Buckeye Farm News: 2009 – A Year In Review
2009 was the first full year under the new structure of a year-round campaign, resulting in an all-time high membership of 235,064. The new structure was intended to allow volunteers to work at selling memberships as they have time.
OFBF also moved to an anniversary renewal date for membership, meaning new members now get a full year of membership regardless of when they join.
Building relationships is a key to the effectiveness of any organization, and membership volunteers approached the year in this manner. Many volunteers built relationships with affinity groups, which are businesses and organizations that have similar interests and philosophies as Farm Bureau. “It is important for us to make Farm Bureau relevant to new audiences,” said OFBF Senior Director of Membership Marketing Janet Cassidy. “Getting others to speak positive about Farm Bureau is what will allow us to continue to grow and do the work that has been set forth by our members.” Ohio Farm Bureau volunteers were able to sign several businesses and many of their employees as Farm Bureau members by simply building relationships. Cassidy also stated, “Sometimes the first visit to a business or other organization does not result in a membership right away, but later on the initial contact can prove to be very beneficial.”
Nationwide Insurance and Medical Mutual of Ohio were also very instrumental to the membership campaign. Executive Vice President Jack Fisher said, “Nationwide Insurance has a closely shared heritage with Ohio Farm Bureau, and its agents and management demonstrated an unprecedented effort to assure the success of the 2009 campaign. Medical Mutual, as a new partner, also put forth a tremendous commitment to helping us succeed.”