“Take anybody, anytime” is how Ohio Farm Bureau Director of Member Programming Scott Donaldson describes one of OFBF’s new approaches for its membership campaign.
“(2008) was the first almost full year membership campaign, and we opened up all the stops. We thought beyond the box on ways to market Farm Bureau membership – ways that we had never thought of before,” Donaldson said.
Last summer Ohio Farm Bureau reached gain for its 41st consecutive year under the new full-year membership campaign approach. Donaldson said the new campaign style is easier for Farm Bureau volunteers because it allows them to work on selling memberships as they have time.
“Instead of just asking volunteers to sell memberships for a month or two in the winter, we’re asking them to keep membership on their minds all year in the course of their regular activities, meetings with clubs and their neighbors. This is a more volunteer friendly method,” he said.
Donaldson said membership boundaries opened up because volunteers started selling memberships at events they attended even though they weren’t within their county.
OFBF staff and county volunteers spent a lot of time reaching out to affinity groups to stress the importance of having a Farm Bureau membership, said Janet Cassidy, director of membership marketing.
“We contacted a lot of new groups last year, probably 40. We hadn’t really reached out to so many groups before in such a collective way,” she said.
Those groups included local cattlemen, beekeepers, FFA graduates, hunters, restaurateurs, county Soil and Water Conservation Districts, fair boards and county Extensions.