Salsa Scoop> tag: ”blog:2008ntc“

Mission Over Membership in Online Advocacy

This is from an article posted by NTEN. It's a distillation of the panel I led at the NTC this year. Attending the NTC was loads of fun and well worth it - see you there next year, I hope! See full version here: Online advocacy at its best is about giving more citizens more power to act together in creating social change. At its worst, online advocacy is a fundraising technique and promotional strategy that can work, while generating some very negative inadvertent outcomes. Organizers working for the common good should do a better job of articulating good online advocacy strategies and resisting demands that our work be measured in dollars raised or a higher public profile. What we have at stake is not (just) the integrity of our cause or organization, but the effectiveness of our mission. Good organizing is like voting: it always has power, even after the 20th time. Bad organizing is like spam: today’s Viagra message is far less likely to get you to buy some, even though there is more of it out there than ever before. The conflict between the different ends of the online advocacy spectrum can be captured in a phrase: Mission over Membership. When we focus on mission, we can sleep well at night, knowing that the actions we request from our supporters will in fact lead to the change we want effected. If on the other hand we use the language of change primarily in support of fundraising and organization building, we run a serious risk: that online advocacy messaging becomes devalued, along with emails from our organizations. There's more - I'm not posting the full article here, so that readers will visit NTEN's site and comment there.