Mobile-ize, Organize & Unionize – June 3rd

Organizing 2.0 and Mobile Commons have teamed up to offer a special day-long training in using mobile phone technology for organizing. We have 25 spots open to staff at unions, labor organizations, and community organizing groups. An additional 5 spots are open to others working for progressive social change.

REGISTER HERE

This training is meant for three kinds of attendees:

  • Experienced practitioners looking for case studies and examples of innovating organizing,
  • New users of mobile organizing software looking for basic and advanced training,
  • and prospective users looking for information about mobile organizing options before making the leap to a particular vendor.

Our trainers include some of the most experienced mobile organizers in the country:

Katrin Verclas has written widely on mobile phones in citizen participation and civil society organizations, mobile phones in health and for development. She is the co-founder and editor of MobileActive.org, a global network of practitioners using mobile phones for social impact. She was a 2009 TED Fellow, a 2010 fellow at the MIT Media Lab, and was named by Fast Company one of the most  “Influential Women in Tech” in 2011.

Rachel LaBruyere was responsible for growing one of the largest and most active mobile opt in lists while working with the Reform Immigration FOR America campaign. She took technology and integrated it into an existing movement, while managing the organization and organizers involved. She is currently the Director of Mobile Strategy at Mobile Commons.

Reshma Mehta is a Legislative Representative for AARP.  She has spent over 8 years in the government and non-profit arena.  At her current position, she works to advance AARP’s legislative agenda in Congress and in state legislatures throughout the nation, advocating on issues such as health care reform, home and community based services, Medicare, Social Security, consumer protection, housing and mobility, and more.

On a daily basis, Reshma helps with the recruitment, education, mobilization and retention of millions of activists in the growing AARP grassroots advocacy program.  This includes creating and executing highly targeted and segmented cross-channel campaigns that engage AARP members and the general public at both the national and state levels.

Additional trainers include: Michael Sabat, Ben Stein, Gloria Fong, Katie Saddlemire, & Charles Lenchner

Agenda:

  • Overview of the sector: progressive organizing with mobile phone technology today
  • Software training – using the Mobile Commons interface
  • Managing your mobile data in coordination with other databases/CRM’s
  • Integration with Salsa & Convio
  • Using Keywords, Opting In, Broadcasts, Groups, mConnects
  • Targeting, Pingbacks, Link Shortening, mobile web optimization
  • Opt-in forms, click to call, auto-population of fields
  • Advanced tips/tricks
  • Unions using mobile – case studies
  • Community organizing with mobile – case studies
  • List-building basics,  Call-in campaigns, Interactive campaigns, Rapid response, Crowd building, Day-of event plans
  • Low-cost alternatives to major mobile platform vendors
  • Group texting
  • Internal voting
  • Local vs. National
  • Advanced list-building strategies

REGISTER HERE

Wisconsin: people are organized = politicians have spines

Hats off to the good people of Wisconsin who are standing up.  I’ve been glued to the screen and tweeting about it all day.

It’s great to see some courage from progressive Democratic office holders.  It’s a good reminder for all of us who are working for social justice – that we on “the outside” are the source of courage for allies (and potential allies) on “the inside.”  As my friend Zack Hershman posted this afternoon: “people are organized = politicians have spines.”  Our task is always to build and leverage grassroots people power that is strong enough to counter the formidable power of our very resourced opponents.

Right does not equal might.  It’s great that the teachers and public workers and their allies in Wisconsin have truth and justice on their side, but I’m pretty happy that they’re also packing a punch, aren’t you?

What are you reading about what’s going down in Wisconsin?

Orienting New Members & Volunteers to a Local Group

Three Tips for Plugging People In

Bringing in new members or volunteers is essential to any local group that wants to grow in size and capacity. However, attracting or recruiting new people to your group is only the first step. Getting them to stick around can be a much bigger challenge! The good news is that there are tried and true methods you can use to plug new members and volunteers into tasks and roles that will build their investment and leadership in the group, and will increase what your group is capable of achieving.

Click thumbnail image on left to download this post as a PDF worksheet.

1. Schedule one-on-one welcome interviews.

When someone says they’re interested in finding out more or getting involved in your group, don’t just invite them to come to your next meeting. Even the most welcoming and inclusive groups tend to develop their own meeting culture that can unintentionally make new folks feel like outsiders. To increase your new member retention rates, schedule one-on-one intake interviews with new folks before they come to a group meeting. Get to know the person. Find out about what attracted them to the group, what kinds of tasks they enjoy or are good at, and how much time they have. Then tell them more about the group and discuss with them what their involvement could look like. You can use and adapt the questions on side two of this sheet. While this level of orientation requires more time in the short-term, it saves time in the long-term; people tend to plug into the work faster and stick around longer. It may make sense for one or two members of your group to take on orienting new folks as an ongoing role.

2. Accommodate multiple levels of participation.

In short, some people can give a lot of time, and some can give a little. Organizers with more time on their hands should avoid projecting this as an expectation onto others. A foolproof way to drive new folks away from your group is to consistently ask them to give more time than they are able. Instead learn what kind of time commitment is realistic and sustainable for them.  Help them plug into tasks and roles that suit their availability. Check in with them about how it’s going. Are they feeling overextended, or would they like to take on more? Take responsibility for helping new folks avoid over-commitment and burnout.

3. Make people feel valued and appreciated.

If you want to inspire people to stick with your group for the long haul, you’ll need to make them feel valued and appreciated. It’s basic. People like to be around people who respect them, and who are nice! If social movement groups want to compete with the myriad of often more appealing options for people’s free time, then we have to treat each other well and take care of each other.  Notice and acknowledge new folks’ contributions, however small. Make time to check in with them outside of meetings. Ask their opinions often:What did they think about the meeting? the event? the action? Bounce your ideas off of them and ask for their feedback.

Welcome Interview Template

Below is a basic welcome interview template to help you orient new members and volunteers to your group. Add questions or adapt these according to what information is most useful to your group. A welcome interview is as much about relationship building as it is about information gathering. For this reason it’s better for the “interviewer” in your group to fill out the form, rather than to just hand it to the new person.

Meet over coffee or lunch or whatever is most comfortable or convenient. Schedule an hour, and spend the first half asking the new member/volunteer about herself or himself.  Start with the basic getting-to-know-you stuff (are they from the area? in school? working? involved in other causes or groups?) before moving into the more formal questions below. Spend the second half of the meeting telling them more about the group and discussing with them possible ways they may want to plug in.

Enter the information into your member database and keep it safe.

Name:____________________

Email:_____________________________

Phone:__________________

Address:_______________________________________________

1. How did you find out about the group?

2. What attracted you to the group?

3. Are you interested in volunteering time? If so, what is a realistic and sustainable amount of time you would like to commit (a number of hours per week or per month)?

4. Are there specific days or times when you could be regularly available? 5. Do you have skills that may be useful to the group (e.g. finance, book-keeping, fundraising, design, photography, public speaking, writing, management, facilitation, mediation, DJing, performance, other)?

6. Are there areas of work that you are particularly interested in helping with?

7. Are you interested in skills and leadership development opportunities?

8. Is there anything else you would like to add?

Wisconsin: people are organized = politicians have spines

Hats off to the good people of Wisconsin who are standing up.  I’ve been glued to the screen and tweeting about it all day.

It’s great to see some courage from progressive Democratic office holders.  It’s a good reminder for all of us who are working for social justice – that we on “the outside” are the source of courage for allies (and potential allies) on “the inside.”  As my friend Zack Hershman posted this afternoon: “people are organized = politicians have spines.”  Our task is always to build and leverage grassroots people power that is strong enough to counter the formidable power of our very resourced opponents.

Right might.  It’s great that the teachers and public workers and their allies in Wisconsin have truth and justice on their side, but I’m pretty happy that they’re also packing a punch, aren’t you?

What are you reading about what’s going down in Wisconsin?