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“Race to 100” – Six Week Report Card…

We’re six weeks into the “Race to 100” – the Alliance-sponsored grassroots campaign to secure 100 co-sponsors for HCR 19, the congressional resolution in support of fraternals – and the results are…mixed.


The good news is that even with less-than-hoped-for-participation by Alliance member societies, the “Race to 100” is generating new co-sponsors for the Resolution. Thanks to hundreds of emails – almost 600 in the past two weeks – sent by members, local chapter leaders, employees, and field representatives over the past two weeks, the Alliance’s advocacy team has been able to follow-up with legislators that have received more than 10 constituent contacts and encourage them to add their name to the list of co-sponsors. The result: Five House members have joined the fraternal crusade in the past week, bringing our total number of co-sponsors to 80 – within shouting distance of our 100 co-sponsor goal.

The bad news is that “less-than-hoped-for participation” bugaboo. To date, 1,839 individuals have sent emails to their U.S. Representatives through the “Race to 100” web site. For a system with more than 9 million members, that’s not exactly overwhelming.

The primary obstacles to broader participation from all segments of a member society’s population appear to be:

  • Logistical – Many fraternals simply don’t have email addresses for their most important audiences. And in an online campaign like this, embedding links to educational information and response mechanisms is what it’s all about. Publishing a notice in a magazine and expecting folks to go to their computers and send an email is simply not realistic. The answer: START COLLECTING EMAIL ADDRESSES FOR YOUR SOCIETY’S KEY AUDIENCES TODAY! The benefits of doing this will extend beyond grassroots campaign participation and allow you to become better community service activists and more effective marketers. We invite you to go to the Fraternal & Communications online community and share your email gathering successes and failures to get ideas on how to grow that important list.
  • Apathy – Some society leaders truly believe that their members don’t or won’t care about the fraternal tax exemption or participation in the democratic process. Or that because there is no overt threat to the fraternal tax exemption, there is no need to ask folks to contact legislators about the issue. That’s a dangerous philosophy that can result in your society and its members being terribly unprepared to contact lawmakers when a tax reform overhaul bill is being considered. Good teams practice. Educating your members on the fraternal tax exemption and the important responsibility they have to promote it is critical to our success today AND tomorrow.

But the really good news is that the individuals who are being asked by their societies to contact their legislators are relishing the opportunity to participate in the “Race to 100” campaign. Here are a few shout-outs to the stellar performers in the first six weeks of the initiative:

  • Sons of Norway – I know you’re probably sick of me singing their praises, but they have collected email addresses, they talk to their members about the tax exemption issue, and their members answered the bell. ‘Nuf said…
  • Catholic Ladies of Columbia – The small but mighty Ohio-domiciled society is punching well beyond its weight in this fight.
  • Hermann Sons and KJZT – Two Texas-domiciled members doing their best to rally their troops in the tradition of “Remember the Alamo!”
  • Woman’s Life and Gleaner – Broad-based participation from employees, local chapter leaders, and members from these two Michigan-domiciled societies is helping to secure many co-sponsors from the Great Lake State.
  • Modern Woodmen of America – Unprecedented agent participation allows the Alliance to generate contacts with legislators from across the country. Invaluable…
  • Degree of Honor and Catholic United Financial – Not to be outdone by their Norwegian neighbor, these two Minnesota-based societies have really picked up the pace in the last two weeks.
  • LCBA and KSKJ – Two more societies that have made the effort to collect email addresses and are not afraid to use them. If you ask them, they will respond…
  • Catholic Financial Life – A society that’s made membership outreach a major priority over the past two years is seeing that effort pay off.

Let’s keep this momentum going! There are still more than two months to get your society more fully engaged in the “Race to 100” campaign. Got some winning strategies you’d like to share with your colleagues? Post them HERE. Want to learn more about what you can do to join in the effort? Send an email to jannotti@fraternalalliance.org and we’ll contact you immediately with some suggestions.



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