I've been madly immersed in a project called dotOrganize -- a collaborative effort to get better tech/organizing tools and strategies into the hands of grassroots organizers, so they have the support needed to organize on- and offline.
The first and MOST IMPORTANT phase of this project has been working with a group of 20 organizers to really understand their needs (our Requirements Working Group). What’s clear from our initial research is that 90% of the people we're talking to are struggling. They flat out don't have the tools and resources to support their work, and our goal is to change this.
In order to address the problem fully, we need to get a lot more specific about how it's playing out sector wide-- what's working for people, what isn't working, and what specific resources are called for. The more hard data we have on this, the better we’re equipped to develop the appropriate solutions... Big problems need to be solved by a community input process. We're really trying to let the results of our research drive how we attack this one.
So all you organizers out there, please give us 10 minutes of your time and help shape the next generation of online organizing tools! Yes, I’m asking you to complete a survey. You’ll probably hate me slightly for it, but it’s the most effective way for us to collect the hard data we need. It’s fun (well, kinda) and quick and it will REALLY help us help you.
To show our appreciation for your fine efforts, three lucky participants will win a Fair Trade Extravaganza Gift Basket for their organization. Free chocolate + coffee + tea = officemates who love you!
If you have no interest in this, personally, but know someone who does, please pass it on.
The results (fascinating so far...) will be published in early March. Help us paint as complete a picture as possible of how the grassroots social change sector is using technology to support their organizing -- what's working, what isn't, and where they need the most support.