You can kill a man
But not a idea
MESSAGE TO THE GRASSROOTS
HOW TO START A GRASSROOTS CAMPAIGN
HOW TO START A GRASSROOTS CAMPAIGN RELATED TOPICS
3 KEYS TO GRASSROOTS ORGANIZATION
5 KEYS OF SUCCESSFUL GRASSROOTS ORGANIZATIONS
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A grassroots movement (often referenced in the context of a
political movement) is driven by a community's politics.
The term implies that the creation of the movement and the
group supporting it are natural and spontaneous, highlighting
the differences between this and a movement that is orchestrated
by traditional power structures. Grassroots movements are often
at the local level, as many volunteers in the community give
their time to support the local party, which can lead to helping
the national party. For instance, a grassroots movement can lead
to significant voter registration for a political party, which
in turn helps the state and national parties.
Grassroots movement procedures to organize and lobby include:
Hosting house meetings or parties
Having larger meetings—AGMs
Putting up posters
Talking with pedestrians on the street or walking door-to-door
(often involving informational clipboards)
Gathering signatures for petitions
Mobilizing letter-writing, phone-calling, and emailing campaigns
Setting up information tables
Raising money from many small donors for political advertising
Organizing large demonstrations
Asking individuals to submit opinions to media outlets and
Holding get out the vote activities, which include the practices
of reminding people to vote and transporting them to polling places.
Using online social networks to organize virtual communities.
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"Message to the Grass Roots" is the name of a public speech by
Malcolm X at the Northern Negro Grass Roots Leadership Conference
on November 10, 1963, in King Solomon Baptist Church in Detroit,
In the speech, Malcolm X described the difference between the
"Black revolution" and the "Negro revolution", he contrasted the
"house Negro" and the "field Negro" during slavery and in the
modern age, and he criticized the 1963 March on Washington.
"Message to the Grass Roots" was ranked 91st in the top 100
American speeches of the 20th century by 137 leading scholars
of American public address.
Message to the Grass Roots
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Campaigns used to be the sole privilege of the powerful, wealthy
and well-connected. The vast majority of Americans were silenced,
able to politically express themselves only by their single vote.
That has changed dramatically. Now anyone with the dedication and
the time can be part of a grassroots campaign and try to make their
country a better place.
Things You'll Need
1. Decide on a purpose. What is your issue? What is it that you're
trying to accomplish or change? It is crucial that you figure this
out and finalize it before doing anything else.
2. Create a pitch that summarizes your campaign's mission. If you
can't clearly and concisely articulate your goal, there's a good
chance no one else will be able to either and that will absolutely
kill your chance of making an impact on the people.
3. Spread the word. Create flyers to post in neighborhoods and
commercial centers. Pass them out in places where there's lot of
foot traffic. Make sure that all the information that people need
in order to join and support your campaign can be found on the flyer.
4. Create a website. This is an absolutely crucial step. The Internet
is becoming an increasingly more powerful and democratic tool, allowing
people to reach an audience that would otherwise be off-limits to them.
Also, an effective website can dramatically frees up your time, because
it can efficiently communicate all the information about your campaign
for you, leaving you free to focus on other areas of the grassroots
5. Find a spokesperson. At some point you'll need someone who can be the
voice of your campaign. Similar to the press secretary of any politician,
you'll want to find someone who is articulate, possesses rhetorical skills,
and, of course, agrees with what you're doing. This individual should
eventually handle the majority of media relations.
6. Contact your local, state and federal representatives. Contact them
repeatedly, both by email and phone. When contacting via email, try to
bombard them with emails, as there's a good chance you'll otherwise be
ignored, at least at the state and federal levels. Don't give up, no
matter how discouraging it gets.
7. Raise money. Most grassroots movements can be run inexpensively, but
unless you are wealthy, you'll eventually need outside capital. You can
solicit funds through your website or in person. Some people will be
inclined to donate simply because of the issues you're addressing, but
many others simply won't care. You may need to sell some sort of goods
or services. An easy, common example is a carwash.
8. Hire a CPA. This will save you a lot of headaches and potentially a
lot of money. Because you're a small movement, you can't afford to pay
a lot of taxes. A good CPA will know the ins and outs of the tax code
and how to properly use it for your organization.
How to Start a Grassroots Campaign
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How to Start a Fundraising Campaign
How to Develop a PR Campaign
How to Start a Grassroots Movement
What Is Grassroots Advertising?
How to Kick Start a Charity Campaign
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"We have enough lobbyists.
We have enough politicians.
We have enough special interests.
We don’t have enough grassroots legislative advocacy."
More and more people are realizing this very simple truth. From coast to
coast, Americans are beginning to form their own grassroots organizations
for the purpose of influencing the direction our country is taking via
grassroots legislative advocacy. Most will fail under the sheer weight of
the work it takes to run both aspects successfully.
While each campaign and organization will be different in size and scope,
there are three basic “keys” each needs to have:
1) Structure. There needs to be a leader and there needs to be officers.
Each must have a clear role and function to play but also collaborate
closely together for a grassroots organization to function.
Manager/Leader: Manages the leadership team and gives directives and
stability to the group. When it comes to grassroots advocacy, this
person is also akin to Chief Firefighter as they are the first person
called upon to put out brushfires within the organization should they
Communications Manager: Manages communications to grassroots activists
and conducts PR for the organization and the campaigns. This person is
the mouthpiece and should be called upon as the first point of contact.
Grassroots Manager: Organizes and leads the activists and their teams.
This person provides support to the activists as they seek to engage in
public policy, and is there “go to” person for questions, answers, and
Researcher: This is the gopher. Never seen but always there, their role
is to dig up information and get it to the rest of the leadership team
to review and compile into Calls to Action, Press Releases, Blogs,
Facebook posts, and everything in between.
Liaison: Builds coalitions and brings people into the fold. The goal
of the liaison is to increase the size of the advocacy organization and
campaign by attracting new people and new ideas into the advocacy efforts.
Should the organization wish, this person can also be called upon to build
coalitions with other like minded groups to increase the size and scope of
all the groups involved.
2) Mission. Any advocacy group and campaign needs to have a clear mission
and a defined purpose. This may seem obvious, but many groups form simply
because they’re unhappy with something. They want to get involved, but
don’t know why. Making the mission clear to all involved makes it easier
to keep everyone interested and focused. You may think no one ever reads
the “mission statement,” but that’s not true. That mission statement is
important as it provides focus and direction for you to follow.
3) Big and Small Goals. Many advocacy groups set broad goals at the outset
of a campaign, but don’t set minor goals to meet along the way. The result
is that many fail. By setting small goals that are attainable along the way,
it gives your organization and the campaign participants small steps to take
towards the finish line. The result? You keep your members interested, morale
remains high, and goals soon become accomplishments.
3 Keys of Grassroots Organization
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Everyone involved in politics is involved in setting up grassroots
organizations, one way or another. Whether you are building a
grassroots effort for your campaign for public office, running a
political party organization, or involved in issue advocacy, you
can and should be setting up effective grassroots organizations to
advocate for your cause.
Very few grassroots organizations are “moderately successful.” In
general, these groups, be they single-issue advocacy groups or arms
of a campaign for public office, are either very successful or very
unsuccessful. Successful grassroots organizations are easy to spot:
they’ve got lots of members / volunteers, get on the news (a lot!),
and you know them by their brand. How do these organizations become
1. Plan for Success
Successful grassroots organizations have a well thought out, and
well-written plan. Many people think groups like this simply sprout
up organically, without much forethought, but nothing could be further
from the truth. Most uber-groups started with a written plan.
2. Have a Hierarchy
Grassroots groups without a hierarchy usually devolve into anarchy. Again,
this may seem counterintuitive for a grassroots organization, but the group
will need a leadership structure with defined responsibilities if it is
going to succeed at a very high level.
3. Build a Brand
The most successful grassroots organizations out there are recognizable by
their brand (including their logo, their message, and their spokespeople).
This is true for campaign-run grassroots operations as well (just think
about the Obama campaign’s grassroots army in 2008 or the Bush/RNC 72-hour
Election Day corps in 2004). Your group needs a consistent look and feel
for its marketing materials, one or more well-versed press spokespeople, a
logo, and a defined and consistent message (just like a standard political
4. Use Every Tool
Well-run grassroots organization use every tool at their disposal to get
their message out: press releases, press conferences, a political website,
volunteer activity, direct mail, door to door, rallies, etc. Write a plan
that uses lots of different grassroots techniques to make your voice heard.
5. Ask for Members
One of the biggest reasons why small grassroots organizations stay that way
is because they become insular “cliques,” where members are jealous of their
role in the club and don’t really want outsiders coming in to ruin their good
time. Your group will never get big enough to have clout using this mentality.
One of the primary functions of your organization should be to grow… and that
means going out and actually asking for new members… all the time, everywhere
Grassroots organizations are a great tool in the arsenal of successful issue
advocates, political campaigns, party organizations, and more… use these five
secrets to help you build a strong and sustainable grassroots organization.
5 Secrets of Successful Grassroots Organizations
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5 Tips for Sparking a Grassroots Movement Online
African Grassroots Development International
The African Liberation Struggle is a Grassroots Thing
Black Data Processing Associates BDPA
Black Geeks Online
Blacks in Government
Black Organizations and Non-Profits
The Citizen's Handbook guides to grassroots/community organizing
Chronicling Grassroots African American Communities and Activists
Congressional Black Caucus Foundation CBCF
Ebony Queens Motorcycle Club
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Grass Roots Community Foundation
Grassroots Grants Guidelines
How to Get Started With Grassroots Advocacy
How the grassroots works
International Human Rights Association of American Minorities IHRAAM
Japan African-American Friendship Association JAFA
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People NAACP
National Association of Black Journalists NABJ
African Indigenous Science and Knowledge Systems
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