Broadening Our Impact
When we talk about recruitment, images of cafeteria-floored career fairs and impersonal emails flooding inboxes might come to mind. But in reality, recruitment can be as simple as telling a friend about Shot@Life or speaking to a local club that is invested in global health.
For the past few months, I’ve worked as the Grassroots Advocacy Recruitment Specialist intern to build grassroots support in key Congressional districts for the funding of vaccines. When I first got involved in grassroots advocacy and recruitment, I was intimidated and overwhelmed. However, what I’ve learned from recruiting champions is that at its most basic level, recruitment is simply talking to like-minded people about something you care deeply about. What we all care about at Shot@Life is ensuring that children around the world have access to lifesaving vaccines. I couldn’t think of an easier goal to rally behind.
Grassroots campaigns like Shot@Life are successful because of the people who comprise them. All it takes to recruit new champions is to find a few people who are already inclined to support Shot@Life. I want to share some of what I’ve learned while working to recruit Shot@Life champions for the past six months so that you’re able to recruit a new champion, too.
When it comes to recruiting, I’ve found the following to be helpful:
- Be personal. If you don’t know the person you’re reaching out to very well, it’s important to take the time to learn more about them. You’re asking them to get involved in something you care about, so make sure it’s evident that you care about them, too. For example, in an outreach email, consider including knowledge you have about a shared interest or piece of their background.
- Communicate clearly. Tell this person what Shot@Life is and what the campaign means to you. If you’re reaching out to someone about Shot@Life, it’s going to be clear you are passionate about the campaign. Try to communicate why you care, why they should care, and how they can get involved.
- Don’t scare them. This may sound a little silly, but it’s important. Remember that most champions will primarily be involved with the big annual activations, signing petitions, and writing some letters throughout the year. I’ve found it helpful to communicate that this is a rather low time commitment.
- Work smarter, not harder. The team at Shot@Life has tons of great resources for you, so never feel like you have to reinvent the wheel. Finding just one committed champion is more beneficial than recruiting 20 unreliable volunteers, so don’t feel like you need to talk to lots of people. We also provide email drafts, talking points, and a library of facts and statistics for you to use.
Remember, all of us at Shot@Life are more than happy to walk through talking points, flesh out ideas, or even attend a meeting with you. Please reach out to any of us for help or just to brainstorm ideas!
Communicate the Impact
One of the most compelling reasons to get more people engaged is simply how big of an impact a few new voices can make. Whether you find someone who ends up writing a consequential letter to a newspaper or someone who happens to have a great connection to the elected official you hope to meet with, just one new champion can make all the difference.
As the United States federal budget currently stands, a nominal amount of available money is spent on global health, and even less is spent on vaccines. If we, as Shot@Life champions, are able to demonstrate to legislators how vital vaccines are in preventing unnecessary childhood deaths, we might be able to tap into a little bit more of that budget. When Shot@Life champions meet with legislators, the extra push from a few new advocates may be just what is needed to shift legislative priorities and increase the United States vaccination budget.
Shot@Life has accomplished what it has so far because our champions care about each other and the world. Recruiting just a few more of these empathetic leaders could build the momentum we need to eradicate vaccine-preventable diseases for good. To ensure children around the world have access to lifesaving vaccines, we need all the help we can get.
So, text your friend who was ranting to you about anti-vaxxers yesterday, or email the president of the global health club at your university. Who knows? Maybe they’ll be the one to convince a crucial legislator that every child deserves a shot at a healthy life.
Ready to broaden your impact with Shot@Life? Register for one of our upcoming 2021 Champion online training sessions and share with your fellow advocates today!