In a big election year like 2024, grassroots organizations that primarily focus on issue organizing often receive c4 dollars, requiring them to engage in electoral work. re:power has developed the Campaign School for Issue Organizers with this audience in mind, in order to support folks to connect the dots between elections and year-round issue-based organizing.
In this course, we will take participants through the full-cycle of electoral campaigning, from how to calculate a Win number and create a field plan, to campaign budgeting and fundraising, to launching and managing a canvass. While the primary focus is on electoral skills, this course is intended to build the confidence, rigor and strategy that organizers need to transfer these skills to issue-based grassroots organizing. This is a four-week course that meets twice a week, for two hours per session. Participants will have access to coaches throughout the duration of this course.
Who is this course for?
- Grassroots Organizers, Base Builders, Campaigners who can facilitate inclusive, productive and positive work environments
- Issue-focused organizers who are, or will be receiving, C3 or C4 dollars to manage electoral programs to uplift issue-focused campaigns ie. ballot measures, pro-working class candidates, etc.
- Folks who have 3+ years of organizing experience
- Leaders with a commitment to racial, gender and economic equity
Ideal applicants come from all walks of life, from seasoned organizers and campaigners looking to sharpen their skills, to beginners who are passionate about organizing and want to start their learning journey. Here are some attributes shared by all our applicants:
Appetite for learning: Whether you have experience in organizing or not, we are interested in organizers and campaign practitioners who are eager to develop their skills further and are committed to learning and growth.
Organizing insight: You don’t need to be a professional politico, but we’re looking for applicants with experience doing organizing work on the ground. That work can be tied to grassroots, electoral, and/or issue organizing. We seek to support organizers who are currently part of a campaign effort or are seeking to build one.
Dedication to inclusive politics and intersectional solutions: At re:power, we center race, class, gender and sexuality across all our trainings – it’s part of our practice of inclusive politics. We want organizers to be open to new ideas regarding it and to the ideas and contributions from their fellow organizers who will reflect our diverse communities.
This is an interactive course. We ask participants to write in the chat box, share verbally, and participate in breakout group discussion. We understand that folks have a lot going on though, so if you are not able to participate in a breakout discussion you can let the tech moderator know. We encourage, but do not require, participants to turn on video during breakout discussions.
Overview a Field Plan and DVC Basics
Why do you need a field plan and field team to be successful? This course will be an overview of what consists of a field plan, how to create your “North Star” i.e. your campaign Win Number, and will discuss the basics of direct voter contact.
Campaign Budgeting & Fundraising
This session will support participants in understanding their role as fundraisers while building their confidence, and how to hold leadership in raising election dollars before, during, and after a campaign cycle.
Targeting Voters & VAN
During this session, we will break down how to target the key voters that your campaign needs to talk to, and we will go over how to use the Voter Activation Network (VAN) and navigate its limitations.
Base Building and Digital Tools
Up to this point, we will have covered how to determine your win number, what should be in a field plan, the basics of direct voter contact, and how to target voters. This session will explore how to build an inclusive base of support and how to craft what you say to your base once you have identified them.
In this session, we will practice organizing conversations to help shape and inform our field programs. Participants will role play and get the opportunity to write an effective script that connects your target audience with desired outcomes.
Building a Volunteer Program
Volunteers are the lifeblood of a campaign. Coming out of this session, participants will be able to identify the 5 elements of a great volunteer program, understand their role in volunteer recruitment and retention, and develop volunteer leadership through a ladder of engagement.
Launching & Managing Canvasses
In this session, we will focus on one of the key ingredients of a successful field program: the door-to-door canvass. Participants will learn how to effectively set up canvasses and manage canvass staff.
Managing Up & Across Your Team
In our final session, we will support participants to better coordinate and communicate with their peers and managers in order to achieve the shared vision and goals of the campaign.