Re-imagining Advocacy and Electoral Campaigns for 2014


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The slides from the November 12, 2013 panel presentation, "Re-imagining Advocacy and Electoral Campaigns for 2014". Featuring Richard Carlbom, Dan Cramer, Nancy Haas, and Ann Kaner-Roth. A discussion on the strategy, tactics, and lessons from the conversation-based campaigns to win freedom to marry in Minnesota and how they can be applied to other electoral and legislative advocacy campaigns in our state.

Published in: News & Politics, Business
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  • So true, this passage from the linked report: “The people who were on this campaign learned they could change
    the world,” said Dan Cramer of Grassroots Solutions. “Like the
    Wellstone campaign was for a generation of organizers, the people
    who had this experience together will be a gift to the state [of
    Minnesota]. The campaign was an organizing moment. The gift of
    people who will organize for change in years to come is huge.”
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Re-imagining Advocacy and Electoral Campaigns for 2014

  1. 1. Re-imagining Advocacy and Electoral Campaigns for 2014 Lessons from the conversation campaigns that won the freedom to marry in Minnesota #RAEC14
  2. 2. Introductions Dan Cramer: Co-founder, Grassroots Solutions Ann Kaner-Roth: Executive Director, Project 515 Richard Carlbom: Campaign Manager, Minnesotan’s United for All Families and Founder, United Strategies Nancy Haas: Shareholder, Messerli and Kramer, lead lobbyist, Minnesotans United advocacy campaign
  3. 3. Dan Cramer, Grassroots Solutions @dangrassroots @GRSolutions
  4. 4. Field Lessons: @dangrassroots #RAEC14 1. Frame your entire campaign as a conversation campaign. Balance being deeply relational, highly accountable and achieving massive scale. 2. Invest in targeting to shape all strategic decisions. 3. Offer centralized and decentralized ways for people to participate. 4. Practice “Radical Hospitality” creating campaign cultures that engage and sustain staff and volunteers. 5. Focus on volunteer and leadership development to increase your capacity.
  5. 5. Ann Kaner-Roth, Project 515 @Project_515
  6. 6. Leading and growing an organization within a campaign: @Project_515 #RAEC14 1. Look objectively at the risks and benefits to your organization, and be transparent with your board. 2. Consider creating a separate campaign entity, and be proactive about the decision-making process. 3. Think carefully about how you want your organization to show up in the campaign, and build your plan accordingly. 4. Keep in mind the tension that might exist between electoral objectives and movement-building objectives and address them early on. 5. Understand the benefits and challenges of setting up a coalition model and be clear about what you’re asking of your coalition.
  7. 7. Richard Carlbom, United Strategies @richardcarlbom
  8. 8. Campaign management & fundraising @richardcarlbom #RAEC14 lessons: 1. Set and manage expectations for staff and allies. 2. Put the right team in place, give people autonomy but demand accountability. 3. Create a culture of thinking big- don’t create false limitations because of uncertainty. 4. Use data to develop your message. Recognize when you need to shift message frames: i.e. rights based to values based message. 5. Avoid the creation of silos within the campaigns by constantly facilitating communication and breaking down walls.
  9. 9. Nancy Haas, Messerli & Kramer
  10. 10. Lessons on effective lobbying and lobbying coordination: #RAEC14 1. Integrate lobbying, communications, and grassroots to form the strongest possible advocacy campaign. 2. Recognize the significant advantages but also the unique challenges of having a large-scale grassroots program. 3. Envision the lead lobbyist as a “quarterback” facilitating the strengths and relationships of all team members. 4. Think strategically about time management in relation to the issue. 5. Establish open communication and clear decision-making lines between lobbying team, campaign leadership and legislative leadership.
  11. 11. Case Study Read an in-depth case study about what it took to win the freedom to marry in Minnesota. “Conversation Campaign Creates Path To Victory”
  12. 12. Questions If you have questions or if you would like to discuss this topic further, contact Grassroots Solutions at or via Twitter @GRSolutions @UStrategies
  13. 13. THANK YOU! Stay Connected! Subscribe to the Grassroots Solutions emails for updates on the trends, tools, best practices, and jobs in the field of grassroots engagement.