Leadership & Organizing Training Curriculum-Democracy Partners Tool Box:


If you'd like to learn more about Democracy Partners' training services email Nick Guthman at [email protected]


Sections Outline

  1. This is America: Movement History and the Economy   
  2. Leadership
  3. Organizing
  4. Issue Campaign Organizing
  5. Electoral Campaign Organizing
  6. Being a Candidate
  7. Fundraising
  8. Research
  9. Policy Development
  10. Communications
  11. Governing
  12. Creating Administrative and Internal Systems for Organizational Efficiency


Section 1: This is America: Movement History and Economics:

Session 1: This is America: Democracy, its Promise & the Historic Struggles to Make it Real 

Session 2: This is America: Breaking down systemic oppression and racism, and the movements to dismantle these systems

Session 3: This is America: Understanding the U.S. Economy and Income Inequality


Section 2: Leadership:

Session 1: Story of Self, Us & Now

Session 2: Public vs. Private: Respect vs. love; Boundaries and roles

Session 3: Self-interest (vs. selfless vs. selfish vs. altruism)

Session 4: Qualities of a Leader / What We Look for in Leaders

Session 5: Staying in this work for the Long Haul


Section 3: Organizing:

Session 1: Democratic Values - Why Organize?

Session 2: Power, Racial Equity and Structural Racism

Session 3: The “As-is” vs. the “Should be”

Session 4: One-on-ones / Relational Meetings


Section 4: Issue Campaign Organizing:

Session 1: How to Build a Strategic Campaign; Power Mapping

Session 2: Strategy and Tactics; Polarize, Personalize; Action - Reaction

Session 3: Cutting Issues

Session 4: Building Alliances and Sustaining Effective Inside—Outside Coalitions

Session 5: Campaign Narrative & Messaging; Public Speaking

Session 6: Organizing Math: Structuring the Work


Section 5: Electoral Campaign Organizing:

Session 1: Pre-campaign Planning & Power Analysis

Session 2: Intro to VAN

Session 3: Volunteer Recruitment

Session 4: Effective Canvassing / Deep Canvassing

Session 5: Phone Banking: Predictive Dialer / Clicker Dialer / Virtual Phone Bank 

Session 6: Intro to Digital Organizing

Session 7: Text Banking Strategies 

Session 8: GOTV Strategy

Session 9: Earned Media & Rapid Response 


Section 6: Being a Candidate:

Session 1: What Voters Want - Strength vs Warmth in Elections

Session 2: Communications for Candidates

Session 3: (Every Day Is) Debate Prep

Session 4: Managing the Circus


Section 7: Fundraising for Issue and Electoral Campaigns:

Session 1: Pitching Foundations

Session 2: Creating an Individual & Sustainable Donor Base

Session 3: Grass-roots Fundraising Strategies

Session 4: Fundraising for Campaigns

Session 5: What Candidates Need to Know and To Do for Fundraising


Section 8: Research (Tools for Electoral and Issue Research Campaigns):

Session 1: Self research - What do I need to know about myself BEFORE I run for office?

Session 2: Opposition research - What are my opponent’s strengths and weaknesses?

Session 3: Using research to inform public relations campaigns

Session 4: The role of research in developing the action campaign


Section 9: Policy Development:

Session 1: The REAL Story of How a Bill Becomes a Law!

Session 2: Layers of Government: Purviews of Local, State & Federal

Session 3: Lay of the land on think tanks & progressive policy institutes

Session 4: Legislative research/tracking

Session 5: Coalition-building for policy development and victories

Session 6: Lay of the land for interest groups, lobbyists, and donors


Section 10: Communications:

Session 1: Comms Strategy Introduction (101) 

Session 2: Comms Strategy Advanced (201)

Session 3: Talking to the Media: Techniques - Sound Bites, Pivots, Crises, Optics

Session 4: Social Media Strategy, Management, Tactics 


Section 11: Governing:

Session 1: Coach new Elected Officials' leadership teams to be successful and effective

Session 2: Training candidates who win about the transition to governing as a progressive

[Executive Track] Session 3a - Governing as a Progressive Executive Branch (including leading from the majority vs. minority)

[Legislative Track] Session 3b -  Governing as a Progressive Legislative Branch (including leading from the majority vs. minority)


Section 12: Creating Administrative and Internal Systems for Organizational Efficiency

Session 1a: Incorporating for 501c3 and 501c4s

Session 1b: Incorporating for PACs, Local & Federal Campaigns

Session 1c: Incorporating for LLCs, S and C Corporations

Session 2: Employment, Accounting & Taxes / Payroll Administration

Session 3: Website, IT and Communications Infrastructure

Session 4: Recruiting, hiring & retaining employeesxw


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