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Digital Campaigning Certificate Intensive

Join the waitlist for the upcoming dates:

  • North & South America: Tuesday, February 21 to Thursday, March 9, 2023 
  • Asia/Africa/MENA/Europe: Tuesday, May 9 to Thursday, May 25, 2023

Do you want to ramp up your use of online & offline tools on ambitious campaigns given limited time and resources? Want to make sure you’re not missing out on new developments in digital tools & tactics to support your work? Looking for a community of peers working through the same challenges and opportunities? Join an SMT Digital Campaigning Certificate Intensive.

This digital organizing training is for you if you:

  • Are part of an issue organizing or electoral group, or a union, that is building power to win change
  • Are in a communications, organizing, fundraising, or leadership role 
  • Want to grow your base, attract donors, run your organization more effectively, pressure targets, activate your supporters, and shape narratives
  • Have an organizational commitment to set aside needed time blocks for this program 

In-depth training: What we’ll cover

This program covers all of the digital campaigning essentials. It includes 18 sessions over 3 weeks, plus additional time for office hours and assignments. Topics include:

  • Organizing strategy and tactics connecting online and offline power, including direct action tactics, and building an effective activist pipeline
  • Social media, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok, live streaming, building online communities, and online ads
  • Outreach tools, including email, WhatsApp, and mobile messaging
  • Making content that drives action via personal & public narrative, graphic design, and video
  • Systems and infrastructure to run an effective campaign, including metrics, website, email, and CRM/member database/action tools

Participants will get individual instructor feedback on how to apply the topic to their organizing through assignment review. Instructors are deeply experienced online/offline campaigners with real-world experience applying the tools to organizing. They span a range of backgrounds and organizing experiences. 

During and after this intensive, participants and their organizations will have unlimited access to SMT’s library of 70+ hours of training, which would cost over $3,000 if purchased individually. This enables interested participants and organizations to go deeper into the above topics and cover additional topics. Additional courses in the library include in-depth treatments of texting, CRM/member database tools, Twitter, online ads including Google Ad Grants, digital security, and much more.

Certificate requirements

  • Certificate levels: Earn a Certificate in Digital Campaigning, Level I or Level II
  • Attendance: Sessions will be recorded, but participants should plan to attend all of the sessions for a certificate at either level.  For participants with special family, campaign, or other situations that arise during the program, they may make up no more than three sessions by watching the recording.
  • Assignments: Complete five assignments to apply your knowledge for a level I certificate, and ten for a level II certificate. In addition to the three and a half hours of live instruction per day, there will be 1-2 hours of office hours and time to complete assignments, during which we would anticipate participants can complete all assignments required for a level I certificate. Participants seeking to earn a level II certificate should set aside an additional 8 hours in the month following the program to complete assignments.

Participation and time zones

Sessions will be Tuesday through Thursday, with a 30-minute break

  • North & South America 
    • 10:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Pacific Time (Los Angeles)
    • 1:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time (New York)
  • Asia/Africa/MENA/Europe
    • 9:00 a.m. – 12:30 a.m. London
    • 10:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Brussels
    • 11:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Gaza
    • 12:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Nairobi
    • 2:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Mumbai
    • 5 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Manila/Perth

Office hours will be offered during the week outside the core session times. Note that this program requires participants to commit significant blocks of time during work days, so please check your calendars carefully for availability.

Curriculum Overview

Organizing Strategy and Tactics

  • Digital Organizing Overview – get grounded in how online and offline tools can connect to build power. Reflect on your organizing and chart a path through the program.
  • Organizing Strategy & Digital Planning – Guidance for building a simple or complex digital campaigning plan for your organizing group or union that connects to winning campaigns
  • Creating an Effective Activist Pipeline – How to absorb new members and bring them into your organizing, including the online organizing
  • Choosing the right Direct Action tactic – Select and build out a range of direct action tactics and escalations spanning the online and offline worlds to pressure targets.

Content that Drives Action

  • Public narrative overview – crafting an effective frame and narrative for both our immediate campaigns and longer-term organizing to activate people, build broader support, and win.
  • Personal narrative overview – Build out a skill of sharing one’s own personal story, as well as engaging with members and leaders to share theirs.
  • Graphic design – Tools and design principles to create beautiful, inspiring images that will drive action
  • Video – Producing and using video powerfully on a shoestring budget

Outreach Tools

  • Mobile messaging overview – tool demos, use cases, and campaign examples for using peer-to-peer, broadcast, and relational texting tools.
  • Email – writing, segmenting, and sending campaign tips and tricks to help make this a powerful tool in your organizing
  • Online ads – Facebook, Instagram, and other ads for finding organizing leads and persuading around issues and campaigns

Social Media

  • Twitter – Ramp up your Twitter power in campaigns to boost pressure on targets, broaden and engage your base and get media coverage.
  • Instagram & TikTok – how online organizers are using Instagram & TikTok to build power online and see results offline
  • Livestreaming and other Online Meetings – how to expand engagement and your audience during live streams and meetings, and get people activated for next steps
  • Building Online Communities – use existing communities and build new ones to find new organizing leads and to engage and build leadership among your members and leaders across WhatsApp Groups, Facebook Groups, Discord, etc.

Systems & Infrastructure

  • Metrics – focus your limited time and resources where they can get the biggest bang
  • Website – design and campaign tricks, tips, tools, and best practices to get to a website that serves your organizing by capturing organizing leads.
  • CRM/Member Database/Action tools – approaches to get the most out of your CRM for building new members/supporters and activating current ones, regardless of the tool.

Language and Hearing Accessibility

Instruction will be in English. SMT is actively seeking funder and network partners to ensure support for additional language interpretation and captioning in Spanish & Portuguese for the Americas intensive as well as French, Arabic, Bahasa Indonesia and others, depending on funding and demand for the Asia/Africa/MENA/Europe intensive. Please email us at info@socialmovementtechnologies.org if you’re interested in additional language support. All recordings in the SMT library are captioned in English and Spanish and up to 5 other languages. In addition, course recordings include courses instructed in French, Spanish and Arabic.

Cost

Registration cost ranges from $700 to $1,600, depending on the organization’s budget and geography. Groups qualifying for the lower end of that range will be those based outside of North America and Europe with an annual budget under $1M USD.

Note: during and after this intensive, participants and their organizations will have unlimited access to the recordings of the program’s sessions as well as SMT’s library of 70+ hours of training, which would cost over $3,000 if purchased individually.

We consider this training an investment for any organization that participates! Only one person from your organization has to pay the full rate. If a member from your organization has participated in this training in the past and paid the full rate, everyone else in your organization will pay a discounted rate. If you’re not sure if an individual from your organization has paid the full rate in the past, check this list.

Join the waitlist for the upcoming dates:

  • North & South America: Tuesday, February 21 to Thursday, March 9, 2023 
  • Asia/Africa/MENA/Europe: Tuesday, May 9 to Thursday, May 25, 2023

See testimonials of alumni (community organizing | union) from across the world who’ve joined the program to become more effective and strategic campaigners, organizers, communicators and/or fundraisers, and be the first to hear about future digital organizing training intensives by filling out this form.

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Staff and activists of 4,400+ groups
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Testimonials

[The Digital Campaigning Certificate Program] is a great course to get to know all the different aspects of digital campaigning. What I like most about it is the consistent focus on building power.
Joep Karskens, Digital Organizer, Friends of the Earth Netherlands
Great information on how to make emails more impactful and spur action. Great to get direct feedback on a sample email.
Jocelyn Meyers, Communications and Development Director, Friends of Cedar Mesa
[Story-Based Strategy] was awesome. It was sort of a refresher and a reset for me as an organizer and a social worker. I took a great deal of notes.
Jessica Estes, Deputy Director, MOWIN
We reached out very last minute to get help with ad campaigns. It was a really great experience, I have nothing but good things to say about it. We look forward to being able to work with them again in the future
Iridane Sanchez, Deputy Director West of Data and Technology, State Voices
Two things I valued most about the program were lifelong access to the course materials and case study walkthroughs from some of the most compelling organizers and organizing collectives we have in the field right now.
Keisha E. McKenzie, PhD, Director of Digital Strategy, Auburn Seminary and Digital Certificate Program participant 2018-2019
Our staff have taken SMT’s excellent trainings over the past five years. Mastering the strategic use of digital tools is essential to advance social change online. SMT’s offerings are a much-needed and unique resource. And they are responsive and committed to meeting the needs of participants. We’re thrilled to partner on the new Global South track of their Digital Campaigning Certificate program, which is a need that we expressed and they acted on promptly. Thank you SMT!
Shelley Buckingham, Digital Communications Lead, Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID), Canada
The webinars were very thorough, and the SMT team seems very responsive, broadly knowledgeable, and intuitive. The “WhichCRM?” questionnaire was helpful when I filled it out with my team. It helped us think about the aspects of a CRM we were looking for.
Nurses for Sexual and Reproductive Health (NSRH)
Last year, we worked with SMT on a census campaign with Native Voice Network, and we got so much direct campaign support, one-on-one coaching. I spent a lot of time doing just one-on-one coaching support with ads. after that I felt super empowered and fearless to just navigate all these different tools in the universe. So it was a really great and helpful experience for us.
Isel Cuapio, Digital Organizer, Native Voice Network
This is great for C3's to understand what they SHOULD be doing during elections. I think there is much more space for C3s to take the GOTV initiative.
Logan Mills, Community Organizer, Maine Women’s Lobby
SMT is an amazing resource for starting digital organizing and communications and maintaining a program that engages members and moves them to action. There are a bunch of free and super reasonably priced webinars available so you can jump right in and focus on what you need to improve.The webinars have just been stellar. I've learned so much, especially from the Top Tools and Tactics to bump up your organizing game. I used the templates and resources to set up an editorial calendar and to track stats for our new social media channels. It was very easy to take what was presented in the training and apply it to my union immediately.
Katie Ryan – Assistant Business Agent, IATSE Local 16
SMT helped us choose an appropriate database for our organization. Its focused training sessions are valuable tools that have helped us further a conversation with our grassroots leaders about strategically building a more powerful, goal-oriented organization.
Alison Auciello – Climate Justice Organizer, Communities United For Action
[SMT's WhichCRM tool] helped me make a side by side comparison without having to spend hours sifting through demos and websites on my own. Invaluable!
Ann Bickerton, VP of Membership, Heart of LA Democratic Club
I got a LOT out of it...the idea that comms can be used not just to “raise the visibility” of my organization, but to build power -- to move people, engage them, get them to do something concrete to push our social justice work forward. The strategies and tools shared were super helpful, and have already had measurable impact. Staff is fantastic - knowledgeable, responsive, thoughtful, collaborative.
Mary Schindler, Communications Manager, Youth Leadership Institute and SMT Digital Campaigning 2017-2019 alum
[The Digital Campaigning Certificate Program] is a wonderful course with a great amount of information to get you started on understanding how digital can work for your own organization.
Marium Navid, Digital Organizer, SEIU-UHW
I wish SMT had existed when I started organizing in 2010! I learned many of these skills on the fly, often through trial and error. Overall it is really helpful to learn about all of the new tools which exist, especially ones that non-profits can use for low or no cost. The presentation did a great job of outlining best practices for many different scenarios.
Isaac Silberman-Gorn, Mechanic Mentor, Baltimore Youth Kinetic Energy
All of SMT training is packed and powerful!
Monika Warner, Public Relations Chair – Professional Aviation Safety Specialists (PASS), AFL-CIO
I found the email coaching course to be extremely helpful. I thoroughly enjoyed that this exercise involved everyone working from the same assignment. It made the feedback that much more helpful. I think this has been one of the best SMT sessions that I've taken.
Crystal Mor, Digital Coordinator, NJ-CAIC
SMT is the only training I know of that speaks our language of activism and uses the tools we use everyday in the field. They are a go-to resource to help raise the bar for communications in the labor movement.
Mark Maldonado – Digital Strategist, Texas AFL-CIO
The Social Movement Technologies Digital Campaigner Certificate is an excellent opportunity for me to meet digital organizers from across the country who are doing important work fighting for social justice on digital platforms. Often times, we are isolated in our work whether it be regionally or by issue, but through this program I've learned so much about all the cool ways other organizers are engaging and building movements. I've also been able to refresh my own knowledge about digital campaigning and have learned about a ton of new technology, software, and platforms that can be used for positive social change. Thank you SMT team!
Jen Lawhorne, Digital Organizer, ProgressVA
This was a fantastic training experience and I learned a lot about emerging technology with lots of support!
Nathan Taft, Digital Campaigner, Stand.earth
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