Membership Matters — February 2014

There were some big opportunities to engage with current and prospective members around key AAUW issues in recent weeks. Can you guess what some of these opportunities were?

On January 28, 2014, President Barack Obama gave his State of the Union address. Did you hear the cheers for equal pay during the speech? We did! The State of the Union was a chance to engage members and nonmembers on the issues important to AAUW with an element of fun. Did you play AAUW’s State of the Union Bingo with us? Many did, and the first three people who got bingo and posted a picture of their card on Twitter won prizes. Our game was even mentioned in the Huffington Post!

We celebrated the fifth anniversary of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act with a national office event and numerous state and branch events. Lilly came to some of our D.C. events and met with lawmakers other activists, bringing much visibility to AAUW. Here she is in the Washington Post. AAUW of New Jersey President Sally Anne Goodson recognized the anniversary’s opportunity and published a letter to the editor on the Paycheck Fairness Act.

And then there was the Super Bowl and its commercials. The puppy and horse commercial was cute, but the GoldieBlox ad for STEM toys for girls was inspiring! Don’t forget that AAUW featured GoldieBlox in our holiday gift guide for girls — a blog post that garnered considerable publicity. Our gift list received more than 31,000 views in a two-month period—and almost 11,300 people viewed it thanks to a mention of the guide in the New York Times.

These three examples show how to take a current event and turn it into an engagement occasion for your members and a recruitment opportunity for future members. Play a game such as bingo during a major television event with your members. Encourage them to write letters to the editors of their local and state papers. Direct anyone who needs to buy a young girl a gift to GoldieBlox. Don’t forget to also send the New York Times story, which mentions GoldieBlox and AAUW! All these potential activities will attract a diverse audience, and each activity is an opportunity to start a dialogue and to build relationships with current and potential AAUW members.

It’s all about ideas! If you have any great examples to share, let us know.

Krys Wulff
Membership Committee Chair
Christy Jones, CAE
Vice President, Member and Branch Relations
Proud member of AAUW

News You Can Use

Membership Payment Program Updates — New Members Can Join Directly Online
Since the January 29 release of the new join application for branch members on the Membership Payment Program (MPP), six new members found and joined the AAUW branches that participate in the MPP! Many of these branches get their websites through AAUW’s Site Resources.

January and February Deadlines and Membership Discounts
Each year, branches can recruit new members through the special half-year dues campaign. Please review the chart below as a reminder of how and when to use the discounts for national memberships. It’s easy, and the half-year dues are a great recruitment tool!

Branch Members Full‑Year Dues
Mar. 16–Dec. 31
Half‑Year Dues
Jan. 1–Mar. 15
Shape the Future Campaign Give a Grad a Gift Campaign
Annual Branch Member $49 $24.50 $24.50 (3/16–12/31)
$12.25 (1/1–3/15)
$0
Student Affiliates $17 $8.50 $8.50 (3/16–12/31)
$4.25 (1/1–3/15)
n/a
College/University Partner Member
(*new members only)
*$125 n/a n/a n/a
Graduate Student
(*new members only)
*$18.81 n/a n/a n/a

Membership Dues Collection for FY15 Begins March 16
All membership dues forms, including the Member Services Database (MSD) and the Membership Payment Program (MPP), will change in preparation for fiscal year 2015. AAUW national dues remain $49 for the new fiscal year. Branch and state participants in the MPP should review the opt-in menu option within the MSD and report any rate changes to eonline-help@aauw.org so that those changes can be made now. In the subject line of your message, please write “MPP dues rate change for FY15.”

February 1 Membership Count Report Timeline
Many thanks for all your efforts to review your branch member rosters and to respond by the end of January. All memberships received and processed by January 31 will be counted, along with any justified changes. The report is scheduled to be e-mailed to state and branch presidents, membership vice presidents, and finance officers on March 4, 2014.

Branch Tips

Mission-Based Programs Equal Community Outreach, which Equals New Members!
We all know that great mission-based programs bring new members to the fold and keep current members energized. Let your branch program chair know that leadership essentials for AAUW branch programming are now available for them. Branch program chairs are also encouraged to send any questions and success stories to program@aauw.org.

Equal Pay Day Is a Great Recruitment Tool
Equal Pay Day is the symbolic day when women’s pay catches up to men’s from the year before. This year’s Equal Pay Day, April 8, will be especially important because it falls between January 29, 2014, the fifth anniversary of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, and July 2, 2014, the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act. But Equal Pay Day is not just about educating the community and mobilizing around the issue, it is also a great recruitment tool because it demonstrates the power of AAUW to change things — and that potential members can become a part of this change by joining AAUW.

Welcome, Gulf Coast Branch!
We are delighted to welcome the AAUW Gulf Coast (MS) Branch and to celebrate Jennifer Crosslin, who started the branch. Welcome!

AAUW Thanks YOU!
The AAUW national office has reserved the final week of March to share a THANK YOU to all our members and volunteers. Every staff member is on board with this organization-wide effort to shower all of you with the appreciation and gratitude you deserve for all that you do. Keep your eyes open for a few surprises. We couldn’t do it without you!

Additions for Your State or Branch Newsletter

This year each issue of Membership Matters will include an article for you to electronically cut and paste into your own newsletter. As always, the information you include in your newsletter is up to you, but this section is meant to highlight our monthly theme in a concise way for you to send directly to your communications officers and to engage members and officers in recruitment and retention efforts. This month’s article focuses on how your branch can participate in the ¡Adelante! Book of the Month Club.

Article

Recruit New Members and Discuss Social Justice Issues with the ¡Adelante! Book of the Month Club
AAUW members share a love of reading, and this love, partnered with a desire to seek out books written from diverse perspectives, launched AAUW’s ¡Adelante! Book of the Month Club in 1996. Since then, AAUW members have enjoyed exploring new ideas and perspectives through monthly discussions, both in person and virtually. ¡Adelante! groups meet in book stores, libraries, and other public venues, and also meet online, gathering both members and nonmembers to discuss issues of social justice based on the month’s book selection. This is a great way to recruit new members interested in diverse issues.

Do you have a great book you would like to suggest for the 2014–15 ¡Adelante! Book of the Month Club? Share your recommendation online by May 15, 2014. If your book is selected, you and your branch will be recognized and sent a special gift.

Connect2AAUW is your staff resource to answer questions, assist you with membership recordkeeping, and/or help you connect with the right person within AAUW. Contact us at 800.326.2289 Monday through Friday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Eastern, or e-mail connect@aauw.org.

Read past issues of AAUW Membership Matters