UUs are independent minded, high energy and already engaged in a lot of other activities. There is a lot of competition for the work that you are asking UUs to do. Some strategies that have worked include:
- Bring a lot of people to the table. State networks have used several strategies to expand the ‘places at the table’. In addition to the Board of Directors create other means to expand the number of people at the table. Some of the organizational structures used include; creating working groups around each of the issues, local church representatives, and committees which include members outside the board. The bottom line is that you want to expand the number of people who are invested in the success of the State Network.
- Communicate, communicate, communicate – keep your name visible among churches. (see Communication)
- Make participating easy. Be very specific about the actions that are needed. Make it simple, fun. Prepare toolkits to help lay members better understand expectations, procedures and programs.
- At the SAN Level
Activities of the SAN include:
- Fostering the spiritual foundation of social justice through your State Action Network.
- Engaging UUs in working for social justice through a SAN congruent with your principles that have broad based UU support.
- Creating vehicles through which you may coordinate SAN involvement across the state.
- Establishing working relationships between UUs and other allies (interfaith and secular).
- Developing and sharing educational and worship materials.
- Hosting leadership training opportunities and lobby days.
- Fostering the engagement of youth and adult UUs.
- Coordinating enhanced media visibility for UU values.
- At the Congregation Level
Affiliating congregations are asked to:
- Inform you about issue priorities on a regular basis that are important to them.
- Make one or more SAN priority issues part of their social justice ministry agenda each year.
- Designate a SAN Liaison(s) and support their work to:
- foster SAN support, visibility, and involvement in their congregation,
- designate leader(s) to coordinate education and action on those SAN priority issues with which their congregation wishes to engage,
- serve on the SAN’s Plenary Council.
- Encourage communication between you and their congregation.
- Provide an annual contribution (either from special collections, fund raisers, and/or a budgeted item). Suggestion: a minimum of six dollars per member as a supporting Congregation, $20 per member as a Sustaining Congregation, or $25 per member as a Champion Congregation.*
- Communicate to the Congregation the opportunity and need for contributions by individuals to supplement the Congregation’s contributions.
While individuals are encouraged to contribute to and participate in the SAN, voting
membership is recommended to be limited to congregations that are affiliated with
the Unitarian Universalist Association and choose to affiliate with the SAN. Either may end this affiliation at any time.
* If a congregation feels that $6 per member will be overly burdensome and a barrier to their affiliating, there can be a discussion of fundraising possibilities and ideas or arranging a waiver.