The American Legion Five Year Plan
The American Legion
Department of Massachusetts, Inc.
Room 546-2, State House
Boston, MA 02133-1099
Membership and Post Activities
Sub-Committee on Five Year Plan
“Strategic Plan for Sustained Membership Growth”
Mission Statement: To increase membership and post development by creating a culture of growth.
OVERALL OBJECTIVE: At the end of each year have a total membership that exceeds the membership of the previous year.
To obtain the goal of growing our membership progressively, utilizing the following strategies: Create Brand Awareness; Communication; Training/Education/Leadership Development; Post Development & Revitalization; Membership Recruiting, Reinstating & Retention.
Create Brand Awareness – Target members & nonmembers to create awareness of who we are and what we do.
1. Utilize marketing expertise to lead a new marketing focus and development of a comprehensive marketing plan to increase clarity of our brand awareness of The American Legion as the Premier Veterans Service Organization.
- Modify and expand the current Marketing committee to add additional expertise in Small Business Marketing by the end of year 2017.
- Seek out expertise from the local colleges and universities. Work on partnership with local universities by the end of year 2017.
- Partner with corporations that can share their marketing expertise. (Ongoing)
- Early on establish cooperative working relations with the new casinos establish within the commonwealth. Cooperative relationships have already been set up with MGM Grand who have agreed to establish veterans hiring procedures as well as host specific veterans career fairs. Establish cooperative with other major corporation looking to locate in Massachusetts to get ground floor access to their marketing and hiring practices by end of year 2018 and beyond.
2. Encourage corporate partnerships with veteran friendly organizations that have the same values as The American Legion to increase the benefits of being a member.
3. Disseminate the Quincy, MA, “Why You Should Belong ad that current runs on Quincy access TV to all Post to increase the number of Local Access TVs stations that support the American Legion Program by end of year 2017.
- Seek out corporate partnerships is an ongoing endeavor the will continue through year 5.
- Review plan to produce – “We Support the American Legion” Decal program to get the name out on local business that support legion efforts. Some examples of corporate partnerships are:
- Coffee Stop on Labor Day weekend at the Middleboro rest area on Interstate 495 – Local legion Post man the rest stop a local bank funds it.
- Southwick Post 388 in partnership with Planet Fitness CEO, promoter for the Moto Cross and will be an asset in future legion events.
4. Utilize the Department of Massachusetts new Public Service Announcement (PSA) Ad in the Hansconian & Otis Notice. Strive to get to into the Westover AFB Newspaper and other newspapers across the Commonwealth.
- Continue to place ads strategically in Hansconian and Otis Notice, ongoing. Have the PSA in the Westover AFB newspaper by the end of of year 1.
5. Create new stand alone banners and table top banners for use at Job Fairs, Yellow Ribbons events and all Pre and Post Deployment seminars by end of year 1.
6. Disseminate the Quincy, MA, “Why You Should Belong ad that current runs on Quincy access TV to all Post to increase the number of Local Access TVs stations that support the American Legion Program by end of year 1.
Communication – Ensure dissemination of accurate and essential information to all members and the general public in a timely manner
1. Utilize all internal media (Massachusetts E-Legionnaire, Vets News, Post Mailings, and Massachusetts Web Site) to encourage membership to join us in this Strategic Plan for Sustained Membership Growth. This is an ongoing effort.
2. Have all Districts develop media relations teams by the end of year 2017. Establish a training team within the Department Media Relations to assist and guide the district teams by the end of year 2017.
3. Communicate The American Legion’s Story to local military components (Active, Reserve & National Guard), with the emphasis on eligibility. This is an ongoing effort.
4. Continue the effort to collect all members’ email addresses and telephone numbers to enhance timely dissemination of information and any calls to action.
5. Continue to utilize the billboards and strive to increase the number of billboards across the Commonwealth. Marketing Committee is reviewing potential to increase the number of billboards. This is an ongoing effort,
6. Increase the utilization of National PSA’s in local media channels.
7. Increase our presence in social media.
Increase Training/Education/Leadership Development – Improving knowledge of the American Legion by implementing educational tools and encouraging leadership development at all Department, District and Post level.
1. Have Districts & Encourage Posts to develop membership training teams and long term plans for membership growth.
- District that have not established membership training teams will have them by end of year 2017
- Post to have teams trained and working by end of year 2018
2. Encourage participation in LEAD program. Department Training and Education committee has been tasked to establish semi- annual LEAD training within the Department, ongoing.
3. Increase information on the American Legion Extension Institute and strive to get more members enrolled this is an ongoing effort.
4. Re-establish the Department American Legion College providing regional training at least twice a year in spring and fall. Ongoing.
(Note it is the policy of the Department of Massachusetts that all Department and District Officers are strongly encouraged to enroll in and complete the American Legion Extension Institute).
Post Creation, Development & Revitalization – Develop new posts, revitalize or consolidate existing posts to promote growth within The American Legion.
1. Require Districts to conduct post evaluation to identify areas that may need post revitalization, consolidation or new post development.a. Revitalizing Posts is always the first priority
b. Consolidation of Post when revitalizing effort proves fruitless. The Department has an ongoing effort to review non performing Post and to merge them with performing post when revitalization efforts fail. This is an ongoing effort.
c. Encourage development of new posts where revitalization efforts have not been successful.
d. Form new post in all communities lacking a Legion presence that have significant veteran’s population.
2. Continue revitalization efforts with assistance from the National Organization. This is an ongoing program.
3. Improve Community awareness of the Posts by being active in your community.
4. Encourage every post to welcome all members and guests.
5. Identify and utilize the proper membership tools at all levels to achieve growth.
6. Enhance partnership with all Massachusetts Chapters of Student Veterans of America ongoing.
7. Develop partnership with Salem State University and Bridgewater State University which are interested in possible establishing an American Legion Post on campus by end of year 2017.
Membership Recruiting, Reinstating, and Retention – Increase membership by developing a comprehensive recruiting and membership retention strategy.
1. Establish Membership teams at all levels.
a. Develop a retention strategy at every level. Develop retention teams have members assigned, trained and operational. Ongoing.
b. Develop Reinstate Teams at every District to work the Expired Members Lists ongoing effort Districts 3, 8 and 10 have teams in place all other Districts will have teams by end of year 2017.
c. Develop and implement a strategy for transferring members from the Department Headquarters Post (Post 462) into traditional Posts. Ongoing effort the Membership Chairman has placed a goal of transferring 500 members per year.
d. Encourage Posts with military installations, National Guard armories or Reserve Centers to develop a working relation with their Senior Military Leaders to offer an opportunity to join The American Legion to all eligible military personnel. This is an ongoing effort.
2. Ensure all new members feel welcome and are invited to participate.
3. Utilize our Department Staff as recruiters to invite eligible veterans to join The American Legion this is an ongoing effort. The Department staff currently works a number of Career Fairs, plan to utilizing them more at yellow ribbon events and other recruiting opportunities.
4. When applicable include the entire American Legion Family, Legion, Auxiliary, Sons of the American Legion and American Legion Riders.
5. Increase awareness of the American Legion Riders throughout the Commonwealth. We have set a goal to establish 1 new rider chapter per year.