So it took awhile before I could actually talk about it, but now it's time to face reality and deal with facts. The fact about my experience in Cuyahoga County in Cleveland, in a nutshell, is that people did not come out to vote!
I was hired as a non-partisan monitor to make sure that all who had a right to vote, had the means to vote within the polling stations. This meant managing any identification, system, crowd management, materials issues that arose. Our morning started at 5:30am getting instructions from the head coordinator for the county. We had two main stations to support, and by 8:00am we were encouraged as there was definitely a morning rush to vote.
As we finished our work quickly, we were assigned to visit eight more polling locations to make sure each was ready for the after work rush. Once that 5pm bell rang, however, there was no rush. Unlike in the morning there were no lines out the door. No wait whatsoever. At first I told myself "it's the brief rain spell we had that was keeping folks away". The truth of the matter, however, is that we did not inspire enough people to make the effort to vote. Hopefully, we will learn well and fast from this detrimental error.
What does this have to do with my business and helping nonprofits excel?? Easy answer, how we message, connect and manage our constituents is more important than ever. We must develop clear messages that hit home with the people we are trying to reach. Get to the point as to why what we are saying is important to them as individuals along with what action we need them to take and by when. Getting this message right the first time is the key to having them as constituents (whether they be the people you serve, your donors, your volunteers or even your employees) for the long term. Part of why I started this business and why I love what I do is to help nonprofits do just that.
Let's talk about how we can make sure the folks you are trying to reach are not "no shows" when you need them most!