Scale Your Organizing With Partners and Coalitions

Few organizing wins have happened because of a single organization, and strong organizational allies can be the key to a successful campaign. ControlShift’s partnerships feature is a great way for organizations to deepen relationships with peers, find new supporters, and demonstrate a broad base of support for their campaign issues.

We’re excited to announce that with our recent updates to the partnerships feature, we’ve now added support for coalition campaigns with multiple partners.

Both single partnerships and coalition campaigns allow for organizations to work together on shared petitions and events – opening up new opportunities for collaboration:

  • You can bring together local organizations across the country to work on a national initiative. Each local partner can co-sponsor the campaign in their area. (This could also be paired with our efforts tool.)
  • You can work with the leading organizations on an issue to run a single petition campaign, with each organization helping to recruit petition signers.
  • You can cohost a training session with other organizations to share campaign strategies and plan next steps for a campaign.
  • You can organize a day of action with multiple partners, with each partner recruiting events and attendees.
Coalitions allow multiple partners to collaborate on petitions and events.

While working with partners, you have full control of how supporter data is shared. Regardless of how complex the politics of your coalition is, you can share opt-ins with key stakeholders and grow each of your audiences. Once invited to collaborate, each partner receives special access to various tools to help them organize their supporters. You can also combine partnerships with our themes feature to create special branding for partner actions so that they feel distinct from the rest of your work.

Best Practices for Partnerships

If your organization is interested in expanding your partner work, we have some best practices:

  • It’s organizing too: As with the rest of the ControlShift tools, supporting the most robust and vibrant partnerships requires active relationship building and organizing. In many ways, partner organizations are just like regular petition creators – they need to be reminded that they can create petitions and events on your site and need to know what value will be added by partnering with you. Building and nurturing relationships with peers is vital in ensuring that your partners turn to you when there’s a campaign opportunity.
  • Reach out: For organizations that you know you want to work with, direct outreach is the way to go. Keep an eye out for campaign opportunities in that organization’s issue area. When you spot one that’s a particularly good match, ask them to collaborate and post a relevant petition or event on your site.
  • Have an open door: In addition to recruiting new partners, having a way for potential partners to find you is also key. Creating a marketing page that explains your partner program and the benefits of partnering with your organization is a great way to find new potential partners, while also being a page you can send to the organizations you’re recruiting.
  • Set clear expectations: The technical support and strategic help that organizations provide to their partners can vary a lot. When you’re onboarding a partner, be sure to lay out exactly what they can expect from a partnership with you. Will you be creating petitions/events on their behalf and helping them craft messages to supporters? Will you cross promote their petitions/events to your full list? Or will you just be providing the technology to host their actions? Setting clear expectations can help prevent headaches or disappointment down the road.
  • Be generous: ControlShift’s partner tools allow for elegant signature sharing, whether you’re working with a single partner or a coalition. Allowing partners to collect opt-ins for their shared petitions and events encourages the organization to create actions on your site – this is a key benefit that you can use when recruiting a partner.
  • Keep it going: A single petition or event is a great way to kick off a partnership, but winning a campaign and creating a lasting impact requires deepening the partnership beyond list sharing and joint recruitment. The more collaborative the relationship, the more you share in planning additional actions – like events, demonstrations, campaign pushes, etc. – the better your chances of winning a campaign.

If you’re interested in strategizing your use of partnerships or coalitions, we’d love to help! Send us an email, schedule a call with our team, or join one of our office hours.