Archives for online organization

Three reasons for conservative online organization

online organizationGiven that politics is all about people, it’s a natural fit for the Internet and online social networks.

In many ways the Internet is the ultimate “precinct” in America’s politics, in that everyone “lives” there.  The overwhelming majority of registered voters have online access, and huge (and increasing) percentages of them regularly access political information online, which puts them only one step away from taking action – if someone offers them the knowledge and the opportunity.

That’s where you come in.

The fact that so many people are using the Internet for political information and activity means that you should see it as a natural extension of your activism. And while the Internet is becoming an increasingly effective tool, it’s also becoming easier to use, which puts everyone on a more even playing field.

All of the fundamental elements of politics, (identifying, informing and mobilizing), have been impacted by the Internet. And as technology continues to change it will have increasing political applications, which means that you need to make an effort to use that technology in order to be as effective as possible.

Three benefits of online organization:

1) Easy organization:

The Internet can aid your organizational efforts by allowing your supporters the opportunity to engage with your cause or campaign without having to come to a headquarters or go to a meeting. It makes it easy for you to be “found”, allows them to participate on their own terms, and lets them easily and more effectively “spread the word” to others they know.

The Internet also makes it incredibly easy to do one of the most important preliminaries to grassroots organization – identification and recruit supporters. You can’t really do much in the way of organizing people until you have identified “who” cares about your issue, and you get this done with simple sign-up forms on a website, or even with free online petitions.

2) Easy communications:

Communications is key to being able to inform and mobilize supporters to take action. Whether it’s websites, social media or email newsletters, the Internet makes it easier for you to provide important information to your supporters, and makes it just as easy for them to share it with others.

This also better enables you to inform bloggers and members of the “mainstream media” that may want to cover your efforts or provide “rapid response” to misinformation. The more of YOUR information that’s available online, the better you can help fill a factual vacuum that would potentially be filled by your opposition.

3) Simple fundraising:

Online organizing can aid with fundraising simply by providing a central place where supporters can make a contribution.

Once you’ve got a fundraising page, you can link to it in email, on printed material, on Facebook, Twitter, etc. Services like GoFundMe are great for most ad-hoc campaigns, or others like Anedot offer a cheap but more professional looking option for more involved efforts. They can also make fundraising viral, as it’s easier for your supporters to share a fundraising link with others, along with a message encouraging them to make a donation.

What to do?

You can approach online activity in one of two ways: either as an addition to what you want to do with an “offline” organization effort (such as precinct or church based), or as your only method of organization.

Good online efforts can help enhance and increase the productivity of your “offline” efforts, such as recruiting volunteers, sharing information, coordinating action and raising funds.

Whichever route your organizational efforts may take, you should plan to use the Internet as an integral part of your communications, organization and fundraising efforts.


(Get more tips like these in my “Grassroots 101 Training Series“.  Check it out!)

Six Basic Online Campaign Tools and Activities

knifeSince we’ve been discussing online activity and organization lately, I wanted to give some thoughts on some of the specific but basic things that you can do online in support of a campaign or organization, (or to augment any “offline” organization activity).

Here’s a handy list of six basic online campaign tools and activities that you should incorporate into your organizational strategy.

1) Create an online campaign:

Some services let you use their sites to host campaigns where you can set up online petitions, online faxes to members of Congress, private online groups for your supporters, etc.  These services are usually free, (or at least cheaper than creating your own website!).

2) Online polls and surveys:

Conduct opinion polls of members or supporters.  These can also be useful when trying to identify prospective supporters, (ex. set up an online survey that asks questions that will help you identify likely prospects and capture their email addresses – then email links to the survey to your supporters, encourage email forwarding, post it on Facebook, Twitter, etc.).

3) Build your database:

Once you’ve got a spot online, you can have a central place where people can sign up for a newsletter so you can communicate with them on a regular basis.  (You can do it yourself with your own email programs, or online solutions such as Constant Contact, Mad Mimi or others).  Just be sure to provide a webform or clearly visible link to where they should sign up…and promote it!

4) Post Information:

Create a central place where supporters can come and get important information about your cause that they can use to help recruit others and/or communicate to elected officials in lobbying efforts, (such as talking points, flyers, voter guides, scripts for telephone calls, etc.).  You can also offer your information in a PDF format that supporters can download and print on desktop printers to distribute in “off line” environments.

5) Provide links:

Offer a list of important and useful links that supporters can use, (such as to key contact information for elected officials, local newspaper “letters-to-the-editor” information, talk-radio call-in numbers, voter registration links, etc.).  Also post links to your Facebook and Twitter accounts, (if you have any).

6) Online scheduling:

You can use online calendar services to maintain a schedule of important dates, activities and events to easily update and keep people informed, (free services such as Google Calendar even allow people to sign up for email alerts from the calendar).  Make it easy for people to keep up with what’s going on and when they can get involved.


All of these online campaign tools and elements should eventually be incorporated into any online organizational strategy.  If you’re not online, or you don’t give people an opportunity to “sign up” online, then you’re missing out on a tremendous opportunity.

A good Internet presence, (web site, blog, email and social media), better enables you to be found by potential supporters, to communicate and get them organized.

Remember, it’s not just about who YOU know, or who may stumble across your information, but it’s about your supporters – and who THEY know.

Be a resource!


(Get more tips like these in my “Grassroots 101 Training Series“.  Check it out!)

Effective Online Organization Tips for Conservatives

online org1Whatever your issue, campaign or quest to just speak out and make a difference, if it’s important enough for you to organize or participate “off-line”, then you need to get active “on-line” as well.

Here’s a quick review of some of the most fundamental online organization tips:

Create a “Home-Base”

Use either a complete website or a blog (such as with WordPress or Blogger), a free online group (such as Google, Yahoo or Ning) or a free online campaign, (such as Aktnow).

This gives you a central location where people can find you and that you can link back to in your offline and online activity.  It’s also important for potential supporters to have a place where they can “sign up”, whether it’s an email subscription, a petition or some other type of “join us” form.

Promote Your Content

What good is it to create content to promote your cause that nobody ever sees?  Once you’ve gone to the trouble of putting good content together, give it a chance by sharing it.

Use email and social networking to push your content to others and expand your network.  For example, you can use services such as Twitterfeed or Socialoomph to automatically push content from a blog or other website to a Twitter or Facebook account.

Leverage the Internet

Choose online activities that will compliment and enhance your offline activities.  For example, if you’re trying to identify other potential supporters, then try promoting an online petition.  Just want to communicate with supporters?  Set up an online newsletter with a service like Constant Contact or Mad Mimi, (there are lots of others available with really low rates…some even free if your list is under 2,000 contacts).

Get Social

Like it or not, social media is here to stay because that’s “where the people are” – at least in an online context.  And since politics is people, you need to be there too.

Create social network profiles, (ex. Facebook & Twitter), and link them to your home-base.  Let your supporters know you’re there.  These services expose you to individuals who most likely would never otherwise see your content.  And they can help with recruitment, as others can see your content being promoted by people they may know, (essentially giving you a referral).

Multiply Your Efforts

Don’t try to do it all yourself. Involve and coordinate with others.  Be sure to actively request that supporters forward and promote your content or links via email, Twitter and Facebook.

The more people you have contributing content and/or promoting your content, the faster you’ll grow and the better your chances to make a difference.


You can get more online organization tips in my Grassroots 101 Training Series.  Check it out!