Attracting Young People to Georgia Organics

Hey guys!

As some of you know, rogueApron is really gearing up to be more involved in our local food community in ’09. We’re very pleased to announce that we’re working with Georgia Organics to help attract young people to the organization. (Yay, GO! You can join here.)

A great group of folks convened this week to meet and to brainstorm … and I’ve had so many ideas since then that I just had to share.

How would you attract young people to Georgia Organics? Here were my ideas! [Download as a formatted pdf here.]

Create a Supporter/Fan classification
This generation doesn’t pay for anything – not downloaded music, newspaper content, or streamed television. As the economy retracts, and wallets shrink, the membership fee becomes even more of an obstacle to attracting membership. Create a ‘free’ membership classification – think of it as an entry-level membership.

Create a significant difference between the free and the paid membership levels, to retain the loyalty of paying members
• Use the free/supporter/fan classification to grow your membership numbers – imagine telling your congressman you represent 50,000 Georgians!
• Use the free/supporter/fan classification to reach out to more people about Georgia Organics, and the farmers and programs it supports. Increase your digital media output (via Facebook, Twitter, emails, and the like), and feed your supporter/fans with a constant stream of relevant information about local food
• Create constant incentives to ‘upgrade’ to a ‘paid’ membership – earning ‘paid’ membership via community service, getting access to exclusive food events, or dining incentives (e.g. percentage off bills for GO members at participating restaurants)

Create Blog/Website membership levels
Atlanta food blogs will be some of the best way of recruiting food-savvy folks. After all, their readers are local food lovers! Create a ‘blog/website’ membership level, and create digital ‘badges’ that sites can display to signal that they are a supporter of GO. These badges, incidentally, act as free advertising for GO, encouraging readers of these sites to join GO.

Think transparent
Whatever we end up doing – and there are so many great ideas! – keep the process transparent. Post materials like this – even seemingly boring stuff like meeting minutes – on the web for others to view and comment on. You never know where the next great idea will come from … so keep the discussions out in the open. Let’s inspire people to become more involved in their communities!