How to organize grassroots through Covid 19
Grassroots organizing comes in various shapes and sizes. Though grassroots generally refers to the activism in advocacy and non-profit organizations, it is also used in political campaigns. The challenge for grassroots campaigners is now in supporting their supporters.
Stay connected virtually
Physical interaction may be on hold for now but that doesn’t mean we cease communication entirely. Thanks to technologies such as WhatsApp, Zoom, and Slack, staying connected in an official or unofficial capacity is simple. The transition for many people working remotely has been eased incredibly by these platforms. If you are a grassroots organizer or a volunteer for a campaign, your input is now more valuable than ever. Your voice is more important now because people will have no other choice but to listen. I find being a part of groups having discussions during these times very comforting as there is valuable content being shared more regularly. People are being consistent with their input and also thinking more rationally. People have become more creative and I think when social norms begin to return, the level of coordination and planning for future events will be even better.
With everyone now being invited into group messages and mass email buckets, it’s still super important to reach out to people individually. Remember different volunteers may need a different approach and times like these can be much more stressful for some personalities. Remember to still conduct phonecalls and even do Facetime and video calls if you have the means. Your group meetings, events and overall communication will be helped by this one to one outreach as everyone will feel part of the campaign.
Focus on internal actions
With social media usage up significantly since the Covid_19 pandemic, now is a great time to promote your brand. You can run many competitions or post videos for your supporters to enjoy or perhaps join in on challenges. Twitter and Instagram are great platforms that have seen a number of orgs run successful competitions around fitness, cooking, mental health best practices and more. All of these things get your community involved and also invite more people to get interested in a virtual capacity until you can all meet up again.
Share positive, honest news
It’s a tough time for many people. The sheer scale of this pandemic likely won’t be known for some time but it is so important to keep your community updated with news and positive threads. If you have an email or phone number for your members, use it! Use this as a way to start a weekly newsletter and spread good news. Keep the facts and the figures to a minimum as the news is already delivering those updates and some people might find this distressing. Make sure to tell your team any vital internal news regarding other members or how they can help. It’s all about keeping people informed and allowing them to help if they want. Communication is key here and that’s why it’s important to keep the feedback loop open.