Organizations should continually get stronger as they operate. Building power is a major way to do this. Even campaigns that “lose” should build the power of the organization.
Nothing breeds success like success
Grassroots Organizing and Introduction to Power Building- Bill Davis
Power Assessment Choose Clean Water Conference June 4, 2012
What Is Power Assessment• Data driven, (501 c3) analysis of how much power an organization has,• The characteristics of that power, what kind, where, etc.
This Is Neither New Nor Rocket Science• So why care?• Because few organizations do it and,• They are less effective as a result
Why Do You Need Power?• To Win!• To be a stronger organization overall because without it the rest of your organization: fundraising, research, communication, etc. suffer
What is Power?• Ability to accomplish your goals• Ability to inflict consequences on your opposition
What Gives You Power• Depends somewhat on your target, for example• Legislature (and some agencies): money, relationships and information• Corporations: shareholder, ability to damage Brand, etc.
Power Can And Should be Measured• Broad measures such as: no significant decision made without your knowledge and consent, and• Specific based on: key districts, active members, partners, knowledge of the districts, etc.
District data• Population• Major employers• Election margins• Major environmental features• Demographics• Any other defining characteristics
Organizational Database Fields• Members in a district• Active members with areas of interest• Grasstops – For whom? – What kind of grasstop? (institutional, personal, etc.)
Enduring Alliances• What is the basis of the relationship? Organizational? Personal? Etc.• What kind of power do they have? Grassroots? Grasstops?• How active are they?• What kinds of messages will likely engage their members?
Building Power Should Be Integrated into All Organizational Functions• Want to win consistently regardless of short term events• This takes time, can’t “press a button”
Why Is It Useful? Helps Target:• Campaigns• Communications, i.e. audience and message• Fundraising• Organizing• Coalition/partnerships
How Do You Build Power?• Identify what you have• Identify where you need more• Determine the type of power you want to build• Develop plan with numeric targets, resources, etc.• Structure all programmatic work so that it builds power win, lose or draw• Implement• Review/Refine/adjust
Maintain• Only Build what you will maintain• Develop internal structures needed to maintain power• Will look different for grassroots, grasstops, partnerships, etc.
Other Tools• Voter file/State Voices• Social media