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Meetup Outreach

On the MViMV Main Blog, a commenter (Agatha) stated,  we need to outreach our Meet-ups to places and neighborhoods that aren't "techie." Every single time I go to a Meet-UP, whether it's DFNYC or NDM, I find myself amongst white, middle-class people. This has to change. I think we should flyer low-income neighborhoods hard and anticipate one person showing up, with the hopes that in the next month, more people will trickle in. And, I think information/activism has to be a 2-way street: DFA needs to go in as pupils first and foremost and then teachers.

Here are some suggestions if your Meetup attendance isn't a reflection of your community.

1.  Select a venue that:

  • Is accessible to public transportation.
  • Is child friendly.
  • Doesn't require participants to bring money.

2.  Advertise to the population that you are missing.  Post flyers in neighborhood libraries, shops, retaurants, and laundromats.

3.  Recruit respected individuals in the community to help you market to the population that you are missing.

-Charlene Johnston

Posted by Jessica Falker on January 23, 2005 at 09:46 PM | Permalink


Good points, Charlene!

I think another issue includes addressing topics in Meetup that might be of more interest to the people that you want to reach.

Posted by: Quintus | Jan 23, 2005 9:58:26 PM

Here are some idears For increasing Your Meetup's attendence that can be applied to increasing your Meetup's diversity as well.


Flyers: I have included March flyers for you to post around town now. The April flyers are for you to pass out at meetup. Ask each atendee to take and post one flyer somewhere before next month's meeting. Each attendee can take more than one flyer if they want to, of coarse.
Idears for places to post flyers are: bulletin boards in grocery stores, laundry mats, universities, churches, PATH/WIC office, unemployment office, coffee shops, beauty parlors, restaurants, shopping districts, malls, festivals, fairs, concerts, and other community events.

"Advertise" in calendars. This is a great way to get free advertising. Send your local media an announcement of your meeting well in advance for them to print in their calendars. I have included a list of VT media. Also, search for online calendars to post on.

Press releases. Another form of free advertising. Send your local media press releases about your most recent Meetup. Include information on when and where your next Meetup will be.

Write letters to the editors about issues. Start your letter with. "At our recent DFA Meetup, we discussed..." Along similar lines, consider calling in to local radio shows or community access tv stations.

Make your Meetup more accesible. Think about why some people may not be able to attend even if they want to. Offer rides. Offer free childcare. Make sure you include these things in your emails, flyers, and/or advertisements.

Offer a workshop: Liane Allen has offered to do a framing workshop at Meetups. Please contact me if you are interested at [email protected]

Invite Speakers. Alderman/Select Board, Mayor, State Reps, Senators, etc., Dem or Progressive Party Representatives. Representative from issue groups such as Planned Parenthood, Anti-War groups, ACLU, Universal Health Care, Unions, etc. Include speaker announcement in your emails, flyers, and/or advertising.
Please contact me at [email protected] if you are interested in having a speaker from DFA or DFV attend your meetup.

Attend other meetings. Listen to what those
groups have to say, and tell them about your meetup group; bring flyers for your meetup to pass out and/or put on the registration table. Invite speakers from their group to speak at your meetup. You can find other org's meetings listed on the DFV Calendar www.DemocracyForVermont.com

Offer free food. Self explanitory.

Expand your meetup area. Go to www.democracyforamerica.com/local and see if there are areas that you are the closest Meetup to, but you have not outreached to. Double your flyering/advertising efforts in those areas.

Posted by: Jessica | Mar 29, 2005 9:18:24 AM

Quintus, I'd love to hear some suggestions for issues that would be of particular interest to African Americans.

I'll ask Ralph/Nathan for issues of particular interest to Latinos.

Posted by: Charlene | Mar 29, 2005 4:31:27 PM


Actually, I think it's about building relationships and going in as pupils "first and foremost" as Agatha said in the main post.

That's one of the ways that Republicans have been making inroads into some Black churchs. They visit, say nothing, get to know people. And they learn the issues and languages that will reasonate with the communitiy that they are targetting.

Posted by: Quintus | Mar 29, 2005 9:24:54 PM

Good point, Quintus.

Listening. That's definitely a task that I should delegate. ; )

I am hearing you though. We need to use language that is familiar to the region; that's my bad too. It makes sense though, they will identify with someone that is reflecting them. However, the harder part than listening and understanding their issues/lanuage, is how to achieve that goal without just pandering and being genuine...unlike what the Repubs do.

Posted by: Charlene | Mar 31, 2005 3:49:59 PM

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