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PRACTICAL POLITICS The Nuts and Bolts of  Grassroots Activism
Developing  a Grassroots Strategy <ul><li>Set Priorities </li></ul><ul><li>What is your issue? </li></ul><ul><li>Differenc...
Timeline <ul><li>Are there deadlines for action? </li></ul><ul><li>Start at “D” day and work back </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ex...
Sample Electoral Campaign Timeline November 4 Election Day Nov. 2-4 GOTV Calls and Honk and Wave Oct. 29 Last mail out Oct...
Budget <ul><li>Overall costs </li></ul><ul><li>How to get them? </li></ul><ul><li>Fundraising </li></ul><ul><li>Allocation...
Framing <ul><li>What messages work? </li></ul><ul><li>What is a “frame”? </li></ul><ul><li>Keep your message in context/ti...
Examples of Frames <ul><li>“No Child Left Behind” </li></ul><ul><li>“Pro Life” </li></ul><ul><li>“Defense of Marriage” Act...
Working with Volunteers <ul><li>Attracting volunteers </li></ul><ul><li>Assigning tasks </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The right pe...
Where to Find Volunteers <ul><li>Environmental Groups </li></ul><ul><li>Social Justice Groups </li></ul><ul><li>Homeowners...
Using Volunteers <ul><li>Match talents with needs </li></ul><ul><li>Petitioning </li></ul><ul><li>Phone banking </li></ul>...
Likely allies <ul><li>Like minded individuals and Groups </li></ul><ul><li>Environmentalists </li></ul><ul><li>Neighborhoo...
Unlikely Allies <ul><li>Keep open horizons </li></ul><ul><li>Tax payer groups </li></ul><ul><li>Parents </li></ul><ul><li>...
Lobbying Officials <ul><li>Be prepared </li></ul><ul><li>Know who is in charge </li></ul><ul><li>Have a specific action </...
Lobbying cont. <ul><li>Take at least two to a meeting with the official </li></ul><ul><li>Take notes </li></ul><ul><li>Bri...
Public Hearings <ul><li>Be prepared </li></ul><ul><li>Have a spokesperson </li></ul><ul><li>Keep comments short </li></ul>...
Activist Tactics <ul><li>Tabling </li></ul><ul><li>Petitioning </li></ul><ul><li>Events </li></ul><ul><li>Press </li></ul>...
Tabling <ul><li>Use an ironing board </li></ul><ul><li>Easy to read material </li></ul><ul><li>Be polite </li></ul><ul><li...
 
Petitioning <ul><li>Know the rules/laws </li></ul><ul><li>Is it election/pressure on electeds? </li></ul><ul><li>Keep it s...
Events <ul><li>Many events allow tables </li></ul><ul><li>Make sure it’s a fit </li></ul><ul><li>Be visible, polite </li><...
Canvassing <ul><li>Going door to door </li></ul><ul><li>Election or other? </li></ul><ul><li>Weekends/dinner hour </li></u...
Phone Banking <ul><li>Tactic for follow ups to </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Event invitations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fundrais...
Dealing with the Press <ul><li>Press releases </li></ul><ul><li>Press Conferences </li></ul><ul><li>Letters to the Editor ...
The Press Release <ul><li>Keep it short </li></ul><ul><li>White space </li></ul><ul><li>Who What Where When </li></ul><ul>...
The Press Conference <ul><li>Have a good visual reason for calling the press conference </li></ul><ul><li>Dramatic </li></...
Letters to the Editor <ul><li>Choose a “scribe” </li></ul><ul><li>Not all the same voice </li></ul><ul><li>Simple and shor...
OpEds <ul><li>Longer format </li></ul><ul><li>Have a photo available </li></ul><ul><li>A good editor </li></ul><ul><li>Sho...
Blogs <ul><li>Use existing paper’s websites </li></ul><ul><li>Crate your own blog on your website </li></ul><ul><li>Use po...
The “friendly” Reporter <ul><li>Find out who’s covering your issue </li></ul><ul><li>Get to know them </li></ul><ul><li>Be...
Editorial Meetings <ul><li>They usually call you </li></ul><ul><li>If not, ask </li></ul><ul><li>Bring two or three –they ...
Creating Effective Materials   <ul><li>“ KISS” </li></ul><ul><li>No more than 3-4 “bullet” points </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Pr...
Materials Continued <ul><li>Mailers </li></ul><ul><li>Handouts/walk pieces </li></ul><ul><li>Surveys/questionnaires </li><...
 
 
Know Your Opposition <ul><li>Research </li></ul><ul><li>Public record </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Court files </li></ul></ul><ul...
 
Fundraising <ul><li>Events </li></ul><ul><li>Major Donor drives </li></ul><ul><li>Smaller donor drives </li></ul><ul><li>G...
Circles of Power
Events <ul><li>Low return </li></ul><ul><li>Big investment – Time and money </li></ul><ul><li>Need a committee </li></ul><...
Major Donor <ul><li>Finance Committee </li></ul><ul><li>Who donated to like-minded causes? </li></ul><ul><li>High end hous...
Smaller Donors <ul><li>Invite to events </li></ul><ul><li>Letters to supporters </li></ul><ul><li>Ask Again </li></ul><ul>...
Grants <ul><li>Non-profit organizations </li></ul><ul><li>Know the Foundation’s guidelines </li></ul><ul><li>See who they’...
“Dialing for Dollars” <ul><li>The candidate or chief fundraiser </li></ul><ul><li>Call “high donors” </li></ul><ul><li>Use...
Letters <ul><li>Keep them short and simple </li></ul><ul><li>Highlight the “ask” </li></ul><ul><li>Get to the point </li><...
Are you ready to run? <ul><li>Why do you want to run? </li></ul><ul><li>“ Fire in the belly” </li></ul><ul><li>Is this the...
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Activist.Training.Practical Politics.Forum.2008ppt

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Activist.Training.Practical Politics.Forum.2008ppt

  1. 1. PRACTICAL POLITICS The Nuts and Bolts of Grassroots Activism
  2. 2. Developing a Grassroots Strategy <ul><li>Set Priorities </li></ul><ul><li>What is your issue? </li></ul><ul><li>Difference between “Strategy” and “Tactics” </li></ul><ul><li>Make a campaign plan </li></ul><ul><li>Timeline, budget, audience </li></ul><ul><li>Goal </li></ul>
  3. 3. Timeline <ul><li>Are there deadlines for action? </li></ul><ul><li>Start at “D” day and work back </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Example Election Day </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Set realistic goals </li></ul><ul><li>Make a calendar </li></ul>
  4. 4. Sample Electoral Campaign Timeline November 4 Election Day Nov. 2-4 GOTV Calls and Honk and Wave Oct. 29 Last mail out October 24- Nov. 4 Last phone bank Oct. 18-19 Second mail out Oct. 1 First mail out/Absentee Sept-Oct Walk precincts Mid Sept: Fundraiser/Order signs Sept 1 Walk piece ready for precinct walking/handouts July-Aug House parties/Kick off July Prepare simple handouts/website June Fund appeal letter/follow up phone calls/Other fund appeal calls Issues research Data base coordinator Treasurer Campaign volunteer coordinator
  5. 5. Budget <ul><li>Overall costs </li></ul><ul><li>How to get them? </li></ul><ul><li>Fundraising </li></ul><ul><li>Allocation – set priorities </li></ul><ul><li>Bank account, Treasurer </li></ul>
  6. 6. Framing <ul><li>What messages work? </li></ul><ul><li>What is a “frame”? </li></ul><ul><li>Keep your message in context/timely </li></ul><ul><li>“ KISS” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Keep it Simple Stupid! </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Buzz words and sound bites/Timely </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Change we can believe in </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>New Leadership </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>New jobs for a new economy </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Examples of Frames <ul><li>“No Child Left Behind” </li></ul><ul><li>“Pro Life” </li></ul><ul><li>“Defense of Marriage” Act </li></ul><ul><li>Change we can believe in </li></ul><ul><li>Clean Energy </li></ul><ul><li>New jobs for new economy </li></ul>
  8. 8. Working with Volunteers <ul><li>Attracting volunteers </li></ul><ul><li>Assigning tasks </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The right person for the job </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Interest and skill based </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Making it fun </li></ul><ul><li>Follow up </li></ul><ul><li>Rewards Plus </li></ul><ul><li>Can you fire a volunteer? </li></ul>
  9. 9. Where to Find Volunteers <ul><li>Environmental Groups </li></ul><ul><li>Social Justice Groups </li></ul><ul><li>Homeowners’ Associations </li></ul><ul><li>Community Groups </li></ul><ul><li>Seniors </li></ul><ul><li>Young people/Students </li></ul><ul><li>Parents </li></ul><ul><li>Other interest groups </li></ul>
  10. 10. Using Volunteers <ul><li>Match talents with needs </li></ul><ul><li>Petitioning </li></ul><ul><li>Phone banking </li></ul><ul><li>Fundraising </li></ul><ul><li>Research </li></ul><ul><li>PR </li></ul><ul><li>Outreach </li></ul><ul><li>Bookkeeping </li></ul><ul><li>Office help </li></ul><ul><li>Fundraising and keeping data base </li></ul>
  11. 11. Likely allies <ul><li>Like minded individuals and Groups </li></ul><ul><li>Environmentalists </li></ul><ul><li>Neighborhood groups </li></ul><ul><li>Good Government activists </li></ul><ul><li>National/State groups working on your issue </li></ul>
  12. 12. Unlikely Allies <ul><li>Keep open horizons </li></ul><ul><li>Tax payer groups </li></ul><ul><li>Parents </li></ul><ul><li>Small Business </li></ul><ul><li>Church groups </li></ul><ul><li>People who are against your opponent </li></ul>
  13. 13. Lobbying Officials <ul><li>Be prepared </li></ul><ul><li>Know who is in charge </li></ul><ul><li>Have a specific action </li></ul><ul><li>Do your homework </li></ul><ul><li>Know their position </li></ul><ul><li>Know their constituency </li></ul>
  14. 14. Lobbying cont. <ul><li>Take at least two to a meeting with the official </li></ul><ul><li>Take notes </li></ul><ul><li>Bring written material </li></ul><ul><li>Be polite </li></ul><ul><li>Be on time </li></ul><ul><li>Act professional </li></ul><ul><li>Follow up </li></ul>
  15. 15. Public Hearings <ul><li>Be prepared </li></ul><ul><li>Have a spokesperson </li></ul><ul><li>Keep comments short </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t repeat </li></ul><ul><li>Polite </li></ul><ul><li>Hand outs ok </li></ul><ul><li>Large presence </li></ul>
  16. 16. Activist Tactics <ul><li>Tabling </li></ul><ul><li>Petitioning </li></ul><ul><li>Events </li></ul><ul><li>Press </li></ul><ul><li>Canvassing </li></ul><ul><li>Phone Banking </li></ul>
  17. 17. Tabling <ul><li>Use an ironing board </li></ul><ul><li>Easy to read material </li></ul><ul><li>Be polite </li></ul><ul><li>Sign up sheets/Posters </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t block entrances </li></ul><ul><li>Know the 1 st Amendment </li></ul><ul><li>Keep a schedule </li></ul>
  18. 19. Petitioning <ul><li>Know the rules/laws </li></ul><ul><li>Is it election/pressure on electeds? </li></ul><ul><li>Keep it simple </li></ul><ul><li>Similar to tabling </li></ul><ul><li>Strategically choose locations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Park Service for deer </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>WalMart for working conditions/Unions </li></ul></ul>
  19. 20. Events <ul><li>Many events allow tables </li></ul><ul><li>Make sure it’s a fit </li></ul><ul><li>Be visible, polite </li></ul><ul><li>Have plenty of material for audience </li></ul><ul><li>Good place for sign ups </li></ul><ul><ul><li>College of Marin events </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Solar events </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Clean energy events/hearings </li></ul></ul>
  20. 21. Canvassing <ul><li>Going door to door </li></ul><ul><li>Election or other? </li></ul><ul><li>Weekends/dinner hour </li></ul><ul><li>Be polite </li></ul><ul><li>If it’s election, use your lists. </li></ul><ul><li>Up one side, down the other </li></ul><ul><li>Teamwork </li></ul><ul><li>Dog treats </li></ul>
  21. 22. Phone Banking <ul><li>Tactic for follow ups to </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Event invitations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fundraising pitches </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Polling/surveys </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Find large place </li></ul><ul><li>Have a script </li></ul><ul><li>Provide food for volunteers </li></ul><ul><li>Keep track of responses </li></ul>
  22. 23. Dealing with the Press <ul><li>Press releases </li></ul><ul><li>Press Conferences </li></ul><ul><li>Letters to the Editor </li></ul><ul><li>OpEds </li></ul><ul><li>Cultivating “friendly” reporters </li></ul><ul><li>Editorial Meetings </li></ul>
  23. 24. The Press Release <ul><li>Keep it short </li></ul><ul><li>White space </li></ul><ul><li>Who What Where When </li></ul><ul><li>Contact info up front </li></ul><ul><li>Short quotes </li></ul><ul><li>Punchy Headline </li></ul><ul><li>Know the right person to contact </li></ul><ul><li>Follow up </li></ul>
  24. 25. The Press Conference <ul><li>Have a good visual reason for calling the press conference </li></ul><ul><li>Dramatic </li></ul><ul><li>At the “site” </li></ul><ul><li>At the Hearing </li></ul><ul><li>When something important has occurred </li></ul><ul><li>Spokesperson </li></ul><ul><li>Written comments </li></ul>
  25. 26. Letters to the Editor <ul><li>Choose a “scribe” </li></ul><ul><li>Not all the same voice </li></ul><ul><li>Simple and short (250 words optimum) </li></ul><ul><li>Respond to paper’s stand/other letters </li></ul><ul><li>Use email </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Consider their website, local blogs </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Respectful even if critical </li></ul><ul><li>Use non-celebrities </li></ul>
  26. 27. OpEds <ul><li>Longer format </li></ul><ul><li>Have a photo available </li></ul><ul><li>A good editor </li></ul><ul><li>Short paragraphs to the point </li></ul><ul><li>Can respond to another one </li></ul>
  27. 28. Blogs <ul><li>Use existing paper’s websites </li></ul><ul><li>Crate your own blog on your website </li></ul><ul><li>Use political/environmental websites </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Calitics </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sierra Club </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sfgate </li></ul></ul>
  28. 29. The “friendly” Reporter <ul><li>Find out who’s covering your issue </li></ul><ul><li>Get to know them </li></ul><ul><li>Be respectful </li></ul><ul><li>Return calls </li></ul><ul><li>If they’re not friendly, see who is </li></ul><ul><li>Have a spokseperson </li></ul>
  29. 30. Editorial Meetings <ul><li>They usually call you </li></ul><ul><li>If not, ask </li></ul><ul><li>Bring two or three –they will! </li></ul><ul><li>Be on time, polite, prepared </li></ul><ul><li>Written materials </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t be cowed </li></ul><ul><li>OK to call back </li></ul>
  30. 31. Creating Effective Materials <ul><li>“ KISS” </li></ul><ul><li>No more than 3-4 “bullet” points </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Prioritize your message </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Pictures and graphics </li></ul><ul><li>Not too busy (White Space) </li></ul><ul><li>“ Blocks” of information/photos </li></ul><ul><li>Color choices </li></ul><ul><li>Cost </li></ul>
  31. 32. Materials Continued <ul><li>Mailers </li></ul><ul><li>Handouts/walk pieces </li></ul><ul><li>Surveys/questionnaires </li></ul><ul><li>Newsletters </li></ul><ul><li>“ Dear Friend” Cards </li></ul><ul><li>Ads </li></ul><ul><li>Letters to supporters </li></ul><ul><li>Posters </li></ul><ul><li>Websites </li></ul>
  32. 35. Know Your Opposition <ul><li>Research </li></ul><ul><li>Public record </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Court files </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Property records </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Their past and present filings </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Web </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Newspapers </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Other sources </li></ul>
  33. 37. Fundraising <ul><li>Events </li></ul><ul><li>Major Donor drives </li></ul><ul><li>Smaller donor drives </li></ul><ul><li>Grants </li></ul><ul><li>Dialing for Dollars </li></ul><ul><li>Letters </li></ul>
  34. 38. Circles of Power
  35. 39. Events <ul><li>Low return </li></ul><ul><li>Big investment – Time and money </li></ul><ul><li>Need a committee </li></ul><ul><li>Get donations – Food and wine </li></ul><ul><li>Have a budget </li></ul><ul><li>Good for publicity </li></ul><ul><li>Always have sponsors </li></ul>
  36. 40. Major Donor <ul><li>Finance Committee </li></ul><ul><li>Who donated to like-minded causes? </li></ul><ul><li>High end house parties </li></ul><ul><li>Good contacts </li></ul><ul><li>Personal calls/visits </li></ul><ul><li>Follow up </li></ul><ul><li>Thanks </li></ul>
  37. 41. Smaller Donors <ul><li>Invite to events </li></ul><ul><li>Letters to supporters </li></ul><ul><li>Ask Again </li></ul><ul><li>Friends and family and their F and F </li></ul><ul><li>Phone banks </li></ul><ul><li>“Pass the hat” </li></ul><ul><li>Merchant drives </li></ul>
  38. 42. Grants <ul><li>Non-profit organizations </li></ul><ul><li>Know the Foundation’s guidelines </li></ul><ul><li>See who they’ve funded </li></ul><ul><li>Consider professional help </li></ul><ul><li>Have a clear budget </li></ul><ul><li>Foundation Center </li></ul><ul><li>Internet </li></ul>
  39. 43. “Dialing for Dollars” <ul><li>The candidate or chief fundraiser </li></ul><ul><li>Call “high donors” </li></ul><ul><li>Use volunteers for smaller donors </li></ul><ul><li>Keep a list </li></ul><ul><li>Script </li></ul><ul><li>Be friendly </li></ul><ul><li>Ask then wait </li></ul><ul><li>Thank them </li></ul>
  40. 44. Letters <ul><li>Keep them short and simple </li></ul><ul><li>Highlight the “ask” </li></ul><ul><li>Get to the point </li></ul><ul><li>One page </li></ul><ul><li>Include a remit envelope </li></ul><ul><li>“PS” </li></ul><ul><li>Follow up calls </li></ul>
  41. 45. Are you ready to run? <ul><li>Why do you want to run? </li></ul><ul><li>“ Fire in the belly” </li></ul><ul><li>Is this the right office? </li></ul><ul><li>What does your family think? </li></ul><ul><li>Is this the right time? </li></ul><ul><li>Can you afford it </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Money </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Time </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Nasty attacks and ie’s </li></ul></ul>

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