Tag Archives: membership

More than one person a minute joins Lib Dems since May’s statement

Theresa May’s statement in Downing Street tonight seems to have motivated a bunch of people to do something to stop Brexit. They’ve joined the Lib Dems.

Actually, now it’s over 300…..

They got a welcome from the leader:

 

And it must be pretty remarkable if the BBC notices:

Posted in News | Also tagged | 6 Comments

My first year as Director for People

It’s been just over one year since the Snap General Election was called on my first day e as Director for People. It was one heck of a start and it’s been a heck of a year. Out of the window immediately went my careful plan for membership development, training for volunteers, online fundraising and candidates. The roadmap to 2020 was suddenly obsolete. It was terrifying, but fast paced and fun.

This job is not dull. Working for the party is challenging and can be frustrating but ultimately rewarding.

One year in and …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , , and | 5 Comments

Some news about AdLib

A lot has changed since 2014 – the biggest part of which is the fact that we now have around 100,000 members.

This is amazing, and it is radically changing us as a party but also challenging us to do things differently.

One challenge is that the cost of producing AdLib has escalated to the equivalent of the entire staffing budget for the Party’s Membership Department.

Because of these high costs, with regret, the Federal Board has decided to cease publishing it as a printed magazine in 2018.

I understand that this will be disappointing for many of you.

It has been a much-loved publication but we wanted to make sure you were aware of this change.

I am committed to exploring all opportunities in 2018 to make sure we have better, two-way communication with our members. That means using all sorts of tools, channels and formats.

Posted in News and Op-eds | Also tagged | 38 Comments

Membership matters: Are Lib Dems really ahead of the Tories? And if so, is that good enough?

One of Vince Cable’s stated aims as leader was to overtake the Tories in terms of party membership. We knew that that was a reasonably tall order, as the last known figure for Tory membership was around 149,000 three years ago. That aim was going to take a wee while to fulfil, we thought. However we were looking at it in terms of us growing. It sounds like we’re already there because the Tory membership has sunk like a stone over the Summer.

David Hencke reports on an interview with a key Conservative campaigner who puts membership at around 100,000 – below our figures:

John Strafford, chairman of the Campaign for Conservative Democracy, in an  eve of conference exclusive interview  on the Tribune magazine website, says the real membership of the party has plummeted to around 100,000- way below the 149,500 figure and 134,000 figure used by the party in 2013.

Mr Strafford said: “The party is facing oblivion. If you take the fact only 10 per cent of the membership is likely to be very active they will not have enough people on the ground to fight an election – they won’t even have enough people to man polling stations on the day.

“They are keeping council seats because often the families of the councillors are campaigning with party members to get them re-elected. They simply don’t have the local resources to do this in a general election.”

The Tories have been notoriously secretive about their party membership. Unlike us, the don’t publish the number in their annual accounts as we did even during the bad times. However, this House of Commons library report published last month gives some interesting facts and figures about trends in political party membership. Over the last 70 years or so, the Tories have had the biggest fall.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 18 Comments

There are now twice as many Lib Dem members as at the 2015 general election – and more than 5000 people joined today!

A very warm welcome to the 5000 new members who have joined us since Theresa May announced she would ask parliament to call a general election this  morning! What a breathtaking number!

The party has now more than doubled in size since the May 2015 general election.

Tim Farron commented:

This election is a chance to change the direction of our country and thousands are joining our fight.

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 12 Comments

Don’t get mad, get even: Join the Lib Dems

Just received an email from Tim Farron.

“Incredible news , “he reported, “moments ago, our membership reached 85,002.”

I wrote back: “Not enough.”

We are still in fourth place. Labour stands at 515,000. The conservatives are 150,000 and the SNP is 120,000.

The United Kingdom is a tribal nation and its politics reflect the tribes that divide it.

The Liberal Democrats are a unifying force. That is one of the main reasons I joined it. But to succeed it must break the tribal lock that has bedevilled British politics for nearly 200 years.

The only way to be certain of success is to have MORE members than any other political party. It sounds like a tall order. It is. But it is a necessary one.

Posted in News | Also tagged | 19 Comments

Three things a local party can do for newbies

With another(!) influx of new members, it seemed time to write about some things that work for us in Harrow. They’re not unique to us, but they’re not universal either, so it seemed worth sharing.

Say hello!

Here in Harrow Liberal Democrats we try and make sure all new members — if they want — get an individual personal welcome. Our (awesome) membership secretary, or someone else from the exec, or a ward organiser, or whoever, just arranges to meet for a chat at a café/pub.

It’s a really good way to a) make sure new members feel cared about; b) get a chance to find out what their interests / skills are, what they’d like to help with, and what they’d like to see the local party doing; c) let them ask any questions — on policy, or procedures, or local information. d) give them the hard sell on the next Harrow Lib Dem Pint where they can meet more of the team.

Pints

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 8 Comments

4000 new Lib Dem members in a month

The Liberal Democrat figures for January are out and they are impressive – 4000 members in the month, 2000 of them  in the last 10 days and 1000 since Tim Farron led the opposition to Trump’s travel ban and called for the offer of the state visit to be withdrawn.

Party President Sal Brinton said:

Reaching 82,000 members is the highest membership in over two decades. With more than 4,000 new members having joined us in January and more than 1,000 joining since Trump’s Executive Order on Friday, people are responding to the politics of hatred by joining the Liberal Democrats.

The Liberal Democrats are the real opposition to this Conservative Brexit Government and it is great to welcome so many new members.

Posted in News | Also tagged | 8 Comments

Liberal Democrat membership tops 80,000

Sal Brinton, the Lib Dem President, has announced that party membership has topped 80,000, with 1000 people joining the Liberal Democrats since Theresa May’s speech announcing that the Tories are going for the most extreme, hard Brexit that they can. 500 people have joined in the last 24 hours since Jeremy Corbyn signalled a 3-line whip for Labour MPs to vote for the triggering of Article 50.

Sal said:

The Liberal Democrats are the real opposition to this Conservative Brexit Government and it is great to welcome so many new members.

For those who oppose Theresa May’s plans to rip Britain out of

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 4 Comments

How are you getting on with Tim Farron’s membership recruitment challenge?

When we went into the rally at Conference 9 days ago, there were two bits of paper on our seats. Och, that’ll just be Euro campaign  tat, I thought. Actually, it wasn’t. Tim issued a challenge to everyone in the room. These bits of paper were membership forms and he told us to get out there and recruit two members each by the end of this month.

Leaders have made such challenges before and not much has come of them. You see, it needs us to actually make the effort and once the passion of the rally has died down and we’ve got into the bar, we forget all about it. But we shouldn’t.

Why should we bother?

There are three very good reasons why we should get out there and recruit as many people as possible.

The more the merrier

You might be looking at a garage full of Focus leaflets wondering how you are going to get them all delivered before the next leaflet is ready. You might be the only Lib Dem in the village wondering if you are ever going to have company. There isn’t a circumstance in which having more people is going to anything other than a very good thing. More people to share the load. More people to help you achieve more than you ever thought possible. More people who have different friends and contacts and networks.

New ideas

You can just see what the amazing people who have joined us since May have brought us. It was brilliant to walk into rooms in York and see lots of people I’d never seen before. They have brought with them creativity and new ideas, things like  Your Liberal Britain and Lib Dem Pint which have become part of the party’s vocabulary. They didn’t even exist this time last year. Heavens, Lib Dem Pint is so popular, it’s even happened in Glasgow.  Amazing people came our way, like Becca and Wendy and Joyce Onstad and Jim Williams. At the Conference rally, Dr Saleyah Ahsan spoke so powerfully about her work as a junior doctor, inviting us to stand with her through a gruelling shift – eating when she does, going to the toilet when she does. I doubt many of us would last.

And look at fantastic people like Lauren Pemberton-Nelson who ran such a spirited campaign in the Faraday by-election in Southwark.

 

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 17 Comments

How to maximise money for your local party by recruiting more members

If you’re one of the many local parties who have grown in membership, you will have benefitted from vastly increased service fees since the introduction of the Membership Incentive Scheme in 2013.  This scheme gives local parties 20% of all subscriptions if their membership grows at all in a quarter. For those which grow by more than 10 members, that jumps to 40%.

From the beginning of next year, the amount you get will reduce slightly. From an email sent by Sal Brinton to local parties this week:

Local parties with net growth of between 1 and 10 members during a quarter will be qualified to receive 18% of all their membership subscription fees paid during that quarter (which includes the 3% payable to all compliant local parties)

Local parties with net growth of more than 10 during a quarter will be qualified to receive 33% of all their membership subscription fees paid during that quarter (which includes the 3% payable to all compliant local parties)

All compliant local parties will be qualified to receive 3% of all their membership subscription fees paid during that quarter.

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 3 Comments

Dear English Party, is there something you’ve forgotten to do?

According to Mark Pack, the English Party is thinking of outsourcing its membership database, currently run in LDHQ, to a private company.

Why has there been quiet talk about how Atos or another similar firm might be asked to take over Liberal Democrat membership services? It is because the English Party has been sounding out options for outsourcing the servicing of membership from party HQ in London (for members of the party in England).

As the strategy paper says, “ consider outsourcing of the management of member (and supporter) recruitment and renewal processing and record keeping, if this can provide improved access to data for all parts of the party at a lower cost.”

Given how little of membership work is done by post now (which used to be outsourced from London back when there was rather more of it), this amounts to outsourcing the party’s membership database and/or the phone bank operation in London.

Sounding out someone like Atos is wise in terms of seeing whether this is practical. It also shows the risks and likely unpopularity of such an approach.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 18 Comments

Now, about those 100,000 members…

Those of us who have been around for a while will remember  Simon Hughes’ pitch during his presidential campaign, that under his leadership the party membership would double. It didn’t

It wasn’t his fault. The party had to put the work in. There was nothing wrong with the ambition, but plucking a number out of the air will not in itself get you there.

Now I am happy to support Tim Farron as leader, but during the campaign I have to admit I thought that his target of 100,000 members by 2020 was similarly pretty meaningless. But now we have it, lets stick to it.

This is not an article about how to recruit more members. There are training sessions for that. I recommend that you contact your local regional party to organise a recruitment training session in your area.

What does a national figure of 100,000 mean for your local party? Currently we have roughly 60,000 members, so an increase of 40,000 is needed, which is 67% and so the membership for your local party membership should increase by at least 67% for the party to be on target.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 13 Comments

Opinion: Help, I’ve got lots of new members. What do I do? #libdemfightback

It’s a nice problem to have. It’s an unexpected problem to have. But it’s still a problem: quite what should local parties do with all the new members flooding in since polling day, the vast majority of whom are new to political parties.

Party HQ itself is getting much right that it hasn’t with previous bursts of new members: prompt member surveys, new member packs, welcome calls and getting people signed up to direct debit (much easier to renew) are all things done a bit in the past but now happening much more systematically.

Yet that isn’t a substitute for local embrace of new members and the record of local parties – as my mystery shopper showed – has been rather variable. So here are my five top tips:

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 15 Comments

Mittens and Cartoons: how political parties are trying to mobilise their supporters this Winter

liberal mittensI have been loving some of the stuff that our sister party in Canada has been sending out to supporters. Their Winter fundraising push involves them sending this fetching pair of mittens to anyone who donates over $100 over a two day period. It’s caused such a stir that those cheeky little mitts have their own parody Twitter account.

I bet their supporters team, led by the  equivalent of our Austin Rathe, had fun coming up with the accompanying email:

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 5 Comments

Opinion: Why I rejoined the Liberal Democrats

I sit here having just rejoined the Liberal Democrats. I was previously a member and considered getting active in my local area. I left because I felt dismayed by the type of politics that I was seeing happening around the country. UKIP were making gains in the European elections, every politician I hear or representative blamed other parties for the failures of the past. In 2010 I was very active within my personal capacity to do so. I delivered campaign material on the doors in all weathers. I had conversations with lifelong Conservative voters in an attempt to highlight the reasons why more Liberal Democrats in Parliament would be good for society. However, since then it seemed that even 4 years on everyone blames someone else for things not getting better.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 18 Comments

Liberal Democrats end year with historic membership growth – but we must keep up the good work

The Liberal Democrats ended 2013 with 43,451 members, nearly 1000 more than we had at the start of the year.

This is historic for two reasons. Firstly, we’re the only party in recent history to increase their membership during a year in Government. Secondly, the party’s membership has dropped every year for the last decade (excluding a couple of bumps before general elections), so getting back to a position of growth in the middle of the electoral cycle is a significant achievement.

Underlying this headline is some more good news. The party’s retention of members is now just under 90%, which is …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 14 Comments

Opinon: Don’t confuse declining membership with a decline in interest in politics

A couple of months ago I was thinking about going to the Glasgow conference. I’d never been before. ‘You’ll enjoy it’ said some fellow local party members, “and you can be a voting rep too if you decide soon.”

My wife spotted the chance of a weekend away from the children.

‘Can I come?’

‘Well I was hoping you’d come but you’ll have to join the party’

So we both decided to go at the last minute, with her joining the party the week before. With a little complication on getting her security cleared we went for three days until we’d exhausted the goodwill …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 12 Comments

Opinion: People power – a different kind of coalition

In the face of rapidly declining membership of political parties we – along with the other parties – face a challenge to survive.

In the past we have prospered as a membership led organisation, supported by a national network of volunteers and activists. Our revenue is derived from a combination of membership fees, donations and small scale fundraising.

Above all else we are members of a party that exists to promote and further our values by electing Liberal Democrats to all tiers of government – local and national. We are not a pressure group or a single issue party.

In light of drastically …

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 38 Comments

A Liberal Democrat membership revolution

We know that the Liberal Democrats, in common with other parties, have  been looking at declining membership figures for some years now. Tim Farron alluded to this in his conference speech at the weekend.

Three times as many people entered the X Factor this year than joined a political party.

In the Liberal Democrats it has been a tough three years. People have not felt confident about recruiting members because of the wider political environment. Also, many local parties feel that there is no incentive to put time and effort into recruitment when there is little or no reward for them. …

Posted in News and Party policy and internal matters | Also tagged , and | 18 Comments
Advert



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarTom Harney 12th Dec - 10:00pm
    The issue for us is how to build up enthusiasm amongst the people of the country for membership of the European Union. This means trying...
  • User AvatarDavid Warren 12th Dec - 9:58pm
    @DavidRaw I am not sure what point you are trying to make when you quote a budget from eight years ago. In my article I...
  • User AvatarMartin 12th Dec - 9:26pm
    37% against her in her own party is more than I had guessed, that is more than enough disaffection, irresponsibility, narcissism... whatever you want to...
  • User AvatarPeter Martin 12th Dec - 9:25pm
    @ JoeB Name a business, a bank, or any private entity, that has withstood two or more centuries of ever increasing private debt without bankruptcy....
  • User AvatarBernard Aris 12th Dec - 9:25pm
    @ Joseph Bourke Dear Joseph, small nations like us Dutch and the Swiss (and the bi-, if not tri-lingual Belgians: Dutch, French, and an Eastern...
  • User AvatarGeoff Reid 12th Dec - 9:22pm
    At 2pm today I told my wife and a chap who came to do electrical repairs that TM would have a majority of 85. I...