Join the Funders' Committee for Civic Participation (FCCP) for a discussion of relational organizing practice and power building strategy. They will discuss their own trajectories in funding movement work, where they see opportunities to achieve scale and impact in 2019 and 2020, how they understand the powerful potential of relational organizing, and share immediate opportunities to get more involved.
Relational organizing is not a new concept. But, it has “emerged” in recent years as a response to the highly centralized, command-and-control paid canvass models that are widespread in the civic engagement field. At the same time, rapid changes in communications and organizing technology are providing opportunities and challenges to the field. Many community organizing groups and social movement organizations are running highly cost-efficient civic engagement programs with high volumes of voter outreach, yet the communities they represent continue to be largely politically powerless. Despite the increasingly evident shortcomings with this transactional model, much of the progressive civic engagement infrastructure remains focused on tweaking the relative efficiency of tactical methods, rather than on ways to empower local organizations rooted in communities to reach those often excluded by traditional GOTV tactics, including voters of color and low-income voters, to build durable movements that result in transformative outcomes. Funders, and the frameworks we impose, have a lot to do with this. But there is a different way: focus on relationships.
This briefing is offered free of charge thanks to FCCP members’ financial support. It is open to funders and philanthropic advisors only.