Association Membership Campaigns Case Study

Background: As with all successful issue advocacy campaigns, there is a fundraising component. A great deal of staff resources as well as specialized vendors will likely be required as the campaign goes on. However, a well-crafted fundraising effort can do more than simply offset the costs of the rest of your advocacy campaign. Ideally, your fundraising campaign will also raise awareness about your issue, as well as drive grassroots engagement. It also doesn’t hurt to make it fun as well!

Development: Inspired by the success of the “Ice Bucket Challenge”, Agentis and the Academy of Doctors of Audiology (ADA) created the #ForkItOver campaign. A play on the idea that while audiology care has evolved far from the use of tuning forks for diagnosis, Medicare has not kept pace. We challenged members to make a brief video with themselves and a tuning fork in a fun, playful manner. As with other viral fundraising efforts, we encouraged members to challenge other members to make their own videos, and donate as well.

Pilot: Beginning with the ADA Board of Directors meeting in March 2016, members began to upload their videos to the ADA social media pages. As members of the board began to challenge individual association members, Agentis monitored the development across ADA’s social media platforms and promoted posts for visibility. Targeted use of Facebook’s native advertising features helped to maintain momentum as the campaign grew.

Example of #ForkItOver video

Expansion: A flexible fundraising and social media campaign will evolve as time goes on. ADA’s #ForkItOver campaign initiated a contest during the traditional August congressional recess. Everyone that participated in the campaign and got a photo with one of their congressional representatives was entered into a drawing for membership and conference registration. This new iteration saw an uptick of participation, and more importantly, member engagement with their individual legislators. This resulted in several “Reverse Fly-In’s” being scheduled where legislators traveled to meet our members, i.e. their constituents, at their practice offices. One visit in particular resulted in a legislator signing on to co-sponsor ADA’s legislation immediately after their visit.

Facebook campaign tracking data

Continuation: Driving member engagement on advocacy issues can often be a challenge as well as an opportunity. Meeting your members where they are and providing flexible options to engage and support your movement will serve to accomplish this goal.


Bates Creative and The Gigawatt Group kicked-off its relationship with the AMA by analyzing the research and brand positioning that the AMA had previously conducted for its rebrand. Armed with this cultivated research as a solid baseline, Bates Creative and The Gigawatt Group crafted a new, full-scale messaging architecture that would drive the tone for the AMA’s communications efforts.

The AMA’s new marketing roadmap developed by Bates Creative and The Gigawatt Group provided a path forward for the AMA’s nation-wide brand awareness and member acquisition campaign. Together, Bates Creative and The Gigawatt Group launched the AMA “Go Beyond” digital marketing campaign targeted to marketers spanning all industries. The main principle of this campaign was to inspire marketers to go beyond what they thought they were capable of. Real AMA members were selected to be the faces of the campaign to emphasize how an AMA membership can help members express untapped potential.

Bates Creative organized and art directed an off-site photoshoot with the AMA members to create a gallery of images for the creative, including: social media assets, digital advertisements and a campaign landing page. Leveraging the AMA’s greater than symbol in its logo, Bates Creative designed a texture overlay created with overlapping greater than symbols that pulled colors from the AMA members’ clothes. Gradually, the symbols blended with the model to demonstrate the impact an AMA membership can have on a person’s professional confidence.

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