Here is the key question: how can a trade association or business organization demonstrate its value to its members? We assist our association clients meet this challenge with a concentrated focus on one function, one service, and one strength: leveraging the asset of your members to benefit your organization. We call this member advocacy. Quite simply, it permits you to effectively use the efforts of your volunteer members in achieving the policy goals of your organization.
In dealing with government, an association either wants to stop bad things from happening or to make good things happen. The traditional reliance on contract lobbyists, association staff and other professionals is proven and effective, but it ignores the resource that is in your membership. There is no more powerful advocate for your policy goals – not a lobbyist, not an association staffer, not a consultant – than one of your members who has established a personal relationship with a legislator or other public official who can affect the outcome of a proposed action. At Bryson F. Popham, P.A., we work with our clients to identify members who are willing to take this step. We assist these association members in forming and maintaining relationships with public officials and in delivering the message that we have helped to develop with our association clients.
It is surprising how few associations have effective member advocacy. Many claim to do so, and perhaps they even believe it. In fact, however, they have not created a rigorous, disciplined and sustained program for member advocacy. Instead, they simply provide members with the contact information for legislators and hope for the best. With our experience, our resources and an organized approach, we can help you convert member advocacy into a true member benefit.