Outreach/10 Percent Challenge/2010 Planning

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10% Challenge Meeting -- March 22, 2010

Present: Michael Greis, Eleanor Rosellini, Tad Staley, Susan McGarvey, Jim Glickman

This meeting was organized to discuss ways in which we can reach our goal of 1,000 households taking the 10% Challenge ("Needham 1,000"). Some of the concepts discussed have been in the works, and some are new ideas.

Electronic Contact with 10% Challenge community/GNC community

We discussed various combinations and types of electronic contact, be it Constant Contact or email blasts. We discussed whether the recipients should be merely the 10% Challenge participants, or our entire universe of contacts form any source (700-plus email addresses), and favored sending the communications to all our available contacts. We discussed the importance of identifying the 10% Challenge brand with the Green Needham Collaborative brand.

After discussing several alternative lineups of contacts, it was decided that the following contacts would be sent out in the coming months:

  • March (this week) - GNC Newsletter.
  • Early/Mid-April - A "Needham 1,000"/Earth Day message, encouraging 10% Challenge takers to get a friend or neighbor to take the 10% Challenge. (Jim has written a first draft of the content.) Eleanor may try to combine this with an Energy Update concerning electronics which she has been working on.
  • Late April - Needham in Motion announcement

(There also will be a meeting reminder sent out concerning the April 7th meeting.)

Social Networking Tools

We discussed various social networking tools and their utility to assist in Needham 1,000. The discussion focused on Facebook. Tad will look into having an ad placed for Needham users of Facebook. We will explore the type of Facebook ad where we will be charged per click-through to our website. (Tad has already explored this option and has presented an option to the group.)

Prize for having friends/neighbors take the 10% Challenge

We discussed, but were unable to find a suitable concept, offering a prize for the person getting the most people to take the 10% Challenge.

10% Challenge Sign

Jim has the sign that was displayed at Memorial Field in the fall. Jim will measure the area available on the sign board as one exits the RTS (a/k/a The Dump). Jim will also contact Mario Araya of the RTS. If the sign dies not fit, we may simply take turns holding the sign and waving at the RTS exit area on a Saturday (after the April 13th election).

Parent Talk

Jim had some contact, but Parent Talk had not followed up. Jim will contact Alison Borrelli by email (with a cc to Michael), asking her how we can get out our message on the 10% Challenge to Parent Talk members, and what the best way would be to do so (i.e a submission for the newsletter or the website, etc.).


Jim's last couple of attempts to arrange a meeting with Chuck Dow and Chris of High Rock were not answered. Jim will try again.

Realtor Campaign

We discussed working with the realtor community in Needham, utilizing them to reach our goal or Needham 1,000. This could entail both having realtor companies encourage their employees to take the 10% Challenge (bronze/silver/gold 10% Challenge recognition?), and also taking advantage of realtors' relationships with new homebuyers. Susan and Eleanor will seek to meet with Louise Condon. Two salient points will be made to the realtors: (1) the benefits of making Needham a more sustainable community and therefore a more desirable community in which to live, and (2) enhancing realtors' ability to give energy tips to buyers about what buyers can do in their new homes to save energy and money.

In this (and other) contexts, we discussed the need and importance of having a GNC brochure.

Follow-up from Michael Greis on 4/14/10

I talked with Bill Dermody and he confirmed that the realtors still do their Thursday morning caravan to see houses for sale. What we cam do is organize a short get-together at the end of the caravan. This has been done for other speakers or events before, so it's not unusual. We would want to get one of the brokers to serve as host - get a location, provide some refreshments and ask people to come (and yes, Louise would be ideal, but it could be someone else). We would provide the content., I'm thinking that we could get someone to speak about something of specific interest - i.e. stretch energy code, green building, how to sell the benefits or a more energy-efficient home - and combine that with our pitch.

The additional advantage of tagging onto the caravan is that we only have to convince a host (like Louise) that this is a worthwhile idea. There's much less heavy lifting for the host and for us since there's a ready-made event and audience. All we have to provide is the content. Each month, a different broker is responsible for organizing the caravan. That broker doesn't have to be the host, but could be. I will get the schedule from Bill. How do we want to proceed from there?


We will write and publish testimonials of the energy saving measures which we have taken and the resulting energy savings. We discussed finding stories of people with high energy bills who figured out ways to save energy and money. Susan will discuss this with a new member from D.C.

GNC Members Who Have Not Taken the 10% Challenge

We discussed the unfortunate fact that 150-160 GNC members have still not taken the 10% Challenge. Eleanor will write up a message to be sent out to these folks, and will send it to Susan, who will send it out.

Kilowatt Meters at Library

We discussed ways to advertise GNC when the library loans out kilowatt meters. Ideas included the library handing out a GNC brochure, or laminated GNC business card.

Follow-up from Michael Greis on 4/26/10

  • Eleanor has purchased the meters and met with Ann McFate
  • The Library is now processing the meters and will let us know when they are ready for loan
  • We have received a thank-you letter from the library for the donation
  • Michael & Eleanor created customized labels for the meters which include:
  • Green Needham and NSTAR logos
  • The meters will be donated in the name of Green Needham and NSTAR as Michael included this as one of the items in his request for funding from NSTAR
  • A link for usage information and tips
  • Michael has created a draft blog entry to hold this information.
  • Eleanor will be reimbursed for the cost of the meters

GNC Presence at Community Events

Re: Sidewalk Sale Days & Fourth of July Parade. With respect to the Parade, we discussed obtaining the use of an electric car ("Nissan Leaf"), or just marching as in the past. These are both opportunities to advertise ourselves and the 10% Challenge.

Follow-up from Michael Greis on 4/26/10:

Additional information - I have made contact with Clay Nissan. As I expected, we can't do anything this year, but I have their interest for 2011.