The Basics of a Grassroots Campaign

A grassroots campaign consists of many people working together to achieve a goal. Grassroots campaigns do not involve high budgets, sophisticated ad campaigns, or highly paid professionals. Rather, they consist of volunteers working together to make a change. The types of changes that a grassroots campaign works toward may involve passing a referendum, getting a political candidate elected, or educating the public. There are several things that are necessary for a grassroots campaign to be successful.

Recruit Local Volunteers

Image via Flickr by net_efekt

The backbone of a grassroots campaign is its volunteers. When local volunteers work to make changes in their community, the campaign is personal, encouraging them to work harder. Locals are familiar with the area and can generate the best ideas for where to hold town meetings, as well as which neighborhoods to canvas. Locals are also able to recruit more easily since they have friends and family in the area. They are aware of the views and values of the area, and other locals are more likely to listen to one of their own.

Focus on the Public
Social media and technology definitely have their place in a grassroots campaign. However, these outlets are impersonal. Public opinion, which dictates the success or failure of the campaign, must be gained through face-to-face interaction. House meetings, town meetings, polling pedestrians on the street, going door-to-door, and setting up information tables in public places are great ways to determine individual attitudes. This information can be analyzed to direct the next step of the campaign.

Establish Leadership
Although grassroots campaigns are made up of volunteers, there still needs to be leadership. This can be attained through a hierarchical structure. The campaign can be broken down into regions, committees, or specialties. It needs to be done in such a way that everyone can participate and everyone’s voice can be heard. Leaders need to be able to organize their team, and leaders above them need to coordinate the teams. At the same time, individual volunteers need to have input in the campaign, as they are the real force behind the crusade.

Build a Brand
A successful grassroots organization is recognizable by its brand. A brand is made up of the organization’s logo, message, and/or spokespeople. Having a consistent look to marketing materials gives the campaign a put-together look that, over time, people will come to recognize. Not only does a brand give credibility and recognizability, but it also gives volunteers and supporters a shared commonality, providing a sense of belonging and support.

There Is Strength in Grassroots
If you look at a blade of grass, it appears to be fairly unremarkable. It is fragile, easily broken. On its own, it is weak. If you have ever tried to dig up a bunch of grass, however, you know that grass’ roots are incredibly strong. The roots use each other for strength and perseverance. Singly, grass is ineffective; in large numbers, grass is powerful, even invasive. This is the idea behind a grassroots campaign. In large numbers, even individuals can affect great change.

call to action
Post a Comment or Question

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Get program details

live chat learn more