Building a grassroots movement is a lot like getting a freight train going. At first, it’s slow and difficult, but as it gains momentum, it can become self-sustaining.
What many novice grassroots organizers don’t know is that any slowdown in momentum at these crucial early stages can prevent a movement from getting started. They become so focused on hosting one great event with a well-known speaker, or loading up a bus for a rally, or organizing attendees for a hearing, that they fail to think about how that event will fit into a larger strategy. Once the event is over, any excitement quickly dissipates, and by the time they’re planning the next activity, they’re starting from scratch.
How do you prevent that from happening? Here are a few tips to make sure you’re maximizing the impact of your events.
Have the next event ready.
One of the best ways to keep the momentum going is to already have the next event or activity already planned. That way, you can use your first event to recruit for the upcoming one, keeping your activists engaged in your movement.
And the one after that.
Before you plan your event, think about how it fits into your larger strategy. If possible, have at least a month of activities scheduled so you can give attendees multiple options for additional events.
Always follow up.
Whether it’s a handwritten thank you card or an email, a final personal touch after an event is a great way to reinforce your message and remind your activists to sign up for upcoming events.
Coffee. Lots of coffee.
Big events are a great way to meet people, but one-on-one meetings are where you form relationships that help you create a true grassroots community. Be sure to introduce yourself to everyone who attends and then reach out to them soon afterwards to invite them to grab coffee or lunch.
Follow these tips, and your grassroots movement will be humming in no time!
Want more tips on hosting effective events? Join us for an upcoming Grassroots Leadership Academy training coming up near you here.
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