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Organizing Tools - Early Enrollment

Let's Talk About Early Enrollment
Looking for a way to talk about Early Enrollment with potential members? We've created messaging guidance and communications tools to get you started!
Published: March 25, 2024
This toolkit originally appeared on

About Early Enrollment

About Early Enrollment

The Early Enrollment Membership Program is offered to support your spring or summer membership organizing efforts by inviting First-Time Active members and Aspiring Educators to experience the transformative impact of being part of the Association for no immediate cost.

Between April 1 - August 31 educators can join without paying dues until the new school year starts. First-time Active or new Aspiring Educator recruits will become members effective September 1 and receive immediate access to NEA Educators Employment Liability Program coverage (liability insurance) and NEA Member Benefits programs.

In This Toolkit

We’ve put together guidance and sample language to help you communicate with potential members. Read on for the following resources: 

  • Messaging Guidance: Do's, don'ts, and key points to highlight about our Early Enrollment Membership Program. 
  • Year-Round Organizing Cards: Important tools for connecting with educators who are interested in learning more about their union.
  • Digital Organizing Tools: Strategy advice and sample tactics for top digital tools. 
  • FAQs and Conversation Guides: Sample responses to commonly asked questions and conversation guides on topics educators care about. 

Not looking for communications resources? Check out our Early Enrollment Membership Program page for information on grants, points of contact, and more.

More About Early Enrollment

Messaging Guidance



Thank you for taking the time to help build a stronger union. This section will help you start recruitment conversations, explain the Early Enrollment Membership Program, and share all that educators are achieving at the local, state, and national levels.

Early Enrollment Do's and Don'ts

Do – Center typical join messaging: For the most part, your outreach to potential members during Early Enrollment should be similar to your regular recruitment messaging. Our research shows the most powerful join messages highlight the transformative power of union membership, share real examples of local wins, and talk about the change educators can continue to create by speaking up together. 
Do – Tailor your pitch: Listening well is your best tool to recruit new members. Use what you know about each potential member to share relevant resources, localize the conversation, and share specifically how they can improve their daily lives through their union. 
Don’t – Lead with the “sale”: While Early Enrollment does offer potential members a chance to save money, the value of membership goes far beyond financial benefits. Instead, share the transformative impact of membership, and how they can get started right now!
Don’t – Forget to follow up: Start the relationship off right! Make sure that all outreach includes a clear next step, with a contact person that will get back to them within a few days. If they don’t join during Early Enrollment, plan to reach out again during the summer and when the new school year begins. 

Key Message Points

Together we deliver real change.

When we speak up as part of our local union, we can win improvements to our daily lives, from higher salaries to protected planning time and guaranteed bathroom breaks. 

We are already seeing educators secure these improvements across our district, our state, and the nation, from additional paid leave to student loan cancelation to the latest programming in professional excellence and leadership development.

Together our union has a stronger voice for educators.

Joining adds your voice to thousands of educators just like us across the state and millions of educators across the country to accomplish things one educator, one bus driver, one janitor, or even one district can’t.

So why wait? Let’s get started now!

We’re making progress, but, with more members like you, we can have an even stronger voice. You don’t need to wait until the new year begins to start making a difference: 

Between April 1 - August 31, first-time members can enroll for the 24-25 school year early, and enjoy benefits of union membership all summer long, with no extra cost.

Website Guidance


Organizing centers on relationships. All digital communication tactics should be designed to support the building and maintenance of relationships between organizers, the Affiliate, and potential/current members. 

In this section, we will walk you through major online organizing tools and share resources to help you incorporate them into your Early Enrollment membership drive.

Website Guidance

Your Affiliate webpage is the first place people look online to learn more about your union. Making it easy to join the union from your home page and join landing page is a powerful way to turn curious potential members into members. Check out our checklist and sample copy to help you design and populate the join presence on your website. 


Do you have a powerful header image? Ideally this will be a photo of real members and embody the idea of “together we’re stronger, together we’re heard.”
Is it easy to navigate to the actual join process? Imagine different audiences coming to this page, would they know where to go (for example: Aspiring educators, ESPs, higher education, retired, classroom teachers). We recommend having a join button in at least three places on every website page.
Do you have content for each of the following: a "together we are a union" section sharing how being a union helps strengthen educator voices, a "delivering real change" section with concrete examples of local and state organizing victories or a list of what you would like to accomplish together, and a "member voices" section with testimonials from a diverse array of current members.

Email Guidance

Email Guidance

We recommend beginning your Early Enrollment outreach with an ask to fill out the Year-Round Organizing card. This will allow you to gather key information that will shape your follow-up strategy. If they don’t fill out their Year-Round Organizing card on the first go, ask again!  

Once they have filled out their card, offer them a resource based on the interests they shared in the card and ask them for a 1:1 conversation. After the 1:1, make sure you follow up with a hard ask to join the union.  

Sample Email Copy

Initial Outreach

Reach out to your current member lists and potential members to check-in and get updated information.

Link to Share: State YRO Card Subject: Tell us: What are your goals for the next school year?

Pre-header: Your union family is here to help you succeed

Email Body:

Hi FirstName,

We know that great educators make great public schools. And that behind every great educator is a team of colleagues helping each step of the way. We want to stay updated on your needs so that our union can keep providing the training, support, and tools to ensure your professional success.

Fill out our form to share your priorities for the upcoming year. We’ll use this information to find the right opportunities to help you succeed!  

<Share Your Priorities>

When you get involved with your union, you are taking an important step towards creating the great public schools we all deserve.

Tell us: What are your goals for the next school year? 

We'll send you resources to support your work and share how educators are creating change in your local area, across the state, and around the nation. Together we can win changes that make it easier for you to excel at school and beyond.

In solidarity,

Follow Up

Pull data to see who from your previous list has since filled out a YRO card. Suppress them from this next send, so that you are only reminding people who haven’t filled out a card recently. 

Link: Your State YRO Card 

Subject: Great educators create great public schools  

Pre-header: Get involved with your union to make your voice stronger  

Email Body:


When educators are heard, respected, and given the resources we need, we can give students our very best. We know you care about professional excellence and continuing to learn and grow in your career.   

Take the next step: connect with your union today! 

Whether you’re just starting your career in education, or if you’ve been working for decades, connecting with fellow educators through your union is an important step towards creating the great public schools we all deserve.    

  • We regularly advocate for higher salaries and improved working conditions.   
  • We meet with lawmakers from both political parties to make sure our voices are being heard and respected.   
  • We work hand in hand with school administrators and school boards to improve our daily lives as educators.   
  • We make sure that educators have the resources we need to give students our best.   

Sign up here to learn more about your union and the opportunities to get involved on the local, state, and national level. Together we can win changes that make it easier for you to excel at school and beyond.  

<Let’s Connect!> 

We cannot thank you enough for all you do, and all you will do, to change the lives of your students.   

In solidarity, 

Share Resources

Send this email to people who have filled out the Year-Round Organizing card. Tailor your outreach to the topics they indicated interest in and make sure you include an ask to meet in-person or talk one-on-one.

Link: Relevant Resources and State Join Link 

Subject: Professional support for educators, by educators 

Pre-header: We're here to help you succeed 

Email Body:

Hi again FirstName, 

As an educator, we know that you are beyond busy. That’s why we are here—to save you time by finding and sharing the very best tools to support you at school and throughout your career.   

Our union is made up of educators like you, working together to do our very best for our students. Check out some of the resources we offer below:    

  • <Join our event about educator rights> 
  • <Take action with educators across the state> 
  • <Connect with us for other forms of support> 

Joining [SEA/LEA] connects you with a movement of educators supporting each other. With more members like you, we have an even stronger voice to create the schools we need and our students deserve. 

<Join Now>

Because we are towards the end of the school year, educators who join the union for the first time can enroll for 24-25 membership now and access benefits immediately, with no additional cost until September 1.  

Don’t wait to start making a difference! We’d love to talk to you more about our union and what we can achieve together. Are you free for a quick chat sometime this month?   

In solidarity, 

Join Ask

Send this email to people you are following up with after a 1:1 conversation or a few weeks after they receive the last message.  

Link: Your State Join Link 

Subject: A special invitation 

Pre-header: Deliver real change with your union 

Dear ________,   

[SEA/LEA] educators deliver real change. We meet with school administrators and lawmakers from both political parties to make sure our voices are being heard and respected.  

We’re reaching out again with an invitation: Join your union, [SEA/LEA], today.

End your school year knowing you are part of the movement to make our public schools better for staff and students.  Between April 1 - August 31, first-time members can enroll for the 24-25 school year early, and enjoy benefits of union membership all summer long, with no extra cost. 

<Sign Up for Membership> 

By banding together, [SEA/LEA] members impact meaningful change for educators and our students. Together, we have raised educator wages, improved working conditions, supported student loan forgiveness, and made sure educators are heard.  

We’re making progress, but, with more members like you, we can have an even stronger voice. You don’t need to wait until the new year begins to start making a difference: enroll for 24-25 membership today! 

<Join SEA/LEA Today> 

Together we are stronger. Together we are heard. If you are interested in the union, but are unsure about joining, we would love to connect and answer any questions you have.   

In solidarity, 

Hustle Guidance

Hustle Guidance

Hustle can be an amazing relational organizing tool when used properly. Remember: educators are likely receiving many texts, whether from political organizations, from their students/students’ families, and from everyday life. Make sure you respect their time by using Hustle to provide value and listen to their needs.  

Try to avoid transactional, one-off texts and think of your Hustle program to build a continuous relationship with potential and current members. We recommend having two relational texts (checking in or offering value) for every transactional text (asking them to do something for us). This can be time intensive, so think through staffing plans and equip member organizers with the tools they need to answer texts beyond a designated “text bank.” The payoff is worth it! 

Writing Deliverable Initial Scripts:

To help ensure messages get delivered, initial scripts generally have around a 150-character limit and can’t include a link. Initial texts must also have opt-out language. Check the script analysis on the right hand of your initial script editor and adjust so that there is no yellow warning sign. Your follow-up scripts for “yes” or “no” can include links if relevant.   

Sample Hustle Copy

Initial Outreach

Check-ins remind educators that the union is one of their go-to places for support and to create change. Get the conversation going with a question and let it flow naturally from there. Have links to potentially relevant resources on hand to share in your responses, such as upcoming events, advocacy actions, or professional development supports.  

If the conversation naturally leads towards a join pivot, organizers should start to use language from our direct messages below.  

Hey <Member Name>, it's <Organizer Name> w/ <SEA/LEA>. Checking in on how you're feeling about the end of the year. Can we help with anything? Reply STOP to opt out.  

  • IF YES: Our union is made up of educators, just like you & me! We're working to [insert action that addresses their concern]. More info: <Link>  
  • IF NO: Thanks for letting me know, <Member Name>! Our members are working hard to improve our schools. Check out our work: <Link> 
Year-Round Organizing Cards

Use this text to share the Year-Round Organizing cards with potential and current members. Remember, these cards are vital tools for your Early Enrollment program as they help to gather data on educators interested in getting more involved. 

Hi <Member Name>, it's <Organizer Name> w/<SEA/LEA>! We're updating our tools & want to hear what's helpful. Will you share your goals for next year? Txt STOP 2quit 

  • IF YES: Share your goals through the link below! Even if you've filled this out before, you can use the form to update your interest areas. <STATE YRO CARD> 
  • IF NO: No problem! If you want to help us tailor the content we send you, you can update your priorities anytime using this form: <STATE YRO CARD> 

A great time to follow up with potential members is right after they have engaged with the union by filling out the Year-Round Organizing card or through an action or event. Make sure to implement these scripts within a few weeks of their interaction while the union is still at the top of their mind. 

After Filling Out a Year-Round Organizing Card:

Hi <Member Name>, it's <Organizer Name> with <SEA/LEA>. Thank you for filling out our interest form! Were you able to find our resources? Reply STOP to opt out.  

  • IF YES: Great! Were they helpful? Find more ways to support your students and career by checking out our full suite of resources: <Link>  
  • IF NO: I’m here to help! We have tools to support educators on [insert description of tools]. Check out our resources, made by educators, for educators: <Link> 

After Taking an Advocacy Action

Hi <Member Name>! I'm <Organizer Name> w/ <SEA/LEA>. Thanks for signing our petition on [insert issue]! Ready to take the next step? Text STOP to opt out.  

  • IF YES: When educators speak together we are powerful! The best way to create change for our schools is to join your union: <Link>  
  • IF NO: No problem, thank you again for taking action! Can I ask how your school year has been going?

After Attending an Event

Hey <Member Name>, thanks for joining <SEA/LEA> at [insert event]! My name is <Organizer Name>, can I talk to you about joining our union? Reply STOP to opt-out! 

  • IF YES: Thanks! <SEA/LEA> members create real change, from protected time to pay raises. Join here, or feel free to ask me any questions! <Link>  
  • IF NO: No problem, thank you again for joining! Can I ask how your school year has been going? 
Join Ask

We recommend having one or two Hustle conversations with a list before implementing this type of direct strategy, or implementing this within a conversation when it naturally goes towards a join ask.  

Hi <Member Name>, it's <Organizer Name> with <SEA/LEA>! Together we can accomplish things one educator can't. Will you join us? Reply STOP to quit.  

  • IF YES: That's great! First-time members can enroll now & enjoy benefits from 24-25 membership all summer long, with no extra cost: <Link>  
  • IF NO: No problem! I know it is a big commitment. Can I ask what is holding you back?   

Social Media Guidance

Social Media Guidance

Social media should be a supplementary part of your Early Enrollment plan, providing surround sound support to your other relational tactics. Messaging on social media should be broad and inspirational, enticing people to want to learn more about union membership. 

  • Member messengers: Our members are our most powerful voices. Build a list of members who are willing to share your content on their social media channels. Create graphics/videos/sample copy for them to post and share them with this list regularly for them to distribute through their personal networks. 
  • Win content: Make sure you are regularly sharing information about the big and little ways your union is making a difference in your state. Then make the pivot to what we can achieve with more members and why they should join! 
  • Engagement questions: Ask questions about educators’ experiences in and out of school. Notice if potential members respond and reach out to them separately.  

Sample Social Media Copy

This copy is specifically designed for talking about Early Enrollment and should be used in addition to the other digital tactics above!

When educators come together, we can win the resources we need to do the very best for our students. Our union is making progress, but, with more members like you, we can have an even stronger voice. You don’t need to wait until the new year begins to start making a difference: Between April 1 - August 31, first-time members can enroll for the 24-25 school year early, and enjoy benefits of union membership all summer long, with no extra cost. Sign up today by clicking the link in our bio! 


End the school year knowing you are part of the movement to make our public schools better for staff and students. 

Educators new to our union can enroll for the 24-25 school year now and enjoy benefits of membership all summer long. Sign up today: <Link>


Together we’re stronger. Together we’re heard! Don’t wait to be part of your union. First-time members can enroll for the 24-25 school year now and enjoy benefits of union membership all summer long. <Link>

Conversation Guides

Conversation Guides

The very best way to reach potential and current members is to engage with them one-on-one. Equip organizers with talking points and resources and deputize them to start organizing! 

Find suggested talking points in our recruitment conversation guides for Collective Bargaining States and Non-Collective Bargaining States. We have also created conversations guides designed to help you talk about issues important to our members. Check out resources on the following topics: Student debt, union 101, health care, and pensions.

Frequently Asked Questions

More Tools to Help

More Tools to Help

One of the most effective ways to build more meaningful relationships with our members and supporters is through content. ​We've identified key pieces of content streams that highlight the value of the union to potential members and develop processes to engage educators with those streams, capture data, and put them on a path to membership.

Year-Round Organizing Cards 

When educators fill out the card, they will receive opportunities that: 

  • Support educators to grow in their professional practice.  
  • Help elect pro-public education candidates from both parties.  
  • Get the word out about ways to work together to improve working conditions.  
  • Work to increase education funding at your school, district, and state. 

Every state has their own Year-Round Organizing card. Text CONNECT to 48744 to be connect directly with your state. 

For more information about Year-Round Organizing cards and how to access the data gathered, visit our organizing toolkit.

YRO Card Resources

Text Join Tool

Our Text Join Tool allows people to join the union straight from their phones! All they need to do is text JOIN to 48744 and share their state and they will be sent the relevant join page. You can make the most of this tool by:

  • Putting it on social media graphics and in caption copy
  • Adding the "Text JOIN to 48744" ask to speeches
  • Highlighting the ask on event banners, podiums, and posters
  • ...Your creativity is the limit!

Speak Up For Students and Public Schools

When we act together and lift our voices together in unison, we can improve the lives of children.
Broken pencils

Together, we will claim victories for public education

Join thousands of your fellow Oregon educators in contributing monthly to OEA-PAC and make your voice heard!

Keeping the Promise of Quality Public Education

The Oregon Education Association (OEA) is a union committed to the cause of providing the basic right of great public education to every student. OEA represents about 41,000 educators working in pre-kindergarten through grade 12 public schools and community colleges. OEA’s membership includes licensed teachers and specialists, classified/education support professionals (ESPs), community college faculty, retired educators, and student members. OEA members also belong to the 3.2 million members of the National Education Association (NEA).