Grass-root Level Actions are driven by the community. These actions, movement or campaign uses the collective action from the local level to effect change at the regional or national level. This training session aims to encourage and give the tools to the participants (as community members or workers in non-profit sector) to contribute to their community by taking action and being responsible for their neighbourhood. Grassroots movements make use of a variety of strategies to fundraise, increase voter registration, and encourage political debate.
There are three steps according to Jasmine Somaiah to get start with grassroots mobilization.
Step 1: Prepare information on the campaign: You need to pen down a strategy based on a realistic timeline. A written strategy helps you align campaign specific activities, events, and tasks to your goals. This should also include the development and distribution of promotional materials, which includes posters, flyers, brochures, etc. This gives voters something to hold onto, absorb at their convenience, or refer back to your campaign.
Step 2: Make use of technology – Email and social media are effective mass outreach tools for reaching out to your community. Use phone banks and text messages for more personal campaign messaging after identifying people who are receptive to your campaign messaging.
Step 3: Gather your volunteers and staff: Your volunteers are your most important assets. They help with door-to-door canvassing, phone banking, managing social media pages, and much more. But many of your campaign volunteers are bound to be rookies who are unaware of the intricacies of campaign software or how to carry out a conversation with a voter. Make sure you provide volunteer training before getting started.
Make a clear assessment of the needs and interests of the community. For grassroots initiatives to be successful, we need to understand the mind-set of the people living within the community. The way this can be achieved is by giving voice of wide range of community members to share their concerns through surveys or by engaging them in meaningful conversations.
Raising awareness. The best way to raise awareness is going door to door, discussing issues relevant to people and why their participation in the community is important. Other methods include leaflets and press releases in local media.
It is crucial to identify and collaborate with influential community leaders to kick-start a grassroots mobilization effort.
Identify and train community leaders. It is crucial to identify and collaborate with influential community leaders to kick-start a grassroots mobilization effort. Engaging without establishing community channels may limit or delay the success in mobilizing communities to participate. The commitment of community leaders inspires others to join the effort. Leaders could be educators, religious leaders, and others who are famous in their neighbours and community members like.
Partner with local organizations. In every community, there are various organizations or agencies that work independently to achieve similar goals. It is important to cooperate with them. This will make it easier to reach the goal, while increasing the scope of the outreach. The partners may be religious institutions, non-profit organizations, universities, etc.
Implementation of the plan of action. Once you have your community leaders and partners you need to assign each one with a clear role and educate them on how they can be involved. Communication is always the key to a successful program.
Evaluation. Monitoring and evaluation is an essential element in all project, including community mobilization. It is really important to identify whether the action plan has been implemented effectively and if the specific objectives have been met. The evaluation stage also helps to understand what went wrong so that you can modify it to achieve your goals.
Principles For Working Grassroots
People don’t participate in anything they don’t understand, so the information will receive about an issue, should be clear and simple.
The youth worker should split the participants in groups. The participants should find one social problem and create a grass-root activity. For this they should identify:
They also have to write strategy to attract citizens in this action and prepare a presentation. In the presentation they will have to convince the other participants to join them. Youth worker should continually guide them and give them suggestions (as discussed earlier in this Chapter).
Q1. According to Jasmine Somaiah, how many steps needs to get started with grassroots mobilization?
Q2. Which one is the first step to get started with grassroots mobilization?
a. Make use of technology
b. Gather your volunteers and staff
c. Prepare campaign literature
d. Find funders
Q3. Which of the below belong to the grassroots mobilization cycle?
a. Make a clear assessment of the needs and interests of the community
b. Identify and train community leaders
c. Partner with local organizations
d. All above
Q4. Why the evaluation stage is important?
a. Identify whether the action plan has been implemented effectively
b. If have been met the specific objectives
c. Helps to understand what went wrong
d. All above
Q5. Which are the principles for working grassroots?
a. Inspire and involve citizens
b. Personalize communication.
c. Use storytelling
d. All above
Grassroots advocacy involves communicating with the general public and prompting them to engage elected officials at the local, regional, and national levels. Grassroots advocates raise public awareness on issues so the general public can influence public perception, regulations, and policy. While direct lobbying is conducted by professional lobbyists who bring arguments for or against a specific measure to legislators and government officials, grassroots advocacy relies on citizen-based activism.