General Education and mobilization strategies:
- Recognize that there are different approaches in how to educate and mobilize staff, volunteers, board members and program participants. Take into account that your staff, volunteers and board members have a built in trust and relationship with the agency or organization and are more likely to share the same political values. While with program participation you may need to be more sensitive and conscious in your approach ensuring that your clients know that the services they receive have no influence or reflection on whether or not they agree with the agency's political viewpoint.
- Use clear and non-technical language and avoid jargon when providing information about ballot measures.
Show off your support by making your endorsements visible. Use multiple mediums. Post yard signs, stickers, posters, email, newsletters, inter-agency memo's and make fact sheets available.
Be specific and get personal. Know the direct ways in which a ballot measure will impact your life, your community, or your agency or program and never underestimate the power of a face-to-face conversation. This election year is saturated with ballot ads and information and making a personal connection with the people you know or provide services for will make a huge difference.
Give simple action steps by listing or outlining ways that people can take action. for example: vote, take part in educating 3 others, attend a phonebank or join a campaign, etc.
Strategy tips to educate & moblize staff:
- Dedicate staff time: Support your staff by providing convenient opportunities for them to participate and learn more about the ballot initiatives by hosting information sessions, workshops during the work day. Utilize the information and resources at the Ballot Initiative Network which can provide a slew of information, resources and even faciliate a workshop or info session for your organization.
Bring-your-ballot-to-the-office day! Encourage voting by being creative about ballot collection. Coordinate a lunch or office potluck to celebrate the election.
Ballot measure happy hour: Make the education and voting process fun and community building. Invite the Ballot Initiative Network or speakers specific campaigns to speak and provide information. Have your agency attend a ballot party or coordinate a ballot party of your own. If you coordiante your own ballot party, Invite collegues and other organizations that you collaborate with show staff that there is a larger community supporting the endorsed initiatives.
Strategies to educate and mobilize your board to vote or endorse:
- Organize a presentation on the ballot measures: Utilizing campaign volunteers or the Ballot Initiative Network, you can easily pull together a short presentation of the upcoming ballot measures. This will allow your board to get the information directly from the campaign and be able to ask questions.
- Get to know & understand your board: Does your board vote regularly? Why or why not? Are there apprehensions from your board that could be addressed? Are there myths to dispel or opportunities to provide deeper information on ballot issues?
- Incorporate advocacy into your board structure: Make advocacy an important piece of a board members' role. Consider incorporating policies that support advocacy or clearly outline the expectation that board members take on advocacy tasks for maintain the well being of the organization.
Strategies to educate and mobilize program participants & volunteers:
- Program participants & volunteers are the experts: Your program participants and volunteers are your "on the ground" experts and they know first hand how important the services are in our community. Be specific in how particular ballot initiatives could potentially affect your organization.
- Be consciouss of messaging: Consider how you message to program participants and volunteers. No one should feel they have to vote a certain way to get services they need.