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The Council Organizing Academy

The Council Organizing Academy (COA) is a four-week virtual training program for Council Organizers and Core Members that begins on Thursday, May 17, at 9 p.m. ET.

The program will take place via conference call for four Thursday evenings in a row. Each call will last about an hour, and will focus on one key skill, which will be directly relevant to the actual organizing work that's needed in your Council that week. The expectation is that each trainee will then spend about another hour between calls doing a “homework assignment” that utilizes that new skill. Trainees should plan to commit to participating all four weeks.

COA Goals:

If you have questions about the Council Organizing Academy, please email your Field Organizer, Regional Organizer, or Council Organizer.

Check below for recordings of each week's call!


COA Curriculum

All calls are on Thursday at 9 p.m. ET.

To RSVP and get your personal call-in code for the COA training calls click here: http://www.moveon.org/r?r=275421.

Week 1: Council Organizing Overview

This week’s assignment: 
Spend one hour calling through May 9th attendees (or existing council members) to share your council story and invite them to your council meeting (or next event).

Don’t forget an ask - if new, ask them to attend your council meeting. If experienced, ask them to host the meeting, facilitate a breakout or make recruitment calls for the meeting.

Video tutorials that can help you with this assignment

How do I post a Council Meeting, if there isn't one posted yet?

How to post a Council Meeting - http://youtu.be/s8jYcrg86mY

How do I find lists of people to call this week?

Contacting Past Attendees - http://youtu.be/hxy8eBj8udo

Using the Roster to Contact Council members - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iw78gcb6H2Q

You can also use the Recruitment tool to call up people in your area - http://youtu.be/9U56bcqgtkQ

Use the one-to-one tool to follow up with recently active people - http://youtu.be/gBZJ3BOXzog

Week 2: Planning Strategic Action

This week’s assignment: 
Do the same exercise we did on the call with at least one other person on your council, but use one of your local elected officials as your sample target, asking the same three questions:
  • What are the target’s interests and needs? What does he care about?
  • During the tactic, how can we use those interests and needs to put pressure on our target?
  • What resources do your council or allies have that can make this plan a success?

Week 3: Taking Action Together

MoveOn Delegation Training: https://www.moveon.org/organize/training/delegation.html
MoveOn Delegation Video: http://www.moveon.org/organize/training/videos.html#delegation
MoveOn Leadership Asks Training: http://www.moveon.org/organize/training/videos.html#delegation
MoveOn Leadership Asks Video: http://www.moveon.org/organize/training/videos.html#leaderask

Week 4: Organizing Between Actions

This week’s assignment: 
Create a follow-up plan for after our petition drop offs. By thinking through the plan now, before the petition drop offs, you will have time to delegate, by asking others to help. When making your plan, think through what allies, reporters, and individuals you will want to follow-up with after the petition event: who you want to tell about the drop-off, who you want to thank, who you want to invite to get involved. Then, think about which council leaders to delegate those calls to.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I participated in the Fall COA. How is this different? Will I learn new skills?

This COA is different in two main ways: it is only open to council COs and Core members and it is rooted in your Council’s organizing. If you did the fall COA, this will provide more insight on how to apply those learned skills - each skill will be practiced and tested with that weeks organizing.

Q: What if I can't be on all four calls?

Each call builds off the previous, so we are looking for individuals who want to commit to all 4 calls. If you want to participate but can’t make all 4 calls, talk with your RO and/or FO.

Q: What if my PIN doesn't work?

First, hang up and call back in. If that doesn't work, try the tips found here: maestroconference.com/gettingin.

Q: What does it cost to join the COA?

The COA is free for participants. Participants are expected to provide their own internet and phone, but all other materials will be covered by MoveOn.

Q: Who will lead the trainings each week?

A team of MoveOn Field Organizers and Regional Organizers.

Q: What if I can't afford to call in each week?

There are several virtual programs that you can use for free, like Google Voice or Skype. If those aren't options aren't available, please email councilfeedback@moveon.org for information about our scholarship program.

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Past COA Curriculums

Week 1: MoveOn Organizing Model: Why do I organize?

Week 2: Building Power—Goals & Strategy

Week 3: Strategy Step #1—Who are our leaders?

Week 4: Strategy Step #1 (cont.)—Building Strong Councils via Delegation

Week 5: Strategy Step #2—Power Map your Target and Community

Week 6: Strategy Step #3—Develop your Tactics and Timeline

Week 7: Strategy Step #4—Keep strategizing and building leaders