2012 was a great year for the League of Women Voters in so many ways not the least of which was the huge success that so many Leagues had in growing their membership. LWVUS wanted to find out what Leagues have been doing to create this success, and we asked them to share some of the ideas and activities that are leading to such great growth. Our second League highlight is the LWV of Duluth, Minnesota.
Gay Trachsel, Co-President of the Duluth League in Minnesota, explains that the LWV of Duluth has grown fairly consistently for the last several years. In 2012 specifically, Gay says that increased League visibility was the real key to their success. LWV of Duluth has worked to create a strong online presence that the public can easily use to find out about League activities. “Our website and Facebook page have brought a lot of new members,” Trachsel says. Prospective members “have a place to find out more information and we have a membership brochure right there available for them to send in.”
LWV of Duluth also made a point of getting media coverage for AT LEAST one event per month. The League took a leading role in defeating a proposed amendment to require voter ID which garnered them lots of media attention. Also, League members spoke at a variety of events. “We spoke at town halls, schools, AARP groups, colleges and several organizations’ monthly meetings” explains Trachsel. LWV of Duluth also worked with many other local organizations. “We asked other organizations to table at our events, and we tabled at theirs. This brought a lot of interest as to what we are all about.”
All of the many League events helped increase League visibility in Duluth. In the fall, the LWV of Duluth had a Meet and Greet for new League members where they were able to learn the ins and outs of the League. Members were encouraged to bring friends. The latest LWV of Duluth endeavor was their “Equali-Tea,” an event that was open to the public. “The chair followed the checklist of the MLD and we had exceptional local media coverage,” Trachsel tells us.
The work of LWV of Duluth’s excellent membership chair was also important. “We have one of the best membership chairs anyone could ask for. She believes in LWV and carries her membership brochures in her purse and car so she can catch anyone who might show any interest,” gushes Trachsel.
A dedicated membership, a strong connection to their community and a consistent presence in traditional media and online were the keys to the success of LWV of Duluth. Congratulations to the LWV of Duluth!
Want to grow your League like the LWV of Duluth? Through the MLD program, the League is becoming more effective and more powerful in communities throughout the nation. The MLD program is funded by the Fund for Local League Growth.