By Christine Carpenter
Iowa’s Beyond Pink TEAM (BPT) is close to gathering one-third of its Presidential petition signatures and organizational endorsement targets. Here’s how we attribute our success: we began organizing our campaign in February by gathering a group of passionate advocates to brainstorm ideas. After the ideas were generated, we asked each person to choose one or two ideas they would commit to following through personally. Then we set an additional meeting time to report back to the group.
Next, we made sure to educate our advocates about Breast Cancer Deadline 2020® to the point where they feel comfortable answering most of the tough questions. We talk about the deadline at each of our monthly BPT meetings. Now, members who have no involvement with NBCC are getting in the spirit and starting to gather petition signatures.
About those Presidential petitions. We seek signatures everywhere. We are especially active with our individual groups—at church, civic organizations, etc. We ask for signatures at large gatherings where people are primed for action. For example, cancer support groups, women’s health fairs, cancer walks, basketball games when the players are wearing pink, etc. A small group of us “crashed” a large cancer walk and gathered hundreds of signatures. In addition to asking people to sign the petition, we ask our signers to take at least one petition form and gather eight more signatures.
Now, on the endorsements. We first ask for endorsements from organizations where a relationship is already established. For example, one of our advocates is a nurse at an OB/Gyn Clinic. After attending the NBCC Summit she asked her clinic to endorse Breast Cancer Deadline 2020® and they immediately said O.K. Another advocate is a mammographer and president of BPT. She asked her employer, the hospital, to endorse the deadline and they said, “yes” without hesitation. Once we got endorsements from several influential hospitals and clinics, we make appointments to talk to those organizations where a relationship is not established. Then, be sure to point out those “already on board.”
We’ve still got additional signatures and endorsements, but we are confident our strategy will help us achieve our goal.
Editors Note: On June 7, KWWL News ran a story about Lori Sewel, an advocate for NBCC and Iowa’s Beyond Pink TEAM. Watch it now: Eastern Iowa group advocates to end breast cancer by 2020