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Asking others to take on organizing responsibilities

Key Principles


A Council is comprised of multiple members organizing in the community to build power, not just one or a couple people doing all the legwork.

We delegate for these reasons:

  • Build Capacity: You can't just do it all by yourself. By delegating, more work gets done and no single person is organizing alone.
  • Build Leaders: Delegating helps others develop into better organizers—we can grow our Councils in the longer term. The more people take collective responsibility, the bigger sense of community and action we are creating.
  • Build Power: For us to win, we need to win power. In order to build power, we need many people taking responsibility to organize and create progressive change.

There are lots of reasons that hold us back from delegating:

  • We afraid of heaing "no." Often, we simply don't ask because we think the other person will say no. If someone says no—that's OK! We still need to ask.
  • We think we can do it better or faster by ourselves. This may be true, but in the long term we will build more power through delegating.
  • We don't want to hold people accountable.
  • We don't have a plan. Don't let this stop you! Take the time to think through a plan.
  • Belief that we are the only ones who care about this, and assuming that others don't care as much as we do.

How To


1. Build your list of potential leaders and responsibilities. Make a list of the people who have come out to a few recent actions, who helped clean up after the most recent Council meeting, and who helped out with recruitment at the last action. Also, make a list of upcoming responsibilities: Make pitch calls to the media, run a phone bank for the next action, or do one-to-ones with the new Council members.

2. Set up a time to meet or call, either in person or over the phone.

3. Make the ask. Before you jump right into the ask, be sure you do the following:

  • Make a connection. Get to know the other person, and why they want to be involved.
  • Give context about why a role is critical and why this person is the right fit for the job.
  • Get a commitment. Make sure it is 100% clear what someone is saying "yes" to.

4. Make a plan with a clear timeline and goals.

5. Set them up for success by making sure they have what they need whether it's training, materials, or other support. And make a plan for the two of you to check in on how things are going.

6. Follow up! After the action that they took leadership on, debrief the experience, provide feedback, and make plans for the next step in their leadership development.



  • 1. Delegate responsibilities, not tasks. As much as possible, don't just give someone a task to do, ask people to take on a role or responsibility that they can really own and make their own.


  • 2. Make it a priority. As a grassroots organizer, supporting the success of other leaders is one of the most important things for you to do.


  • 3. Just ask! MoveOn members are amazing and committed. Many times, the reason people aren't getting involved is because they haven't been asked, or don't understand why they need to get involved right now.