Membership Hack: A Shirt With a Message

To nurture a sense of belonging and commitment to mission, the Electronic Frontier Foundation designed a t-shirt that represents its values and enticed people to join or renew during a membership campaign.

How to hack it? Swag can be a fun way to help members feel like they belong. Members of the Electronic Frontier Foundation literally wear the organization’s values on their backs when they don a shirt designed by EFF Art Director Hugh D’Andrade.

D’Andrade sketched out vector art that relates to EFF’s values and policy issues, including internet privacy, security, creativity, and free speech.

In a recent blog post, D’Andrade explains the impetus for the design: “In one of our recent meetings to discuss our summer membership drive, our development team asked itself the following question: What if we didn’t just focus on the threats to our liberty, but on the potential for a better digital future? Put another way, what will it look like when we succeed? What if we got the internet right?”

Why does it work? The t-shirt helps members stay connected and rallies them behind EFF’s advocacy message. The back of each shirt carries the slogan “a better digital world is possible.”

What’s the bonus? In addition to building a sense of community and mission among current members, the shirt enticed new members to join. People who joined during EFF’s member recruitment and renewal campaign received the t-shirt in addition to other free swag, including lapel pins that symbolize steps internet users can take to safeguard their privacy online.


Tim Ebner

By Tim Ebner

Tim Ebner is a senior editor for Associations Now. He covers membership, leadership, and governance issues. Email him with story ideas or news tips. MORE

Got an article tip for us? Contact us and let us know!