TON Newsletter - August 26, 2020

Welcome to Tectonica Organising Network’s twice-monthly newsletter! We work hard to curate and create the best content out there on progressive digital organising and share it with you, along with some updates on upcoming events and trainings, what we’ve been up to, and even a bit about what’s going on on the other side.

What We’ve Been Up To

Participate in our Survey for the Report on the State of Digital Organising in Europe

We are so excited to share with you the launch of our quantitative survey for the first ever comprehensive report on the State of Digital Organising in Europe, carried out in partnership with GQR.

This report will show how campaigns across the continent are using digital to engage and empower supporters, and identify, in these crucial and pivotal times, areas for improvement.

Participate now!.

We Need You!

We are asking for participants from European NGOs, unions, and political parties to take part in this anonymous survey. The more responses we get, the stronger our evidence base will be. We know your time is important, so in return we are offering free benchmarking to all participants, so you can see how your own efforts compare to other NGOs, unions and political parties fighting for social, economic and environmental justice across Europe.

We’ll be publishing the report in early November, and responses will be open until September 7th. The report is being produced with the sponsorship of Care2, NationBuilder (and a few others to be announced soon).

Please help us spread the word! Find the social share kit here.

More Women in Politics, Please

Our creative director Mar Spada discusses structural discrimination against women in mainstream politics and offers some solutions as to what political entities can do to increase participation and engagement that recognises current disparities of women and other under-represented groups. Read more here.

Instituto Familiar de la Raza, Inc.

Tectonica is proud to announce the launch of Instituto de la Raza, Inc.’s new site. We love and support the work they do promoting and enhancing the health and well-being of Chicanxs/Latinxs and multicultural/multiracial youth in the San Francisco Bay Area by providing community mental health and wellness services through family support, early intervention, case management, youth services, and more. Check out their new site here!.

Featured Digital Organising Tools

Why you should have a data flow + automation layer on top of your political tech stack

As digital organisers, we know that digital gives us tools to scale relationship building with supporters, and that the best way to build relationships is to generate sequences of interactions with our supporters that allow us to establish personal connections.

With the growing diversity of tools used in political tech stacks comes an increasingly growing number of disconnected places where interactions with supporters can occur, and makes it all the more mandatory to have ways to sync the data in all your tools (at least in the CRM) to deploy a sequence of communications that helps you push your movement forward by working with supporters to meet the goals of your organisation.

Growth also increases the complexity and the demand for team resources to scale rolling out pathways of engagement. Here’s where automation between different tools is critical. By automating some parts of the internal processes and communications, we can save time and keep our staff where they’re the most essential: providing a human element to relationship building that can help deploy more advanced and successful digital organising strategies.

There are several ways to incorporate data sync and automation to your system. Leading political CRMs have built-in options included in their plans. Zapier is a handy must-have tool, as well. We’ve also begun to see exciting developments specifically for Political Tech, like Blue Link. But whatever the tool you use, it’s more important to plan for how you’ll sync data and automatise your processes.

At Tectonica, our expertise is in implementing amazing connections/automations for our clients. You’re more than welcome to contact our Political Technology Specialist ([email protected]) if you need some orientation; we’re always happy to share our knowledge and provide some guidance.

SpeechifAI email integration is out.

Simple but amazing. Now you can embed ready-made posts to share within emails with this new feature that SpeechifAI is releasing this week.

SpeechifAI was already generating a lot of hype amongst our clients as a new and very innovative way of boosting social media campaigns that leans on the shared power of an organisation's supporters. We’ve been integrating SpeechifAI sharing blocks within the supporter's website workflows, creating powerful ways to boost content sharing impact. This embedding is now possible within emails, too, which makes targeting the user with specific posts to share even more seamless and makes it easier for the user to support the organisation actively in the social media.

Featured Digital Organising Resources

Campaign tip and trend: Issue-based advocacy is your friend

Rachel Phan from New/Mode breaks down why issue-based and digital based advocacy are a proven way to grow your movement, including much higher converting than traditional sign-up and pledge pages, and offers examples of campaigns successful use of this strategy to grow your list and win on the issues.

Beyond Demography: Black Audiences Online

A/B Partners, Win Black/Pa’lante, and Harmony Labs have created this report analysing Black digital behaviours and preferences: “At a moment when many are working to elevate the value of Black lives and ensure that they are treated with dignity and respect, this report helps to dig past top-level, superficial views to bring Black audiences into focus with fuller richness and complexity.”

Virtual Lobby Days 101

With Covid-19 putting a dent in in-person lobby activities, NGOs are having to find more creative ways to connect to their elected officials and have a say on policy decisions that affect their work. This resource from our friends at EveryAction offers concrete digital tools you can use to get ready to take your lobby day virtual.

6 Ways to Spice Up Your Email Subject Line

With 42% of survey respondents saying they prefer to hear from advocacy organisations through email, and 20.5% saying an email from an organisation would inspire them to donate again, email remains an important tool for digital organisers. But with Covid-19 increasing the number of emails we are sending and receiving, how do you make sure your supporters open your messages? ACM Strategies offers 6 concrete tips on how you can increase the likelihood that your emails will have the impact you want.

How to Write Great Campaign Emails

Email remains a highly effective way of communicating with your supporters and getting them to take actions, whether it be to sign a petition, attend an event, or contact politicians to influence policy. This guide from more onion shares 12 concrete tips on how to clarify your email messages and increase the number of people clicking through to take action.

Upcoming Trainings & Events

Bernie Sanders' Fundraising: how movements can raise money, On-Demand, Webinar

This webinar led by Bernie Sanders 2020 campaign staff looks at how the campaign approached fundraising and how global NGOs can use this approach to maximise their fundraising goals.

From neighbourliness to social justice: Exploring the Benevolence Pivot, 27 August 2020 9:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. BST, Online/Zoom

This workshop from the Common Cause foundation is designed for anyone working in campaigns, communications, fundraising, and activism to explore the potential that exists in building on people’s deep care for people and places that they know well.

What We're Reading

How to take advantage of social listening down the stretch, by Anastasia Golovashkina, 17 August 2020, Campaigns & Elections

Production costs are rising for consultants during Covid, by Sean J. Miller, 7 August 2020, Campaigns & Elections (check out the quote from our very own Mariana Spada!)

The EU is launching a market for personal data. Here’s what that means for privacy, by Anna Artyushina, 11 August 2020, MIT Technology Review


How Organizations Develop Activists, by Hahrie Han


“Organizers invest in developing the capacities of people to engage with others in activism and become leaders. Mobilizers focus on maximizing the number of people involved without developing their capacity for civic action. ...Mobilizing and organizing are mutually reinforcing approaches. Mobilizing helps develop a prospect pool or “leads list” that can be used to identify potential leaders. Organizing can enable the work of mobilizing by developing high-quality leaders capable of recruiting future activists. To meet the challenges of building power, civic associations need to go broad in their mobilizing and deep in their organizing.”

Everyone trying to change the world should read this book. Twice. While the book focuses on civic associations, it can be equally valuable for political parties, campaigns, and unions. The research-based approach doesn’t make for late night reading for all but the nerdiest of organisers, but truly shows us why developing culture and investing in leadership among activists is key to long term success. The author’s key framework defines the difference between mobilising and organising and shows how those organisations that tend to have impact derive people power from the right mix of both.


Remote, but preferred in Barcelona: Front End Developer for Movement Building Technologies, Tectonica

Apply now!

Brooklyn, NY: Software Engineer for Activism (Contract/Temporary), ControlShift

Apply now!

Washington, D.C. or remote: Meta-Analysis Roles: Research Manager and Data Scientist, Analyst Institute

Apply now!

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