The Grassroots Movement Can Shake the Ground like an Earthquake
Grassroots movements are by definition organic structures, which grow almost spontaneously around a common cause. The issues which bind such a movement can be diverse - environmental, educational, economic, security related, etc. They often touch on basic rights and the fundamentals of democracy.
Grassroots activism usually begins locally, with an initial specific aim. This may be to raise funds, increase awareness, or generate civic participation by engaging the community in discourse. The strategies these movements apply include:
• Distributing information via parlor meetings and public gatherings, handing out pamphlets and posting information online
• Mobilizing activists by organizing demonstrations, starting petitions and initiating email\letter-writing and phone-call campaigns
• Raising money from community activists, small-scale donors, and operating crowd funding campaigns
Political Activism for the People, by the People
One of the great advantages of grassroots movements is their power to motivate. The enthusiasm which they generate is focused and authentic. The result can be very powerful. Grassroots volunteers are often the backbone of a campaign – They are the individuals a candidate can count on to organize rallies, raise money and to get out the vote. Their contribution and impact on a political campaign can be immense. However, despite these potentially huge benefits, a campaign should always remember that a grassroots movement is by its very nature, self-organized and independent.
The Grassroots Movement Will Work with You Not for You
Grassroots activists should be seen as partners, not as subordinates. A sound grassroots strategy is built on collaboration, not a sense of hierarchy. In other words, a political candidate should not look to micro-manage a grassroots movement, even if it enthusiastically supports their agenda. However, they can and should identify relevant grassroots movements and inspire them to take action which promotes their agenda. A candidate who truly understands how to work alongside grassroots movements and has the ability to engage the political energy of activists can benefit tremendously. Ultimately, it can be the difference between a winning and a losing campaign.