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How to Build a Party: 5-1/2 Rules for Libertarian Party Success

Notes taken from a workshop presented by Bill Winter
at Success '97 (notes taken by Stacy Van Oast)

Why are some Libertarian Party organizations stagnant while some are thriving?

Make sure your organization is thriving by following these 5-1/2 rules for success!

(Bill Winter's 5-1/2 Point Vowel Program)
  1. Infrastructure (I) - no LP can go about the business of politics if they don't go about business first; what is Infrastructure?
    • accurate database of supporters and prospects
    • prompt, professional inquiry packet and renewal program; inquiry packet should include:
      • a cover letter which
        • says thanks
        • gives an overview
        • provides a progress report
        • is optimistic
        • asks specifically "please join" and explains how (sign here, enclose check)
        • stresses that they should join the LP
      • an issues position sheet
      • accomplishments and successes
      • response/membership form
    • a bank account
  2. Activity (A) - now that the structure is in place, fuel it and go somewhere
    • Internal activities
      • raise money
        • ask for it (have a plan and projects)
        • make it a priority/goal - nobody likes to ask for money, but when you accomplish your goals (ie getting money) it's easier for people to give it (you'll feel good asking and they'll feel good giving when you're achieving goals)
      • newsletter is an ongoing conversations with your members, must be regular and decent, stressing activity and progress
      • organized media outreach: publicity doesn't automatically create success; success drives publicity
      • regular public meetings
      • regular leadership meetings
    • External activities
      • allow us to illustrate what we believe by doing things - not talking
      • increase political activity every year
  3. Excellence (E)
    • every time we come in contact with the public it must be with excellence and professionalism
    • look back every year and see measurable improvement
  4. Outreach (O)
    • everything we do must work toward goal of increasing membership
    • the more prospecting we do, the more members we'll get
    • outreach is like breathing: if we don't do it, we'll die
    • the party should be bigger and better after every project
    • what will this project accomplish?
      • will it increase membership?
      • will it raise money?
    • every step we take must get us closer to our goal of getting bigger and better
  5. You (U): the LP is nothing without the support of people
    • everyone needs to make a personal commitment
    • what are YOU willing to do to make us succeed?
    5 1/2. Why? (Y) Why should we listen to Bill Winter and these rules?
  • This is what worked in New Hampshire and it's working at the national level.
Notes on Prospecting:

It's better to get fewer high-quality names than lots of low-quality names Test the results of outreach events Regarding OPH booths:
  • Ask quiz-takers: "do you want to receive info on the LP?"
  • Only ask people who score 80 or higher on Nolan quiz
  • Purge your lists
  • 20-25% of inquiries buy our product, so the more people we approach...
Notes on working with volunteers:
  • Be Nice
  • Follow up (call and make sure volunteer is all set and able to do or has done job; check along the way)
  • Reward ("Libertarian of the Month" award at every party -present a certificate, put picture and article in newsletter)

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Libertarian Party of Michigan - P.O. Box 27065 - Lansing, MI 48909-7065 - 1-888-FREENOW