Archives for Organization

Three methods for conservative grassroots organization

grassroots organization

Whether you’re organizing for a campaign, a group or just an issue you care about, there are three areas where it pays for conservatives to focus their time.  And each area has different benefits and challenges.

1) Precinct Organization

Organizing by precinct is more geographically focused and as a result can have a more direct and greater potential impact on a specific area.

Political power in American flows from the precinct level upward, because precincts are the building blocks of the American political system.

Virtually every election district, from the school board on up, is a combination of various precincts.  They’re like the small pieces in a bigger jigsaw puzzle, which means that if you’re organized in the precincts you can influence an election – or have influence on an elected official who is interested in running for re-election.

2) Church Organization

Organizing in churches allows you to work with people you’re probably more familiar with, and are likely to have more in common with.  As a result, you may be able to get things moving more quickly.

Since a typical church’s membership may be spread across multiple precincts, focusing on churches also has the benefit of helping you “sow seeds” of activism in more than one area, (which means church organization can quickly feed “precinct organization”).

3) Online Organization

Online organization can exist on its own or as a compliment to church and/or precinct organization, (ex. online “groups” via Yahoo, Google, Ning or Facebook; or online petitions and campaigns at AktNow – or a combination).

And when you organize online, you make it easier to share information with others and for others to find you.

Online organization is also a great way to being to build a list of supporters that you can contact and keep informed.

Where to Focus Your Time?

In order to determine where you should focus your time and efforts, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What specifically do I want to impact or accomplish? Is it more educational and/or issue related, or is it more political?
  • Where do I know the most people who think like I do, and who are willing to help? (Hunt where the ducks are!)

Whichever type of organization you plan to focus on, remember that it all comes down to people. Politics is people.  And when you get enough people together with a common purpose, you’ve got grassroots organization. 

Real grassroots organization leads to political impact!


(You can find tips like this and much more in my “Grassroots 101: Grassroots Training Series“.)

Mobilizing Conservatives for Action

mobilization 2An old Chinese proverb says that “To know and not to do is not to know”.

The whole point of identifying and informing conservatives politically is so that they can ultimately have an impact on something they care about. It’s one thing to get people riled up about something, but it’s another (more effective) thing to point them towards an outlet.

In other words, mobilizing conservatives for a specific shared purpose.

Organize to Mobilize:

An essential element of mobilization is organization.  Once you’ve got a group of people identified and informed around a particular issue, the larger the group (or the scope of action), the more you need to break things up into manageable chunks that specific people can be responsible for.  The same goes for areas you might be working on or want to keep tabs on, (such as different state or local government meetings, etc.).

When you keep things simpler and smaller, you keep it more organized. 

People may have good intentions, but they’re more likely to “do” when someone is specifically tasked with following up with them. They will feel more accountable to do what they’ve said they would.

Find a Trigger:

Depending on what issue (or issues) you’re involved with, this could be specific government meetings (such as a local school board), a petition effort to change text books, a fight over a local bond referendum, or lobbying state legislators over a specific piece of legislation.

A trigger needs to be directly and understandably relevant to the overall reason people are involved to begin with.  They need to be able to directly see and understand how taking a specific action will have an impact on the thing they care about.

The more specific, simple and direct the “triggers” are the better results you’ll see.


People are busy.  Part of the reason they’ll join with you and others is that doing so provides them a service, or a “shorthand” way of letting someone else do the investigating into what needs to be done, how, when and where. So give it to them.

They’re ready to take action.  Just make an effort to give them the details.

How to Plan Grassroots Organization

grassroots organizationSo just how DO you get started with creating a local grassroots organization?  It’s simple and doesn’t take a lot of time, but action is critical.

We all know the hardest part of “doing” anything is getting started.  Having a plan makes it possible.

Fail to plan, plan to fail

Map out a plan of action that’s appropriate for your neighborhood, precinct or area you want to organize.  Use it to spell out exactly what sort of impact you want to have and what activities you’ll focus on to make it happen…(along with “who” can do “what”, “when”, “where” and “how”, etc).

Keep upcoming events on the political calendar in mind when making these decisions, (such as pending elections, important issues to lobby with local government, Republican Party organizational meetings, etc.).

Evaluate these items in coordination with other like-minded people that you plan to work with.

Three steps to planning grassroots organization

1) Decide “what” you want to accomplish

List the major changes you would like to help make happen in your area.  Why do you want to get involved?  What do you want to change?  Be focused and specific – but realistic.

2) Decide “how” you want to do it

Choose the kind of activities that will help you bring about the changes you listed above.  Play to your strengths and make sure they’re the kind of things you have the resources to accomplish.  Then list the action steps you’ll need to take to complete each activity.

3) Decide “who” else you want to work with

Multiply your efforts by involving and coordinating with others.  Remember, many hands make light work.

Planning in this way gives you a a better shot at creating a grassroots organization that can truly impact the things you care about – and help you avoid getting burned out in the process.


You can find out much more about political organization in precincts, churches and online in my “Beginner’s Guide to Grassroots Politics“!