As the school year winds down, many of you will be graduating and moving on to bigger and better things. I applaud you and wish you nothing but the best in your future endeavors. That being said, I hope you will take the time to make sure your YAL chapter continues to flourish in your abscence. It is never too soon to start grooming future leaders for your chapter.
The following is a segment from our Guide to Build an Effective YAL Chapter.
Cultivating Sustained Leadership
Regardless of the effectiveness of your YAL chapter while you act as leader, if effective leadership is not sustained from year to year, the potential and momentum you created could be lost completely. Constantly seek out up-and-coming leaders within your chapter. From day one, you should search for someone you can groom to take over once you graduate. YAL strives to establish a beachhead on campuses throughout the country, and a sustained presence can only come to fruition if your chapter develops future leaders.
Show those with potential to lead the methods by which you manage your leadership position, and give them some responsibilities to practice with. You will easily recognize these members, as they will participate in many events and volunteer often.
Cultivating Sustainable Membership
There are several ways to make sure that members continue to come back to your meetings and events. Review the following sections to learn how.
Give Them a Title and Get Them Involved
Give members tasks to accomplish. Be very specific. Schedule a diverse range of activities in which they can participate: educational, activism-oriented, and social.
Consistently schedule meetings and be on time. Be organized and approachable. Be original and authentic. Avoid clichés and being “corny.”
Avoid being exclusive, cliquish, and single-issue oriented. Connect with and appeal to everyone. Present a broad but principled message of liberty. Although there are a number of very interesting topics that fall under the liberty banner, you will frustrate and turn people off who might be more broadly interested in the philosophy of liberty. It is very easy for a core group of leaders to become too singleissue oriented.
Avoid Aggressive Rhetoric and Conspiracy Theories
Although these issues main ignite your passion, remember your chapter’s main goals are to educate yourfellow students and expand your membership—appeal to mainstream, independent students. Tailor your message accordingly.
Create an Activist Community
Develop a community within your group—a place where people interact with each other on a personal level which extends beyond a shared philosophy. This can build an incredibly solid foundation for sustainability within your YAL chapter.
Documentation and Organization
If you plan to leave a legacy, as you should, leave your brain behind. Document everything you know, and leave those documents behind in an easily accessible location, specifically in your Google Docs account. Maintain an organized system to sort everything. This should include all copies of pictures, flyers, and calendar templates, as well as any ideas your chapter may have planned for the future. Make sure you introduce rising leaders within your chapter to all of the inner workings of the leadership structure during your last semester.
Download the entire Guide to Build an Effective YAL Chapter here!Published in