Having difficulties finding candidates to stand for your elections? Sadly, this is a common problem in many cooperatives and associations. Here we walk you through some useful tips that will help to encourage candidates to gather their signatures and apply for elections.
1. Provide enough information to encourage candidates
In one of our previous blog articles, we pointed out that some members are not fully informed about the structures of their cooperative. This is a contributing factor to low numbers of candidates applying for election. It is recommended that you inform your members extensively about the duties and responsibilities involved with each position. Similarly, make sure that your members have detailed information as to how they may apply for candidacy – how many signatures they need to gather and within what dates they need to apply in.
2. Encourage elected members to talk about their experiences
Ask former or current directors and delegates if they would like to share their experiences to give potential new candidates an impression of their role. Moreover, you can interview directors and delegates and publish it in member magazines or online. It not only helps you find nominees but also builds trust in the board.
Additionally, you can organize events where members get the opportunity to talk directly with board members, delegates, and former candidates. It is important to give first-hand experience about the responsibilities of their jobs, the ups, downs and what they achieved. In this way, you can encourage candidates that might be thinking about applying into applying officially.
3. Democracy needs change
Remind your members that democracy is the key for every cooperative and that it is essential to participate in the democratic process. As a delegate or board member, you have the chance to introduce new ideas and improvements to the cooperative. Encourage your members to give democracy a new push in the right direction with new, fresh candidates!
4. Encourage candidates in person
Do you already know great candidates in your cooperative? Talk to them personally and suggest to them that they should stand for election. Offer them additional options to meet you and to contact you about the details of the candidacy. By talking to possible nominees directly, your chances are higher of making members into representatives.
5. Promote the cooperative elections online
Reach more members by using digital media, social networks, and emails. You save not only costs but can also distribute relevant information quickly. Besides, you can create an electoral website where all information about nominees, the election process, and duties of directors and delegates are summarized.
Get inspired by our helpful tips to win new candidates for your next cooperative elections!