is your number-one tool for success. Find a YAL leader near you who can help you execute your activism event. Your Regional Director and the State Chairs in your area are your best resource for learning how to organize an effective activism event. If either position has not yet been filled, learn more and apply to join the Leadership Team here.
- Apply for resources: YAL is offering FREE resources and recommendations to every participating YAL chapter:
To help grow your membership, YAL offers all active chapters valuable resources. YAL’s Membership Recruitment Kit is packed with materials, clip boards, sidewalk chalk, books, flyers, a political quiz and chart, and everything else you’ll need to draw students to your chapter. If you’re running low, you can always apply for more resources.
- Copies of our political quiz and mapping chart
- Philosophy of Liberty and Join YAL palm cards
- Custom YAL pocket Constitutions
- Books, like Bastiat’s The Law and Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom
- Magazines, like Reason, The Freeman, and The American Conservative
- Pamphlets like I, Pencil and Great Myths of the Great Depression
- DVD copy of For Liberty and I, Pencil
- Sidewalk chalk, sign-up sheets w/clipboards and custom YAL pens
- Buttons, stickers, bottle openers, and other swag for your members
- FIRE’s “Guide to Free Speech on Campus”
- Internship and job opportunities from pro-liberty organizations
- And much more! The box is packed!
3. Always recruit for liberty: With every activism event you do, you should recruit new members. Print out plenty of YAL sign-up sheets to sign up interested students. When your event is over, use the Member Upload Tool to upload all your new members’ information to your chapter page. Once you upload member information, each new member will get an email asking them to join your chapter.
4. Make your plans: Meet up with your chapter members and plan the dates and details for your activism event. Take some time to brainstorm and put your ideas on paper. After a productive meeting, you should walk away with a clear and executable plan with specific tasks assigned to your members.
Ask yourselves some basic questions: What do you want to do? Who is going to do what? When are you going to do it? How much preparation time is needed? When are you going to meet again to prepare?
Always keep in mind the three most important goals for any activism project:
- Recruit new members
- Educate your classmates
- Earn media attention
For each activism event, there are two major components:
- An on-campus tabling exercise, including visual display and/or interactive quiz, to recruit new members and promote your upcoming meeting/event.
- A large chapter meeting/event to educate all attendees and discuss the issue you are addressing. This could be a speaker, PowerPoint presentation, politician, professor, movie, and/or general discussion.
Connect with your chapter members
Hopefully, you have stayed in contact with your chapter members over break, but if not, it’s time to touch base with them again. Host a meeting or conference call before the school year starts to discuss your plans. You’ll need volunteers to help with your Membership Drive, so begin assigning tasks and confirming participation ASAP.
Also,upload all of your sign-up sheets to yaliberty.org/signup, and upload your members list here on the YAL site.
Create and download promotional materials
In addition to tabling, it’s important your chapter promotes its first informational meeting by saturating campus with flyers, posters, and chalked notices. Every little bit helps, and you will almost certainly have some people show up to your first meeting because they saw an eye-catching, engaging message written on the sidewalk in chalk or on a poster or bulletin board.
To make sure your promotional materials look professional, check out YAL’s branding page . It has all the graphics, fonts, and colors you’ll need to create your own materials.
Download YAL’s handbook for chapter leaders, “Winning on Principle” to access all the information that an ambitious YAL chapter needs to know in order to grow.
Grow your chapter membership
The most important goal for your Membership Drive is to sign up new recruits. Simply put, it’s a numbers game. How many new recruits can you sign up to join your chapter? You will receive sign-up sheets and a clipboard in your Activism Kit. If you’re running low on sign-up sheets, download more here.
Reserve a high-traffic area to table on campus once you have picked your dates for execution. As a recognized student organization, it should be as simple as contacting your student affairs office and jumping through the necessary hoops to receive permission to table.
If your YAL chapter is not yet officially recognized by your university and it won’t let you reserve tabling space, don’t fear. Get creative, and always remember that the table doesn’t get recruits: you do.
If your campus gives you any trouble and tries to relegate your activism to a “free speech zone,” please contact us so we can help you defeat these unconstitutional regulations.
Reserve a classroom and the necessary video equipment, so you can host a film screening of a video. Predict how many students you think will attend the film screening, and reserve a room to accommodate.
Pro tip: Always reserve rooms that are only big enough to accommodate 75% of the amount of people you expect to show up. It is better for everyone to think that your event ended up having standing room only when you host it in a smaller room rather than think that hardly anyone showed up when you host it in a large auditorium.
We strongly suggest that you walk through the room before the event, so you understand how the equipment works and how to set up the room properly.
Now that you’ve finished preparing for your event, go to step two: Execution!