TON Newsletter - Sep 23, 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.

Featured Digital Organising Resources

Hold the Line: a guide to defending democracy

This guide by Hold the Line is designed for both newer and seasoned activists and organisers. Its four parts explore different ways to prepare for and ensure free and fair elections in November and make sure the results are respected. From information on how to start an election protection group in your community to critical actions people can take to ensure a fair election to nonviolent civil resistance strategies to respond to election subversion, it’s a great resource for anyone concerned about free and fair elections, and especially for organisers preparing for the U.S. elections this November.

Spot the Troll

We all like to think that we wouldn’t easily fall prey to trolls, but how good are we, really, at identifying them? This quiz by the Clemson University Media Forensics Hub presents several social media accounts that traverse the political spectrum and lets you decide whether the account is legit or a professional troll. After each response (there are 8 in total), the account is analyzed and we’re given information about which signs to look for to make sure we aren’t being duped! How do you think you’ll do? Take the quiz here.

Building a Bigger We: Changing Hearts and Minds on Immigration in Rural and Small-Town America

This recently released report by People’s Action shares the results of their research on “deep canvassing”--engaging in in-depth and non-judgmental conversations with people about their experiences and perspectives, finding that deep canvassing is 102 times more effective than the types of brief interactions typical of canvassing campaigns. Although the research was conducted in the United States, we think the tactics they share are applicable to other parts of the world as well. To read the report, click here.

Featured Digital Organising Tools

NationBuilder Conversion Tracking

NB launched automations earlier this year, a feature that allows you to build multi-step email campaigns that you can use for welcome series to supporters, re-engagement campaigns, and more. They’ve recently added custom conversion tracking to automations. With this new feature, you can choose a goal you want your supporters to achieve like becoming a member, donating, or signing up for an event and use it to keep track of your automated email series’ performance, or automatically remove people who convert. To learn more about this new feature, sign up for either of the two upcoming webinars:

What We’ve Been Up To

How to Write the Perfect Email Subject Line

Organisers dedicate a lot of time and energy into crafting the perfect email subject line--but is there a better way to reach supporters? In our latest blog post, we share some thoughts and tips on what you can do to go beyond email subject lines and focus more on how to better strengthen relationships with supporters. Read our latest blog post here.

Sortition Foundation

We’re proud to have worked with Sortition Foundation to help them refresh their brand and create a digital presence that better represents the core spirit of diversity and political inclusion that characterises their work and helps them achieve their admirable mission of bringing everyday people together in Citizens’ Assemblies to create stronger democracies. Read more about our work here.

What do an internship, Hamilton, and Europe have in common?

We're lucky to have had the help of some truly amazing interns this summer. One of them, the fabulous Filipa Mladenova, writes about her experience helping us with the State of Digital Organising in Europe report, nerding out on digital tools, and singing morning show tunes with our team. Read more about Filipa’s experience here.

Thank You State of Digital Organising in Europe Participants!

Thank you so much to everyone who participated in our survey on the state of digital organising: the first ever of its kind in Europe. We had 158 organisations complete the online survey and another 17 organisations participate in in-depth qualitative interviews!

We’ve received an incredible response from participants in great part thanks to our sponsors GQR, NationBuilder, Care2 and ACTE, as well as our distribution partners TechSoup, TUC, Alliance for Europe and Quorum among others. Over the coming weeks we’ll be processing the data, and releasing a report expected at the end of October. Make sure you stay tuned for details on our upcoming webinars and training sessions to further implement these important findings.

Upcoming Trainings & Events

The Race Class Narrative: A messaging framework to engage the base, persuade the middle, and alienate the opposition, 25 September 2020 1 pm - 3 pm EST, Zoom

Research by Race Class Narrative Action shows that effective messaging on race and class engages persuadable voters and acts as a critical response to the right’s strategy of division and fear. In this 2-hour training with Anthony Torres of ASO Communications, you’ll learn the key elements of the Race Class Narrative approach that weaves together economic empowerment, racial justice, and gender equity, using language proven to work to mobilize and persuade voters. Registered attendees with receive the recording and resources afterward.

How Cosecha raised over $1 million for undocumented immigrants affected by the pandemic, 30 September 2020 3 pm EST, Zoom

Undocumented people in the U.S. have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic: in addition to facing unsafe “essential” working conditions, undocumented and mixed-status families have also been excluded from all government aid. Movimiento Cosecha launched the national Undocumented Worker Fund in March to allow for people everywhere to support families affected by Covid-19 and in a few months, raised and distributed over $1 million dollars directly to undocumented immigrants. This webinar will discuss how Cosecha raised $11.90 for every dollar spent on Facebook ad, Cosecha’s principles for rapid response fundraising, and more.

Professional Grant Proposal Writing Workshop, 14 December 20, Virtual Online Program

This training from the National Funding Foundation will be an intensive introduction to professional proposal writing and will take participants through the completion of interactive exercises, live online lectures and discussions, question and answer sessions, and virtual instructor feedback to learn the entire proposal writing process. Reserve your spot here.

What We're Reading

“Josh Higgins: Obama’s former design director on the new wave of political branding,, by Sean Blanda, 14 May 2019

“I Have Blood on My Hands”: A Whistleblower Says Facebook Ignored Global Political Manipulation, by Craig Silverman, Ryan Mac, and Pranav Dixit, 14 September 2020, BuzzFeed

A bug in Joe Biden’s official campaign app exposed a treasure trove of voter information, by Yoni Heisler, 15 September 2020, BGR

How Black Political Organizers Shored Up the Democratic Base, by Charlotte Alter, 18 September 2020, Time


Evangelicals are looking for answers online. They’re finding QAnon instead, by Abby Ohlheiserm, 26 August 2020, MIT Technology Review


Remote U.S.: U.S. Senior Digital Campaigner,

Apply now!