Unsolicited Advice for Organizations

1. Be intentional about growth.  Have a plan for plugging new people into your work.  Don't be clique-y.  If we really care about our causes, we have to want to grow our numbers.  That means being smart about recruitment, retention and transparency.  It also means asking some important questions-- can working class people attend your meetings?  How easy would it be for a new person to get involved in your work?  Are we creating a welcoming atmosphere?

2. Related to point #1, reach out and think big.  Are your events drawing the "usual suspects" or are they reaching new demographics?  Are you promoting to all communities?  What networks haven't you tapped into yet?  If you're going to have a rally or event, how can you ensure a massive turnout?

3. Collaborate.  We're too obsessed with ownership.  Our challenge, over the next few years, will be to put aside our differences and work together to build a movement that is bigger than any one cause or organization.  This is the only way forward.

4. Set aside some time for "professional development."  We often have so much nuts-and-bolts work to get done that it can be hard to do this, but the investment always pays off.  Take an hour to talk about privilege, oppression and identity and how those things play out in activist groups.  Take some time to do a training on media, promotions and writing effective press releases.  Maybe start a book club.

5. Do not lose sight of what your actual goal is.  Many of the issues we're talking about are literally life-and-death issues.  Don't let drama, arrogance, fear, pride or anything else get in the way of fighting for what you know is right.  Always take a second and think big-picture.

What else?  How can organizations be more effective?  Share some tips or ideas.

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