Organizing is a skill. It takes practice and planning. Before Rosa Parks even got on the bus the leaders of the resistance in the South put thought into choosing her because she was respected in the community. They also trained her for a year and had media ready to cover what happened before she even got on the bus. Here are resources where you can start your own education and journey.
Ask yourself: Do you feel empowered? If not, have some fun below!
LEARN to be an AVALANCHE
Set up your structure FIRST! The ground game is how you win. If you want to win engage with your community, respect your volunteers time, and effectively interact with voters. (Obviously, the branches can grow larger as needed.)
Click on the buttons below for more of an explanation on the snowflake model and its use in political organizing.
Focus on the GOAL. Craft the STORY. Build the STRATEGY. Constantly EVALUATE.
New to Organizing? Click Here
Step 1: Do you have a SPECIFIC GOAL? If not - you need one.
The first element to any successful organization is having a goal. You need to focus on One Thing and that One Thing needs an end date. Do your research and learn about the issue and who's currently invovled in making changes. Are there other groups out there doing the same or similar thing? Pick up the phone and talk to them. Learning from those already DOing is going to only advance your cause.
Step 2: What is your STORY?
Storytelling: Never forget the story. What has brought you to the table to change or advocate for your community. Your narrative is as important as any action. To develop your personal story CLICK HERE
Step 3: STRATEGY, STRATEGY, STRATEGY
This is where the work really begins. How do you plan to achieve your goal? What do the results look like and how will you keep tabs on your efforts? Do you need to register more voters? Do you need to create a phone bank campaign? Do you need to demonstrate? Do you need to canvas neighborhoods and hold house meetings? Do you need your Community, Local, State or Federal representatives involved? If so - how are when are you going to do these things? What tools and resources will you need? Write down your step by step process for reaching the Goal never losing sight of the end game.
STAY ORGANIZED: You need to be prepared to manage data and communications. Have you set up a presence online? Website? Facebook? Twitter? Instagram? Snapchat? Email Campaigning? How are you managing data communications within your team leadership group? (We love Slack.com and it's free!).
Step 4: EVALUATE
Take time to Stop. Think. Analyze and React. Are your efforts working? Do you need to make any changes to your action plan? Do you need to organize a team or an event in a different or new way? If the answer to all of these questions is NO - Then keep doing what you're doing!
Step 5: RINSE & REPEAT
Did you succeed? Did you achieve your Goal? If you did - pat yourself on the back and get moving onto the next Goal. Repeat the steps from the start... but this time it'll be easier in some ways. If you didn't - lick your wounds, brush yourself off, examine what you could have done better - and get back out there! It will be easier each time you DO!
Organizing: The Brief Version
This document provides some great basic information on Community Organizing as well as some basic rules to follow with some excellent strategy tips.
How to Start from Scratch:
Really want to geek out? Click the button below to jump to the University of Kansas' website for the Workgroup of Community Health and Development for some AMAZING in-depth information on Organizing, Strategizing and Building a Roadmap to Success.
Learn from the best - Marshall Ganz's Thoughts on Successful Organizing
Each button links to a separate document written by Marshall Ganz from his course on Organizing: People, Power & Change. Click HERE for the source website which has additional information and videos to Dr. Ganz's lectures.