How do we involve community members and volunteers in a CAT campaign?
Every interaction that CAT organizers and team members have in their local community presents an opportunity to recruit new supporters. Community education and outreach efforts such as presentations to local high schools, church groups and businesses offer occasions for inviting audience members to join a new or existing CAT. Organizers can host movie and book club discussions to bring together people with common concerns to generate ideas for follow-up action. Tabling displays at county fairs, farmers' markets, ecology fairs and health education events can be used to sign up volunteers for a new CAT campaign.
Examples of Using Outreach to Recruit:
- Volunteers interested in starting a CAT form a group with friends and other volunteers who understand domestic violence. At least one or two members have prior organizing experience.
- Team members are invited to speak about domestic violence at a meeting of a local women's organization. When audience members ask for more information, the speaker invites them to come to the next CAT orientation or sign up on a mailing list.
- CAT members set up a booth at an open-air market and survey community members on what they can do to stop domestic violence. Each survey respondent is asked to invite a few friends to a house meeting to discuss the issue further.
Sharing information about the CAT's overall goals as well as specific campaign ideas helps stimulate interest and excitement among potential recruits. Informal talks with friends, family members, neighbors and co-workers about CAT activities can also inspire like-minded people to join a CAT.
This module includes Tips & Tools designed to help recruit new CAT members. A sample speaking presentation format, tactics for persuading friends and opponents to take your issue seriously, sample flyers for community events and tips for motivating volunteers are among the tools that can be used for bringing together a team of committed volunteer activists.