International Vegetarian Union (IVU)

For a vegetarian world. For people. For animals. For the planet.
Be part of this world: 8 - 14th November 2004
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Melissa Martin

Melissa Martin is Executive Director of Vegetarian Solutions, a non-profit organization based in Atlanta, Georgia. She co-founded Vegetarian Solutions in 2000, which now receives over 62,000 hits per month on the web site and is invited to community events such as health and environmental fairs to distribute information about vegetarianism. She speaks Spanish, Portuguese and English and translated Vegan Outreach's pamphlet "Why Vegan" into Spanish, which is now being distributed internationally. 



Melissa will present at 36th World Vegetarian Congress the following talk:

- Changing with the Times: The New Face of Vegetarian Organizations

Target Audience: Organization Leaders, Members

Are you feeling frustrated because you are doing more but seeing less results? Are you or your volunteers feeling burned out? Are you ready for a change? Learn simple strategies that will save you time, money and energy and will help your organization become more efficient and effective. Melissa Martin, Executive Director of Vegetarian Solutions shares ideas to help you make the most of your resources. Many of the strategies used by vegetarian societies are outdated and inefficient. Learn the Vegetarian Solutions' model so that you can really make a difference in your own community.

Learn to:
Define your goals.
Identify your target audience.
Establish effective strategies.
Create your motto.
Implement efficient tactics.
Track and evaluate your progress.

(The following is a list which compares outdated strategies by organizations to the Vegetarian Solutions' model. I will be using these specific examples and strategies in the presentation):

1. Newsletters online instead of mailing informational monthly newsletters to members

2. Inclusive approach with a focus on helping mainstream reduce meat consumption instead of having an exclusive group focused on member benefits

3. Collaboration with environmental, animal rights, health, religious groups (working "for" common goals instead of fighting "against" opposite views)

4. Use a community calendar to share information/events instead of having
monthly lectures sponsored by your own group

5. Dinner meetings held in local restaurants instead of potluck dinners

6. Minimum number of Board members for more efficiency in decision-making

7. Targeting leaders to help spread the message to their clients/members instead of targeting the masses yourself

8. Honing in on volunteers' individualized skills instead of overwhelming them with tasks for which they have no passion or prior knowledge

9. Tracking progress via the internet in order to continue doing things which are successful and not repeating what is not yielding the best results

10. Focusing on past successes to build better relations with sponsors instead of begging for support

11. Sponsorship versus membership

12. Helping to change policies and practices from the inside instead of protesting from the outside

13. Polishing your image to better market your organization

14. Reducing operational costs

15. Making the most of your resources

Vegetarian Solutions

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