How It Works

Broadcast vs Distributed Organizing

ControlShift Labs is committed to the idea that people should drive social movements, even when they happen online. With a distributed organizing model, your organization can leverage the power of your supporters by giving them the opportunity to start, run, and win their own campaigns. The distributed organizing model not only allows your organization to run more numerous and diverse campaigns, but it also leads to more involved and more active supporters.

Traditional Broadcast Organizing

An organization which broadcasts to one set of people

Distributed Organizing

An organization which facilitates groups of people in communicating with each other

Traditional Broadcast Organizing

The central organization decides on the campaign, and the members respond.

VS
Distributed Organizing

The central organization guides the strategy, and members are engaged as organizers in winning campaigns.


Traditional Broadcast Organizing

Members receive lots of emails from campaigners, but don’t often communicate with each other.

VS
Distributed Organizing

Members communicate with each other and meet frequently in person.


Traditional Broadcast Organizing

Success is measured in clicks, petition signatures, phone calls, new emails on the list, and occasional big wins.

VS
Distributed Organizing

Success is measured in many small — and a few big — victories.


Traditional Broadcast Organizing

If the central organization fails, members are on their own.

VS
Distributed Organizing

Members build power and community that can outlive the central organization.


Traditional Broadcast Organizing

Members read and click on lots of emails.

VS
Distributed Organizing

Members learn real organizing skills and become leaders.


Why Distributed Organizing?

Cutting through in email is more and more difficult.

It’s not the early days of the internet anymore — there’s lots of competition from other advocacy organizations and businesses. Opens and action rates continue to decline, year by year.

Clicktivism has long since become routine.

Decision makers expect barrages of emails and phone calls, and it’s harder to convince members that yet another petition is the way to change the world.

Your members want to connect.

Real power and community doesn’t happen in the inbox — it grows when people meet their neighbors, work together, and develop relationships over time.

Local is where we can win.

Many of our biggest institutions are stuck, but the school board and town council can still be swayed.

Get in touch for a demo or to learn more.