Help with Demoralized Volunteers

The news just keeps getting worse, doesn’t it?  Here are four simple tactics you can use to maintain volunteer energy and morale:

  1. Self-Care: Maintain your own morale.  Volunteers will take their emotional cues from you.  (Here‘s a self-care refresher.)
  2. Choice: To the extent possible, give your volunteers choices on what they work so they can choose tasks that interest them.  Extroverts will be energized by canvassing.  Introverts may actually like data entry.
  3. Expectations: If you know that volunteers will get a less-than-optimal response from an outreach activity (low voter interest, engaging with opponents), let them know in advance.  Also frame these potentially unpleasant interactions in positive ways, such as “building a new base” or “finding new supporters.”  They will then be emotionally “vaccinated” for less-than-optimal interactions.
  4. Community: Make sure every volunteer activity has some positive social aspect fully controlled by you, such as going out for coffee or a beer after canvassing.  This social time gives volunteers a positive experience of connection and processing regardless of their interaction with persuasion targets.



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Create a Vision Board with your Group

How do we help all members to feel engaged?
How do we maintain group cohesion when members differ?
How do we stay focused on our goal when we are demoralized?
How do we connect with one another in a fun yet meaningful way?

Vision boarding is a great solution to all these challenges.
It helps us engage with politics and with each other in a new and creative way.

In the video below, arts facilitator Valentina Gonzalez (artclassestoyou AT gmail DOT com) explains how:



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How to Resolve Conflict in Activist Facebook Groups

Busy and digital as we are, a lot of our activist interactions happen on Facebook.

While convenient, it’s easier for conflict to arise when we interact through a screen, rather than face to face.

This video describes simple methods for assuming and acting with good intentions that can reduce conflict on Facebook and make our groups more cohesive and effective as a result.



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Newsletter Rebuttal: Jumpstart your Comms with this Weekly Practice

Who Did It?

NJ 11th for Change is a grassroots coalition whose activism pushed the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee to not seek re-election despite winning the 2016 election by 19 points and having held the office for 23 years.  This piece of advice is proved by the organization’s co-Executive Director, Elizabeth Juviler.

What’s the Tactic?

According to the Indivisible Guide, every MoC has an e-newsletter, and many of them are emailed out weekly.  This is extremely useful for citizen activist groups because you can use it to create a weekly “counter-newsletter” that challenges and debunks the official newsletter.  This alternative version you create is the newsletter rebuttal. Continue reading “Newsletter Rebuttal: Jumpstart your Comms with this Weekly Practice”

9 Quick-Start Blog Styles

As you blog for your group, you’re trying to keep your members engaged.  Yet you also have limited time.   Using pre-existing formats can help you blog faster since so you don’t have to start with horror of a blank page.

These 9 types of blog posts below can serve a variety of topics and causes.  The steps to their creation, as well as examples from some of the best nonprofit blogs, are included in the slideshow.

The Posts:

  1. The Pass-it-Along Post
  2. The “We’re Real People” Post
  3. The Community Appreciation Post
  4. The “Our Response” Post
  5. The Informative Listicle
  6. The Mobilization Post
  7. The Ignored News Story
  8. The Guest Post
  9. The Email Interview

Continue reading “9 Quick-Start Blog Styles”

Basics of Blogging

You’ve been asked to write the blog for your group, but don’t know how to start. Here are the basics:
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    1. Focus on Mission: Keeping your content focused specifically on your organization’s cause and mission.
    2. Post Length of 200-750 Words: Short posts are more likely to be read and (because they require less work) more likely to be written. The ideal length is 500 words.
    3. Highlight Key Ideas: Some people won’t have time to read the whole post. If you put a few of the post’s key ideas in boldface, they will still get the main idea.
    4. Tell Stories About Real People: This type of post can be created at any time, is conceptually easy to create, and will be accessible to any visitor to the site. To ensure that informed consent is given, every person who is the subject of a story on the blog should sign a release form, ideally using a Google Form (the form is the text, they write their name in a text box and click submit).

Continue reading “Basics of Blogging”