Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America

The Challenge

Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) is the largest and oldest non-profit organization focused on connecting, uniting, and empowering our nation’s newest generation of veterans. Since early 2014, 50+1 Strategies has served as a strategic management and organizational development consultant for IAVA. The organization was struggling with growing its membership base and developing a path to deepen engagement among current members.

The Solution

Our approach was two-fold: first, we helped manage the restructuring of their staff to include a national field team with on-the-ground staff overseeing membership growth and developing relationships with current leaders in targeted areas. We designed a full-day training session for all IAVA staff covering the importance of community organizing and how it can help the organization reach their goals. We also helped IAVA identify member leaders who would be elevated to junior staff positions tasked with organically growing the local membership in their respective cities.

The second component of our approach was to develop local organizing plans for their member leaders. There was massive leadership potential within their membership base, but the major question was how do you strategically engage 180,000 members in a meaningful way? We designed a detailed engagement pyramid with levels of involvement and specific actions for each stage. We also planned a series of Program Ambassador Trainings, Advocacy Trainings, and Regional Leader Summits. Each participant left with a clear understanding of community organizing tactics and a localized plan on how to develop a team of leaders within their own communities.

In total, we have helped train over 100 leaders from across the nation that are building a movement of empowered veterans to advocate on behalf of themselves and their brothers and sisters in arms.

 

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