Under Construction - Ideas Welcomed
Action Communications Links Organization
This Activist Tool Kit can help you become a better organizer, one web page
at a time. Just pick from the topics below, browse the ideas, and get to work.
If you are putting on a training, the Workshop
Presentation may also be helpful.
Ten Steps for Getting Started
(Your Next Campaign)
- Pick your campaign. Don't be in a hurry either. It is best to discuss
in meetings, and also with your friends, family and work colleagues (in other
words the inactive, as well as the campaigners). Pick something that is of
interest to the public, that you are keen to work on, preferably that your
NGO has experience with, and that you can imagine continuing for years, if
- Find your allies, and discuss how to roll out this campaign together.
- Plan your campaign before launching. Think about it over the long
term (years), and what you can foresee doing over the next 24 months. Build
a timeframe, create a slogan, campaign logo and your key messages, and set
- Together make a big launch that will reach as many people as possible
in a non-threatening, informative and inspiring way. Make it visual and inviting
to the media.
- Build your contacts lists, donors and volunteer base. Keep good records
of your people, and influencers in your community who are willing to help
and speak in favour of the campaign.
- Keep your wits about you. Monitor political, social and media developments.
Be prepared to jump on opportunities, turn bad news to your favour, and modify
your tactics and timing as circumstances indicate. Don't be dogmatic. Roll
out your campaign step by step, building momentum over time.
- Create a big celebration whenever you have a victory. Winning strengthens
your team, attracts new energy, and inspires everyone to the next steps. Announce
your next goal and move visibly forward. Don't gloat over the "losers".
Find a way that they can win, save face, and join with you. Thank and reward
your volunteers and staff again and again.
- Always keep your vision on the ultimate goal. Use all your activities
to point at it, and also to promote your organization. Consider what your
next campaigns will be when this one has succeeded.
- Don't lose faith. Some struggles take many years to succeed. We have
been fighting against nuclear ships in BC for over 20 years and have not yet
succeeded. But we will.
- Look after yourself. Many activists tend to be martyr-like in the
face of our overwhelming goals and personal need to "change the world".
However, collapsing is no good for you, your NGO, or your campaign. Pace yourself.
Have fun. Take time out. Let others pick up the slack. If it all depends on
you, and you alone, you will never succeed. It takes many people to change
101 things you and your group can do, like a clean-up, rally or teach-in.
Build your message. Get heard. Change the world.
Great ideas for getting and staying well organized.
How to work with everybody, and let everybody work with you.
Assessing the big picture, focusing your campaigns, and everything in between.
The good, the bad, the beautiful.
Tools Index and Site Map
- boycotts, girlcotts
- promoting personal and small-scale change
- civil disobedience, non-obedience
- alternatives and co-ops
- research and educating students, teachers and the public
- legal/court strategies
- petitions, postcards, letters, polls,
- mass mobilization
- building parallel structures and institutions
- public meetings
- protests, vigils and public demonstrations
- schools, universities, colleges
- sit-ins, inefficiencies, occupations, strikes, walk-outs, withdrawals
- theatre and theatrics
Communications and Policy
- communicating and communication tools overview
- policy consultations, papers, round tables
- conversion, converting and the converted
- building visibility and credibility
- bureaucrats, researchers, governments and politicians
- knowledge is power
- getting your message out
- mass media, our media, more media
- monitoring, exposing leaks, whistle blowing
- political parties
- policy strategies, submissions and shifting
- resources and information
- slogans and symbols
- Web sites and email lists
- contacts management
- electronic organizers, pocket computers
- email lists
- forms and templates
- office management
- phone trees
- staff & volunteers
- time management
- working with all ages
- identifying and recruiting allies
- steering group, coordinating committee, Board of Directors
- coalition building, spokescouncil
- achieving consensus and avoiding paralysis
- coordinating strategies with other NGOs
- cross-cultural work
- delegation and coordination
- building diversity and solidarity
- being a good facilitator
- leadership, leaders and followers
- listening and empathy
- negotiation, compromise and accommodation
- work parties
Goals, Strategies and Tactics
- campaign management
- crisis management
- know your "enemy"
- assessment, evaluation, change
- achieving focus
- setting realistic goals
- power and power sharing
- strategic, tactics, shifting priorities
- building on success
- timing is everything