We’ve known since 2016 that the 2020 election season was going to be big and it was going to be tough. What we didn’t know is that it was also going to be in the middle of a pandemic. But our organizing strategy has always been nimble by design—and over the last several months, that has become not just an advantage but a necessity.
Building off of our successful strategies that brought victory for our champions in the 2018 midterms, beginning in March we moved our organizing online and started creating customizable electoral plans to meet current needs and health guidelines.
No matter where it happens, organizing is all about relationships. Now, we are building those relationships virtually. This looks like:
- One-on-one meetings with volunteers and leaders by phone and video
- Video meetings with volunteer leaders
- Creating community virtually through things like weekly discussion circles about topics related to sexual and reproductive health and rights
- Trainings, actions, organizing, and electoral work—all in the digital space
- Using digital relational organizing tools that allow activists to organize their own networks
And despite the challenges, we are seeing some real advantages and opportunities in this new reality:
- When everything is virtual, it matters less where you live. The most important thing is your desire to participate, and Planned Parenthood activists want to participate.
- We’re innovating and experimenting with new ways to reach people, like turning in-person events into digital days of action, engaging college students to organize their classmates in online learning sessions, and reaching out to online fitness instructors to plug activism with the Action Fund to their participants.
Now, as the most important election of our lifetime inches closer, we are focused on scaling up. We are taking our most successful virtual tactics and growing our volume. We are recruiting new folks through email, social media, and text to join us as virtual volunteers. And we are making sure that even in this time of social distancing we are empowering large numbers of people to take meaningful action and create real change.
Sign up to be a volunteer with the Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota Action Fund today!