Think big in 2017

Think big in 2017

So Trump is our President. What do we do now? Last month I wrote a general overview on what to do with your digital infrastructure after a race, and the lessons still hold true. What else?

We’re in a unique moment, with a president-elect who has never before held public office, and a historically unpopular agenda. There’s unprecedented levels of anger and frustration in our country. You can see it with the street-level protests, and in the donations pouring into well-known progressive activist groups.

Planned Parenthood and the ACLU have already seen surges of donations. In the former, many of those donations were given in the name of Mike Pence — a hook other groups could look at replicating.

Meanwhile, various Democratic groups at all levels have been flooded with new activists and volunteers.

So what to do with this new energy? Think big.

Rules for Revolutionaries: How Big Organizing Can Change Everything talks about the organizing they did online and offline for Bernie Sanders. One of their lessons is to empower your volunteers to build the organization itself. This can be a new way of thinking about online organizing. Your email list isn’t just an ATM. Rather, it should be looked at as a membership and volunteer list: every person on your list has unique skills and talents. Use them fully.

Don’t limit your reach by only asking supporters to click on petitions and give money, or for volunteers to sit around and stuff envelopes. Consider asking your best supporters to do more. Help define your work and the direction you should go. Ask them to step up and own parts of the 2017 plan. Set your supporters free, and see what you can build together.

The Sanders campaign learned how much empowered volunteers can accomplish when you set them free and think big. You can do the same.