Steps to Organizing the NPA House Party
Each host will be provided with an NPA point person to answer any questions you may have and to help you prepare for your event. No worries!
Step 1: Find Co-Hosts and Agree on a Date and Time
Find other people who are willing to co-host the party with you. This will help draw in many more guests, particularly if you find co-hosts in different specialties, institutions, etc. Try to choose a house or place that is large enough to accommodate your guests, but small enough to enable comfortable conversation with attendees. If you have access to a DVD player with decent speakers, you can show the NPA’s 10-minute introductory video to kick things off.
Step 2: Register & Invite
After you decide on a date, time, and place for your house party, register your party. After registering, email invitations to your guests, monitor their responses, and inform all the guests of any changes to the details of your party. It is important that your invitation makes it clear that attendees will be encouraged to learn about and join the National Physicians Alliance. (Most people don’t like to be surprised by a recruiting event and will be far more likely to join and contribute if they understand the event’s goals in advance.)
Step 3: Create a Plan for Your Party
Create your agenda (see sample) and decide if you will offer any refreshments. Also decide on a personal goal for number of attendees and number of new members. Confirm attendance for those who have sent a positive RSVP! Consider sending personal email or making phone contact with those who have not replied. Gather your materials and resources:
- NPA promotional DVD
- House party sign-in sheet
- Membership/Pledge forms
- NPA brochures
- Flyers for the October 2011 National Meeting
Step 4: Throw Your Party
After everyone has been welcomed and given some time to mingle, gather the group’s attention and lead a round of introductions. Show the NPA DVD and then talk about why you became a part of the NPA and why you think the building of this organization is vital to the health of our country, your local community, and our profession. Hand out the brochure and membership/pledge forms. (Do not just leave them available on a side table! Distribute them!) Lead a discussion about the future of the NPA with your guests based on the recommended focus group questions presented later in this toolkit. If possible, have someone take notes from the discussion that can be sent to the NPA immediately after the party so we can learn from your experience.
After the discussion, make a direct ask for people to join and support the organization. Clearly state your recruitment goal for the party. While everyone is filling out their cards, ask other attendees to share what attracted them to attending the house party and invite people to describe issues they would like to see the NPA organize around. Also see if any guests are interested in hosting their own house parties. Collect the membership/pledge forms at the end of this discussion. Refer guests to the website (npalliance.org) so that they can acquire more information, and send them home with printed materials. But before you say goodbye to folks, make sure everyone has signed in (including email, phone numbers, and address). If possible, set up the sign-in station on a laptop computer to avoid later headaches in trying to decipher physician handwriting. Names and e-mail addresses need to be crystal clear!
Step 5: Send Thank You Notes
Try to send written or e-mail thank you notes to every person who attends your party. Also be sure to acknowledge anyone who joined or donated money. Thank you notes should ideally be sent within 24-48 hours, while the excitement of the house party is still fresh in people’s minds.
Step 6: Wrap Up
E-mail or mail the list of your attendees to your NPA contact so that the names can be entered into our database for follow up communication. Be sure to send in any brainstorming from your focus group and a summary of the event as well as any suggestions for future hosts (see house party wrap-up form on website). And think about other people in your area (or other areas) who might be interested in hosting! Every gathering helps spread the word. You can reach out yourself, or just send the recommended name and contact information back to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll follow up.