Just like a jigsaw puzzle, there will be a clear and defined picture once all the pieces are placed together. Its a jumble until then but the effort makes it worth it. How do we go from a jumble to completion?
Step 1 - "PAC Trustee 'buy in.'" In order for you to begin you have to recruit your current PAC trustees. Peer to Peer starts with them and will end with them if they are not part of the process from the beginning. Your PAC Chair will need to dedicate time at a trustee meeting to go over the material in the series of presentations to see what will work and what may not work.
Note: If the size of your PAC board of trustees is small, maybe non existent, recruit your HBA board of directors. After all, the primary focus of the HBA is advocacy.
Step 2 - "Engage the members." Once the trustees are on board with the material, each trustee needs to be assigned small groups of members, no more than 10 at a time. The members should be invited by the HBA president and PAC chair through personal invitations to the selected members.
Step 3 - "100% saturation." Continue until entire membership has been contacted. This process should continue until all your members have been invited. If you have members who didn't attend after the first attempt, phone calls need to be made and have them say to you personally they can or can not participate.
Step 4 - "Direct members." While 100% of your membership is admirable as a goal your actual target should be 100% of your builder members and 100% of the directly impacted associates, such as suppliers, trade contractors and service providers who have the vast majority of the business derived by the success of homes being built (home owner warranty companies and title companies as examples).
Step 5 - "Continuing education." Demonstrate to your investors your advocacy successes and highlight the approaching threats, keep them aware at all times. Out of sight out of mind. Quarterly PAC newsletters or emails detailing their "return on investment" will make your job easier at retaining them as regular PAC investors.
Step 6 - "Start 'em young." New members should have PAC orientation as part of becoming a new member. Added benefit; this also shows the new member the purpose of the HBA from the beginning.
Putting all the jumbled pieces together will ultimately bring the mythical puzzle of PAC investment to the forefront and build stronger, more engaged components to the political synergy I wrote about in part 2 of this series.
There are some who will "think they know it all." If they do why aren't they as successful as they could be with raising political awareness along with raising dollars? How many trustees can point to the members they brought in to PAC originally and can say that those same members come back year after year because of what they were taught?
The Peer to Peer Fundraising techniques will one day, if it becomes and remains successful for you, replace events to raise those dollars. Those events can enjoy the net profits being utilized for HBA operating. But until that day happens you will probably still need PAC fundraisers. Sometimes they'll need to be educational, most times for the enjoyment of the members. Just remember to keep the FUN in FUNdraising when you plan. We all could use some fun these days.
NOTE: This article is based on a section from The NAHB Associates presentation "Peer to Peer Fundraising."This type of fundraising will work on all of your HBA events or fundraising initiatives you may have; you just have the supply the core reason for the fundraiser and demonstrate a value to the potential investor.