Organizing Snowflake Model Campaigns in NationBuilder

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*Disclosure: This post was inspired by a conversation I had with Karl Hardin of Dogwood Initiative and my business partner Amy Leaman in Vancouver earlier this year.  Karl’s work with Dogwood helped flesh out the logistics of implementing snowflake models in NationBuilder.*

It’s common for clients to approach us early in our engagement to chat about what is commonly known as a ‘snowflake’.  For those who aren’t familiar, the ‘Snowflake Model’ is a way of organizing teams of supporters or activists. It was popularized by the writing and teaching of Marshall Ganz and the field (voter contact) programs of Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012.  

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Developing a Brand for GenUN

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The United Nations (UN) rarely needs an introduction, it being a well-established organization that has grown to incorporate 193 member states since its inception in 1945. In short: it is huge, omnipresent, and well-regarded, representing a way towards a better world.

But as well known as it is, the UN and its affiliated organizations do not have the same name recognition or resonance with younger audiences. A new initiative by the United Nations Association of the United States of America (UNA-USA) called GenUN (Generation United Nations) aims to address this by working to engage younger generations in working towards UN goals, both online and off.

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Guest Post: One of The Best Decisions I Ever Made

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*Below is a guest post from David Badash the editor of The New Civil Rights Movement, a fast-growing news and opinion site focused on LGBT issues and progressive politics with two million+ monthly readers*

If you’ve ever watched one of those reality TV makeover shows -- where the host dismantles a restaurant and creates a brand new one in its place, one that builds on the heart and soul of a long-standing family business that was in desperate need of repair -- you’ll know how I felt when I first saw cStreet’s vision for our updated website.

As a small business owner, I know that every decision I make can have dramatic, long-term effects. As a publisher with an extensive social media reach -- we’re listed on Mediametric’s top 100 most-shared websites -- even just a few people giving us the thumbs down could have far-reaching consequences.

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Tapping into Youth Engagement with GenUN

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Our goal over the past two years has been to grow our offerings so that we can really deliver complete and integrated digital campaigns to our clients. Our latest launch for the United Nations Association of the USA (UNA-USA) is a great example of some of the work we do that really rounds out our strategy planning and digital development.

GenUN is a new initiative by the UNA-USA to provide young people with opportunities to become more deeply engaged with the United Nations, both online and off. The campaign is geared directly to university-aged people, and is aspirational: GenUN is your foot in the door to a life and career in changing the world with the United Nations.

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3 Digital Strategy Mistakes Learned the Hard Way

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For more than two years now, Amy Leaman and I have shepherded over 20 clients through a process of digital strategy development. Applied to clients and projects both large and small, this internally-developed process has undergone substantial shifts and revisions in that time.

The process – which we call “mapping” – allows us to gather a deeper understanding of how both our clients and their campaigns have evolved over time, which we can use to help construct a ‘digital roadmap’ for their future campaign and organizational strategy.

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Latest Launch: NALIP

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Our latest launch is for our friends at NALIP, the National (US) Association of Latino Independent Producers.

The National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP) is a national membership organization that addresses the professional needs of Latino content creators. We stand as the premiere Latino media organization, addressing for fifteen years the most underrepresented and the largest ethnic minority in the country.

Learn more and view their new digital home at NALIP.org >>

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How a Digital Toronto Mayoral Campaign is taking on Rob Ford

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Below is a post by Olivia Chow for Mayor Digital Director Jennifer Hollett & cStreet Campaigns President Josh Stuart.

On March 12th, 2014, Olivia Chow announced her campaign to replace Rob Ford as Mayor of Toronto to a packed house and city-wide excitement. After almost four years of scandal and ineffective leadership, Olivia offered a clear, progressive alternative in City Hall based on her years as a School Board Trustee, City Councillor, and Member of Parliament.

Toronto municipal elections involve severe spending limits that restrict campaign budgets to $1.3 million, which has to cover nearly 2 million eligible voters over an 8-month campaign in a city with a geographic footprint larger than Chicago. We’d already made the decision to power voter contact (field), fundraising, bulk email, and our campaign website through NationBuilder; the challenge was in designing the program that would bring them together in a way that gave supporters a sense of ownership over the campaign.

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Latest Launches: 3 Youth Focused Projects

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Over the past month we've launched 3 small new youth focused projects that each takes a unique approach to address issues surrounding youth.

YouthCO exists to reduce the impact that HIV and Hep C have on the youth of British Columbia.  Learn more & view their site >>

For Youth Initiative is a Toronto based nonprofit that connects young people to programs and services and aims to reduce youth poverty. Learn more & view their site >>

Anti-Recidivism Coalition (ARC) is based on LA and works to keep previously incarcerated youth out of the criminal justice system.  Learn more & view their site >>

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