Progressive Community Building Guide

Thanks for hosting a Progressive Community Building event!

Portland health care rally.

These events are strategic local gatherings that will help build the local progressive movement.

In this guide:

For a handy FAQ about getting recruitment for your event, click here.

Once you have reviewed the criteria below, post your Local Progressive Community Building event here:


1. What are Progressive Community Building events?

Progressive Community Building events are strategic local gatherings that will help build the local progressive movement. These events are to educate and engage local MoveOn and community members. They should also have a specific, measurable goal of getting attendees involved in local organizing.

The Progressive Community Building online recruitment tool is to help people running local campaigns recruit for specific kinds of events. Only events that fit the Progressive Community Building action criteria will be eligible for email recruitment to MoveOn members in your area. Make sure your event is eligible for recruitment by reviewing the criteria below.

2. Progressive Community Building Event vs. Local Progressive Action

Before you get started, make sure your event is a Progressive Community Building event, and not a Local Progressive Action.

Here's the difference:

Progressive Community Building event: connecting, educational, and an opportunity to get involved.
These actions aim to educate local MoveOn members about the problems in our community or at the state and national level. They are designed to provide opportunities for people to connect, get information, and get involved. For example, you could hold a movie party, planning meetings, or potluck.

Local Progressive Action: public, media, and direct advocacy.
Local Progressive actions are public-facing actions that directly advocate for reform by generating media coverage or publicly targeting elected officials or other decision-makers. For example, a rally at your Representative's office spotlighting campaign contributions they've received from Big Oil or Wall Street firms would be a Local Progressive action.

Not sure? If you're not sure whether your plan fits the criteria of either, first look through the guides. Click here for the Local Progressive Action guide.

It's important to note that these tools support online recruitment for particular kinds of actions that meet specific criteria. Only qualifying actions will get online recruitment.

3. Event Guides

These guides will help you plan your Progressive Community Building event:

4. Criteria and Sample Events

A Progressive Community Building event should be designed to do all of the following:

  • Educate attendees about the problem. Gatherings should educate attendees about an important progressive issue at the national or local level. These events should spotlight specific examples of how corporations influence legislation, public policy or elections, and how that influence impacts regular Americans.
  • Engage participants on the specific goals and plans for a current campaign. Engagement goes beyond education by providing an opportunity for attendees to consider and share their own experiences, perspectives, and solutions related to the progressive issue you are working on.
  • Launch attendees into action. Every action should have a "pivot" that presents participants with specific opportunities for involvement. For example, attendees could be invited to the next planning meeting or asked to fill roles in executing the next public action.

Here are a few examples of possible events. For more ideas on events and clarity on requirements, see the event guides.

  • Host a viewing of a political film, followed by a discussion on the ways in your group can take action.
  • Organize a Community Forum to discuss the progressive issue.
  • Co-host an informational session with another local organization.
  • Organize a "Progressive Picnic" for your community with speakers and flyers that engage attendees in the campaign and sign-up for tabling and/or canvassing shifts.
  • Host a coffee discussion at a local coffee shop or a member's home where attendees can brainstorm solutions to the issue you are working on.

Here are some examples of actions that are not appropriate for the Progressive Community Building online event tool (not eligible for online email recruitment).

  • Actions that primarily involve attending community street fairs, festivals, or other types of events where the Council is recruiting new members are important but do not require online recruitment. (You can register these events online as a placeholder but these events will not get online recruitment).
  • Social events and celebrations that do not have a forward-looking campaign component (i.e. a happy hour, the Council's two-year anniversary celebration). Progressive Community Building events can be social events but must have a demonstrable goal that moves the campaign forward and an organized component to the event that accomplishes this goal. It must be more than just an opportunity to get together and socialize, in order to qualify for email recruitment.
  • Regular Council organizing meetings should be posted here.

Once you have reviewed the criteria below, post your Local Progressive Community Building event here:

MoveOn Councils participate in nationally organized actions as well as planning locally organized actions. To recruit effectively for all of our actions, we need to spread out the timing of our online recruitment. (Keep in mind that not every action that a Council organizes locally needs online recruitment.)

In order for your event to get online recruitment, the event should meet the following guidelines:

  • Generally, there shouldn't be more than one event that's being recruited for in a given month.
  • Do not plan two rolling recruitment events, including Local Progressive Actions, within one week. That is, there must be more than five days separating two events.

Working with partner organizations: If the event is being planned in partnership with other organizations, MoveOn members can be recruited online if:

  • The general criteria for the action are met (action-oriented, with a clear message and goal).
  • The partners are aligned with MoveOn and our campaign goals and message.

5. Tips to recruiting people to your Progressive Community Building event.

Hit the phones: The most tried-and-true way we know to get people out to events is to pick up the phone and call them.

Emails: You can also invite people via email from your host tools page. Here's how:

  • To send the invite email, log in to your host tools page. From there, you can easily send invitations using the "Invite Others" tool. (This will automatically add the details of your event and a link to RSVP.)
  • The personalized link to your host tools page is included in the confirmation email you receive when you post your event online.