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  • Setting Goals for Expanding Your Conservative Group

    4/4/2013 11:57:23 AM Posted by Adam Tragone

    Campus Activism USD by Grant Strobl

    Once you've got your conservative chapter started and armed with all of the tools and activism tactics that Young America's Foundation provides, you should strive to expand your organization even further ­­- pushing for efficiency and effectiveness. Here are some goals that I set for my club to grow your Young Americans for Freedom chapter:

    Goals

    Speaking of which, set them high and achievable. Whether in recruitment or activism, goals are important to set because once a plan is constructed, it is easier and more likely to achieve them. My group takes the approach of monthly goals, so that we can reflect on the effectiveness of our projects at the end of each month.

    Committees

    Don't underestimate their power. Established groups should look to committees as a great way to utilize the talents and skills of each member while investing them in the process. My group has four committees­- Activism, Charity, Recruitment, and Public Relations- that actively engage each member and allow for members to become leaders. Starting out, any group will have its growing pains and members will be few, but don't let that get in the way of involving people in the process and building up to a larger and stronger organization.

    Connections

    You can't have enough. Strive to identify as many conservative students on campus as you can and stay connected with them, so that when the "troops" need to be mobilized, they are only a simple text message or email away. This can be achieved many ways: by petitioning students, tabling, Facebook/Twitter, and the overall presence of your YAF chapter on campus. An inviting and engaging chapter is more likely to attract new members and allow for greater connections. My group strives to balance the activism and social aspects of our group so that our activism attracts members as well as provides intellectual diversity on campus and our social value retains our members.

    Messaging

    Your message should be attractive and unifying. The conservative message is a very simple attractive message­­-freedom. Strive to create an activism force that won't engage in trivial internal battles, which has commonly hampered the conservative cause. Your organization should have a message that isn't, for example, just socially conservative or just libertarian. Have a message and pick issues that unify your members around conservatism in order to provide a true force on campus.

    It's also important to relate with your target audience and use culture to advance conservatism. My group has effectively used targeted messaging that ties in culture. For example, our "Respect All Women" poster series, which exposes the misogynist attacks against conservative women and our Black History Month poster series, which showcased conservative Black American leaders, have been quite successful. These are both examples of taking two months that are culturally mainstream and using them to advance conservative ideas.

    Stay Active

    Having a visible presence on campus is the golden rule. When your chapter is active, you are more likely to receive publicity, make and sustain connections, set higher goals, increase membership, create workable committees once your chapter is more active, and become the hub for conservatism, not only on campus, but also in your community.

    Because of our activism with projects offered by Young America's Foundation, such as inviting conservative speakers to your campus and school, the 9/11 Never Forget Project, Freedom Week, Respect ALL Women Month, Black Conservatives Month, we have been able to garner attention from students, student-run media, local media in our community, as well as national media. Because of this, membership has expanded significantly; we receive donations and support from community members and have valuable allies on the school board.

    I encourage you to entertain this advice and set these goals for your organization. Conservatives need to be on the frontlines­-out-organizing, out-competing, and out-numbering the Left and it all starts with you.

    Grant is a student at Grosse Pointe North High School and chairman of the school's Young Americans for Freedom chapter

     

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