In an article posted yesterday by Associations Now’s Ernie Smith entitled MAXIMIZE YOUR ADVOCACY MESSAGING BY FOCUSING ON YOUR MEMBERS, The National Restaurant Association outlined how they put a strategy into action by tapping into its grassroots core.
“The answer for the restaurant association came down to grassroots advocacy: By engaging its network of restaurant workers around the country who could speak to their experiences on the ground, Whatley and his team were able to build an effective case to government leaders.”
When the COVID pandemic hit, most associations knew that their members were going to need help, but they didn’t know the best strategy for how to accomplish this. One theme that has been consistent throughout the associations that have successfully advocated for funds for their industry is the ability to collect good DATA.
The National Restaurant Association surveyed its membership to bring additional information to their campaigns, some of it dramatic. For example, 60 percent of restaurant owners said they may not be able to keep employees on the payroll, even with the federal assistance in the CARES Act. This data helped them to lobby for additional funds.
The American Public Gardens Association launched a survey collecting data on the COVID financial impact that showed that collectively their member institutions were possibly losing over $3M USD per day in earned revenue, which is about 63% of total revenue per year. The APGA was able to produce these powerful numbers using previous benchmarking data through the DB platform and their Covid survey.
The American Alliance of Museums in partnership with Dynamic Benchmarking, launched a survey that allowed them to demonstrate to elected officials that museums needed assistance to remain operating. They survey’s results showed that 56% had less than six months left to cover operations.
Association management teams should have validated data collection methods in place that can be quickly called on when the information is needed. If your association does not have good technology in place to collect and analyze timely data from your members, please contact us and we will be glad to help tailor a plan specifically for your needs. Waiting on the next crisis to put a plan in place will be too late to benefit your members.