How to encourage member election participation? Prizes!

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Winner ticket“As for me, prizes are nothing. My prize is work.” – Katherine Hepburn

Perhaps if we could all star in classic movies, we’d feel the same way Ms. Hepburn did about prizes. As it turns out, however, prize drawings for voting participants are a great way to drive response in association elections.

Member participation is the number one challenge facing member organizations when executing their elections. Election participation rates allow you to judge how connected members are to your organization, prove the validity of the election, showcase improvements and judge return on investment.

Organizations often feel like the privilege of voting is enticement enough. But it turns out that members often need extra incentive to cast their ballots.

Here are just a few popular methods of making prizes part of your organization’s election:

  • Free certification or continuing education courses
  • Free admission for an upcoming annual meeting or popular conference
  • Door prizes to encourage people to show up for on-site voting
  • “The first 50 voters get…” (insert valuable prize of your choice)

Why do we recommend using prizes to encourage member participation in your elections? Because it works.

When you incentivize voters, you can watch your participation grow. But you must make the prizes valuable and desirable. The tactic works even better when you can tie the prizes to your organization in some way.

To note: Be sure to check your organization’s bylaws to ensure contests and prizes are permissible in your election process.

For more successful strategies and tactics to encourage member participation in elections, get our free e-book here.