Creating and Managing an Action Network


February 23, 2021

What is an Action Network?


A RESULTS Action Network is a loosely organized pool of locally-based advocates and supporters connected to a RESULTS group. We refer to these individuals as members. Action Network members may not typically participate in regular group activities and meetings, but they take actions to support the group’s advocacy and organizing efforts and may participate in fundraising efforts.

 

Resources for Creating and Managing a local Action Network


  • Please contact Sarah Leone on the Grassroots Impact Team ([email protected]) for support and coaching to take on this RESULTS group role and to be added to all communication channels.
  • Join the Action Network Community listserve to chat with other Managers across the country
  • Attend our bi-monthly Action Network Webinars on the third Wednesday of every other month with a session at 12:30 pm ET and an encore session at  8:00 pm ET
  • Were you unable to attend the webinar? You can find the webinar notes here.
  • Wondering when you’ll receive your Action Alerts? They are sent out every two weeks on a schedule to Action Network Managers via a VoterVoice email
  • Need content to help you conduct outreach? Here is a flyer you can post on social media and send to your friends
  • Use this member spreadsheet to keep organized!

 

How do I Create an Action Network?


  • There is no magic formula to creating a local Action Network, but a great first start is to figure out how you will contact and keep track of your network even before you find people to join it.
    • Will you use an Excel spreadsheet to catalog contact information and contact people by phone? Do you prefer Facebook? Do you like sending tweets? Figure out the method that works best for you and your network, and keep your list current and easy to reach.

How will you communicate with them and how often? 

  • Choose the best method to communicate with your network. Does e-mail work best? Facebook, Twitter, or other social media? In some cases, a phone network is appropriate.
  • Think about how often you expect to activate your network. Action Alerts are sent out on a schedule on Mondays every two weeks (see linked schedule above).
  • Think carefully about who to include. A great way to get started is to reach out to friends and family! Then think about any coalition partners you might be working with. Ask yourself which individuals and groups might be interested in joining an action network that will be activated when there is an immediate, important advocacy action that can be taken?

Additional helpful tips: 

  • Don’t overuse your network. By definition, people in your network are not wanting to take action as full-fledged RESULTS activists, so they are likely to tire of a relentless series of e-mails or calls each week. Instead, use your discretion in activating your network at key times with actions or information.
  • Consider how you are cultivating your network along what we call the Ladder Of Engagement. Just like members of Congress, advocates can become champions, too!
  • Be strategic. If the right local opportunities to reach out haven’t surfaced for your network in a few weeks, consider sending a link to a powerful article, an invitation to have coffee, or a thank you for being willing to stand at the ready. This allows people to also give you feedback, contact detail updates, etc. Just like you don’t want to overuse your network, you also do not want it to get stagnant.
  • Don’t be the only keeper of the network. Co-leadership is a wonderful way to increase the impact of your network. In your absence, the network may need to be activated. By sharing the responsibility with another trusted advocate, you increase your ability to be nimble and timely in your management of the network.
  • Keep the RESULTS door open. Many in your network may not yet have chosen to be a RESULTS advocate in any capacity. When the time comes for your group to engage in outreach, invite your entire network. By persistently keeping the welcome mat out for your entire network, you increase the chances of someone taking you up on the invitation to become a RESULTS partner.

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