Tools for Civic Leaders

Civic leaders who help to organize all kinds of different civic society groups - everything from Buy Nothing groups to church steering committees - need support to be more effective and impactful in their work. Often these individuals are self-appointed and internally motivated to take on some project; they should be encouraged in these efforts, and given the resources they need to do their self-appointed jobs well.

These forms of support can include:

  • CRMs suited to individuals and the “supporters” they serve, as discussed in Evan Burfield’s Great Battlefield interview at the 55:00 mark, and in Haley Bash’s Great Battlefield interview at the 23:51 mark.
  • Training on the fundamentals of organizing
  • Support for handling difficult problems in civic organizing, e.g. flagging enthusiasm or toxic group members
  • Online organizing support, in terms of resources like easily-created and cheap websites, as well as moderator training for online spaces
  • Easily-assembled logistical support like group incorporation, finding and reserving real-world meeting spaces, etc.
  • Software to handle events, volunteers, and donations for small civic groups

Many of these resources exist today, but they need to be better organized and streamlined for use by civic leaders. Often such leaders do their work on the margins of their day jobs, with very little time or resources available. The resources above must be gathered in a way which does not create a barrier to entry for resource-constrained civic leaders; ideally, they would be made available by government in some kind of content-neutral fashion, or perhaps funded through tax credits.

The software described here is sometimes referred to by Eric Wilson as an idea that “software follows the volunteer, as described in his interview with Josh Nelson at the 13:10 mark.