Planning & budgeting for your 2021 membership organization election

We’re nearing the end of what feels like the longest year ever, but 2021 is, indeed, right around the corner. While most everything still feels up in the air, one item you can lock down with certainty is your 2021 election plan and budget.

The election plan

If 2020 taught us anything, it is: Plan for the worst but hope for the best. If your member organization’s election was disrupted or upended by the events of 2020, plan for that same worst-case scenario in 2021— But let’s hope it goes precisely how it’s supposed to.

What to include in your election plan:

  • Opening and closing dates of the election
  • Results announcement date
  • How and when you will appeal to potential candidates
  • A timeline and specifics of the nominations process
  • Timeline for design, content, and distribution of voting reminders
  • Timeline and method for announcing election results

Items to budget for:

* Assume there will be restrictions on in-person voting, and it will be difficult for members to cast their ballots onsite. The time to add new voting options (such as mail-in balloting, phone or electronic voting) is now so you can properly implement and communicate the convenient choices.

* Expect that it will be difficult or inadvisable for members to gather in-person signatures for nominations, so consider adding a secure online option for nominations as well.

* Increase your advertising to boost election participation. From low cost, highly targeted social media ads to reminder emails with embedded login links to more expensive, professionally produced direct mail pieces – the more your organization concentrates on “marketing” your election, the more likely members will be to participate.

* Redesigning election marketing pieces and ballots. Sending the same flyer printed in black ink on colored paper year after year is not going to garner any attention. Adding new design elements, printing in color and adding your organizational branding will make your materials stand out in a sea of junk mail.

* Producing professional-looking video messages from candidates on your organization’s website or the election-specific site.

Need a little help planning and budgeting for your 2021 election? Have questions about implementing online or hybrid voting options for your next election? Contact us, we’re here to help!