This article was orginaly published on the website of NIMD Colombia
We are Enabl.ist and for years an experienced network-organization in the NGO, the public, charity and political spheres. We implement technical and functional OpenSource tools as well as methodologies to support, or reframe, processes and to innovate on new challenges.
Our strategy is to come to a situation where the organization will
benefit due to a broad implementation of scalable solutions. We
emphasize our clients on the risks not to have a vendor-lockin
or to fall into the traps of the big tech companies. One of the key
answers is to define data or process ownership within the organisation
We worked with one of our political clients to embrace and adapt her
mission so well that taking ownership of the supportive tools was pretty
easy. We defined a simple ruleset to get this accountability and the
quality of handling this toolset, actualy fully supportive to her own
mission, was like working with a natural flow.
Because of the significant low overhead costs all the organisational-
values could go into the further developments of the mission and
campagnes, with the toolset as a well know supportive machinery.
Political innovation works well with organisations whom are adapting
this mindset into their business-operations. Besides this, we feel
strongly that people working for strong mission-driven organisations,
like political parties, do feel comfortable when their own mission and
vision is part of the business-operations and ethical model. When we
say, “practice what you preach”, everybody will understand the filosofy
A strong and powerful campaign needs to rely on the perspective of
your base (members, supporters, donors). This perspective needs to have
a place in your CRM-based system. When you want to gather this
knowledge you have to start communicating with your base fromout your
CRM, develop the channels that are part of your political mission and
vision and organise it. Yourself!
A party organizing their members themselves are up-front, to
outsource this process can become part of the infamous vendor-lockin, as
When political campaigns are in the developing stage it is necessary
that the members and volunteers are for more or less 99% behind the
campaign and will add important information as content for the campaign.
For the Dutch labor party we organised an internal Consul platform to work with all internal staff and members to have their say and to develop the outcomes leading to their annual congress. Having this platform will guide the members and volunteers into their own framework, it gives them a much more cofortable feeling as well. So in this way all campaigners, members ans staff will speak the same language.
Furthermore, the power of the campaign will be of a structural and powerful set of recognisable and well thought campaign materials for the people you want to reach. It should be the best way to adapt and manage the constant flow of information and news. To have this definitions clear it is for the organisation herself a great oppurtunity to manage this information with the possibility to steer the campaign on a more abstract level, without creating a distance to their base.
When you link your Consul and CRM (like CiviCRM) databases with each-other you have a very powerful toolset with your own crownjewels in your own hands.
After the campaign, as stated over and over, you still have your
input AND output in a very structurized and save situation. This is very
much re-usable but, it is again the optimum to embed this in your daily
membership management, your news gathering, the memberships you can
achieve and manage to have long term relation with your supporters,
members, volunteers and so on.
The wonderful idea to have the possibilty to link your Party ideals
to the personal ideals should be an ongoing and daily process in order
to manage your members.
Do not only reach out to them via news channels or news letters, no, it is necessary that the party herself starts to communicate with their people.
Only this is a real base for a succesful relationship and thus a deservable vote on your party.