Immediately following the election of a new leader, there will be a 'window of opportunity' for us to make real progress in terms of our support base, donor base and organisation.
To maximise on this I would like to propose the following three (plus one) projects.
1. WITHIN HALF AN HOUR OF THE NEW LEADER BEING ANNOUNCED: I propose to email all 5,200 names on our database and ask for a small donation to our "Campaign Fund". It will be a short snappy email with a request for a small amount of money (£3, £6 or £9). If the entry level is too high it puts people off. My plan now is to build a wide base of small donors rather than relying on the same hardcore group of activists to fund everything.
My proposal is then to use the proceeds of the above appeal to finance as much as possible of the following two initiatives.
2. MEMBERSHIP RENEWAL:
We hold on our database about 1,500 members whose membership has lapsed in the last 5 years.
My plan is to write to all these people within 48 hours of the declaration, encouraging them to renew/rejoin. I am confident the donations received from the above will cover the cost of this exercise, but if not we only need 60 of the 1,500 lapsed members to renew to make it cost neutral in year one.
3. 500+ CLUB PROMOTION: My third and final initiative is to target the 12,000 new Conservative pledges we identified across West Kent during the local election campaign and ask them to join the 500 Club. I will reduce this total by age and demographics to the 4,000 most likely to join. This mailing will cost £3,000 in print and postage, but I estimate that it will produce c150 new 500 Club members (3% response) resulting in year one income of £2,250. This will leave a deficit of around £750 which I propose to finance from the 500+ Club surplus rather than asking the Associations to write a cheque. Although this will not produce a surplus in yr 1 our records show that 70% of 50 Club members rejoin in year two.
I think the three initiatives above will provide some real momentum in term,s of fundraising, broadening our donor base and increasing membership, with minimal cost to our member Associations.
In late summer / early autumn we must then turn our urgent attention to rebuilding our activist base, focusing on recruiting new delivery helpers and poster sites.
My initial plan is for the MP to write a letter to around 10,000 targeted pledges in each constituency, with a reply paid postcard and a link to offer help online. If we can get these hand delivered the cost will be quite minimal (about £1,200 per Association) and will hopefully fill some of the gaps in our activist network as we prepare for whatever might come next!
I would be grateful if each Chairman could sound out their fellow officers and confirm they are happy to participate in 1, 2 and 3 (above) as we need to commence preparatory design and data work to ensure we are ready to go.