“If you want to go fast, go alone.
If you want to go far, go together.”
- I’m new in town and want to know what other people are already doing about my issue
- I want the volunteers I lead to learn or experience something my current organization doesn’t provide
- A project – like, getting the attention of a certain member of Congress or putting on an event – requires strength in numbers
|ONE activists party downtown for World AIDS|
Day. One free Belevedere (RED) vodka drink for
every letter we wrote to Congress. I wrote three!
- RESULTS lets me do a deep dive into advocacy for key, interrelated issues. There’s no better organization for teaching about best practices of how build meaningful, personal relationships with members of Congress. If you want to get a message delivered face-to-face to a decision maker, these are the people you want in the room.
- Shot@Life has a laser-focus on global vaccines as a tool for child survival as well as giving me great infographics and social media training. I get to fully indulge my “mommy” side and involve my kids as the culture is extremely welcoming to kids and parents.
- ONE Campaign volunteers are the cool kids on the block. ONE makes activism a sexy, mainstream thing to do and does a great job of using social media and texting tools for easy advocacy actions. If you want thousands of people to take a urgent, quick action or to pack a downtown Chicago bar full of hip young activists for a World AIDS day party, they are the masters.
- Bread for the World is a Christian organization with a deep focus on hunger. It is the very best entryway to talk to church congregations. Bread’s annual Offering of Letters is the gold standard of how to organize letter-writing events and they are extremely good at making the moral case to end poverty. They know how to get thousands of handwritten letters from churches or a powerful lobby meeting with clergy (and every member of Congress knows each pastor has a flock of hundreds).
- Do be make sure you have a mutual understanding of your common ground, so your work can stay focused and clear.
- Do be clear with others about what makes your organization special and what you bring to the table that is beneficial to the partnership.
- Do give as much as you take. Be generous with your time and others will be more willing to lend a hand for you.
- Do build a reputation for being professional and easy to work with.
- Do be dependable and follow through with what you agree to do.
- Do listen. Listening is so important.
- Don’t overwhelm yourself trying to be all things to all organizations.
- Don’t poach members. Actively recruiting and trying to get people to switch to your group is not cool.
- Do respect the culture and strategies of the other groups. Just because they use different methods doesn’t mean they are wrong. In fact, it probably makes the coalition stronger as a whole!