Talking Points

What is the New Organizing Institute and why is it needed? Here’s a quick run down of the major points

  • Qualified “online organizers” are urgently needed for 2006 political campaigns – as well as for progressive non-profit organizations with growing online memberships.
  • To fill that need, a group of experienced online organizers are forming the New Organizing Institute, in conjunction with MoveOn.org.
  • The NOI is an open project – with a number of ways experienced online organizers can contribute to curricula, trainings and research. We are looking for additional team members to plan and run the first week-long Winter training.
  • The Republican Party currently trains dozens of “e-Campaigns” staff on the job at RNC headquarters – rotating out trainees to campaigns after approximately six months. No such training program exists for progressive campaigns and organizations.
  • The NOI’s first week-long training – planned for February 24 – March 4 – will prepare up to 50 online organizers to work on key progressive 2006 campaigns. Campaigns will be selected in advance based on where NOI graduates can learn the most.
  • The NOI will provide each working trainee with an experienced mentor, as well as other support services. The NOI will coordinate a community network of experienced organizers and technologists to which working trainees can turn for help and advice while on the job.
  • The NOI will aggressively recruit outside of white and male stereotypes of political technology staff for both trainers and trainees.
  • All travel, lodging and food expenses will be covered for trainees at the week-long trainings.
  • Admissions will be extremely selective, based on these and other requirements: excellent writing ability; some experience in organizing, activism or technology; strategic and logical thinking; great social skills; desire to work on a 2006 political campaign, willingness to relocate, and a passion to change the world.
  • The NOI will also conduct research in the fields of online communications, organizing and fundraising.
  • The NOI will develop multiple curricula for different kinds of trainings. Curricula will be based on both experience of working online organizers as well as formal research already conducted in the field and new research commissioned by the NOI.
  • Additional specialized curricula will be developed and trainings conducted for campaign and organization leaders.
  • Short introductory courses will also be offered for special purposes. Possible examples: weekend training for internet and technology staff from a number of campaigns, or on a college campus for graduating seniors interested in campaign work.
  • In Summer of 2006, the NOI plans to hold a longer, intensive workshop for technologists in politics or interested in getting involved. This workshop will give engineers the chance to build and improve systems already in use, as well as the time and resources to build new tools. These workshops will allow less experienced technologists to improve their skills by working closely with experienced, professional engineers.
  • Another week-long training for online organizers will also be held Summer 2006.