There are more good causes, petitions, and protest rallies every day. How can you make sure your change movement will be sustainable and prosperous? How will you stand out from the rest?
Here are four steps experts agree are essential to creating a successful movement.
- Plan, plan, plan
Whether a local community group or an international social change nonprofit, you must build a sure foundation for your movement. Good accounting and organizational processes will make your organization’s growth more manageable and attractive to funders. You’ll also be able to track your progress in meeting your goals, be transparent in your dealings and be accountable to your supporters and donors.
- A common cause
Your movement needs a clear goal to rally around and keep you on message. Your supporters need to be able to identify with a common cause that unites them despite social, political, or economic differences. The significant social changes, from the French Revolution to civil rights and climate change, have been based on one uniting motivator, a clear goal that united previously unconnected followers.
- A call to action
Successful change movements build awareness of the problem they’re trying to overcome. Tell the story behind the issue, provide real-world examples for people to connect with, and give people straightforward facts and data. Build the action case, and then mobilize your supporters through petitions, social media campaigns, rallies, flash mobs, and mainstream media stories.
Be strategic in how you engage your supporters. Use the internet’s vast resources to promote your cause and engage followers. As well as giving them news and updates, provide them with key messages and data so they can become influencers and bring in more supporters.
- Work for the long-term
Change can take a long time. It took more than half a century to achieve women’s suffrage, activists have been campaigning about climate change for decades, and a century separates emancipation from the civil rights movement. You need to think and plan beyond the next rally. What legislative changes might you need to cement real systemic change? What short, medium, and long terms goals does your movement have?
You need a robust fundraising base to build a successful long-term social change movement. You need to build coalitions with like-minded individuals and organizations and keep your supporters engaged.
You can build a solid movement to achieve lasting change with excellent strategic planning and stakeholder engagement.